Newsmakers this week: Merrie Monarch, accused kidnapper in court, mayoral address

Newsmakers this week: Merrie Monarch, accused kidnapper in court, mayoral address

State Of The City

Mayor Kirk Caldwell will deliver his sixth State of the City Address on Tuesday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center.

The mayor's speech will begin at approximately 6:30 p.m., and will be shown live on KGMB and Hawaii News Now digital platforms.

The speech is expected to last nearly a half hour.

Mayor Caldwell has traditionally used the address to make big announcements.

Last year, he focused much of the speech on plans for affordable housing.

Accused Kidnapper In Court 

Honolulu police have arrested and charged 45-year-old James Dee Nolen in connection with the alleged attempted kidnapping near Ala Moana Center on March 19.

Nolen was arrested by HPD officers at his Chinatown apartment on Saturday morning for one count of kidnapping and six counts of sex assault.

Police have been searching for him since a 9-year-old girl reported being fondled and grabbed by a man at Lucky Strike Social, a bowling and arcade center in Ala Moana, on March 19.

Nolen is expected to make a court appearance this week.

No word on how long it will take to repair the section of the H-1 Freeway overpass damaged last Thursday when a truck carrying counterweights for a train slammed into it.

The impact sent debris raining down onto the freeway at Middle Street, causing gridlock for several hours.

Officials say they will give an update on the situation sometime this week.

Hawaii News Now's coverage of the Merrie Monarch Festival begins on Wednesday.

Ahead of that, the Hokulea's Mahalo tour continues with a visit to Hilo to coincide with the festival.

A welcome ceremony is planned for Monday morning at the Grand Naniloa Hotel.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to downlist the nene to threatened status.

The Hawaiian Goose has been listed as endangered since 1967.

At one point only 30 remained in the wild.

Now, experts say there are more than 2,800.

Starting Monday, the public will have 60 days to comment on the proposal.

It will include a rule allowing landowners some flexibility to manage nene on their properties.

The U.S. Army will start removing munitions from Makua Beach Monday.

Contracted divers will focus on a 22-acre area where an unexploded ordnance was found in 2016 just 20 yards from shore.

Divers will survey the ocean floor with metal detectors and underwater GPS equipment.

We're told it's a two-month project.

Wonder Blunder Sentencing

The man at the center of the so-called "Wonder Blunder" is expected to be sentenced this week.

Marc Hubbard was supposed to be sentenced last week, but it was postponed to this Friday.

He is already in federal prison, serving time for another similar scheme on the mainland.

Hubbard pleaded guilty to defrauding $200,000 from the University of Hawaii to put on a Stevie Wonder concert fundraiser.

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