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State / In Brief

December 25, 2012
The Associated Press

Car crashes into wall of bakery on Oahu; vehicle misses employee by about 2 feet

KAILUA, Oahu - A car crashed through a bakery wall and narrowly missed an employee.

Hawaii News Now reported that the accident occurred last week at a popular bakery in Kailua, which left the bakery cleaning up glass and rubble.

The accident happened last week, when a car slammed into Agnes' Portuguese Bake Shop.

The bakery owner says the accident was nearly much worse. Non Demello says the car missed one of the bakery's employees by about 2 feet. He says the woman was cleaning off the coffee stand area when suddenly there was a car next to her. The woman was shaken up but not hurt.


Soldiers set to return from Afghanistan after holiday, be greeted with ceremony

HONOLULU - The U.S. military will be welcoming back several soldiers from Afghanistan the day after Christmas.

Members of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade are expected to arrive at Wheeler Army Airfield early Wednesday morning at a ceremony attended by family and friends.

Some soldiers already returned Sunday.

Their division has served the past year in Afghanistan. Soldiers executed missions ranging from air assault to counterinsurgency operations.

The brigade will continue redeploying soldiers throughout the next several weeks.


Shearwater seabird hatchings more than double at Oahu's Kaena Point, DLNR says

HONOLULU - The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said a record number of wedge-tailed shearwater seabirds are hatching at Kaena Point on Oahu.

The department said earlier this month that this is because it installed a fence last year to keep out non-native animals like cats, dogs and mongooses that prey on the birds.

Pacific Rim Conservation biologist Lindsay Young said the hatchling population of uau kani has more than doubled since the fence was installed.

The previous high was about 1,500 in 2007. This year, more than 3,200 birds hatched.

Laysan albatross hatchings also increased, by 15 percent.

Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve is one of only a handful of places in the main Hawaiian Islands where the birds nest.


Prison on Big Island could be reopened by '14; meetings to be held for comment

KAILUA-KONA - A move is under way to reopen Kulani Correctional Facility on the Big Island.

The minimum-security prison was shut down in 2009 and about 160 inmates were scattered and placed in other correctional facilities. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says that reopening the facility would mean that prisoners could return to the Big Island from Oahu and two facilities in Arizona.

Officials also say that reopening the prison would bring nearly 70 new jobs and other economic benefits to the island, as well as situating prisoners closer to their families.

The department released a draft environmental assessment in November to reactivate the 280-acre prison by 2014. The department will hold public meetings on the Big Island to discuss the report and gather comments.


Group wants Hawaii atolls named one of the most contaminated places in the U.S.

HONOLULU - Plastic trash is prompting an environmental group to petition the federal government to name the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands one of the most contaminated places in the country.

The Center for Biological Diversity is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to designate the islands and surrounding waters a Superfund site.

Currents continually carry plastic debris from around the Pacific Ocean to the string of largely unpopulated atolls.

Center attorney Emily Jeffers said earlier this month that plastic bags, bottles and other "toxic litter" pollute the area. She said this trash is deadly to seals, birds and other marine life.

The EPA's Superfund program addresses abandoned hazardous waste sites. Most are former industrial sites.

The EPA said it had received the petition and is looking into it.



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