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State/In Brief

March 10, 2014
The Associated Press

Papahanaumokuakea center reopening

HILO - A downtown Hilo education center for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is reopening this month after a year of refurbishing.

The new Mokupapapa Discovery Center features a saltwater aquarium as well as new exhibits and artwork.

It will open to the public on Saturday in the historic Koehnen's building. The new center has five times the space as the old one.

The Mokupapapa center first opened in 2003 to bring the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to the people since most won't ever have an opportunity to visit the remote islands.

The center hosts more than 60,000 visitors a year, including school groups, community groups, locals and tourists.


Japanese jet makes emergency landing

HONOLULU - A Japan Airlines flight bound for San Francisco carrying more than 170 people made an emergency landing at the Honolulu International Airport.

The airport manager's office says that the jetliner landed without incident around 1 p.m. Saturday.

Airlines spokesman Yang Jian says the Boeing 787 had cockpit indicators showing engine trouble and made the emergency landing in Honolulu.

Jian says none of the 160 passengers and 11 crew members was injured. He says that the cockpit indicators showed that oil pressure was down with an engine.


Suspect in Oahu killing arrested in Calif.

HONOLULU - A man wanted on suspicion of stabbing a homeless man to death on Oahu has been arrested in California.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Robert Roediger-Geauque was arrested Thursday in Santa Barbara and booked for investigation of second-degree murder.

A tipster called police after authorities put out a notice identifying him as a suspect in the Jan. 13 killing of 37-year-old Scott MacMillan in Kailua.

Honolulu police planned to send officers to California to pick up the suspect.


State: Rare corals found off Big Island

KAILUA-KONA - A state research team has discovered a coral species that's new to the main Hawaiian Islands.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said recently that a team of divers along the Kona coast came across a large number of coral colonies they had never seen before.

It turned out to be the first record of the coral in the main Hawaiian Islands.

Senior biologist Bill Walsh led the dive team. He says the discovery opens up speculation about what other rare corals may be found on Big Island reefs. The state says the presence of this rare species in the main Hawaiian Islands emphasizes the need for local marine and land-used conservation practices.


Hawaiian monk seal hospital set to open

KAILUA-KONA - The Marine Mammal Center says its new hospital for critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals will be opening to patients this summer.

The California-based nonprofit veterinary hospital broke ground on the $3.2 million Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona in 2012.

The facility includes rehabilitation pens and pools, quarantine areas and a medical lab.

Marine Mammal Center Executive Director Dr. Jeff Boehm says the hospital is being built to help save a species.

There are fewer than 1,100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the world, and their population is declining about 4 percent per year.


Lei contest to be during Merrie Monarch

HILO - A lei-making contest will be held in Hilo during the Merrie Monarch Festival next month.

The contest celebrates native species, Hawaiian culture and sustainable picking practices on Hawaii Island.

Organizers say lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material, and complexity or effort.

There are three main categories: kahiko, or traditional style lei; auana, or contemporary lei; and lei hulu, or feather lei.

Entries will be displayed at the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center from April 19 to 15.

Organizers are inviting amateurs and professional to enter.



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