State briefs for December 22
State asks for help protecting monk seal
HONOLULU (AP) — State officials are asking the public to help keep a Hawaiian monk seal pup safe.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources on Friday asked the public not to feed or approach an 8-month-old pup that’s been frequenting southern Oahu harbors and marinas. Officials said feeding her will likely reduce her chances of survival if she continues to seek out unnatural food sources.
The pup is one of fewer than 1,000 seals alive today. It’s against federal and state laws to feed or approach Hawaiian monk seals, a critically endangered species.
Harbor and marina users who come into contact with her are asked to maintain a distance of at least 150 feet and not make eye contact.
Marinated chicken thighs recalled
HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said a Kapolei company is recalling about 3,600 pounds of raw, frozen, marinated chicken products.
The department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday Palama Holdings is recalling 10-pound boxes of May’s Hawaiian style boneless and skinless teriyaki chicken thighs.
They were produced Oct. 15 and Nov. 5. They were distributed for sale on Oahu, Maui and Kauai and to a military commissary. The packages are marked with “EST. P-11077.”
There have been no reports of adverse reactions from consuming the products.
The recall is necessary because of possible improper temperature storage before the products were distributed.
Man drowns after wave capsizes boat
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Guam police said a 50-year-old man drowned near the Agana Boat Basin.
Another media outlet reported the man drowned after a wave capsized a boat he and two other men were in. Officer A.J. Balajadia said none were wearing a floatation device.
Two men were pulled from the water, but rescuers didn’t realize another man was unaccounted for. Balajadia said rescuers later found the third man floating face down in the water.
Unemployment coverage taxes to fall
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii employers won’t have to pay as much in unemployment insurance taxes next year.
The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Thursday unemployment insurance taxes will be cut by an average of 35 percent next year.
The news comes as the state’s unemployment rate sits at a five year-low of 4.4 percent.
The department said employers will pay $130 million less in unemployment insurance taxes.
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