State briefs for January 19

NWS issues high surf warning for Hawaii shores

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Weather Service issued a high surf warning for the north- and west-facing shores of some Hawaiian islands.

The warning was prompted by a large northwest swell expected to generate surf up to 30 to 40 feet.

The warning is in effect through 6 p.m. today and covers the north- and west-facing shores of Oahu, Kauai, Molokai and Niihau and the north shore of Maui. A high surf advisory remains in effect for the Big Island’s west-facing shores.

Weather officials expected to see the highest surf late Saturday and today. They advise beachgoers to exercise caution and listen to lifeguards.

Kauai considers barking dog fine

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — As Kauai considers new restrictions against dogs that bark too much, some residents worry the rules could fuel arguments between neighbors.

The Kauai County Council is weighing a bill that would fine owners if their dogs bark “continuously or incessantly” for 10 minutes or intermittently over 30 minutes.

The fines would range from $50 for a first offense to $200 to $500 for a third offense, which would be levied if barking doesn’t improve following a letter and educational material sent by the Kauai Humane Society.

Penny Cistaro, executive director of the nonprofit, said the bill will encourage neighbors to keep a log of barking episodes to serve as a legal document and help the organization decide what to do.

Some Kauai residents said that system would be misused.

Dora Sloger, of Eleele, said in written testimony she’s concerned the proposed law would allow the Humane Society to harass people.

“Maybe we need to have laws addressing the people who keep their big dogs on a short chain or in a small cage all the time, just one of the reasons dogs bark continually,” Sloger said.

American Samoa starts immigration amnesty program

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — American Samoa will grant amnesty to immigrants living in the U.S. territory illegally.

The immigration amnesty program is intended to help provide a more accurate count of the island’s population, which showed a 3.1 percent drop during the 2010 U.S. Census, said Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga. According to census data, the territory’s 2010 population was 55,519, a drop of 1,772 from 2000.

The territory controls its own immigration and customs, instead of the U.S. government. The amnesty will be possible after the territory makes changes to its immigration law that outlines quotas for the number of immigrants who may enter.


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