Tuesday | January 16, 2018
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State briefs for Oct. 9

Modular homes from Japan to house homeless

HONOLULU (AP) — Structures that were intended to provide emergency housing for tsunami survivors in Japan will instead provide shelter for homeless families in Hawaii.

Volunteers assembled a number of the modular homes on Sand Island in Honolulu on Saturday after materials for 30 of the structures arrived from Japan last week.

The new community, known as the Kahauiki Village, will house people who have been in transitional shelters and are waiting for long-term housing.

“We are on schedule, and we couldn’t be more excited to start preparing these homes for families that are so appreciative of the opportunity to live in safe, dignified, affordable housing,” said Duane Kurisu, a coordinator of the project.

Once completed, the village can house up to 800 people in the 200 modular homes to be constructed on the 13-acre site.

Coordinators expect to have the first families move in by the end of this year.

“It’s our kuleana, and our responsibility to help out others in need,” said Kawika Fiddler, a volunteer at the project. “I think what’s great about this project itself is everyone is kind of lending a helping hand, coming together as a community, and really helping out those who are not in the best position right now to get back on their feet.”

State records 17 cases of rat lungworm disease this year

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials are grappling with how to control rats, snails and slugs that are known to carry roundworm parasites, which can cause significant harm to people.

The state Department of Health has recorded 17 cases of rat lungworm disease this year.

On the island of Oahu, the first case of the disease in seven years was found in Nick Booth, 29. Booth became sick in early July, and doctors weren’t able to figure out what was wrong until weeks later.

Booth, who worked on a lettuce farm, said he was sent home from the emergency room at least three times before he was admitted into the hospital. He experienced painful knots in his stomach, intense headaches and a severe burning sensation throughout his limbs, he said.

“They sent me away with nothing, really. A couple days later it was just unbearable,” Booth said. “You can feel them crawling through you. Especially once it got into my brain. I could feel it progress. That was pretty horrible. I don’t wish my worst enemy that.”

Booth had somehow ingested the parasites, and he was later given anti-parasitic medicines. Health Department officials said they do not promote anti-parasitic drugs because they are not proven effective for treating rat lungworm disease and could worsen symptoms.

“It was already into my brain and pretty much all around it by the time they gave me anti-parasitics,” Booth said. “I should have had anti-parasitics as soon as I got ill when it was in my stomach. They’d be killed and flushed out. Instead I’m looking at possible permanent nerve damage.”

Man killed at Pearl Harbor buried nearly 76 years later

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The remains of a South Carolina man killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor have been buried nearly 76 years later.

Navy Seaman First Class Milton Reece Surratt was a 19-year-old cook on the USS Oklahoma when torpedoes sank the battleship Dec. 7, 1941. Surratt was among 429 crewmen to die. But his body was not identified, and he was officially missing in action — until recently, when the federal Defense POW MIA Accounting Agency matched his remains to family members’ DNA.

Surratt’s remains were buried with full military honors Friday in the Mauldin First Baptist Church cemetery.

Surratt’s niece, Shirley Watkins, says she remembers the Christmas Eve telegram that told the family he was missing.

His 99-year-old cousin, John Baldwin, says he’s elated his cousin is finally home.


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