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State roundup for December 23

Climate change director selected

HONOLULU (AP) — The first permanent director of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Pacific Islands Climate Science Center has been selected.

The U.S. Geological Survey announced last week that David Helweg will be the director of the center, whose headquarters are at the University of Hawaii’s Manoa campus.

The USGS-managed center provides access to the best science available on climate change and other landscape-scale stressors on the nation’s natural and cultural resources. It’s one of eight regional centers.

The USGS says that climate change challenges for Pacific island communities include freshwater resources, coral reef health and invasive species.

Helweg was previously deputy director of the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center.

Obama Hawaii vacation: Day 2

HONOLULU (AP) — How President Barack Obama spent the second day of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Sunday:

— LETTER TO CONGRESS: Obama sent a short letter to Congress to update lawmakers on the use of U.S. forces to help evacuate Americans and government personnel in South Sudan. Obama said the point of an operation on Saturday was to help protect U.S. citizens.

— COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Obama and the first family cheered on Oregon State as the Beavers played Akron in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic tournament in Honolulu. Michelle Obama’s brother Craig Robinson is the coach of Oregon State, and the president is a noted basketball fan. The Obamas sat with their daughters, Sasha and Malia, and Robinson’s family behind the Oregon State bench. Midway through the second half, Obama shifted down to sit with Robinson’s wife, who held a young child on her lap. Akron beat Oregon State 83-71.

UH-Manoa sex assault probed

HONOLULU (AP) — Authorities are searching for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a student on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus.

School officials say the student reported the assault to campus security early Saturday morning. According to Honolulu police, the student says the incident took place Friday at Sakamaki Hall sometime between 8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Police say the suspect is described as being in his 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 180 pounds. He was reportedly wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.

Police did not release any additional details about the assault.


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