State roundup for January 2
Report released on plane crash
HONOLULU (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says in in a preliminary accident report that a small commercial plane that crash-landed in Hawaii waters floated for about 25 minutes before sinking.
The NTSB said in its brief preliminary report that it took rescuers about 80 minutes to reach the nine passengers after they exited the plane following the Dec. 11 crash.
Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy died in the crash near Molokai. Maui police have not released results of an autopsy to determine how she died.
The NTSB report released Monday largely confirmed previous accounts by passengers and the plane’s pilot. Those aboard the Makani Kai Air flight from Kalaupapa to Honolulu say they heard a loud bang, then the plane lost power. The pilot glided the single-engine Cessna into the water.
Teen is charged in beating death
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police say a 16-year-old boy has been charged with beating a homeless man to death.
A petition has been filed to lessen charges from murder to manslaughter.
Police say the victim was 62-year-old Anthony Montero, who described himself as a freelance journalist.
He also ran unsuccessfully for several political offices under the name Paul A. Manner.
Police arrested the teen Monday but have declined to release his name because he is a minor. Authorities say Montero was beaten by a group of teens east of downtown Honolulu last week, where he was sleeping.
Little fire ant spreads in isles
HONOLULU (AP) — An invasive ant species has spread to Oahu and Maui from the Big Island.
The state Department of Agriculture said Tuesday the little fire ants were discovered at a garden shop on Maui last week.
A few days later entomologists found infestations on hapuu ferns at another Maui store and at several Oahu garden shops.
The little fire ant measures just one-sixteenth of an inch long, but can produce painful stings. The species is native to South America. It was first found in Hawaii in Puna in 1999.
The department says anyone who has recently purchased hapuu logs or planters should contain them by placing them in a plastic bag and seal it.
They should also contact their nearest state Department of Agriculture office as soon as possible.
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