State roundup for January 30
Tsutsui to lead Philippines trip
HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Filipino Chamber of Commerce says Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will lead the organization’s upcoming trade mission to the Philippines.
The chamber says the trip will begin Friday and will include more than 40 business executives.
The goal of the trip is to stimulate trade and investment in Hawaii and the Philippines.
Officials also want to encourage the development of green energy technology.
The chamber says Tsutsui will travel with the delegation to cities known for their successful economies and emphasis on environmental sustainability.
The organization says the delegation will travel to the Ilocos region because of its historical ties to many Filipinos who immigrated to Hawaii more than a century ago.
Rats eliminated at Palmyra Atoll
HONOLULU (AP) — Conservationists say they’ve successfully eliminated harmful, non-native rats from remote, uninhabited Palmyra Atoll.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, and Island Conservation said Monday they used rodenticide to kill the rats. Scientists confirmed last year the island is now rat-free.
Rats were likely introduced to the atoll about 1,000 miles south of Honolulu during World War II. The rat population on the 600-acre atoll grew as high as 30,000.
The rodents are harmful on Palmyra because they eat the eggs and chicks of native birds. They also eat land crabs and the seeds and seedlings of native tree species.
University of California, Santa Cruz researchers have detected a sharp increase in native tree seedlings, spiders, crabs and other indigenous species since the rats were killed off.
Falling boulders damage home
HONOLULU (AP) — Two boulders dislodged during heavy rain tumbled about 20 feet down a Kalihi Valley hillside, damaging a home and narrowly missing four people sleeping inside.
Emergency personnel got a call from the home’s residents on Monday morning after the boulders hit the house. The boulders — measuring 3 by 5 feet and 3 by 3 feet — hit the back of the house and damaged a small portion of a bedroom wall.
Emergency officials say it’s possible the boulders came from a single large boulder and broke into pieces.
Peter Hirai, deputy director of the city Department of Emergency Management, says there was a rockslide about 11 miles to the east. No one was injured and there was no property damage.
Gas leak secured near university campus
HONOLULU (AP) — A gas leak that occurred at a construction site near the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been secured.
Hawaii News Now (http://is.gd/NJ9skP) says that multiple buildings had to be evacuated on Monday because of the leak reported at the IT construction site.
Fire officials say crews arrived and were able to patch and plug the leak, which was caused when a gas line was damaged during construction.
No one was injured.
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