State roundup for January 9
Groups sue feds for loggerheads
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Conservation groups are suing federal wildlife and fisheries officials, claiming the government missed a legally mandated deadline to create protection zones for endangered loggerhead sea turtles.
The coalition filed its complaint Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, alleging the National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service missed a one-year Endangered Species Act deadline to create so-called “critical habitat” for loggerheads.
The 250-pound turtles in both the Pacific and Northeast Atlantic Oceans were listed as endangered in 2011.
The Center for Biological Diversity and other groups claim that, even with endangered status, loggerheads still die off the California, Hawaii and Florida coasts, often because of commercial fishing.
NMFS spokesman Jim Milbury said he could not comment on an active lawsuit.
Honolulu traffic ranked No. 4
HONOLULU (AP) — A company that makes a vehicle navigation device says when it comes to traffic Honolulu is the fourth-most congested city in North America.
Navigation device-maker TomTom compared travel times during congested periods, to times of day when traffic is flowing freely to come up with an index of 57 metropolitan areas. The index was compiled from information obtained between July and September of last year.
TomTom found that Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada, were tied for most congested, followed by San Francisco, Honolulu and Seattle.
Jury selection in Kauai murder
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — Jury selection has begun in the Kauai trial of a man charged with murder.
Prospective jurors will go through the screening process before a 12-member jury and four alternates are selected in the trial of Vicente Kote Kapika Hilario.
Hilario is charged with murder in the death of Aureo Moore, 34, at Anahola Beach Park on Dec. 17, 2010. He has pleaded not guilty and also faces charges of retaliating and intimidating a witness.
Prosecutors allege that Hilario killed Moore to keep him from testifying against him and two others in connection to a robbery. The trial in Fifth Circuit Court is expected to last four to six weeks.
Kauai fire causes serious damage
KEKAHA, Kauai (AP) — A fire across from the old Kekaha Sugar Mill on Kauai caused roughly $300,000 in damage.
The Kauai Fire Department says Monday’s fire caused significant damage to two Matson containers, a vehicle and a number of other items.
The fire was reported at 11:07 p.m. and was out within a half hour. The cause is unknown.
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