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State roundup for June 21

Helicopter drops airplane during salvage operation

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — The Federal Aviation Administration says it’s looking into the circumstances of why a small aircraft being salvaged off a Maui beach was dropped into the ocean.

Spokesman Ian Gregor says by email Thursday that a helicopter operated by Pacific Helicopters on Tuesday night was recovering a Piper Cherokee but ran into a problem.

The helicopter dropped the airplane into the ocean about a mile off shore.

Gregor says the FAA is looking into the circumstances behind the decision.

He says it’s up to the owner of the Piper Cherokee, the owner’s insurance company and possibly the Coast Guard to decide what to do with the aircraft.

The Maui News ( reports the Piper Cherokee on Sunday had made an emergency landing in brush near the shoreline in Waiehu.

Boy, 8, falls through Honolulu trash chute

HONOLULU (AP) — Paramedics took an 8-year-old boy to a hospital in serious condition after he fell down a garbage chute of a Honolulu high-rise public housing complex.

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright says the boy apparently went through the trash chute at Kuhio Park Terrace Wednesday night.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports police found the boy in a dumpster after he fell 12 floors.

Hospital records conversion will cost more

HONOLULU (AP) — The chief executive officer of Hawaii Health Systems Corp. says it’s going to cost more than expected to convert medical records to an electronic system.

Bruce Anderson tells the Honolulu Star-Advertiser ( that the cost to convert records at Hawaii’s 14 public hospitals likely will surpass $100 million.

The cost was first estimated at $58 million over five years and revised upward at the end of last year to more than $75 million.

Anderson says consultants underestimated staff time needed to maintain the system started Jan. 1 at Kona Community Hospital.

Anderson says no one had thoroughly assessed HHSC facilities and some are 50 to 100 years old. He says entire information technology services are being upgraded in the hospitals.

The corporation will seek additional money from the Hawaii Legislature.

Scientists make new Papahanaumokuakea discoveries

HONOLULU (AP) — Scientists made new discoveries while recently diving to deep coral reefs in the remote atolls of northwest Hawaii.

The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument says a research expedition returned last week with specimens of previously unknown deep-water algae. The scientists also brought back the first recorded specimens of black coral from Johnston Atoll.

The researchers visited Nihoa, Mokumanamana, French Frigate Shoals and Laysan Island. They later went to the Johnston Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Scientists collected fish, coral and algae samples for genetic analysis and searched for invasive alien species. At Johnston Atoll, they conducted archaeological surveys of the Howland, a whaling ship wreck from the late 1800s.

The monument said Monday the expedition included 26 days of diving to deep coral reefs more than 200 feet below the surface.

3 Hawaii campuses join effort to reduce food waste

HONOLULU (AP) — University of Hawaii, Kapiolani Community College and Hawaii Pacific University have joined a nationwide effort to reduce food waste.

The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday the three institutions join more than 90 other colleges and universities nationwide pledging to reduce wasted food.

The EPA says food waste is the single largest type of waste sent to landfills and incinerators nationwide. When food scraps are disposed of in a landfill, they decompose and become a significant source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Food waste is especially problematic in Hawaii, with a limited disposal capacity.

The EPA’s “Food Recovery Challenge” tries to reduce the environmental impact of food and other everyday items, including how they are extracted, manufactured, distributed, used, reused, recycled, composted or disposed.

Man sentenced for killing dairy goat

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — A 31-year-old man has been sentenced to two months in jail for killing a pregnant milking goat owned by a Kilauea dairy.

Russell Kekoa Hoomanawanui (ho-OH’-mah-NA’-wah-NU’-ee) also was ordered Wednesday to pay $8,347.21in restitution for the shooting of the farm animal on April 27, 2011.

A co-defendant, Ryan Winchell, was sentenced in April to 30 days in jail for his role in the goat death.

The Garden Island ( reports Judge Kathleen Watanabe called the shooting of the Kunana Dairy goat a senseless and unfortunate act.

She says she did not believe the defendants’ story that they were hunting and didn’t realized they had trespassed onto the dairy farm.

Hoomanawanui was convicted of felony livestock theft, criminal property damage and misdemeanor cruelty to animals.


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