State roundup for June 7
Hawaii hosting education meet
HONOLULU (AP) — More local teachers are able to attend a nationally recognized training conference because it’s being hosted in Hawaii for the first time.
Most of the teachers attending the AVID summer institute at the convention center in Honolulu this week are from Hawaii. AVID stands for Advancement via Individual Determination. The AVID certification process helps teachers prepare students for college and careers.
Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO Mike McCartney says he’s grateful the conference is being held locally to make it easier and more affordable for Hawaii’s teachers to learn the latest strategies for improving student learning.
Organizers say more than 500 Hawaii educators flew to California and Texas to attend the program last year. This year, the number of Hawaii educators attending has tripled.
Man arrested in visitor’s death
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police say they’ve arrested a man in connection with the death of a visitor from Oregon.
The Honolulu Police Department says the 38-year-old is being held on suspicion of murder in the death of Ivanice “Ivy” Harris.
Nathaniel Cosby was taken into custody at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.
Honolulu Crimestoppers spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Buffett says detectives have been working around the clock on the case.
Harris was last seen outside a Waikiki bar on May 16. Her body was later found on the leeward coast of Oahu.
Kauai refuge to construct fence
LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — The Kauai National Wildlife Refuge Complex will fence off a seven-acre area to protect native coastal plants and birds, including Hawaiian geese, endangered nene, and moli, or Laysan albatross.
The Nihoku Ecosystem Restoration Project will be undertaken on Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, east of a lighthouse.
The pest-proof structure will be the first of its kind on a national wildlife refuge in the U.S., complex project leader Shannon Stutzer-Smith said.
The fence is designed to keep out introduced predators such as cats, dogs, rats and mice.
The site will also be used to translocate endangered ao birds, also known as Newell’s shearwaters.
George Wallace of the American Bird Conservancy, a project sponsor, said the goal is a protected colony of native seabirds.
“Seven acres doesn’t sound big,” he said, “but you can put a lot of birds in seven acres.”
Project Coordinator Lindsay Young said shearwaters would be moved in from mountainside burrows on Kauai a month before their maiden flight to sea.
“The idea being it’s right on the ocean, there are no lights in the area and they have a safe area to take off from,” she said.
Shearwaters on maiden flights have become disoriented by confusing street and stadium lights with the moon. Predators also take a toll.
Project supporters hope translocated birds will return as breeders.
“Shearwaters are faithful to the site they fledge from,” Wallace said.
The fencing will be similar to a barrier at Kaena Point on Oahu.
The complex expects to break ground on the fence next summer, and construction could take two to three months.
The green fence will be 6.5 feet high and 2,388 feet long. It will be built on a sea-facing slope following an existing roadbed and natural landscape contours so it’s harder to see.
It will have a mesh skirt to keep out mice and a rolled hood to keep out larger predators. Similar fences have been used in in New Zealand and Australia.
The complex is soliciting public comment to identify concerns about the fence. Comments must be submitted by June 21.
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