State roundup for May 27
Gov to place wreath at Kaneohe veterans cemetery
KANEOHE, Hawaii (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be honoring military members, veterans and their families at a Memorial Day ceremony at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.
Monday’s event at the Kaneohe cemetery will feature a parade of flags and presentation of lei from various veterans’ organizations.
Abercrombie and other state officials will place the state wreath at the cemetery’s Memorial Plaza Monument. A second wreath will be placed at the monument by the commanders of each military service of the U.S. Pacific Command.
The Hawaii Air National Guard honor guard will perform a rifle salute.
Possible metal container spotted floating off Oahu
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii officials are seeking the public’s help in tracking what appears to be a large metal container that may be floating in the waters off Oahu’s Windward Coast.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says it wants to get a hold of the large piece of marine debris before it can cause damage to a reef, or introduce invasive species.
The object, measuring about 20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall, was first reported off Molokai on May 18.
It was later spotted about 30 miles from the head buoy at Kaneohe, then off the Windward Coast.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says (http://bit.ly/19dKk0z) the object’s origin is not immediately known.
Small, mildly venomous snake captured at Hickam
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) — A small, mildly venomous snake has been captured at Hickam Air Force Base.
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture says its inspectors now have the foot-long snake, which was captured Thursday afternoon in a maintenance bay near the airfield.
The snake has been identified as a juvenile ornate tree snake, which is mildly venomous. Ornate tree snakes are related to the brown tree snake, which has had devastating effects on Guam’s ecosystem.
It’s not known how the snake got to Hawaii. The Air Force continues to search the area.
Snakes have no natural predators in Hawaii and pose a serious threat to the fragile island environment. Snakes can prey on native birds and eggs.
Illegal animals can be turned in under the state’s amnesty program.
Kauai police: Uptick in counterfeit money
LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — Kauai police are warning about an uptick in counterfeit bills being used on the island.
Assistant Chief Roy Asher says once someone accepts a counterfeit bill, there’s almost nothing that can be done to recover lost funds.
Asher says police are urging business owners to be more careful when accepting payments.
Police say counterfeit cash ranges from false bills printed on regular paper to actual low-value bills that are washed and reprinted with a higher denomination. Authorities say washed bills are tougher to spot because counterfeit pens won’t always work on them.
Kauai police say businesses and others handling cash should compare bills with genuine notes and closely examine bills before accepting them.
Thick vog causing health problems
HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii residents, many of them with asthma and allergies, are suffering from the health effects of thick vog.
But the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://is.gd/E8uL7D) reports that relief could be on the way.
Vog is the term used for “volcanic fog.” It is a haze comprising gas and aerosols of tiny particles and acidic droplets that form when sulfur dioxide and other gases emitted from Kilauea Volcano interact with sunlight, oxygen, moisture and dust.
The tradewinds normally blow vog southwest and away from Hawaii. They returned Thursday and are expected to strengthen over the next few days. Forecaster Peter Donaldson with the National Weather Service says the dense haze should subside by Memorial Day weekend.
Father and daughter accused of bilking investors
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A federal grand jury has returned a 17-count indictment against a father and daughter on Maui accused of operating a pyramid scheme.
The Maui News (http://is.gd/W04fGs) reports that 65-year-old George Lindell and 39-year-old Holly Hoaeae, owners of The Mortgage Store, are accused of bilking more than $8.6 million from unsuspecting investors over a five-year period.
Federal prosecutors say the charges include mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The government is seeking forfeiture of various properties and assets, including the money that the two are alleged to have made as a result of the fraud.
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