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State roundup for May 31

Copter crash report released

HONOLULU (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report on a helicopter’s crash-landing in downtown Honolulu says the engine suddenly lost power.

The NTSB report released this week says the engine lost power while the helicopter was over the Punchbowl area on May 8 so that the passenger could take aerial photographs. The report says that in response to the engine failure, the pilot maneuvered to land on a one-way street that had no wires in the flight path. The helicopter skidded into a parked car.

No one was badly injured.

The mechanic who owns the company that last worked on the helicopter has said it was his fault the engine lost power. Brant Swigart says he overlooked incorrect rigging that caused a mixture cable to snap.

The NTSB continues to investigate.

Hanabusa: Move Memorial Day

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa wants to move the date of Memorial Day to encourage more Americans to focus on honoring military service members.

The congresswoman from Hawaii plans to introduce a bill changing Memorial Day from the last Monday of the month to May 30th.

Hanabusa says “many Americans have begun to celebrate the long weekend as the beginning of summer rather than honoring those who died courageously in battle.”

The weekend is known for shopping and leisure activities as well as memorial services.

Hanabusa says the holiday was originally celebrated on May 30th until Congress changed the date in 1968.

Help sought for fight on snakes

HONOLULU (AP) — The manager of a state department says more help is needed to try and keep snakes out of Hawaii.

Carol Okada is the manager of the Department of Agriculture Quarantine Branch. She said more inspectors are needed to intercept snakes coming into Hawaii. She says detection dogs also need to be reinstated to patrol entry points to the islands.

The snakes arrive in shipping packages, and are sometimes hidden in luggage or sent through the mail.

With no natural predators in Hawaii, escaped snakes could wreak havoc on endangered birds and plants.

Since 2000, the state has confiscated and collected about 100 snakes. Thirteen snakes were confiscated last year. Violators can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $200,000.


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