State roundup for September 19
Airport breach raises questions
KAPOLEI, Oahu (AP) — A woman who crashed her vehicle through the fence of a West Oahu airport is raising questions about security at the facility that’s used by the Coast Guard and the military.
State officials say an apparently mentally unstable woman drove her car through the Kalaeloa Airport fence last month and onto the runway area.
State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter says Christine Keliikuli, 62, asked to see the airplanes.
When she was denied access, she drove her sport utility vehicle through the fence, toward a taxiing Air Force C-17 jet.
A guard chased her down and she was arrested.
The airport is a launch site for search and rescue operations, a training base and is an alternate landing site for airlines and the military.
Better teachers are in schools
HONOLULU (AP) — After struggling to increase the number of Hawaii teachers who are considered highly qualified, there are now more of them in classrooms statewide.
New figures show that 85 percent of Hawaii secondary school classes are taught by highly qualified teachers.
That’s up 20 percentage points from five years ago but still falls short of the state’s goal of having them in every classroom.
Hawaii ranked second from the bottom nationwide for the percentage of core classes taught by highly qualified teachers in 2010-11.
State Department of Education officials say it’s difficult to attract highly qualified candidates to work in Hawaii.
The state has worked with existing teachers to get them certified and revamped hiring procedures to increase the number of highly qualified teachers.
23 species listed as endangered
HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is newly classifying 23 Oahu plants and flies as endangered or threatened.
The agency announced its decision in the Federal Register on Tuesday.
The move brings the number of Hawaii species listed as endangered or threatened to 460.
The agency is also designating nearly 67 square miles on Oahu as their critical habitat.
Most of the land is already critical habitat for other species.
The Fish and Wildlife Service is starting to take a holistic approach to conservation by restoring ecosystems to protect the species that live in them.
The agency has also used this new strategy on Kauai.
Before, the service tried to protect endangered and threatened species by adopting separate plans to revive habitats.
This led to disjointed and overlapping efforts.
HONOLULU — A 23-year-old charged in a West Oahu shooting murder is being held on $750,000 bail.
Chad Duran made his first court appearance Monday on second-degree murder and firearms charges in last week’s Makaha shooting that killed 26-year-old Christopher Medeiros.
Medeiros was shot in the face and died at a Honolulu hospital. His pregnant girlfriend said Duran took away her unborn child’s father.
Duran is scheduled to enter a plea today in district court.
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