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State roundup for September 21

Plastic bin may be from tsunami

HONOLULU (AP) — State and federal officials are trying to determine whether a large blue plastic storage bin bearing the name of a Japanese seafood company is the first confirmed piece of marine debris from last year’s tsunamis to arrive in Hawaii.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources said Wednesday the four-foot cube is used to transport seafood. Y.K. Suisan Co. Ltd. is written on the side. The firm has offices in Miyagi prefecture, one of the places hit by tsunamis generated when a magnitude 9-earthquake struck off Japan last year.

Makai Ocean Engineering staff spotted the bin floating in the ocean off Waimanalo on Tuesday. The Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory retrieved the bin. Scientists say no alien species were found in or on the bin.

Woman gets 20 years in forgery

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii convict has been sentenced to 20 years because of thousands of dollars in phony checks.

Denise Foster, who is also known as Godwyn Foster, was sentenced Wednesday on three counts of theft and 25 counts of forgery.

She used forged checks for purchases that included a $20,000 charity donation, bail for two inmates and breast implants.

Because of her prior convictions, the 41-year-old must serve at least six years and eight months before being eligible for parole.

Stadium alcohol ban is sought

HONOLULU (AP) — University of Hawaii’s interim athletic director says Aloha Stadium should consider banning alcohol sales during Warrior games.

Rockne Freitas said he wants to see a ban. A fight involving drunken fans during last week’s football game against Lamar prompted Freitas to ask Aloha Stadium management to discuss an alcohol ban with the stadium authority.

The university doesn’t profit from alcohol sales during Warrior games. But the university sells alcohol during some campus sporting events. Freitas says the university will examine that policy in light of the recent fight.

Chinese likely to boost tourism

HONOLULU (AP) — A more than weeklong Chinese holiday is expected to boost Hawaii tourism at a time that’s usually slow for the industry. Chinese travel agencies are seeing strong bookings for Super Golden Week.

Chinese National Day comes soon after Mid-Autumn Festival this year, giving many Chinese more than a weeklong holiday starting this month. The Hawaii Tourism Authority projects Chinese arrivals for October to be up 35.3 percent from a year ago.

Hilton Hawaiian Village spokeswoman Cynthia Rankin says the resort has had to turn away several Chinese groups due to high room occupancy forecasts.


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