Season's first whale spotted off Big Isle
HONOLULU - Hawaii tour companies have spotted the first humpback whale of the season in waters off the Big Island.
The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said Thursday's sighting may be the earliest documented in recent history.
The sanctuary said ocean recreation tour companies Atlantis Submarines, Captain Zodiac, Kona Diving Company and Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures saw an adult humpback whale surfacing off Honokohau Harbor.
As many as 12,000 of the whales come to Hawaii from waters off Alaska and other northern areas to breed and calve each winter.
The first whales generally are sighted in early October. The season lasts from November through May.
Federal regulations prohibit approaching within 100 yards of whales when on the water and 1,000 feet when operating an aircraft.
Rail agency to comply with ruling
HONOLULU - The agency overseeing Honolulu's planned commuter rail line says it's committed to fully complying with a state Supreme Court ruling on archaeological surveys.
Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board Chairwoman Carrie Okinaga said in a statement Thursday surveys on the first two sections of the project are complete and work on the other two will continue.
The agency Monday halted construction in reaction to the ruling.
Okinaga says construction delays will increase costs, but the agency has contingency funds to cover this.
Last week's ruling said the state Historic Preservation Division violated its own rules when it signed off on the project before surveys on all sections were finished.
A lawsuit filed by Paulette Kaleikini argued the city didn't properly survey whether construction would disturb Hawaiian burial remains.
Cleveland grandson celebrates queen
HONOLULU - President Grover Cleveland's grandson is visiting Hawaii to celebrate the birthday of the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
George Cleveland is on Oahu this weekend to attend events for Queen Liliuokalani's birthday. His grandfather is revered by many Native Hawaiians for attempting to reverse the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy.
George Cleveland was to attend a re-enactment of the queen's imprisonment at Iolani Palace after the 1893 overthrow.
He's been working closely with Hawaii's Pacific Justice & Reconciliation Center's Cleveland-Liliuokalani Education Project. He says he's occasionally the target of criticism for his partnership with the center but he believes there is some kind reparation due for the overthrow.
Male nurse ordered held without bail
HONOLULU - A male nurse accused of drugging and raping a Coast Guard crew member docked at a Marshall Islands atoll has been ordered held without bail in Honolulu.
Federal prosecutor Michael Song said Dennis Henry pleaded not guilty to an aggravated sexual abuse charge Friday.
Court documents say the male Coast Guard member was part of a crew docked at Kwajalein Atoll in March, when he spent a day sailing, swimming and drinking alcohol.
They say he was intoxicated when he met Henry, who invited him to his quarters.
Henry is accused of giving the man a beer with a sedative. The man says he woke up dazed and in pain. A test found Ambien in his blood.
Prosecutors wanted Henry held without bail because they said he's a flight risk.
U.K. man sentenced in child porn case
HONOLULU - A British citizen must spend 30 years in prison after being caught with child pornography at a Hawaii airport in 2008.
The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday that Simon Jasper McCarty was sentenced by a federal judge in Honolulu. He was also sentenced to a lifetime of supervised release and must pay about $98,000 in restitution.
The 39-year-old pleaded guilty this year to a count of producing child pornography. He admitted that between 2005 and 2007, he molested young boys outside of the United States and produced videos of the molestation.
He was arrested in 2008 while trying to fly from Hilo to Honolulu with computer images and video of child pornography.