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State / In Brief

February 1, 2013
The Associated Press

Man discovers fetus in box in Oahu park

AIEA, Oahu - Police say a fetus has been found in a park in a Honolulu suburb.

KITV reports that a man collecting recyclables found the fetus in a box Wednesday in Napuanani Park in Aiea.

Lt. David Kamai said the man made the discovery after taking the box to his home, where he opened it.

Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said the medical examiner's office has been notified, and the department is categorizing it as an unattended death.


Military training behind booms on Oahu

HONOLULU - The source of loud booms heard across Oahu on Wednesday evening has been identified.

Hawaii News Now reports that the booms came from field artillery training conducted by the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks.

Officials with U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii have issued a noise advisory. A statement said residents near Schofield Barracks may hear increases in noise during daylight hours between now and Feb. 20.


Honolulu mulls allowing more chickens

HONOLULU - The city of Honolulu is considering allowing people to own more chickens.

KITV-TV reports that consideration is being given to increasing the number of chickens from two to seven. The rules would apply to chickens kept only for personal use.

Supporters of the increase say the issue has to do with food sustainability.

Maxie Asagi, the owner of Asagi Hatchery, said the benefits of having chickens aren't just for the eggs. Asagi said chickens provide manure for the garden and vegetable scraps that can then go to the chickens.

Jan Caneen, who was visiting the hatchery to buy two chicks, said she started buying chickens three years ago and is trying to get all her friends to do the same.


Hawaii and Maui counties drought areas

KAILUA-KONA - The U.S. Agriculture Department has designated Hawaii and Maui counties as disaster areas because of at least eight straight weeks of severe drought.

The designation announced Jan. 9 means that farmers in those areas qualify for low-interest emergency loans.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack included the two Hawaii counties in a list of nearly 600 counties in 14 states also declared disaster zones.

The designations are the first this year.

Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties all made the list last year. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows portions of the Big Island and Maui with extreme drought as of New Year's Day.


Principals, DOE agree on new evaluations

HONOLULU - The union representing Hawaii public school principals and the state Department of Education have reached an agreement on evaluations.

The evaluations will assess the professional growth and learning of principals, their school planning and progress, school culture, professional qualities and instructional leadership, and stakeholder support and engagement.

State Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said the evaluations are a collaborative effort between the department and the union, the Hawaii Government Employees Association. She said both aim to elevate school leadership.

Principals will receive the new evaluations during the next school year. The department will use feedback to refine the system the following school year.


Wife files lawsuit in police restraint death

HONOLULU - A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in the case of a man who died while being restrained by police.

Michele Y.M.H. Torres, the wife of 37-year-old Aaron Torres, is suing the city and the three police officers who restrained her husband at their home Feb. 20 after he called 911.

Torres died while handcuffed, shackled and held facedown.

The medical examiner has determined that Torres suffocated and has ruled the death a homicide.

The autopsy also said Torres had cocaine in his blood, and that a contributing cause and significant condition in the death was his history of chronic cocaine abuse.

The city prosecutor declined to pursue criminal charges against the officers.



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