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State/In Brief

September 26, 2013
The Associated Press

Tsutsui is acting governor

HONOLULU - Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui will be acting governor for the next few weeks as Gov. Neil Abercrombie travels out of state for meetings and vacation.

The Governor's Office said Wednesday that Abercrombie was in Los Angeles and New York to meet with credit agencies about the state's economy and fiscal condition.

Article Photos

This photo taken Friday shows two goats that were left behind by thieves, bound and duct taped, at Kahuku Goats farm. More than 20 purebred goats, most of them pregnant, were stolen from the Oahu farm last week. Two men were arrested and another was released pending investigation in the case Wednesday.
Photo via AP

After the meetings wrap up Friday, the governor will join his wife in France for personal travel.

The governor is expected back in Hawaii on Oct. 11.


Two arrested in goat thefts

HONOLULU - Honolulu police arrested two men suspected of stealing goats from a Kahuku farm, but released another pending investigation.

The Honolulu Police Department said in a statement that both suspects arrested Wednesday are 24 years old. The suspect released by police is 25 years old.

The owner of the Kahuku Goats farm said that more than 20 purebred goats were stolen between Sept. 19 and Friday morning. Keal Pontin believes that the thieves used duct tape to keep the animals from making noise.

Pontin suspects the thieves watched the farm, got to know its routine and then waited for a full moon to steal the animals.

Twenty-one of the goats were pregnant and 10 of them were days away from giving birth.

Police haven't recovered any of the stolen goats.


Hearing set in marijuana case

HONOLULU - A change of plea hearing has been scheduled Friday for a Big Island marijuana advocate.

Roger Christie, 63, is scheduled to change his plea to marijuana trafficking charges. His wife, Sherryanne, also is scheduled for a plea change.

Roger Christie promoted the religious use of marijuana for years at The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry in Hilo. He was arrested in July 2010 and his operation was shut down. He has been in custody for more than three years.

A federal grand jury indicted the Christies and 12 others on marijuana trafficking counts. Most of the others have pleaded guilty to marijuana charges and await sentencing. Christie and his wife also were charged with conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors contend Christie used religion to cover large-scale marijuana trafficking.


Big Island tiger turning 15

HILO - A star of the Panaewa Rainforest Zoo is celebrating a milestone: The white Bengal tiger Namaste is turning 15.

The tiger weighed 80 pounds when it arrived at the zoo at 8 months old.

Director Pam Mizuno said that Namaste now weighs 350 pounds. Captive tigers typically live to be 20.

Mizuno said that Namaste has had a rough year. He broke a leg and was confined for several months to his nighttime enclosure as the leg healed. Access to a pool where he can cool himself remains blocked off. The zoo has equipped his enclosure with a mister to help him with the heat.

On Saturday, the zoo is planning a party that will include a bone ice cake and a catnip pillow.



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