State/In Brief

The Associated Press

Wind farm to fund bat, petrel research

HONOLULU — The operator of a Hawaii wind farm has agreed to fund research into their environmental practices after some endangered species were killed by their turbines.

Kawailoa Wind agreed to pay $250,000 to research how their turbines have affected the Hawaiian hoary bat and other endangered species in the area, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Saturday.

The agreement came after an unexpected amount of hoary bats were killed by Kawailoa’s turbines. Two Hawaiian petrels have also been found dead. Kawailoa has pledged to help fund research into the petrel, which conservationists once believed was extinct for hundreds of years.

The executive director of the Pacific Rim Conservation, Lindsay Young, said her organization had detected some Hawaiian petrels five years ago, but not enough to prove that the population was expanding.

“They are almost certainly breeding here now,” Young said.

The environmental advocacy group Keep the North Shore Country had lobbied to change Kawailoa’s conservation policies and has accused the company of not adequately addressing the turbines’ effect on the local wildlife.

Kawailoa Wind officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment made by the Star-Advertiser.


Navy reports virus cases on destroyer

HONOLULU — The Navy has announced about a dozen personnel assigned to a Pearl Harbor destroyer, now in San Diego, have tested positive for COVID-19 and were removed from the ship.

Cmdr. Sean Robertson said that crew members aboard the USS Chafee who were in close contact with the infected sailors are also off the ship and in quarantine while monitoring symptoms, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. None of the sailors have been hospitalized.

“To reassure sailors and their families, all Chafee sailors will be tested today,” Robertson said, adding that there are about 350 people on the destroyer. “The ship remains able to meet its mission.”

The announcement came a few months after about a quarter of the crew of the Pearl Harbor destroyer USS Michael Murphy tested positive for COVID-19 in November.

That vessel was doing local operations but was in port when the virus was detected. At the time, the Navy said there were no hospitalizations, but all close contacts and nonessential crew members underwent a two-week self-isolation period.