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Police arrest 11 for DUI

During the week of Sept. 15 through Sept. 21, Hawaii Island police arrested 11 motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Seven of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes. So far this year, there have been 842 DUI arrests compared with 935 during the same period last year, a decrease of 9.9 percent. There have been 1,131 major accidents so far this year compared with 1,004 during the same period last year, an increase of 12.6 percent.

State agency released from federal injunction

The state Department of Human Services Benefit, Employment and Support Services Division has successfully closed a February 2011 class action lawsuit for failure to issue Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits within time frames outlined by federal law.

Chemical odor prompts school evacuations in Honokaa

Students at Honokaa Elementary and Honokaa High & Intermediate were sent home at around 10:45 a.m. today due to a strong chemical odor that affected about 50 people at the High & Intermediate school. According to hazardous materials investigators, the odor was traced to a nearby resident who was using a mix of chemicals to spray his yard.

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Tropical Storm Odile forms off Mexico

Tropical Storm Odile formed in the Eastern Pacific overnight Tuesday and is forecast to reach hurricane strength. The storm, with 40 mph winds, is located about 220 miles south-southwest of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico, and is not on a track for Hawaii. The system is projected to follow a path very similar to Hurricane Norbert as it moves slowly northwest off the west coast of Baja California, with winds to 100 mph by the weekend. Dangerous high surf is expected to threaten the southern coast of Mexico by Thursday.

Federal agencies partner to protect Tern Island wildlife

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released today an initial assessment of contamination at Tern Island, a remote island in the chain of Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The results show there have been releases of hazardous substances such as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and lead from military wastes buried on the island between World War II and 1979, and further action is warranted, according to the EPA.