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In Brief | Big Island & State | 3-3-14

March 3, 2014 - 12:05am

Summits under winter weather advisory

The National Weather Service in Honolulu has issued a winter weather advisory for Big Island summits through noon Monday.

Up to 4 inches of snow is expected to fall accompanied by a coating of ice above the 12,000-foot elevation of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

The service, which noted a high wind warning is also in effect, forecast west winds of 45 to 75 mph with localized gusts topping 80 mph. Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

The Mauna Kea Access Road was closed as of 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

A winter weather advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties, according to the service, which cautioned visibility may be as low as one-half mile at times.

High surf closes West Hawaii beaches

The Hawaii County Civil Defense closed several West Hawaii beaches Sunday amid a high surf warning for Hawaii Island’s west-facing shores that remains in effect until 6 a.m. Monday.

Kahaluu, Laaloa (also known as Magic Sands) and Hapuna were closed because of the high surf, according to Civil Defense officials.

2 plead guilty to smuggling clam meat into Hawaii

HONOLULU — A father and daughter from the Federated States of Micronesia have pleaded guilty to smuggling giant clam meat into Hawaii.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported 52-year-old Leo John and 22-year-old Flyona Lynn John pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act on Friday.

The daughter admitted she didn’t declare the clam meat and did not have permission to export it when she and her father entered Honolulu Airport in February 2013. The pair is from Chuuk state, where the clam meat is a delicacy.

They each face up to a year in jail when they are sentenced in June.

Prosecutors said Leo John was running for office, and he wanted to share the clam meat with supporters in Hawaii.

Lei contest to be held during Merrie Monarch

A lei-making contest will be held in Hilo during the Merrie Monarch Festival next month.

The contest celebrates native species, Hawaiian culture and sustainable picking practices on Hawaii Island.

Organizers said lei will be judged on craftsmanship, creativeness of design, uniqueness of material and the complexity or effort.

There are three main categories: kahiko or traditional style lei, auana or contemporary lei and lei hulu or feather lei.

Entries will be displayed at the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center from April 19 to 25.

Kauluwehi 2014 is sponsored by multiple divisions of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, the Three Mountain Alliance and the Wailoa Arts and Cultural Center.

Organizers are inviting amateurs and professional to enter.

By local and wire sources