DLNR, NOAA investigating whale carcass off Oahu
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are monitoring the discovery of a 30- to 40-foot sperm whale carcass found Wednesday night floating in waters off Oahu’s windward coast.
The carcass was reported to the department by fishermen and is believed to be about 4 to 5 miles offshore, according to DLNR. The department is preparing contingency plans for handling the carcass while at sea or if it reaches land.
The department is requesting the help of boaters to provide timely sightings of the carcass by calling NOAA at 888-256-9840 or the U.S. Coast Guard over channel 16.
Marine mammal officials said towing a floating carcass away from land is easier and less expensive than removal from a beach.
According to the department, one to four sperm whale carcasses drift ashore in Hawaii each year, particularly during May and August. Data suggest sperm whales enter Hawaiian waters from the north and east, a possible reason why carcasses often land on the windward side of islands.
Coffee berry borer found at Hilo farm
At least one Hilo area coffee farm is infested with the pesky and destructive coffee berry borer, according to University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Assistant Extension Agent for Coffee and Orchard Crops Andrea Kawabata. Kawabata said the infestation, located on an Amauulu farm, was confirmed by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Native to Africa, the coffee berry borer is a small, dark-brown beetle about the size of a sesame seed, that was first confirmed in the Kona area in September 2010 and then sporadically in Ka‘u the following May. The pest destroys coffee when the female burrows into the fruit and lives its life cycle within the seed, or bean, causing damage that can make the coffee relatively worthless.
Coffee berry borer infestations have been restricted to Hawaii Island. No infestations have been found on any of the other Hawaiian Islands.
Hilo couple facing theft charges
A Hilo couple is facing a variety of theft-related charges in connection with the Wednesday theft of a wallet at a Hilo area repair shop.
Brandi Heather McKee, 30, and 33-year-old Steven Robert Giatroudakis, both of Hilo, were charged with theft/forgery of a credit card, second-degree identity theft, third-degree identity theft, second-degree theft, third-degree theft, fourth-degree theft and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, according to the Hawaii County Police Department. Bail was set at $15,750 each.
McKee and Giatroudakis were arrested at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday after police received a call from a 22-year-old woman who reported she and her husband were following a sport utility vehicle occupied by a man and woman suspected of using her husband’s credit card, according to police. Police subsequently initiated a traffic stop and arrested both occupants; the SUV was recovered as evidence.
Her husband, a 21-year-old Hilo man, reported to police that around 2:30 p.m. that day, the same SUV and its occupants had arrived at a repair shop on Railroad Avenue in Hilo to inquire about a possible repair, according to police. After a short time, the couple left abruptly in their vehicle.
Shortly thereafter, the 21-year-old man received phone calls from his financial institution regarding suspicious transactions at two retail stores on Makaala Street, according to police. The man then discovered that his wallet and its contents, which had been at the repair shop, were missing.
After observing the same SUV on Makaala Street, the man and his wife began to follow it and called police to report its location, according to police. Police were able to recover the victim’s wallet and merchandise allegedly purchased with his credit card.
HELCO pole installation canceled
Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s installation of transmission poles along Kuakini Highway in the area of the Laaloa Avenue extension has been canceled. The utility was slated to install the poles on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.
Two survivors’ names mistakenly omitted
A page 1A story in Thursday’s edition on the death of Shizuko “Mary” Teshima inadvertently omitted the names of two survivors, Irene (Christo) Izumi, and Ted (Nancy) Teshima.
It is the policy of West Hawaii Today to correct promptly any incorrect or misleading information when it is brought to the attention of the newspaper.
By local sources