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For Thursday, February 10, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff and Associated Press


Senate OKs Lopez to lead commerce

Kealii Lopez is Hawaii's new director for the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs .

The Senate unanimously approved Lopez's nomination yesterday, making her the third of Gov. Neil Abercrombie's Cabinet appointees to take office full time. Lopez previously led 'Olelo Community Media.

Two other appointees -- Kalbert Young as director of the Department of Budget and Finance and Fred Pablo as director of the Department of Taxation -- also advanced toward confirmation yesterday when the Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously voted in their favor.

Trail may reopen early next month

A months-long Diamond Head trail project is expected to be completed in about a month.

Department of Land and Natural Resources officials said Thursday that it is finishing improvements to the summit trail at Diamond Head State Monument.

Sections of the trail and vertical rock faces are being repaired following deterioration caused by erosion and heavy use by more than 2,500 daily visitors.

The trail is expected to reopen March 5.

Injured shark births pups on sand, dies

KAPAA, KAUAI » A 6-foot-long blue shark beached on Kauai and gave birth to several pups Sunday before dying.

State aquatic biologist Don Heacock believes the shark was caught by a longliner or other fishermen and discarded.

Heacock told the Garden Island newspaper the shark had three or four puncture wounds on the top of its head. At first glance, they looked like shark bites. But Heacock thinks they were caused by fishing hooks.

The shark gave birth and died on Sunday in front of Pono Kai Resort in Kapaa.

Blue sharks tend to spend their lives away from shore in deep water.

Heacock says the shark's pups were born prematurely and that they have a low chance of surviving.

Hilo woman jumps bail, officers report

Big Island police were looking yesterday for a 25-year-old woman who is wanted for alleged bail jumping, violating probation and violating terms of supervised release.

Sharae Lee, whose last known address was in Hilo, is wanted on several warrants, police said.

She is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall and 180 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or the police nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Anonymous calls may be made to CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.

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