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Newswatch

For Monday, December 6, 2010

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:

Russian rocket fails, falls north of isle

Russian news reports said a rocket launched in Kazakhstan and its payload of three communications satellites fell into the Pacific Ocean north of Honolulu yesterday after failing to reach orbit.

The state news agency RIA Novosti cited an unidentified aerospace industry source as saying the rocket and satellites went into the sea yesterday about 900 miles northwest of Honolulu.

It was the latest setback to that country's attempts to develop a system to rival the U.S. Global Positioning System.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael de Nyse said in Hawaii yesterday that his agency knew about the fallen satellites but was not responding to the splash zone. He said he did not know whether the U.S. military or any other agencies were devoting resources.

The Proton rocket blasted off yesterday from a Russian launch facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

State incinerates myriad medications

Hawaii residents have turned in more than a half-ton of prescription drugs in response to a program encouraging people to hand in unused, unneeded or expired medications.

The state attorney general's office warns that having unused and expired medicine at home increases the risk of accidental poisoning and prescription drug abuse.

Proper disposal also ensures the drugs will not enter the water supply or potentially harm aquatic life.

The service is free and anonymous. The collected drugs are incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.

The state attorney general's office said in a statement Wednesday that the program has collected 1,052 pounds of drugs since Sept. 25.

Hirono, Djou back school lunch bill

U.S. Reps. Charles Djou and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii are endorsing a $4.5 billion measure to provide more nutritious school meals and combat childhood obesity.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed the House Thursday and now goes to President Barack Obama for his expected signature.

In a statement Thursday, Hirono cited several statistics to justify her support, such as the 28.5 percent of the state's youth between the ages of 10 and 17 who are obese.

She also says more than 9 percent of Hawaii residents lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy and productive life.

Djou says the bill ensures the nation's youngest will more likely develop more healthful lifestyles. The Republican also says that it will not add to the deficit.

Paraglider accident kills man on Kauai

A 24-year-old Oahu man died Saturday afternoon on Kauai after the paraglider he was riding apparently malfunctioned, causing him to fall some 600 feet onto the side of a cliff in Kalalau Valley.

Evan Whitlock was in a group with three other paragliders attempting to glide from a Kokee ridge down to Kalalau Beach, a Kauai County release said. The other group members became concerned when the man did not arrive on the beach as scheduled, and one of them paddled to Kee Beach to get help.

A rescue crew located the man's body on the side of a cliff below the first Kalalau lookout. The body was retrieved and transported to Princeville Airport, the county said.

Save trees to save birds, groups urge

Conservation groups are trying to help Volcano and surrounding areas on the Big Island retain some of their mature, native forest trees and plants, such as ohia and olapa.

A retired national parks natural resource manager who lives in Volcano has signed the first conservation easement under the project. He has committed to keep three of his 3.5 acres as native forest. More such easements are in the works.

The project began after residents noticed landowners were clearing lots so thoroughly they left almost no forest cover behind.

The clearing could harm native birds by limiting their ability to move around the forest.

The Nature Conservancy, the Hawaii Island Land Trust and the Volcano Community Association are supporting the project.

10 Who made a difference

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser invites you to nominate people who have made a difference in Hawaii during the past year. They can be people who fought controversial battles in public or worked behind the scenes in any field — community service, education, politics, law, labor, medicine, science, business, sports, entertainment, the arts. All that matters is that they had a devotion to their cause and made a profound impact on Hawaii.

To nominate someone, explain why you think the person should be honored. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 10.

Honorees will be selected by Star-Advertiser editors. We will publish the results starting Dec. 22. Please include the following information: your name, your nomination and your work and home telephone numbers.

E-mail your nominations to difference@staradvertiser.com, or mail them to 10 Who Made a Difference, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96813.






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