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For Monday, May 23, 2011

By Star-Advertiser staff


COURTESY PHOTOA Kauai teen found this cylinder, identified as a "sea marker," and brought it home.

Army explodes teenager's beach find

An Army ordnance team flew to Kauai and destroyed a World War II-era "sea marker" yesterday that a teenager had collected from a Kapaa beach, Kauai officials said.

Officials said the French-made, 30-by-6-inch cylinder contained a small amount of explosives.

A 15-year-old found the object on the beach off Kuhio Highway at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, Kauai officials said.

The teen brought the device home, where the parents discovered it Saturday morning on their front porch. Police officers secured the scene by closing portions of Iwaena Loop and evacuated homes in the area.

Two members of the Army's 706th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team from Schofield Barracks arrived on Kauai Saturday night and took the cylinder to a remote location in Kapaa, where they unsuccessfully tried to disable it.

After additional equipment arrived on Kauai, the piece was destroyed at 10:58 a.m. yesterday, Kauai officials said.

Kauai Police Capt. Michael Contrades warned people to leave similar objects alone and alert authorities.

"These objects can be dangerous and should be handled only by experts with knowledge of how to dispose of them," he said.

Fans asked to meet for Oprah's finale

The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii is inviting Oprah Winfrey fans to watch the final episode of her show Wednesday at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

The taped broadcast will be shown at the center's Emalani Theatre, Room 320, from 4 to 5 p.m., the society announced yesterday.

The doors open at 3 p.m., but reservations are required. Call 945-1000.

The event is free but donations will be accepted.

VASH helps visitors who have been victims of crime or other adversities. The society, founded by the Honolulu Rotary Club in 1997, was reportedly inspired by a segment of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on the movement to demonstrate "random acts of kindness."

Fungus fails to harm isle’s coqui frogs

A fungus that scientists believe is halving some frog species’ populations doesn’t have much of an effect on coqui frogs, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports.

Researchers from Utah State University looked at whether chytrid fungus was already present in Hawaii in 2005 and whether it curtailed coqui population growth. It was, and it didn’t, they found.

“From my understanding of chytrid, it seems it negatively affects amphibians that have aquatic larval phases,” said researcher Karen Beard. “The species that are really dying off in Latin America are species with aquatic phases.”

Beard said coqui frogs don’t have aquatic or tadpole phases. In lab tests, species that do have an aquatic phase die at a rate of up to 50 percent when exposed to the fungus, she said.

Her research in Hawaii included collecting 382 coqui frogs from 10 sites, seven of them on Hawaii island and three on Maui. Beard and colleagues found chytrid fungus on 2.5 percent of the Hawaii coqui frogs they had collected.

Coqui frogs, native to Puerto Rico, have become a widespread nuisance in Hawaii County because of their loud, incessant nighttime chirping.

Maui buys bug repellent to halt dengue

Maui County has bought nearly $3,000 worth of mosquito repellent as a precaution against the spread of dengue fever.

Mayor Alan Arakawa said the repellent will be handed out to tourists and residents in East Maui — particularly in Upper Nihiku and Hana, where the mosquito population is greatest — and should be enough for the summer visitor crowd.

“We’ve faced dengue once before and managed to keep it under control,” Arakawa said in a statement. “Now we have a chance to stop it before it even starts.”

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