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Expect wet weather to linger

The National Weather Service has extended a flash flood watch for Oahu, Kauai and Maui counties until this afternoon.

A weather system northwest of the state is bringing moist air from the south and southeast, creating unstable conditions that could lead to more thunderstorms through tonight, forecasters said.

Forecasters say the threat of thunderstorms will likely end tonight, but wet weather will stick around and tradewinds might not return until later in the week.

UH commencement goes virtual

The University of Hawaii at Manoa has conducted its first virtual graduation.

The school hosted a graduation ceremony online Friday night for 22 education technology students where no caps or gowns were needed.

Graduates received their master’s degrees in a virtual world known as “Second Life.” From their laptop computers, students could see their virtual counterparts, or avatars, accept diplomas in a virtual amphitheater.

Dean of the College of Education Christine Sorensen also gave a commencement speech through her own avatar.

Donate to Project Grad

The Waianae community is seeking donations to hold Project Graduation on May 20. State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Ko Olina-Nanakuli-Maili-Waianae-Makaha-Makua) said she encourages community support “so that Waianae’s graduating seniors can celebrate in a safe, adult-supervised environment.” Send tax-deductible donations to WHS Project Graduation 2011, c/o Nikki Kay, 85-251 Farrington Highway, Waianae, HI 96792.


Floods close Kauai school, halt buses

Flooding on the Hanalei River closed Hanalei Elementary School yesterday, the Department of Education announced.

The Hanalei Bridge was closed, and school bus transportation from Haena to Hanalei was not operating.

Students from Hanalei to Haena who attend Kapaa High School also will not have school bus service, the DOE said.

Teachers and staff at Hanalei Elementary School are to follow the bridge closure plan and report to their assigned schools.

DOE officials said they expect Hanalei Elementary School to be open today.

Former state archaeologist is denied post

NAWILIWILI, Kauai » The Kauai County Council has denied a former state archaeologist a seat on the Kauai Historic Preservation Committee after emotional testimony that she has been insensitive to Hawaiian traditions and has not followed the law.

The Garden Island newspaper reported the Council voted Wednesday to deny Nancy McMahon the post after a resolution to confirm her appointment drew a crowd with many fiercely opposed.

Claims against her, including from many native Hawaiians, say she sides with developers, does not follow proper procedure and has a questionable educational background.

One bizarre claim by a spa owner said her employees refuse to work on her because she always comes in dirty.

Kaulana Fraser says that in Hawaiian tradition unclean people are not allowed to carry bones.

McMahon could not be reached for comment.

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