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Hawaii isle principal to get award in D.C.

PAPAIKOU, Hawaii » A Hawaii County school principal is heading to Washington, D.C., to receive a national award.

Joyce Iwashita, principal of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Elementary and Intermediate School, will be among principals nationwide honored at a ceremony Friday. Iwashita will represent Hawaii as its 2011 National Distinguished Principal.

An assembly was held at her school Monday.

State Sen. Malama Solomon says Iwashita has played a critical role in shaping and improving the school’s curriculum.

The school, north of downtown Hilo, serves students from many small towns in the area.

Iwashita was one of seven nominees for the award.

Asia-Pacific military leaders meet in isles

Senior military leaders from around the Asia-Pacific region are gathering on Oahu this week for a conference hosted by Adm. Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Command.

Representatives from 27 nations including Australia, Japan and South Korea are attending the meeting at a Ko Olina hotel.

The Pacific Command says the annual Chiefs of Defense Conference is meant to bring leaders together to discuss security challenges, improve relationships and foster cooperation.

Last year’s conference was held in Seoul and was co-hosted by the U.S. and South Korea. The four-day meeting here ends Thursday.


Haleakala campground overrun by ants

An ant infestation is forcing the closure of a campground at Haleakala National Park.

The National Park Service said the Holua campground will be closed tonight and be reopened Friday morning.

The campground will receive follow-up treatments to control an Argentine ant infestation.

The Argentine ant is an invasive species native to South America. The ants were originally found in relatively small areas of Haleakala but are now spreading.

Park managers will treat the Holua campground and the area around the cabins with low- to nontoxic poisons that have little to no odor. The park service says it’s necessary to prevent the ants from spreading to other parts of Haleakala. Researchers say the ant is damaging to native insects and plants.

Shark tag sends signal from Haiku, Maui

A tag used to track a shark is transmitting on Maui, instead of in the ocean, which could mean the tiger shark was caught with the tag on, or the tag came off.

Professor Neil Hammerschlag, director of a marine conservation program at the University of Miami, said the tag doesn’t have any monetary value, but contains shark data.

Spearfishing advocate Darrell Tanaka has been asking around for the missing tag in Haiku, where the signal has been transmitting. Tanaka said the GPS signal is accurate only within about 1,000 feet.

Hammerschlag attached the tag to a shark last month. The Maui News reported that the shark swam between Maalaea and Molokini before the signal began coming from land.

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