Hawaii moms fare well in study
Hawaii ranked among the top 10 states in the nation in a study of the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.
According to Revolution Health's momScore, the first health index providing state rankings for maternal health, Vermont was tops with 94.5 points out of a possible 100.
Hawaii had 83.5 points, putting it in eighth behind Connecticut, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and ahead of Wisconsin and Iowa.
The momScore was compiled by medical professionals, public health officials, advocates and mothers looking at 10 key factors, including maternal health and wellness, early childhood health, socioeconomic factors and public policy.
Dr. Vivian Dickerson, director of Women's Health Programs and Care at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, Calif., and one of the experts who participated in the momScore, said there has been little improvement in national measures of maternal health over the past decade.
"By analyzing and presenting this complicated data in a simple, digestible way for moms and moms-to-be, we hope to help them understand the various factors and policies that affect maternal health and encourage women to take action to improve their own health," she said in a news release.
The momScore interactive map can be seen at www.RevolutionHealth.com/momscore.
Hawaiian monk seal gains weight
A Hawaiian monk seal that was abandoned by his mother shortly after giving birth has gained almost a pound within several days.
"He appears to be well hydrated and remains active. NOAA Fisheries and Marine Mammal Center staff have decided to change the formula that he is being fed to see if it would accelerate his weight gain," said spokeswoman Wende Goo of the National Marine Fisheries Services in a written statement.
Results from preliminary blood work on the pup, now weighing just under 33 1/2 pounds, were normal. Still, biologists are continuing to monitor the pup's condition.
"Although things are going as well as we could hope, we still have a way to go before we can breathe easier," said Dr. Charles Littnan, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program.
Virus is blamed in tainted food
The Department of Health confirmed that norovirus is responsible for two outbreaks of gastrointestinal illnesses in people who ate catered meals from a local company, spokeswoman Janice Okubo said.
In one instance, teachers at Kapunahala Elementary School in Kaneohe became illl over the weekend after a staff appreciation lunch, said Principal Joyce Bellino.
Okubo said the school and another group that ate food from the same caterer contacted the Health Department to report the illnesses.
Okubo declined to identify the caterer because she said the investigation is still continuing.
"We're still trying to track down the exact source," Okubo said.
The department is also contacting all groups that received food from the caterer between May 2 and Wednesday to determine whether other people got sick.
According to the Centers for Disease Control Web site, norovirus can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, along with abdominal cramps. It can be spread by direct contact with someone who is infected, by eating food contaminated with the virus, or touching objects or surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Police, Fire, Courts
Soldier nabbed in sexual assault
A 22-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier was arrested yesterday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.
The girl alleged she was raped by the man, who is an acquaintance, police said.
The sexual assaults allegedly occurred in November in Waipahu, police said.
The man turned himself in to the investigating detective yesterday morning.
Police arrested him on investigation of three counts of first-degree sexual assault and one count of third-degree sexual assault.
Army officials would not comment on the matter since the soldier has not been charged.
Stabbing results in arrest of 3 men
Police arrested three men after a stabbing in Makiki Thursday night.
At 9:36 p.m., police responded to a fight in progress between two groups of men at Makiki District Park. When they arrived, they found a 19-year-old man with stab wounds and a 24-year-old man with a minor cut to his arm.
Officers found one suspect hiding in the bushes nearby and two others running down the street. The men, a 27-year-old and two 18-year-olds, were arrested for investigation of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree assault. One of the men lied about his age and initially reported that he was 15.
Police said the injuries were not life-threatening and that an investigation is ongoing to determine which suspect allegedly stabbed the 19-year-old.
Business owner robbed by 2 men
Police are looking for two men in their 40s who allegedly robbed a Honolulu massage parlor owner.
The two men entered the business at about 1:30 p.m. yesterday. One of them pointed a knife at the 58-year-old female owner. The men stole cash and the woman's jewelry and fled, police said.
The woman was not injured, police said.
Laptop is stolen from schoolroom
Big Island police are seeking help in identifying a suspect who stole a laptop from a high school yesterday.
Police said an IBM ThinkPad was removed from Room E2A, a special-education classroom, at Honokaa High School sometime between 10:30 a.m. and noon yesterday.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 935-3311 or CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 for Hilo and 329-8181 in Kona.
Vehicle over grass sparks Maui blaze
A West Maui brush fire that burned 60 acres from Thursday afternoon into yesterday morning was ignited by a car, Maui fire officials said.
A car's exhaust system, while parked over tall grass, sparked the blaze in Kapalua, fire officials determined.
The fire, which was about a quarter-mile above what is known as Pineapple Hill, was first reported at 3 p.m. Thursday and was extinguished at about 9:35 a.m. yesterday.
The fire did not threaten any homes, and no one was injured.
Swimmer pulled from water dies
A 32-year-old man died yesterday after being pulled from the water off Kailua.
Police said the man had been swimming at Kailua Beach Park and got separated from his friends as they were swimming toward Popoia (Flat) Island.
He was found face down in the water near the shoreline, police said.
A lifeguard pulled the man out of the water, Bryan Cheplic, city Emergency Services Department spokesman, said.
He was taken by ambulance in critical condition to the Castle Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Cheplic said.
An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.