POSTED: Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beached whale had organ problems

KEKAHA, Kauai » The dead humpback calf that washed up along Kauai's west side Monday had some internal organ problems, officials from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday.

The whale, a 17-foot-long female, was spotted floating Monday morning before coming ashore at Kekaha Beach Park Monday afternoon. The calf was estimated to have been 4 weeks old.

County lifeguards and staff from the Pacific Missile Range Facility towed the carcass to a more protected beach on the base, pulled it ashore, and secured it for the night.

Officials with NOAA Fisheries, as well as a contract veterinarian, flew to Kauai yesterday to perform the necropsy. They were met on site by a Kauai cultural practitioner who conducted a ceremony over the remains.

While the necropsy was not completed yesterday, preliminary findings revealed the whale had some abnormalities in its organ systems. Officials did not conclusively determine the cause of death.

After samples are taken and the necropsy is completed, the whale will be buried at the base, NOAA officials added.


Disaster aid officials arrive Feb. 17

The U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Outreach Center will open Feb. 17 in Waialua to help victims of the December storms and flooding.

SBA customer service representatives will be on hand weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., to help individuals and businesses at the Waialua Community Association, 66-434 Kamehameha Highway.

SBA offers low-interest federal disaster loans to homeowners, renters, businesses of all sizes and private non-profit organizations to repair or replace property damaged or destroyed by the disaster. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace homes damaged or destroyed, and up to $40,000 to renters and homeowners for repairs or to replace damaged or destroyed property.

For more information, call toll-free (800) 659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance

Disaster victims can file an application for loan assistance at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Information on SBA programs are online at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Victims of all types of disasters can call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at (800) 621-3362 or go to www.fema.gov


Dead solider from Maui identified

A 28-year-old soldier from Maui died Friday in Iraq from injuries suffered in a noncombat-related injury.

The Pentagon identified the soldier yesterday as Spc. Christopher P. Sweet, of Kahului. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Separate Infantry Brigade, stationed at Grafenwoehr in Germany. The Army said he died in Kirkush.

Further details were not released.

Since March 2003, when the U.S. invaded Iraq, 93 soldiers, four sailors, 84 Marines, two Air Force personnel and one civilian with Hawaii ties have been killed there.

Aloha Stadium to hold food drive

The Aloha Stadium's Swap Meet will hold a food drive Feb. 22 to support the Hawaii Food Bank.

Customers will be allowed to enter the swap meet for free by donating one can of food at bins that will be set up at the stadium.

The Hawaii Food Bank's top five needed canned items are meats and tuna, meals, soups, vegetables and fruits.

The swap meet will support a nonprofit group on the last Sunday of each month.

The swap meet is open on Wednesday, Saturday and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the stadium's parking lot.