By Star-Bulletin Staff

Friday, December 12, 1997

Kailua woman finds
dead snake in Christmas tree

A snake sneaked into a Kailua resident's Christmas tree, according to state officials.

The woman discovered the deceased intruder, probably dead a week or more, in the branches when she unbundled the tree Monday, they said.

She called the state Department of Agriculture, which retrieved remains of what is believed to be an 18-inch Western ribbon snake.

The department believes the snake climbed into the tree before it was bundled in Oregon for shipment to Hawaii and that it died on the way here.

Hawaii-bound trees are shaken and inspected before shipment to reduce the chances of hitchhiking alien pests such as snakes, Plant Quarantine Branch Manager Larry Nakahara said.

$2.1 million grant to aid computer literacy in isles

Hawaii will receive $2.1 million from the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund to help prepare students for future technological challenges.

The technology fund is a $2 billion, five-year federal program created to improve learning with technology. The grant will help train teachers, give students and teachers access to modem computers, link schools to the information superhighway and make high-quality software and online resources part of the curriculum in every school.

Not only will the grant put technology into classrooms, but it's also an investment in the nation's teachers -- giving them the skills to integrate technology into their everyday curriculum, said U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley.

Honokohau park board slates inaugural meeting

Nude bathing and fishponds at Kaloko Honokohau National Historic Park on the Big Island will be discussed at the inaugural meeting of the park's advisory commission.

The commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. tomorrow at Keahou Beach Resort in Kona.

They will begin with a ceremonial swearing in of 13 members appointed this fall by the U.S. secretary of the Interior.

Members are Chairman David Roy, Henry Auwae, Abbie Napeahi, George Naope, Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Hannah K. Springer, Angel Pilago, Stephen Kane-A-I Morse, Mervyn Thompson, Pualani Kanahele, Fred Cachola, Duane Hanakeawe, and National Park Service officials Francis Kuailani and Bryan Harry.

The public meeting will include regulations involving nude bathing and the use of the fishponds and traps at the park.

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By Star-Bulletin staff

Yacht sinks off Oahu;
all 3 people rescued

Three people were rescued this morning after their 65-foot yacht sank off the Leeward coast of Oahu.

The survivors were rescued by the tanker Orion at 3:30 a.m., a Coast Guard official said.

The yacht, named The Liberty, was completely submerged 40 miles south of Oahu.

The three were transported to Barbers Point harbor, officials said. No injuries were reported.

Pupukea man beaten, robbed by four men

Police are looking for four men who robbed and beat a Pupukea man inside his home.

The victim, 26, told police the armed and masked suspects entered his Hoalike Road home yesterday at 12:45 a.m.

One of the suspects allegedly had a handgun and another had a club, police said. The suspects then beat the victim and demanded money. The victim escaped and called police from a neighbor's home.

Opihi picker, 32, is swept away off Big Isle

KAPAAU, Hawaii -- A 32-year-old North Kohala man died when he was washed into the ocean while picking opihi at Hoea Flats yesterday morning, police said.

Michael Aguiar of Halaula was with a friend when a large wave knocked him into the sea, they said.

Aguiar clung to a rock, but a second wave dragged him away. Fire rescue workers later recovered his body.

Man injured when thrown from horse

HILO -- A 43-year-old Papaikou man remains in guarded condition at Queen's Hospital after suffering face and head injuries when he was thrown from his horse in a pasture near Papaikou Wednesday, police said.

Bryan Okimoto was taken to Queens after initial treatment at Hilo Hospital, they said.

Hospital nurse booked for stealing drugs

A 45-year-old male registered nurse was arrested yesterday for allegedly stealing painkillers from a hospital.

The suspect used his employee access code to take the controlled drugs from a hospital automated medication dispensing machine, the state Public Safety Department said.

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