State briefs for May 10

Waikiki resort pledges to plant 100K native trees

HONOLULU — A Waikiki resort is celebrating its grand opening with a pledge to plant 100,000 native trees on Oahu and the Big Island.


The Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach made the pledge in partnership with the nonprofit Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

The initiative revives forests by allowing guests to either sponsor native trees or plant them during guided tours at forests on the north shores of Oahu and the Big Island.

Guests at the Waikiki resort will be encouraged to plant Hawaiian legacy trees in Laie on Oahu’s North Shore while they are on horseback riding and private, off-road tours.

The trees can be tracked online through radio-frequency identification technology. It records their growth, location and sponsorship details, and the details are viewable online.

Trump approves disaster funds for flooding

HONOLULU — President Donald Trump approved the state’s request for a major disaster declaration for the floods, landslides and mudslides on Kauai and Oahu.

Gov. David Ige requested the federal declaration May 2, following the April storms.

Ige said the approval prepares the state to receive federal assistance with emergency work and the repair and replacement of disaster-damaged public facilities on the two islands.

About 532 homes were damaged or destroyed in the historic rains that swamped Oahu and Kauai between April 13 and 16.

An inundation of 50 inches of rain in a 24-hour period on Kauai is being reviewed by the National Climatic Extremes Committee as a possible U.S. record.

The office of U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, said the declaration qualifies the state for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance Program and its Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

It also allows the Small Business Administration to provide low-interest loans to private, nonprofit organizations that provide critical services including churches, shelters and some schools.

The office said it also makes U.S. Department of Agriculture emergency loans available for farmers and ranchers. People who lost their homes and are buying or rebuilding another home can receive mortgage assistance insurance from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Federal Housing Administration homeowners at risk of foreclosure because of the disaster can stop or delay foreclosure by 90 days.

Indiana man struck, killed by falling rock

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Authorities say 34-year-old Greg Miller of Fort Wayne died Saturday evening near Maui’s Waimoku Falls after being struck in the head by a large rock in Haleakala National Park.

Maui County’s fire chief said Miller was struck as he was sitting beneath the 200-foot waterfall with a 30-year-old female companion from Indiana and a man and woman from Wailuku, Maui, after hiking to the site.


The chief said in a statement that responding firefighters met the two women hiking down the trail and they said Miller suffered head trauma, wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. Firefighters turned back because rocks continued to fall near the waterfall.

Miller’s body was recovered Sunday.

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