State briefs for December 11

California woman drowns at dangerous Kauai spot Queen’s Bath

LIHUE, Kauai — Rescuers during the weekend called off their search for a California woman swept out to sea from a picturesque but dangerous spot on Kauai’s north shore.


Yayun Cheng, 23, was the seventh drowning victim in Kauai this year.

Cheng was attempting to climb rocks near an area known as Queen’s Bath shortly before noon on Wednesday, when a wave came up and swept her out to sea.

She was last seen unresponsive in the water.

Firefighters, lifeguards, police and the U.S. Coast Guard all participated in the three-day search. They suspended their search on Saturday. Volunteers with the Life’s Bridges grief counseling service are helping Cheng’s family.

There is no lifeguard station on the remote and rocky shoreline of Queen’s Bath.

The surf is most dangerous from November through March, but officials urge caution year-round because the slippery lava rock beach is hazardous.

The ocean can be relatively calm at the spot, with sea turtles wandering peacefully amid tide pools filled with clear water.

But rough waves also sweep people away. A sign with skull and crossbones at the entrance to the beach keeps a tally of the number of people who have drowned there.

Maui man found guilty of robbing, choking boy at school

WAILUKU, Maui — A judge convicted a Maui man guilty of robbery, assault and other charges after a trial where a boy testified about how a stranger at school grabbed his iPad and choked him.

Nicholas Slot, 34, was found guilty last week.

The boy, now 12, testified that he was sitting with a classmate and studying for a Hawaiian studies class on a bench outside the 4th-grade classroom at Sacred Heart School in Lahaina last year when a stranger approached.

The man asked where the office was and asked if he could show the boy something on his iPad, the boy testified. The boy said he pulled the school-issued iPad toward his body because he didn’t want anyone touching it.

“He grabs the iPad away from me, puts his hand against my neck and presses me against the back of the bench,” the boy said. “He grabbed it pretty firmly and ripped it out of my hands, and he was choking me to the point where I couldn’t breathe.”

He estimated the man’s hand was on his neck for 11 seconds.

The man used an obscenity several times in saying that he would hurt the boy if he told anyone about taking his iPad, the boy said.

When another student ran into the classroom screaming that the boy was being choked, teach Luwynda Quandt said she ran outside and followed the man. He handed her the iPad, she said. “He told me that it was just a test and that he worked for the Maui Police Department,” she said. “He shouted some obscenity, that I needed to get back in the classroom.”

Police arrested Slot.

Slot didn’t testify at his trial.

He faces up to 10 years in prison for the robbery charge. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Oldest wild seabird lays another egg on Midway Atoll

HONOLULU — The world’s oldest known wild seabird has laid another egg.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the Laysan albatross named Wisdom appeared at her nest site at Midway Atoll National Wildlife refuge last month.

Biologists confirm she laid the egg.

Wisdom and her mate return to the same site on Midway Atoll each year. Laysan albatrosses lay one egg and raise one chick per year.

Biologists believe Wisdom is at least 68 years old.

Biologist Chandler Robbins first identified and banded Wisdom in 1956.

She has returned to Midway almost every year since 2002.


Midway Atoll is home to the world’s largest colony of albatross.

The island about 1,200 miles northwest of Honolulu was the site of a pivotal World War II battle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email