State briefs for June 4

Firefighters recover body of missing swimmer

KAILUA, Oahu — Firefighters recovered the body of a man thought to be a missing swimmer, officials said.

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The body found Sunday on the shore at Kailua Bay on Oahu matches the description of the person who disappeared Friday.

The man was not immediately identified, but the Army said he was a soldier.

The 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks on Oahu said in a statement Monday it will not disclose further information until the soldier’s family is notified.

Firefighters responded at 5:30 a.m. Sunday after a passerby discovered the body, officials said.

The man and two women went into the ocean about 5:30 p.m. Friday and were then seen in distress, according to witnesses.

A couple on surfboards rescued the women about 40 yards offshore, but the man disappeared beneath waves.

The search that began early Saturday was interrupted about 10 a.m. when at least one shark was observed near the search area. Divers left the water but an aerial search continued.

Shark warning signs were posted at the beach and the search resumed in the afternoon, officials said.

The search was suspended at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, officials said.

Vehicle disposal program aims to reduce car dumping

WAILUKU, Maui — Maui County established a free vehicle disposal program in response to car dumping, according to an official.

Illegal car abandonment along highways throughout the county has increased by at least three times in six years. The county responded by implementing the Junk Vehicle Disposal Assistance Program, which allows residents to dispose of one vehicle per year for free when a vehicle is delivered to a permitted scrap metal facility.

Vehicle disposal at permanent facilities “has become very expensive” and subsequently increases the instances of car dumping, said Tamara Farnsworth, manager of the county’s Environmental Protection and Sustainability Division.

One Maui business charges a recycling fee of $50 per net ton for an automobile with no fluids or tires, while fluids and tires increase the cost by an additional $165.

Shifting prices at disposal and recycling centers are dictated by the global metals market, which can be affected by demand for materials, tariffs and trade disputes, Farnsworth said.

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An exit survey is conducted with everyone who uses the free disposal program.

The program will remain in effect until no longer needed or funding is exhausted.

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