State briefs for May 17

New York tourist arrested after posting beach photos

HONOLULU (AP) — A tourist from New York was arrested for allegedly violating Hawaii’s traveler quarantine after he posted on Instagram photos of himself sunbathing and carrying a surfboard, state officials said.

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Hawaii authorities have been cracking down on travelers who defy a mandatory 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the islands, a rule put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

As of Friday, Hawaii reported one new case of COVI-19, bringing the statewide total 638 cases and 17 deaths.

Some tourists have been arrested for defying the quarantine.

Tarique Peters, 23, of the Bronx, arrived in Honolulu on Monday, said a news release from the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center.

“He allegedly left his hotel room the day he arrived and traveled many places using public transportation,” the release said. “Authorities became aware of his social media posts from citizens who saw posts of him — on the beach with a surfboard, sunbathing, and walking around Waikiki at night.”

Agents from the state attorney general’s office arrested him Friday morning. Hotel staff told the agents they saw Peters leave his room and the hotel numerous times.

Peters was booked, and his bail was set at $4,000.

He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday. He didn’t immediately respond to messages on an Instagram account with the handle @tariquepeters.

Hawaii confirms first case of rat lungworm this year

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — The Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first case of rat lungworm disease this year was detected in Maui.

A resident tested positive for the infection after being hospitalized at Maui Memorial Medical Center.

The source of the infection could not be determined, health officials said.

There were nine reported cases of rat lungworm contracted in Hawaii last year.

In Hawaii, most people become ill by accidentally ingesting a snail or slug infected with the parasite, experts said.

“In the midst of the COVID-19 situation, we need to also be mindful of other diseases such as rat lungworm,” said Lorrin Pang, Maui District health officer.

“With many people starting their own home gardens for self-sustainability, we’d like to remind everyone to thoroughly inspect and rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under clean, running water.”

Investigation ongoing after 3 coqui frogs found in Maui

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Agriculture has launched an investigation to determine where three coqui frogs came from after they were captured in a hardware store in Maui earlier this week.

Department spokeswoman Janelle Saneishi said the area was treated with citric acid on Wednesday and no plants were sold from the nursery area in the Home Depot store on Thursday, the Maui News reported.

The Maui Invasive Species Committee released a blog post earlier this week featuring a video with the ear-splitting call of the small invasive tree frog species from plants outside the store nursery in Kahului.

A longtime committee staffer went out on his own to investigate around 10:30 p.m. after being alerted to the video and was able to track down and hand capture one of the frogs, committee members said.

A store manager also captured a frog, officials said.

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The third was found and capture during a plant inspection.

The source of the infestation has not yet been determined.

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