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State and Region briefs for September 14

‘Hurricane boy’ celebrates his 25th birthday

HONOLULU (AP) — It was a wicked day 25 years ago on Kauai when Minoneti Latu went into labor with her son.

Rain, wind and chaos hit Kauai as Latu’s driver swerved around electric poles, wires and detours on their way to the hospital. There was no power in her area of the building when she gave birth to her son, who was named Feleti-Iniki Jeffrey Latu as a tribute to the hurricane that made his birth one to remember.

It’s no surprise the family calls him “hurricane boy.”

Feleti-Iniki Jeffrey Latu celebrated his 25th birthday Tuesday.

The Latus say his name symbolizes strength. He currently is a student at BYU Hawaii.

StarKist to pay $6.3M penalty in wastewater case

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — The world’s largest supplier of canned tuna agreed to pay a $6.3 million penalty for wastewater violations in American Samoa, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

StarKist Co., based in Pittsburgh and owned by South Korea’s Dongwon Industries, also will take steps to reduce environmental harm to the U.S. territory, where it is the largest private employer.

StarKist and subsidiary StarKist Samoa Co. are required to make various upgrades to reduce pollution, improve safety measures and comply with federal environmental laws at their American Samoa tuna processing plant, the Justice Department said.

In 2014, a discharge pipeline break at the facility spilled unpermitted wastewater into the inner Pago Pago Harbor. In addition to the wastewater violations, the EPA found StarKist was improperly storing ammonia, butane and chlorine gas.

The agreement requires StarKist to improve the facility’s ammonia refrigeration system and stop using chlorine gas and butane, the Justice Department said.

As part of the agreement, StarKist said it will also purchase protective suits and scuba units to help American Samoa first responders cope with emergencies.

GAO report says aging Navy shipyards costing billions

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The watchdog agency for Congress says the Navy’s aging public shipyards are failing to fully meet the military’s needs.

A Government Accountability Office report is sharply critical of the four facilities.

It found that a backlog of projects to maintain and restore ships will take 19 years to clear. The cost of the backlogged projects has grown 41 percent to an estimated $4.86 billion.

All of the shipyards were built at least a century ago. And they were designed to deal with older vessels, reducing their efficiency.

The four facilities are Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine; Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Wash.; Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Hawaii; and Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.


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