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July 4, 2018

HAWAII VOLCANO

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii volcano that’s been erupting in a residential neighborhood for the past two months has built a cone that’s now about the height of Aloha Tower, an iconic 10-story building in Honolulu. U.S. Geological Survey scientists said the cone is 180 feet high at its tallest point. Honolulu Harbor’s Aloha Tower reaches 184 feet. The cone developed from the most active of the two dozen vents Kilauea volcano opened in and around the Leilani Estates neighborhood on the Big Island. Scientists call it Fissure 8 because it was the eighth vent to open during the eruption. It’s feeding a river of lava that’s flowing downhill to the ocean. The eruption has destroyed over 600 homes since May 3. Thousands of residents have had to evacuate.

VETERAN-PTSD RUN

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A Marine veteran is running from Alabama to his hometown in Indiana to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide among veterans. Kyle Killinger left a veterans memorial in Huntsville, Alabama, before dawn yesterday. He plans to arrive in his hometown of Columbus, Indiana, in five days. An estimated 22 veterans a day take their own lives. Killinger says PTSD is a big problem, and he wants veterans to know they’re not alone in their struggles. Killinger hopes to raise $15,000 for two organizations that are trying to fight the stigma of PTSD and lower the veteran death rate. Killinger plans to run more than 80 miles to Murfreesboro, Tennessee on Tuesday. He says the thought of fellow veterans struggling with PTSD helps him keep going.

FUNERAL EJECTED

CHARLOTTE HALL, Md. (AP) — A priest kicked a funeral out of a Maryland church and the family says he disrespected the deceased. Before a funeral for Agnes Hicks could begin at St. Mary Catholic Church in Charlotte Hall last week, WTTG-TV reports a guest knocked over a chalice, damaging it and angering the Rev. Michael Briese. Hicks’ daughter, Shanice Chisely, says Briese ordered everyone out and disrespected her deceased mother, saying “get this thing out of my church.” Briese apologized in a letter to the editor in The Enterprise, saying anger “was the most inappropriate response.” Theo Johnson, a cousin of Hicks, who was black, told The Enterprise that Briese, who is white, tried to explain he wasn’t racist. But Johnson said, “Nobody said anything about race. We were just saying he was being disrespectful.”

CHILD’S HANDPRINT PRESERVED

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A St. Paul police officer has helped preserve a 1-year-old’s handprint on a pane of glass to comfort a grieving grandmother. The Star Tribune reports that Shari Wagner’s grandson, Abraham Flynn, was struck and killed by a van in April. Wagner says she recently noticed the handprint when sunlight struck a wood and glass display case in her living room. Wagner feared that the handprint would disappear. Officer Mark Lundquist arrived at her home Monday morning to preserve it. Lundquist was able to preserve the images using forensic techniques, allowing the family to keep a part of Abraham. Wagner says she plans to have an artist turn the images into jewelry. The Police Department also plans to create a poster-sized piece of artwork from the images for the family.

HIKER RESCUE-HUSKY

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 7-year-old Alaskan husky is credited with helping rescue an injured woman hiking a trail east of Anchorage. The Alaska Star reports the dog named Nanook helped pull 21-year-old Amelia Milling after she fell while crossing the Eagle River last month. Milling, a college student from Tennessee, was hiking the Crow Pass Trail and was injured early in the planned three-day hike. She says the white dog found her after she tumbled down a slope. She says Nanook guided her back to the trail and later helped her out of the water when she struggled in the swift river. He stayed with her until rescuers arrived. Owner Scott Swift says Nanook has been taking trips into Chugach State Park for years and accompanies hikers he meets on the trails.

HAWAII-SUNSCREEN BAN

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has signed legislation that will ban the sale of sunscreens containing two chemicals believed to harm coral reefs. This makes Hawaii the first state to enact a ban on oxybenzone and octinoxate. The prohibition takes effect in 2021. Scientists have found the two substances can be toxic to coral, which are a vital part of the ocean ecosystem and a popular draw for tourists. Consumers will instead have to buy reef-safe sunscreens lacking the chemicals. Critics say there aren’t enough independent scientific studies supporting the assertion that the chemicals harm coral reefs. The group Retail Merchants of Hawaii says it is concerned the ban will discourage people from buying sunscreen at brick and mortar stores.

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