Feds Want to Ban Swimming With Hawaii Dolphins | NBC 10 Philadelphia
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Feds Want to Ban Swimming With Hawaii Dolphins

Swimming with dolphins is popular with visitors and some locals, with dozens of companies on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island operating dolphin tours daily.

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    A woman is pulled by two bottlenose dolphins during the structured swim May 4, 2001 at the Dolphins Plus marine mammal research and education center in Key Largo, Florida.

    Federal regulators are proposing to ban swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, a move that could imperil one of the Aloha State's most popular tourist delights and the industry that has sprung up around it.

    The National Marine Fisheries Service says Hawaii's spinner dolphins -- the nocturnal species that humans usually frolic with -- are being deprived of rest during the day and becoming stressed out.

    Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    [NATL] Tennessee Lawmakers 'Tricked' Into Honoring Ku Klux Klansman

    Lawmakers in Tennessee are crying foul after Republican Rep. Mike Sparks sneaked in a resolution to honor former Ku Klux Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest with a bust under a different name. The resolution passed unanimously, 94-0, and the bust was installed at the state Capitol before lawmakers realized the mistake. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    The agency was expected to announce the proposal Tuesday.

    Swimming with dolphins is popular with visitors and some locals, with dozens of companies on Kauai, Oahu, Maui and the Big Island operating dolphin tours daily.

    UC Davis Now Sells Plan B and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    [NATL] UC Davis Now Sells Plan B, Pregnancy Tests and Condoms From a Vending Machine

    Students at the University of California, Davis, can now purchase $30 Plan B emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, condoms and other personal care products from a vending machine. The idea came from UC Davis senior Parteek Singh, after a friend was unable to buy emergency contraceptives in time. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    The proposed rule could shut down or greatly disrupt the industry as it now operates. That's because the ban would cover waters out to 2 nautical miles, which is where 98 percent of Hawaii's spinner dolphins rest after they've spent the night feeding. Tour companies take customers to these nearshore waters to find dolphins.

    Ann Garrett, assistant regional administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service's protected resources division for the Pacific Islands, said dolphins have been found to be burning calories at a higher rate because they are forced to be vigilant as people approach their pods.

    Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    [NATL] Millennials Found Most Susceptible to Robocalls and Scams

    A new study finds that it is not the elderly who are most susceptible to scam phone calls, but millennials, who are six times more likely to give away credit card information than any other age group. 

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    "All of these things can contribute to a reduction of fitness over time -- this kind of chronic level of stress. That's what we're concerned about," Garrett said.

    The agency plans to hold public meetings on the proposal next month and expects to make a final decision on the regulations next year.

    Girl Scalped on Carnival Ride Talks Recovery One Year Later

    [NATL] Girl Scalped on Carnival Ride Talks Recovery One Year Later

    Elizabeth "Lulu" Gilreath talks about her recovery from a carnival ride gone very wrong. Gilreath was scalped when her hair was caught on the King's Crown ride in Omaha, Nebraska, but she does not dwell on the incident, saying "My scars don't define me."

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    Hawaii's spinner dolphins -- which get their name because they're known for leaping in the air and spinning around -- eat fish and small crustaceans that surface from the ocean depths at night. At daybreak, they gather in shallow bays to hide from tiger sharks and other predators.

    When they sleep, they rest half their brains and keep the other half awake so that they can surface and breathe. As a result, they can appear awake and active even when they are asleep.

    Man Sees Vera Wang Diamond Ring on Sidewalk, Finds Its Owner

    [NATL] Man Finds Vera Wang Diamond Engagement Ring on Sidewalk, Tracks Down Its Owner

    Imagine looking down and finding a pristine diamond ring lying on the sidewalk. That was how Glenn Weddell found a Vera Wang diamond ring one afternoon in Sacramento, California. But instead of keeping it, Weddell hunted down the distraught owner to return the ring in a happy reunion. His method involved posting a sign to a tree downtown and hoping for the best. 

    (Published Thursday, April 27, 2017)

    Unlike the better-known bottlenose and other dolphin species in Hawaii waters, they are highly predictable in their behavior, returning to the same general area every day. That makes them easy for tour groups to find.

    The federal agency is also proposing to require swimmers and vessels to stay at least 50 yards away from the dolphins. If the animals approach swimmers, the humans must make no effort to engage them and immediately move away, Garrett said.

    Inmate Convulses During Execution With Controversial Drug

    [NATL] Fourth Arkansas Inmate Convulses During Execution With Controversial Drug

    The controversy over midazolam, a drug used during state executions of convicted inmates, rises following the execution of a fourth Arkansas inmate in eight days. Witnesses say Kenneth Williams, put on death row for the 1999 murder of two people, moved and shook during his execution Thursday night.

    (Published Friday, April 28, 2017)

    The prohibitions would cover waters up to 2 miles off the main Hawaiian Islands. It would also apply farther from shore in designated waters between Maui, Lanai and Kahoolawe islands.