Good afternoon. Here are the top Hawaii stories at 5 p.m. HST. If you have questions about stories, please call Hawaii News Editor Oskar Garcia at (808) 536-5510. Our email is aphonolulu(at)ap.org. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns also are available from the Service Desk (800-838-4616).
PACIFIC AIR FORCES
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii — The U.S. sent its most powerful airplanes to the Korean peninsula in recent weeks in part because it wants North Korea to know what it's capable of doing, the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Pacific says. By Audrey McAvoy.
AP Photo NYJN104.
MISSING COAST GUARDSMAN
HONOLULU — A veteran rescue swimmer has been charged with desertion after he went missing for three months and triggered a massive search, the Coast Guard says. By Audrey McAvoy.
AP Photo NY130.
HILO, Hawaii — State workers or contractors eradicating feral sheep and goats in an effort to protect an endangered bird found only in certain parts of Mauna Kea can't be prosecuted under a county ordinance banning aerial hunting, a federal court ruled earlier this week. A 2012 Hawaii County ordinance passed with strong community support to ban hunting from helicopters or airplanes. It came about because of concerns that eradicating animals by aerial shooting conflicts with cultural and traditional values and creates safety risks, among other things.
AP Photo FX101.
HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines plans to start non-stop service from Honolulu to China beginning next year and will eliminate service to Manila over the summer.
PYONGYANG, North Korea — As the world braces for a provocative missile launch by North Korea, with newscasts worldwide playing up tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the center of the storm is strangely calm. The focus in Pyongyang is less on preparing for war and more on beautifying the city ahead of the nation's biggest holiday: the April 15 birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung. By Jean H. Lee.
AP photos, video.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A board member of one of Ohio's pension funds is defending her proposal to take a public-funded trip to Hawaii for a conference.
— UH ACCOUNTABILITY — UH Regents aim for more transparency.
— VISITOR PUSHED — Man accused of pushing visitor pleads not guilty.
— POSSIBLE DROWNING — Washington man dies while swimming.