Road damage from earthquakes

is latest Hawaii volcano peril

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials on Hawaii’s Big Island, where the Kilauea volcano has been spewing huge amounts of lava for months, are bracing for the possibility that frequent earthquakes will cut off a major highway.

Emergency officials dealing with the eruption are turning their focus to the aptly named village of Volcano, where dozens of small earthquakes shake the ground every hour as Kilauea undergoes dramatic changes. The summit caldera is also collapsing, causing even larger temblors almost daily.

Officials are worried about cracks and holes in Highway 11, a 45-minute lifeline connecting a rural district with Hilo, the island’s biggest city. The alternative, driving around the state’s largest island, can take up to three hours.

“It’s the only road going through that section of the island,” said state Sen. Russell Ruderman. “We have to find a way to keep it open.”

Charges dropped against ex-Vegas

officer in chokehold death

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Charges including involuntary manslaughter were dropped Thursday against a former Las Vegas police officer accused of using an unapproved chokehold in the death of an unarmed man following a chase out of a casino last year.

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson said he sought dismissal of the case because a grand jury last week refused to indict the former officer, Kenneth Christopher Lopera, in the death of 40-year-old Tashii Farmer Brown.

Prosecutors will in coming weeks publicly air in a non-court venue “very similar if not the exact same evidence” that was presented in secret to grand jurors, Wolfson said.