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POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2009

Foul play killed pregnant monk seal

A pregnant Hawaiian monk seal found dead on the north shore of Kauai was likely killed, officials believe.

The carcass of a monk seal called RKO6 was recovered Thursday after bystanders found the animal's body, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spokeswoman Wende Goo.

RKO6 was about one month away from giving birth, Goo said.

On April 19, another Hawaiian monk seal, I-19, was found dead with head injuries. That investigation is ongoing.

A necropsy on RKO6 on Friday determined it died of foul play, Goo said.

“;At this point we can't speculate whether or not those two deaths are tied together,”; Goo said. “;It just dumbfounds us (why someone would kill a monk seal),”; she said.

Anyone with information on the deaths is asked to call 1-888-256-9840.

Hays to speak at Vietnam vets' event

Retired Adm. Ron Hays, former U.S. Pacific Command leader, will deliver the keynote address at the annual Vietnam veterans candlelight ceremony this evening at the National Cemetery of the Pacific.

The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. with the arrival of motorcyclists belonging to Rolling Thunder/Street Bikers United organizations.

Other speakers will include Huyen Van Pham, who served with the South Vietnamese Army.

The service will end with the lighting of 1,000 candles in remembrance of the missing in action from all countries and a helicopter flyover.

Isle law enforcement getting $6.4M

Hawaii law enforcement will receive $6.4 million to help fight sex crimes, gang violence, property crimes and cyber crimes, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie announced.

The state Attorney General will also receive funds for court services and specialized courts, such as drug and mental health courts, offender treatment services, mental health treatment and case management. The money will also be used for youth services, reentry programs and services, substance abuse treatment, drug enforcement and criminal justice information systems and technological needs.

The funds come from the Justice Assistance Grant Program under the federal stimulus program.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Study backs Mauna Kea telescope

HILO» An environmental study says the public benefit would outweigh the drawbacks if the world's largest telescope were built atop Mauna Kea.

A consortium including the California Institute of Technology has proposed building what it calls a Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island mountain.

Another possible site is in Chile.

Some Native Hawaiian groups believe Mauna Kea is sacred, and argue the telescope would defile the extinct Big Island volcano.

The environmental impact statement says the telescope project would displace a shrine built on Mauna Kea within the last 10 years.

It also would lead to more traffic, wastewater, dust and noise on the mountain.

But the study says these effects can be minimized.