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Newswatch

For Thursday, July 29, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:



Monk seal pup's death investigated

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service is investigating the death of a monk seal pup whose carcass was found on a northwestern Niihau beach last weekend.

NOAA spokeswoman Wende Goo said, however, that there will be no attempt to remove the carcass because it is too badly decomposed.

The Hawaiian monk seal is an endangered species protected under federal and state laws. Harming a monk seal is now a felony under a new state law. The maximum penalty is now five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

 

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Killer's bail rises to $1.5M

WAILUKU » Bail for a Maui man convicted of fatally shooting his son has been tripled to $1.5 million.

Joe D. Antonio is being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center awaiting sentencing Oct. 7 to life in prison with a minimum 20 years behind bars.

The 47-year-old Antonio was found guilty July 21 of second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the 2008 death of 19-year-old Jose Antonio Jr.

On Monday, prosecutors asked for Antonio's bail of $500,000 to be doubled. Circuit Judge Joel August decided to increase it to $1.5 million.

Another bail hearing is set for Aug. 11.

 

Larger bird refuge sought

The American Bird Conservancy says a proposed expansion of the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on the Big Island would help protect endangered birds.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono earlier this year introduced a bill that would expand the refuge by adding four adjacent parcels.

The forest and adjoining parcels are home to rare endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers like the akiapolaau, the akepa and the Hawaii creeper.






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