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For Thursday, September 30, 2010

By Star-Advertiser staff


Egrets shot to safeguard flights

HILO » The U.S. Department of Agriculture says about 80 cattle egrets were shot and killed in Keaukaha to protect planes at nearby Hilo Airport.

The department's state director of wildlife services, Mike Pitzler, said the birds were shot Monday from a boat on Lokoaka Pond.

Pitzler said officials don't want a "miracle on the Hudson River" happening on the Big Island, in reference to a US Airways plane that splashed down in the river in New York last year after a flock of geese disabled the jet.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that it received many calls from people who complained about the noise from the shotgun blasts and about the birds being killed. 

Pair rescued from current

An off-duty firefighter and lifeguards on a Jet Ski rescued two visitors from a rip current Tuesday at Anini Beach, a Kauai County spokeswoman said.

Two men from Bremerton, Wash., were swimming at Anini near the river mouth about 10 a.m. when they got caught in a rip current at the north end of the channel, county spokeswoman Mary Daubert said.

Micah Thayer, an off-duty firefighter, grabbed a rescue tube that was on the beach and swam out to them. Thayer used the rescue tube to keep the two men afloat and prevented them from being swept farther out to sea, Daubert said.

Lifeguards Chad Listman and Chris Pico arrived at the scene on a Jet Ski from Hanalei Bay and brought the men to shore, where they were checked by Hanalei fire fighters and medics, Daubert said. The men declined further treatment.

Drowned man identified

A man who died Sunday in an apparent drowning at Kauai's Wailua Falls was identified yesterday as Kevin Kim, 25, of Edmonds, Wash.

Police said Kim had been swimming at the falls with others when he became separated from the group. He was found unresponsive about 2:15 p.m. at the base of the falls.

Center, clinic get funding

Gov. Linda Lingle has released $1.5 million to design and plan a new community center and medical clinic in Kealakehe on the Big Island, state Rep. Denny Coffman said this week.

The center will include a computer lab and learning center, audiovisual center, after-school and summer enrichment programs, a culinary program, a community kitchen and space for community meetings and gatherings.

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