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Schofield soldier dies in Afghanistan

A 24-year-old Schofield Barracks soldier was killed Sunday in Afghanistan.

The loss of Spc. Brian D. Riley Jr. of Longwood, Fla., in Kunar province was the second combat death for the 25th Infantry Division’s 3rd Bronco Brigade, which arrived in Afghanistan last month. The Pentagon did not release details of Riley’s death.

Riley was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, at Schofield Barracks.

On May 2, Cpl. Kevin W. White, 22, of Westfield, N.Y., was killed in Kunar province when insurgents detonated a homemade bomb near his unit. He was also a member of the 3rd Brigade’s 2nd Battalion. This is the 3rd Brigade’s fourth combat tour.

Event supports vets

U.S. Vets, a nonprofit service provider for military veterans and homeless families, will host its second annual Hana Like Kakou fundraiser Friday from 5:15 to 10 p.m. at the Disabled American Veterans Memorial Hall at Keehi Lagoon. The event features live entertainment, Hawaiian food and a silent auction.

For more information, call 696-6770 or visit www.usvetsinc.org/2011/04/11/hana-kakou-dinner.

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Maile pickers choppered out of forest

Rescue personnel in the Hawaii County Fire Department helicopter yesterday picked up two maile pickers who had been missing since Monday morning.

The two men were found unhurt in a forest in the Waiohinu area and did not need medical attention, the department said.

The men had been missing since 10 a.m. Monday after becoming disoriented in a heavily forested area, a department news release said.

Officials contacted the men via text message and told them to start a fire so the helicopter could find them. Rescue personnel saw the smoke and lowered a rescue net to pick up the men one by one.

The pickers were found 1.5 miles above Lorenzo Road, 1.6 miles northwest of their vehicle, the department said.

Feds sign off on plan to protect birds

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s plan to protect endangered Newell’s shearwaters and Hawaiian petrels.

The government permit requires the cooperative to lower power lines, obscure them with fast-growing trees or attach them to bridges to minimize bird fatalities.

The Garden Island newspaper reported that the permit also shields KIUC from fines and prosecution when the birds are injured or killed after flying into power lines or becoming disoriented by street lights.

Earthjustice attorney David Henkin said he believes KIUC remains in violation of endangered-species laws until it also gets a permit from the state Department of Land and Resources.

KIUC spokeswoman Anne Barnes said the cooperative is researching the issue while its permit with the state is pending.

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