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State/In Brief

January 16, 2014
The Associated Press

Environmentalists add Navy to lawsuit

SAN DIEGO - Environmental organizations have added the Navy to their lawsuit against the federal government that seeks more measures to protect whales and other marine mammals from the military's sonar use.

Earthjustice and other organizations announced the addition Wednesday to their lawsuit filed in December against the National Marine Fisheries Service. The lawsuit demands that the service force the Navy to seek alternatives to its five-year plan that will intensify off the California and Hawaii coasts.

Navy officials estimate its activities would have a negligible impact on marine mammal populations.

Environmentalists dispute that. They favor off-limits zones to biologically sensitive areas and want the Navy to avoid training in certain spots seasonally when they are rich in marine life.


Kailua soldier killed in Afghanistan

HONOLULU - A Hawaii National Guard solider from Kailua, Oahu, has been killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan.

Hawaii National Guard officials say 25-year-old Sgt. Drew Scobie and two others were killed in Friday's crash of a MC-12 reconnaissance aircraft.

Hawaii News Now reported that the military said there was no indication that the plane crashed as a result of enemy action. The Department of Defense has not yet released the names of those killed and details about the crash.

Scobie leaves behind a son and a pregnant wife.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Scobie's family traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to greet Scobie's casket and then returned to Hawaii for a gathering Tuesday at Makapuu Beach, one of his favorite spots.


New trial ordered in 2009 murder

HONOLULU - The Hawaii Supreme Court is ordering a new trial for a man convicted of a 2009 murder because jurors weren't allowed to hear testimony that the shooting victim had cocaine in his system.

Phillip DeLeon was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Shawn Powell, who was shot after an altercation at a Honolulu nightclub.

The ruling issued Wednesday says it was wrong to exclude expert testimony about cocaine in Powell's blood.

Former deputy prosecutor Megan Kau tried the case. She says the decision is shocking because the expert couldn't testify to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty.



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