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County / In Brief

Souki

Souki retains House speaker post

Maui County state Rep. Joe Souki has retained his post as speaker of the House for the 2017 legislative session that gets under way in January, according to a news release from the House on Monday.

Souki, who represents Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku and Waikapu, was elected speaker for this current run in January 2013. He also was speaker from 1993 to 1999 and has served as chairman of the Finance and Transportation committees.

Souki was re-elected in last week’s election, defeating Gilbert “Gil” Rebolledo. The speaker has served in the House since his first election in 1982.

The other members of the House leadership team include: Calvin Say, speaker emeritus; John Mizuno, vice speaker; Scott Saiki, majority leader; Cindy Evans, majority floor leader; and Ken Ito, majority whip.

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Work to close fields at Kalama Park

Four athletic fields at Kalama Park will be closing Nov. 28 through mid-February for turf management and renovation, the county Department of Parks and Recreation said Monday.

The fields to be closed are Dorvin Field No. 1, fields No. 2 and No. 3 and Multipurpose Field Mauka No. 9.

The rest of Kalama Park, including the tennis and basketball courts, will remain open to the public.

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Oregon man dies after snorkeling

A 61-year-old Oregon man died Monday after he called for help while snorkeling in the ocean off Waipuilani Park in Kihei, police said.

He was identified as Phillip Green of Dallas.

After he experienced difficulty while snorkeling at about 10:05 a.m., Green’s son and a bystander brought Green to shore, police said.

Emergency crews couldn’t resuscitate him, police said.

Green was being transported by medics to Maui Memorial Medical Center when he was pronounced dead, police said.

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Firefighters find lost hiker

A lost hiker on the Kahakapao Loop in the Makawao Forest Reserve did the right thing Sunday night, staying in place, which allowed firefighters to quickly find her and lead her to safety, a Maui Fire Department official said Monday.

Firefighters received a call at about 6:15 p.m. from a hiker, who said she was lost in the forest reserve, said Fire Services Chief Edward Taomoto. She went for a run on the trail, lost track of the time and found herself in darkness, unsure if she had left the trail.

The woman, a 31-year-old Makawao resident, called for help, and Makawao firefighters found her car at the trailhead at about 6:35 p.m., he said.

The woman called dispatch for a GPS lock, which firefighters used to locate her, Taomoto said. He said firefighters had to hike in about 20 minutes on the trail to find her.

The lost hiker was led out on her own power, and they arrived at the trailhead at about 8 p.m. She suffered no medical issues, said Taomoto.

“She was just embarrassed,” he said.

“She was smart to call as soon as she realized she was lost, and she was smart enough to stay put instead of trying to find her way out,” said Taomoto.

That made it easier to locate her, he said.

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