Parks set to close early today
KONA - Some state recreation areas are closing early on New Year's Eve to keep people from shooting off fireworks there.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources says it is closing Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Kekaha Kai State Park and Kiholo State Park Reserve at 5 p.m. today.
DLNR Chairman William Aila Jr. said fireworks are prohibited in state parks, and the early closures are intended to keep people from trying to shoot them off in the affected areas. He said the early closures are to protect the public and natural resources in those areas.
Normal park hours are to resume Tuesday.
Caldwell filling administration
HONOLULU - Honolulu Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell is filling out his administration as he prepares to take office.
Hawaii News Now reported that Caldwell on Saturday revealed that Ember Shinn, an attorney with more than 20 years' experience, will become his managing director, marking the first time a woman has held the post.
Former State of Hawaii Film Commissioner Georgette Deemer will fill the deputy managing director post, while retiring U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka's communications director Broder Van Dyke will head up the city's communication's department.
Caldwell also filled some Cabinet posts, including installing former interim state Director of Transportation Michael D. Formby as transportation director.
He still has several posts to fill before he's sworn in Wednesday.
Ochiai named to Circuit Court
HONOLULU - Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed a new judge to the Hawaii 1st Circuit Court.
Dean E. Ochiai of Honolulu will fill the vacancy left by Judge Richard Pollack. Pollack became an associate justice on the Hawaii Supreme Court. The 57-year-old Ochiai had been serving as a district court judge.
His new appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Man hurt in Manoa Falls fall
HONOLULU - The Honolulu Fire Department said that a man was seriously injured after he plunged 80 feet at Manoa Falls on Saturday.
The Hawaii Star-Advertiser reported that the 35-year-old Oahu resident was apparently rappelling down the fourth in a series of waterfalls when he slammed into the base of the third waterfall. Fire department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig said that the man was with a group hiking outside the established trail. The man was found semiconscious and was airlifted to a hospital.