County / In Brief

Health officials monitor flu cases

While no cases of a novel avian influenza A virus have been reported in Hawaii or the United States, the state Department of Health said that it is monitoring the situation closely because 16 cases of the virus in humans have been found in China.

“While it is not yet known how people have become infected with influenza A (H7N9), the public is always advised to follow proper hygiene including washing hands, covering coughs and staying home when ill,” said Dr. Sarah Park, state epidemiologist, in a news release Saturday. “Additionally, people who become ill after travel to China are asked to notify their physician or health care provider.”

Strains of the virus are normally found among birds and occasionally have been found to infect humans. No human infections of the specific H7N9 strain have been recorded until the recent reports from China.

At this time, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission, the news release said.


Kihei skate park to close for work

The Kalama Skate Park in Kihei will be closed for repairs from Tuesday through Friday.

The repair work is needed to fix some damage near the landing area of the ramp, said a news release from the county Saturday.


BHS group takes regionals victory

Baldwin High School was a member of a three-team alliance that took first place in the FIRST Hawaii Regionals robotics competition Saturday at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa on Oahu.

The victory means that the Bears qualify for the FIRST national competition to be held in St. Louis later this month.

The Bears finished 11th in the qualifying matches and were selected by Leilehua High School to be part of the alliance.

Kalani High School was the other member of their alliance, said Gary Suter, career, technical and education teacher at Baldwin.

The Bears’ alliance defeated an alliance led by perennial state champion Waialua High School, winning the best of three in two straight matches. The other members of Waialua’s alliance were Punahou School and Sacred Hearts Academy.

An alliance that included Maui High School made it to the semifinals but lost to the Waialua alliance. After each alliance captured one match, the Waialua alliance defeated the Maui High alliance, 92-90, to make the finals. Maui High finished ranked fifth in the qualifying rounds, going 8-4.


Woman rescued after ankle injury

A hiker with an ankle injury was airlifted off Waihee Ridge Trail to safety Saturday, according to the Maui Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a 2:48 p.m. call of a woman who was unable to walk due to an ankle injury sustained while hiking with a group of friends, said Capt. Paul Haake, fire department spokesman.

Rescue workers found the woman on the trail about a mile above the trailhead, he said. Air One was deployed and the woman was transported to paramedics at a landing zone near the trailhead. She was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center for treatment.

The 64-year-old woman, a Canadian and part-time Kihei resident, said she was hiking with friends when she slipped, Haake said.