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State briefs for March 16

Golfers suggest raising prices to keep course open

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Golf enthusiasts on Maui are pitching ideas ranging from higher prices to night golf in an attempt to keep Maui County’s mayor from shutting down an 87-year-old municipal golf course.

In his State of the County address, Mayor Alan Arakawa said he can’t afford to keep Waiehu Golf Course open. Officials say the Maui County Council has been flooded with calls from people fighting to keep the course open since Arakawa’s speech.

The mayor’s office said it, too, has been inundated with calls. Some suggestions, including bringing in TopGolf, a popular mainland golfing company, offering night golf or Frisbee golf, and transitioning it into a community-operated course.

Arakawa said he’s open to ideas that can keep the course open.

Lawmaker ousted from panel chair

HONOLULU (AP) — The state House of Representatives voted to remove a lawmaker from his position as chairman of a committee that has taken up controversial issues such as pesticide regulation, illegal vacation rentals and payday lending.

The House leadership offered few details about their decision to remove Rep. Angus McKelvey as chairman of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee. The decision was made Monday with a 38-9 vote, with four abstentions.

McKelvey was not present for the vote and he did not return a call seeking comment.

The Democratic representative served as the committee’s chairman since 2013. He now will lead the Higher Education Committee, while Rep. Roy Takumi takes over as chairman of the Consumer Protection panel. Rep. Justin Woodson will be chairman of the Education Committee, which was led by Takumi.

House Speaker Joe Souki said removing McKelvey from his post was a matter of reassigning committee chairs.

Pilot from Hawaii dies after crash

BROOKSTON, Ind. (AP) — A helicopter pilot from Hawaii who was helping install power lines on new towers died after his aircraft crashed in rural northern Indiana.

Indiana State Police say it isn’t clear what caused Tuesday afternoon’s crash near Brookston, a community located about 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

Workers on the ground attempted to resuscitate the pilot, but he was pronounced dead at the scene by the county coroner.

State police identified the pilot Wednesday as 53-year-old Howard Y. Esterbrook of Kapolei, Oahu, and said his relatives were notified.

 

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