State briefs for March 27

Humane Society boss quits after euthanasia protests

HONOLULU — The director of the Hawaiian Humane Society stepped down amid criticism of her leadership and handling of the organization’s euthanasia policies.

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President and CEO Lisa Fowler relinquished her post immediately for “personal reasons” after leading the animal protection agency on Oahu since late 2017, the Humane Society said in a statement Monday. She will stay on the payroll until April 30 to help the transition to new leadership.

Activists who protested outside the society’s Honolulu headquarters in February singled out Fowler while claiming the society kills animals that are healthy or suffering from easily treatable conditions, violates standard safety procedures and labor practices and created a hostile work environment.

Hawaiian Humane Society Board Chairman Bob Armstrong will take over for Fowler as interim CEO. Armstrong said in a letter to supporters that a national search will be conducted for Fowler’s replacement.

“Several board members will also be stepping in to offer support and guidance in key areas of our operations during the transition period,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said in a statement that the nonprofit launched a third-party investigation to ensure its euthanasia policies follow best practices.

“No evidence of wrongdoing has been identified despite recent criticism leveled at the organization,” Armstrong said.

Family says linebacker at Dixie State died from low sodium

HONOLULU — Family members say a Dixie State University linebacker’s death was linked to hyponatremia, a condition of abnormally low sodium levels.

Abraham Reinhardt’s mother Malani told them her 23-year-old son’s sodium levels suddenly dropped before he died Friday.

She says it is unclear what caused her son’s sodium levels to plummet.

Dixie State athletic department spokesman Steve Johnson says Reinhardt, a native of Wailuku, Hawaii, left practice on March 19 after suffering a minor leg injury. He was treated with ice and stayed on the sidelines, Johnson says.

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Reinhardt went to the hospital that night. His family said he suffered muscle pain and spasms, which turned into seizures causing brain swelling.

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night on the Dixie State campus in St. George, Utah.

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