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State roundup for December 31

Circuit Court judge appointed

HONOLULU (AP) — Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed a new judge to the Hawaii First 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. Prior to becoming a judge, Ochiai was vice president and managing attorney for the First Insurance Company of Hawaii, Ltd. His resume also includes work as a prosecutor and private practice attorney.

His new appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.

State parks to shut down early

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — 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 says the early closures are to protect the public and natural resources in those areas.

Normal park hours are to resume on Tuesday.

Mayor-elect makes his picks

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell is filling out his administration as he prepares to take office in the New Year.

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. Senator 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 on January 2.


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