Top Maui Headlines with Kiaora Bohlool
Here are some of the important headlines and stories you need to know around Maui, in this brief newscast with Maui Now’s Kiaora Bohlool.
Four men have drowned in South Maui waters this week, the most recent incident happened on Wednesday morning when a 57-year-old male from Texas was scuba diving alone at Oneuli Beach in Mākena. Free divers were on their way to the beach when they saw the victim lying motionless on the sea floor. He died on the scene. On Monday, a 66-year-old male from Canada died after scuba diving while assisting a family member exit the beach with their scuba gear at Ulua Beach in Wailea. And on Thursday Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 20, two men ages 50 and 67, both from California, died after being pulled unresponsive from Kamaʻole Beach Park III.
A warrant was issued (AND THEN REVOKED) for the arrest of Maui resident and UH Maui College Hawaiian studies professor Kaleikoa Kaʻeo after he refused to speak English in court on Wednesday. Kaʻeo requested his trial be done in Hawaiian and Judge Blaine Kobayashi denied his request. Kaʻeo was arrested during the Kākoʻo Haleakalā demonstration held against construction of the Daniel K Inouye Solar Telescope on Maui in August of last year. He is charged with three petty misdemeanor counts for his arrest. The court ordered that the bench warrant be issued in the amount of $250 per count. Our Wendy Osher was there for all the courtroom controversy and spoke with Kaʻeo in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
An arrest has been made in the hit-and-run pedestrian fatality that took place at the Kīhei McDonald’s parking lot early Tuesday morning. The collision occurred as a black 2013 Honda Civic four-door sedan traveling north on South Kīhei Road, made a left turn into the McDonald’s parking lot, collided into the curb at the entrance then struck a pedestrian. A 25-year-old Kīhei man turned himself in Tuesday evening saying he was the operator of the vehicle. The man was arrested and released pending further investigation. The male victim has since been identified as 57-year-old Robert Mercier, who did not have a local address.
A boy suffered life-threatening injuries when he was broadsided by a vehicle while skateboarding down a residential driveway in Wailuku on Wednesday afternoon. The collision occurred as the juvenile male was riding a skateboard down the driveway and was broadsided by a white 2016 Nissan Leaf. Police say the vehicle was operated by a 44-year-old Wailuku woman. The juvenile male was transported to the Maui Memorial Medical Center Emergency Room where his injuries were diagnosed as life-threatening.