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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               September 3, 2005



            The four Honolulu paramedics who were stranded in New Orleans have reached a suburb of Houston, Texas and are expected to try to fly home this weekend.

“They drove today from Baton Rouge to a suburb of Houston, where they’re staying with a family friend,” said Dr. Libby Char, director of the City Department of Emergency Services. “Because Houston’s so congested and chaotic (with displaced New Orleans residents and relief efforts), they will probably go to Dallas tomorrow and try to get a flight home from there.”

 The four – Melinda Shiraki, Jill Takayama, Rochel Ortiz, and Doreen Kitagawa – were stranded in New Orleans for a week by Hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed it.

They spent the first few days in their hotel, then moved to a police command post and another shelter Thursday, treating injured and ill people at each spot. New Orleans authorities finally helped them out of the city on Friday.

  Meanwhile, the City has launched Operation Katrina Kokua, a drive to collect donations for the American Red Cross for victims of the hurricane. A booth to collect donations will be set up Monday on Queen’s Beach in Waikiki, where the City’s first Parade of Baseball Champions will end with an evening ceremony honoring Little League and other World Series champions from Oahu.


ASSIGNMENT EDITORS NOTE:   If the four approve, we will advise you when we learn their scheduled Honolulu arrival date and time.



Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

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