Search for hiker is extended
HILO » Searchers from a number of agencies will continue today to try to find Brian Murphy, 67, of Plymouth, Mich., missing since Wednesday on the upper slopes of Mauna Kea, said Hawaii County Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira.
Oliveira said he spoke by telephone to Murphy's daughter in Michigan, who informed him her father is an "Olympic-caliber decathlete" and is "very familiar with survival in snow."
Today will be the sixth day of efforts to find Murphy. Searchers are normally conducted for only three days, but they are often extended.
Melting snow, which might have covered Murphy or traces of him, was one factor in extending the search, Oliveira said.
Another factor was the possibility that Murphy could have moved across the face of the mountain, rather than climbing higher. He might have taken shelter in dense vegetation, which reaches up to 10,000 feet in some areas on the mountain, Oliveira said.
Murphy was last seen at a visitors station at the 9,000-foot elevation on Wednesday and planned to hike up the Mauna Kea-Humuula Trail to Lake Waiau at 13,020 feet, a distance of four miles.
The search was conducted yesterday by 25 people from 13,400 feet down to 7,000 feet, a Fire Department statement said.
On the two preceding days, 52 people participated, including up to 11 FBI personnel apparently volunteering their time at the request of Murphy's son-in-law, an FBI agent, Oliveira said.
Besides covering six square miles on the ground, helicopter searches covered 35 square miles, the department statement said.
TB test results are expected
Test results are expected tomorrow for 118 students and staff at Roosevelt High School who were checked for tuberculosis yesterday, according to the state Department of Health.
The Health Department administered the tests after a student was diagnosed with the disease in October. Turnout was shy of the 160 people who were asked to be tested because they might have been in close contact with the sick student. Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo said officials would track down those who did not show up.
Nurse education receives funds
Gov. Linda Lingle released $6.8 million for the design and construction of portable classrooms, nursing labs and offices for nursing programs at four community colleges.
The money was released at the end of October, said John Morton, the University of Hawaii vice president for community colleges. The Legislature appropriated the money during the last session.
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