Friday, January 15, 2016

State sells public hospitals, rescuers search for 12 Marines downed in Oahu helicopter collision, court records sealed in Big Island DLNR probe, Maui mulls new governance model, Kauai police officer arrested on embezzlement charges, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

courtesy office of the governor
Gov. Ige, hospital officials sign transfer agreement, courtesy Governor's Office
Gov. David Ige has signed an agreement transferring operation of three financially struggling Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente in the first privatization of Hawaii public hospitals ever. Star-Advertiser.

Gov. David Y. Ige, the Maui Regional Board and the corporate board of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation on Thursday signed an agreement that transfers operation and management of several Maui area health care facilities from the state to Kaiser Permanente. Civil Beat.

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii on Thursday signed an agreement to take control of the state-owned hospitals on Maui and Lanai in what will become the first private acquisition of a Hawaii state hospital in history, and pledged to spend a minimum of $20 million on upgrades over the next five years. Pacific Business News.

Governor David Ige today signed a transfer agreement for the operations and management of the Maui Region Hospitals that effectively transfers responsibility from the state to Kaiser Permanente. Maui Now.

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In the first six months of this fiscal year, to the end of December, Hawaii’s general tax fund jumped 9.5 percent from the same period last year, thanks mostly to increased general excise use and tax collections. Pacific Business News.

It’s time once again for another session of the Hawaii Legislature, and you know what that means: Lawmakers will ask for political contributions so they can run for re-election. Civil Beat.

It's a new year with an old problem involving volunteer boards and commissions in Hawaii. KITV4.

How To Save Lives Without Scaring Tourists Away. Ocean safety experts, tourism officials, lawmakers and families who have lost loved ones have definite ideas about keeping visitors safe in Hawaii. Civil Beat.

Oahu

The U.S. Coast Guard and Honolulu Fire Department are searching this morning for survivors after two Marine helicopters, with a total of 12 people on board, collided off Oahu’s North Shore late Thursday night. Star-Advertiser.

Rescue crews are searching for 12 passengers on board two U.S. Marine Corps helicopters that crashed off Oahu’s North Shore late Thursday night. Hawaii News Now.

Two U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E helicopters are missing off the North Shore of Oahu late Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. USCG is searching for survivors, Marine Maj. Christine Devine said Friday. KHON2.

Plans to build a $50 million center on the University of Hawaii-Manoa campus to honor the late U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye have been shelved indefinitely, in part because the school’s growing $503 million repair and maintenance backlog is hampering the university’s ability to secure public funds for new projects. Star-Advertiser.

Today the Honolulu City Council Committee on Zoning and Planning extended a bill providing extra enforcement on illegal bed and breakfasts. KITV4.

About 100 businesses located along the rail construction route participate in the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation's Shop and Dine on the Line program, designed to help make up for business lost because of rail construction. And many say the program just isn't working. Hawaii News Now.

A Hawaii law center is suing the Centers for Disease Control to release a safety report critical of a University of Hawaii biolab. Civil Beat.

Businesses with strong financials are being listed for sale across the nation and Honolulu businesses are ahead of the pack, according to data from BizBuySell. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii

A state judge at the request of county prosecutors Thursday sealed documents in the high-profile case involving a Department of Land and Natural Resources officer who has been charged with sexually assaulting a minor while on the job. Star-Advertiser.

Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, an educational and cultural gem in Captain Cook, will close its doors to the public at the end of the month. West Hawaii Today.

A California investment group has purchased the Big Island Country Club for an undisclosed amount. West Hawaii Today.

Last spring, the nonprofit Hope Services Hawaii launched a pilot program to help recently released prisoners by partnering them with volunteer mentors. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

The Maui Mall has been sold to an affiliate of a global real estate giant for $91.1 million, and the company plans to spend a few more million dollars to expand Whole Foods, according to disclosure documents filed last month. Maui News.

Mayor Alan Arakawa and Mark Hyde of South Maui Citizens for Responsible Growth will be presenting their views on a possible change in the system of county governance at the Kihei Community Association meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Maui News.

A development of 112 multifamily, condominium and vacation rental units and 46 single-family lots and cottages as well as nearly 35,000 square feet in commercial space is proposed for 47 acres in the Makena Resort. Maui News.

Kauai

It’s been a year of cat and mouse games for the planning department, according to Michael Dahilig, county planning director. That’s because they’ve been cracking down on illegal single-family transient vacation rentals outside of the Visitor Destination Area. Garden Island.

A Kauai police lieutenant, who was once nominated for Hawaii officer of the year, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday for alleged embezzlement of government funds and money laundering. Civil Beat.

A former Kauai Police Department lieutenant was charged and arrested by the FBI Thursday for allegedly embezzling $75,000 in county funds. Garden Island.

The FBI has arrested a Kauai Police Department lieutenant for allegedly stealing $75,000 in federal grant money meant for undercover drug buys. Lt. Karen Kapua, who was once named KPD's Officer of the Year, was a 16-year veteran of the KPD. She was indicted on federal theft and money laundering charges. Hawaii News Now.