Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Mauna Loa volcano alert level raised, illegal firearm seizures soar, Ige signs prostitution protection bill, Kealoha lawyer quits, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hiking Mauna Loa ©2019 All Hawaii News
Federal officials raised the alert level Tuesday for the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa on the Big Island, which last erupted in 1984. After Kilauea erupted last year, another Big Island volcano is experiencing 50 to 75 eruptions a week. Associated Press.

No cause for alarm despite Mauna Loa’s heightened alert level. Several months of small earthquakes and signs of magma movement underground at Mauna Loa prompted scientists Tuesday to raise the alert level by a notch for the massive volcano. Star-Advertiser.

HVO raises Mauna Loa alert level to “advisory”. Today’s increase in the Mauna Loa alert level — from “normal” to “advisory” — came just over one year after it was downgraded from advisory to normal in June 2018. Tribune-Herald.

Mauna Loa Volcano Alert Level Raised To YELLOW ADVISORY. The United States Geological Survey has raised the alert level for Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth. Big Island Video News.

Alert level increased to ‘advisory’ for Mauna Loa. Scientists have raised the alert level for Mauna Loa from normal to advisory. KHON2.


Seizures of illegal firearms soar in Hawaii, feds say. U.S. law enforcement authorities Tuesday voiced concern about the dramatic increase in illegal firearms seized in Hawaii and the growing use of devices that can convert ordinary handguns into machine gun-like weapons. Star-Advertiser.

Authorities raise alarm about illegal use of gun conversion device in Hawaii. Federal officials are trying to crack down on criminals in Hawaii using a device that turns a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic weapon. Hawaii News Now.

Local Police and federal agents work to stop the use of illegal guns in Hawaii. The Project Safe Neighborhood brings all levels of law enforcement together for one goal. KHON2.


Hawaii becomes first state with protections for those convicted of prostitution. Hawaii’s laws against sex trafficking victims eased slightly with the signing of SB1039 Tuesday. Hawaii News Now.

Ige Signs First-In-Nation Law On Clearing Prostitution Convictions. The bill removes a requirement that a person be a victim of sex trafficking to have a prostitution conviction erased. Associated Press.


Hawaii lawmakers, others urge passage of asset forfeiture bill. State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura of Puna said Tuesday civil asset forfeiture reform legislation she sponsored is in response to “innocent people whose property was seized because of legalized theft by the government.” Tribune-Herald.

Debates Over, But Gabbard’s Poll Numbers Still Dismal. Sens. Harris and Warren, meanwhile, see big gains while Biden’s popularity drops. Civil Beat.

HPD launches murder investigation into a deadly shooting of an OCCC inmate. The Honolulu Police Department is now conducting a murder investigation into the shooting death of an Oahu Community Correctional Center inmate in March. It’s the second murder investigation involving a shooting by a Department of Public Safety officer. Hawaii News Now.


Kealoha attorney withdraws, citing ‘irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship’. Katherine Kealoha’s court-appointed attorney today asked to be removed from defending Kealoha, citing “an irretrievable breakdown in the attorney-client relationship, which cannot be reconciled.” Star-Advertiser.

Attorney Cites Ethical Concerns In Motion To Drop Katherine Kealoha As Client. Cynthia Kagiwada says she no longer wants to represent the former city prosecutor, who was convicted and incarcerated last week but faces additional charges. Civil Beat.

Katherine Kealoha’s attorney cites ethical issue in request to withdraw as counsel.  Citing an “irretrievable breakdown” in their relationship, and a state rule of professional conduct, court-appointed defense attorney Cynthia Kagiwada is seeking to withdraw as Katherine Kealoha’s counsel. Hawaii News Now.

Katherine Kealoha’s attorney has filed to withdraw as her counsel. KHON2.

Louis Kealoha likely to find it hard to visit wife in prison. Convicted former Police Chief Louis Kealoha likely will find it difficult to visit his wife in federal prison, where former Deputy Prosecutor Katherine Kealoha is awaiting sentencing after the couple and two Honolulu Police Department officers were found guilty last week on corruption and obstruction charges. Star-Advertiser.

Prosecutor’s Safe House For Abuse Victims To Close As Questions Swirl. The City Council cut funding for the facility, a favored project of the Honolulu prosecutor, and now it faces allegations of civil rights abuses from residents. Civil Beat.


Honolulu Watches As California Cities Challenge Utility, Push Renewable Electricity. Both Hawaii and California share a goal of generating 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045, and the success of some California cities in meeting that goal ahead of schedule via CCA has generated some interest in Hawaii. Hawaii Public Radio.

Bulky item mountains line the streets, but city still calls appointment-based system a ‘success’. From a littered landscape in Liliha to piles of bulky trash in Kalihi, residents are crying foul over the city’s one-month-old appointment-based bulky pickup pilot from Foster Village to East Honolulu. Hawaii News Now.

Barriers added to protect King Kamehameha III’s Nuuanu summer palace. In Nuuanu, the state has made a few changes to protect King Kamehameha III summer palace after several acts of vandalism in recent years. KHON2.

No trespassing at Kamehameha summer palace. The Department of Land and Natural Resources is adding barriers around Kaniakapupu Ruins, also known as King Kamehameha's Summer Palace. The 175-years-old ruins have been trespassed and vandalized multiple times in recent years. KITV.

Safety upgrades planned for Manoa Falls Trail. For nearly two decades the Honolulu Fire Department has identified the upper portion of the Manoa Falls Trail as a hotbed for hiker injury. Star-Advertiser.

Group rallies to reopen well-known Haiku Stairs. It’s now or never, according to Friends of Haiku Stairs, a nonprofit that has been advocating for years to save the Stairway to Heaven. Star-Advertiser.

City seeks public comment regarding fate of Haiku Stairs. A decision over what to do with one of Hawaii's most well-known trails is just a few steps away. KITV.

Hawaii Island

UH-Hilo welcomes new chancellor. With drums, dance, laughs and lei, dozens gathered Tuesday morning at the University of Hawaii at Hilo for kipaepae ceremonies to celebrate the arrival of new Chancellor Bonnie Irwin and bid farewell to Interim Chancellor Marcia Sakai. Tribune-Herald.

Ceremony Honors Incoming, Outgoing UH-Hilo Chancellors. A traditional Native Hawaiian appointment ceremony was held for Chancellor Bonnie D. Irwin, whose first day on the job was July 1, 2019. Big Island Video News.

Sayres donate firetruck – gifting ceremony Saturday in Waimea. Over the years, the Daniel R. Sayre Foundation has donated ATVs, lifeguard PA systems, jaws of life, Billy Pugh nets and all kinds of other life-saving equipment. Now it’s donating a firetruck. West Hawaii Today.

Budget director: Maui County is able to pay bills. Crew worked over weekend; council budget reports still under review. Maui News.

Rapid Ohia Death Confirmed in Single Tree on Maui. Ceratocystis huliohia, the less aggressive strain of the fungal disease called Rapid Ohia Death was recently detected in a single tree on private property in East Maui, according to new information released today by the Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now.

Fungus responsible for killing ohia trees spreads to Maui in first confirmed case. Rapid Ohia Death fungus is spreading — and according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, it’s now on the Valley Isle. Hawaii News Now.


King tides bring new sand. The King tides are supposed to peak July 2 and 3, but the effects were already being felt days prior at the Salt Pond Beach Park. Garden Island.

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