Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Health Department whistleblower forced out, Honolulu mayor extends stay-at-home order, Hilo jail inmates riot, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

from KITV4 video
Health Department investigator Jennifer Smith PC:KITV4 video
Whistleblower at Department of Health says she was placed on leave. Whistleblower at the Department of Health and case investigator Jennifer Smith says that she was placed on leave. KITV4.

Hawaii Dept Of Health Whistleblower Forced Out As Shakeup Continues. After revealing flaws in the state’s contact tracing program, Jennifer Smith, a state DOH case investigator, was put on leave on Friday. Civil Beat.

DOH whistleblower placed on leave for firearm allegations. Another shakeup at the Department of Health, as KHON2 has learned Tuesday that the DOH whistleblower who brought to light the state’s contact tracing program was understaffed, is now on leave. KHON2.

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Failure To Communicate: How The State Lost The Public's Trust And How It Can Get it Back. The departures of top leaders from the state Department of Health follow disclosures of major shortcomings in the state’s response to COVID-19. These events have diminished public confidence in what officials say. However, trust is crucial in maintaining the public’s health. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kokua Council Wants Court To Order DOH To Hire Contact Tracers. A community organization has petitioned the Hawaii Supreme Court to order the state health department to hire more contact tracers. Civil Beat.

Elizabeth “Libby” Char named interim director of the Hawaii Department of Health. Elizabeth “Libby” Char appointed by Gov. David Ige to serve as interim director of the Hawaii Department of Health, effective Sept.16. Pacific Business News.

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Hawaii Gov. David Ige unveils $100M program to help renters affected by pandemic. Hawaii renters who are at risk of eviction due to the coronavirus pandemic may be eligible for financial help under a new $100 million rent relief and housing assistance program announced Tuesday. Star-Advertiser.

State Makes Rental Assistance Available For Hard Hit Residents. Payments will go directly to landlords, not tenants. Civil Beat.

State launches $100 million housing assistance program. The state is launching a $100 million program designed help Hawaii residents pay for and stay in their current housing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that’s put thousands out of work. West Hawaii Today.

Governor Announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program. The new program will provide federal assistance for Hawai‘i renters at risk of eviction for non-payment of rent because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the State says. Big Island Video News.

Ige announces $100 million in rental assistance. The state’s moratorium on evictions is valid through the end of the month, but any missed payments during this pandemic are still owed to landlords. Garden Island.

Gov. Ige Announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program. Governor David Ige announced the launch of a new program that will provide federal assistance for Hawai‘i renters at risk of eviction for non-payment of rent because of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui Now.

State to provide qualified residents rent money. The state announced on Sept. 8 it will provide $100 million to renters and eventually homeowners. KHON2.

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‘Special master’ to oversee Hawaii’s Department of Public Safety. The embattled state Department of Public Safety went under a new level of oversight and scrutiny in the era of COVID-19 on Tuesday after Gov. David Ige announced that he has appointed the chairman of the state Hawaii Paroling Authority as Ige’s “special master” over DPS. Star-Advertiser.

Ige selects Department of Public Safety insider to assess DPS in wake of COVID-19 outbreak. In the wake of an outbreak of COVID-19 in the state’s largest jail, the governor has appointed the chairman of the Hawaii Paroling Authority as a special master to assist in overseeing the state Department of Public Safety. West Hawaii Today.

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Senate Committee Requests Pre-Testing Pilot Program for Interisland Travel. A Hawai‘i Senate Committee is calling for a program that would require coronavirus testing for those wishing to travel between the Hawaiian Islands. Big Island Now.

Senate Special Committee Calls for Pre-Testing Pilot Program for Travel Between Neighbor Island Counties. Members of the Hawai‘i State Senate Special Committee on COVID-19 sent a letter to Governor David Ige calling for neighbor island counties to serve as Pilot Program testing sites for exclusive travel between neighbor island counties. Maui Now.

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Hawaii surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 cases. The state Department of Health on Tuesday reported 66 new cases of the novel coronavirus bringing Hawaii’s total case to 10,025 cases since Feb. 28. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii COVID-19 Updates For Tuesday, Sept. 8th: 66 New Cases Lift State Over 10,000 Total. Big Island Video News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 8: 66 New Cases And 2 Deaths. It was one of the lowest daily counts seen in more than a month. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell extends stay-at-home, work-from-home order. Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order to curb a surge in new daily coronavirus cases will continue for at least the next two weeks, with changes to allow for limited outdoor activities. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu Parks, Beaches To Reopen – But Only For Solo Activity. Parents are not allowed to bring their kids to the beach, the mayor said. Civil Beat.

Mayor extends stay-at-home order, but reopens parks and beaches for solo activities. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell is extending Oahu’s stay-at-home order for two more weeks ― through Sept. 23 ― but will reopen parks and beaches for individual activities. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu Mayor extends stay-at-home order for 2 more weeks. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced an extension to the stay-at-home order which will now end on Sept. 23. KHON2.

Rules for going solo on Oahu outdoor pursuits raise safety concerns. In the mayor’s latest order, city parks and trails will reopen for limited uses such as walking, running and biking, but only by oneself. Group activities will not be allowed. Star-Advertiser.

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2 more city bus operators test positive; last routes driven released. One of the operators last worked on Friday, Aug. 28 and did not have any COVID-19 symptoms while on the job. Hawaii News Now.

Kalihi Has The Worst COVID-19 Outbreak In Hawaii. Here’s How The Community Is Responding. Nonprofits are pivoting to help residents in a community facing the worst outbreak of COVID-19 of any zip code in the state, along with high rates of unemployment. Civil Beat.

Community divide over an affordable housing project planned for Kailua deepens. An affordable rental housing project in a Kailua neighborhood continues its uphill battle, despite strong opposition. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu private schools differ on when to bring back students. ‘Iolani School plans to bring all students back to campus Sept. 21 with extensive safety precautions against COVID-19, but some other big private schools remain wary of in-person classes. Star-Advertiser.

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EPA orders Waianae company to stop selling pesticides claiming to kill coronavirus. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Waianae-based company to stop distributing and selling two pesticides known as “InstaPURE” and “EverPURE” because they are not registered and make misleading claims. Star-Advertiser.

EPA orders Waianae company to stop using unapproved COVID-fighting chemicals. The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering a Waianae-based company to stop using two chemicals it allegedly markets as coronavirus killers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Officials: Inmates barricade themselves, set fire and riot at HCCC. The Hawaii Police Department, Hawaii Fire Department and state Sheriff’s Division responded late Tuesday afternoon to what police described as a “riot” at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Inmates riot and set fire to housing unit at Hilo jail. Several inmates were injured Tuesday during a riot and fire at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Star-Advertiser.

Affray at HCCC Contained After Inmates Start Fire. Authorities have contained an incident at Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center where inmates started a fire and barricaded doors on one of the units Tuesday afternoon. Big Island Now.

Photos Show Inmates Rounded Up After HCCC Riot. The situation at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center was contained Tuesday evening, after a riot broke out at the facility. Big Island Video News.

Disturbance at Hilo’s correctional center contained after fire, barricades. A Department of Public Safety spokesperson said the incident began around 3:45 p.m. and was contained by 5:30 p.m. Hawaii News Now.

‘Public safety has things that need to be corrected,’ a lawmaker says as a riot occurs at HCCC. A jail riot at Hawaii Community Correctional Center is causing concern among some state leaders. KHON2.

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Team from the state to review COVID response at veterans home in Hilo. A state team will be assembled today to conduct a review of the COVID-19 outbreak response at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, and the virus was reported in two more Big Island long-term care facilities. Tribune-Herald.

Army to seek lease extension of state-owned land. The U.S. Army is seeking input for an upcoming environmental impact statement to retain its lease of nearly 23,000 acres at Pohakuloa Training Area. West Hawaii Today.

Kealakekua man fined $5,500 for fish poaching. A Kealakekua resident was sentenced Tuesday to pay $5,500 in fines stemming from the illegal collection of 550 aquarium fish earlier this year from waters off South Kohala. West Hawaii Today.

Maui

Roselani Place COVID-19 Cases Rise to 47 Total Since Aug. 15. The number of COVID-19 positive cases at the Roselani Place assisted living community is now 47–including 28 staff and 19 residents. Maui Now.

New owners bring life back to local brewery. About $1M infused into Kohola Brewery to restart company shuttered by pandemic. Maui News.

Maui Cattle Company Offers COVID-Friendly Drive-Up Sale on Friday. Maui Cattle Company, a local business founded in 2002, hosts a third drive-up sale from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 at their facility located at 106 South Kāne Street (between Kahului Foodland and Sysco) in Kahului. Maui Now.

Kauai

Aloha for Kaua‘i campaign to assist small business extended. The Aloha for Kaua‘i campaign, conducted in partnership with the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau, the county’s Office of Economic Development, the Kupa‘a Kaua‘i program and Jaxon Communications, has received notice that the program has been extended through the end of the year. Garden Island.

Decision on proposed Hanalei brewery deferred. The proposal for a new brewpub in Hanalei was before the Planning Commission Tuesday, but because of an influx of new public testimony, all action was deferred to next month. Garden Island.

Multiple agencies contain airport fire. Firefighters contained a 100-acre brushfire that broke out near the makai side of Lihu‘e Airport on Monday afternoon. Garden Island.

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