Friday, September 17, 2021

Hawaii to get fleet of MQ-9 Reaper drones, Honolulu Police officers investigated in hit-and-run, lifeguard shortage could close towers, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

(U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr.)
MQ-9 Reaper drone (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Dennis J. Henry Jr.)

 In a first, Air Force flies 2 big MQ-9 Reaper drones from mainland to Hawaii as part of new maritime emphasis. The Air Force flew two big MQ-9 Reaper drones for the first time from the continental United States to Hawaii to demonstrate the unmanned aircraft’s “untapped potential in a maritime environment” and to participate in Exercise ACE Reaper at Marine Corps Base Hawaii — which will eventually have six of the aircraft based there. Star-Advertiser.

Vaccination mandate for Hawaii public school students not planned, officials say.
The head of the Hawaii Department of Education said Thursday there have been no discussions yet with state health officials about a possible vaccination mandate for public school students age 12 and up. Star-Advertiser.

Despite some kinks in the system, state’s SMART Health Card reaches over 100K uploads. The state Office of Enterprise Technology Services said while a majority were able to successfully upload their information, 25% of people were not able to. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii jobless rate sinks to 17-month low of 7%. Hawaii’s unemployment rate dropped in August to a 17-month low of 7% — its seventh consecutive monthly decline — while job growth stalled due to a larger-than-typical summertime release of workers in the Department of Education. Star-Advertiser.

Workers In Hawaii Face New Job Losses — This Time Without A Safety Net. Hawaii still lags behind other states in how quickly the state processes initial unemployment payments. Civil Beat.

Report: Combining outbreak racial data could obscure disparities.
Breaking down the data showed that Pacific Islanders, who account for 5% of Hawaii’s population, represented 22% of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and had the highest incidence rate of 7,070 cases per 100,000, according to the report. Tribune-Herald.

2 COVID clusters at schools on Kauai, Maui led to roughly 70 infections. Hawaii State Health Department report highlights COVID clusters at 2 neighbor island schools. The report focuses on two clusters that took place at schools last month —one at an independent school on Kauai and the other at a public elementary school on Maui. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii COVID-19 hospitalization rates drops 25% since surge early September. The numbers are trending down but people in the healthcare industry say it's not time to relax. KITV4.

Hawaii records 8 new coronavirus-related deaths, 588 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 388 new cases on Oahu, 53 on Maui, 96 on Hawaii island, 38 on Kauai, four on Molokai and nine Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Criminal probe launched into 3 HPD officers suspected of causing, fleeing scene of near-fatal crash. Three Honolulu police officers are under criminal investigation ― suspected of causing and then fleeing the scene of a near-fatal crash early Sunday in West Oahu. Hawaii News Now.

Staffing shortage could force temporary closure of lifeguard towers on Oahu
. Honolulu Ocean Safety said it may have to temporarily shut down lifeguard towers due to a current staffing shortage. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Cruise ship to arrive at Honolulu Harbor on Sept. 18 to refuel. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship will arrive at Honolulu Harbor to refuel and get provisions on Saturday, Sept. 18. According to officials, the cruise ship will depart on Monday, Sept. 20. KHON2.

Honolulu Rental and Utility Relief Program reopens for new applications. The city program, which helps households struggling to pay their rent, utility, or both due to COVID-19, was put on a temporary pause Aug. 24 to process thousands of applications. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Micro-housing for kupuna ready to rise. A new high-rise in Downtown Honolulu is set for construction that turns a small parking lot into a tower filled with micro- sized rental apartments for seniors with low incomes. Star-Advertiser.

One Miske Defendant Gets Out On Bail, Another Ordered To Remain Behind Bars.
New developments this week in the complex criminal case against what’s alleged to be a large criminal enterprise operating in Honolulu. Civil Beat.

7 Halawa inmates transported to ER due to illness; COVID-19 not suspected
. The Department of Public Safety said seven Halawa Correctional Facility inmates were hospitalized this morning because they appeared to be suffering from an unknown medical condition. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Board of Education approves renaming Central Middle School in honor of Hawaiian princess.
The Central Middle School community is celebrating the state Board of Education’s approval today of a request to rename the historic downtown campus after Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani,  the Hawaiian alii who once owned the property. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Trial set for ex-cop accused of stealing cocaine from evidence locker. Brian Miller, a retired Hilo vice detective,  is scheduled to face trial for allegedly stealing cocaine from an evidence locker in the Hilo Police Station and intimidating a witness. Tribune-Herald.

Unpermitted gym gets more time to prove it's safe.
A gym that’s been operating without permits in an agricultural shed for almost two years got a reprieve Thursday on an after-the-fact permit after the Leeward Planning Commission asked for inspections. West Hawaii Today.


Public Encouraged to Participate in South Maui Virtual Community Design Workshop. The Maui County Planning Department will be gathering input virtually on areas that the community thinks should change and those that should stay the same in South Maui. The community input will guide the land use plan, policies and actions in the draft South Maui Community Plan update. Maui Now.

Applicants sought for Maui County Boards and Commissions.
The County of Maui is seeking applicants to fill multiple vacancies on county boards, commissions, councils and committees. Maui Now.


KIUC fields questions on Westside project. The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative and AES Corp., the entities behind the project, are encouraging questions regarding the renewable-energy and irrigation system slated for the Mana Plain. Garden Island.

Humane society at capacity again, hosting free adoptions. Less than three weeks after evacuating nearly 200 animals to Seattle, the Kaua‘i Humane Society is at capacity again. Garden Island.


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