Friday, November 19, 2021

Most Hawaii lower-grade students a year behind, woman indicted in church sex trafficking ring, USS Daniel Inouye reaches Pearl Harbor home port, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaii schoolchildren pre-COVID ©2021 All Hawaii News

Most Hawaii elementary and middle schoolers are at least one grade level behind, testing shows. An analysis of fall testing data indicates that three-quarters of Hawaii’s public school students in first through eighth grades were at least one or two grade levels behind in math after the first quarter of the 2021-22 school year while two-thirds were also behind in English language arts. Star-Advertiser.

Slight increase in Japanese visitors after eased restrictions, but obstacles remain. According to daily visitor counts from the state, 720 Japanese visitors traveled to the state in the week after restrictions were lifted — fewer visitors than the previous seven days. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate drops to 6.3% in October. Hawaii’s unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 6.3% last month compared to 6.6% in September, the state said Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

Native Hawaiian trailblazer Suzanne Vares-Lum named East-West Center president. The East-West Center Board of Governors announced today that it has selected Suzanne Vares-Lum to serve as the institution’s next president. Vares-Lum will be both the first Native Hawaiian and the first woman to hold the position. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

Hawaii records 7 new coronavirus-related deaths, 226 additional infections.
The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 116 new cases on Oahu, 57 on Hawaii Island, 22 on Maui, 21 on Kauai, and 10 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

USS Daniel Inouye reaches home port at Pearl Harbor.
The U.S. Navy’s newest warship, the USS Daniel Inouye, arrived Thursday at its home port at Pearl Harbor. The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer is named for the late Hawaii senator and war hero. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Oahu’s short-term rental rule decision likely to extend an additional 4 months.
Holiday scheduling delays at the Honolulu City Council mean owners of short-term rental properties will likely have to wait longer for a decision on new rules that would extend the minimum stay for guests from 30 days to 180 days. Star-Advertiser.

Up to 50% of a new hotel tax fund could go to the Honolulu rail — which has an estimated cost of $11.4B. A Honolulu City Council committee Wednesday agreed to allocate between one-third to one-half of revenues from a proposed visitor bed tax to the city’s rail transit project. Hawaii Public Radio.

Army Corps of Engineers, city try again on Ala Wai flood control — this time with more modest goals. Officials are now looking to protect the area from more frequent storms, not just a once in a century flood. Hawaii News Now.

State seeking to sell Waianae rental complex. Board members of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. unanimously approved a plan Thursday to sell the 72-unit project called Kulia I Ka Nuu with a land lease. Star-Advertiser.

Why It’s So Hard For Homeless People To Collect Seized Belongings On Oahu. Civil rights advocates say the storage warehouse is too hard to reach and homeless people should be allowed to keep possessions needed to survive. Civil Beat.

Man, 27, arrested for allegedly punching security guard, 71, over mask dispute. Honolulu police arrested a 27-year-old man after he allegedly punched a 71-year-old security guard who attempted to escort him out of a COVID-19 testing site area in Waikiki following a mask dispute. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Kapolei woman, 50, indicted in connection with alleged church sex trafficking operation. A superseding indictment unsealed in California today charged the founder and administrators of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, The Name Above Every Name (KOJC) with running a sex trafficking operation that threatened girls and women with “eternal damnation” if they did not have sex with the church’s leader, Apollo Carreon Quiboloy, who was referred to as “The Appointed Son of God,” according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

No Big Island hotel tax exemption. Big Island residents will not be exempt from a proposed extra 3% tax on hotel, timeshare and transient vacation rental charges, despite efforts from County Council members. Tribune-Herald.

Tour van burns on Mauna Kea; 9 escape after smelling smoke while driving. The driver and eight passengers of a tour van heading to the summit of Mauna Kea on Nov. 9 had to evacuate the vehicle after it caught fire and was eventually engulfed in flames. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Maui

New chief picks deputy from Las Vegas. Residency requirements to be waived; county to cover moving expenses for incoming chief. Incoming Maui Police Chief John Pelletier has chosen a fellow colleague of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to be his second in command. Maui News.

$3 million federal grant to help replace Kaupakalua Bridge. Structure was washed out in March, forcing residents to drive farther for services. Maui News.

2 nene geese on Maui killed by cars near Kahului Airport. State wildlife officials are urging motorists to slow down and drive with aloha after a bonded nene pair — a male and female — were struck and killed Tuesday near Kahului Airport on Maui. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. KHON2.

Partial Humpback Whale Birth Off Maui, Detailed in Scientific Publication. Underwater footage captured by author Deborah Patton’s GoPro on Feb. 3, 2020 reveal an in-process birth with two male escorts surrounding the mother in labor after approaching a whale watching boat operated by Captain Steve’s Rafting Adventures in Lahaina. Maui Now.

Kauai

Solid Waste Management Plan adoption delayed. The Kaua‘i County Council deferred the adoption of the 2021 Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan on Wednesday, citing the need for further discussion. Garden Island.

Kamalani Inclusive Playground construction begins. Construction on the county’s new Kamalani Inclusive Playground began this week, according to the county Department of Parks and Recreation. The playground is designed for keiki with developmental disabilities. Garden Island.

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