Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hawaii braces for COVID surge, new fire chief for Honolulu, police chief for Maui, the Aussies are back, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Dec. 29, 2020
Lt. Gov. Josh Green administers coronavirus vacine Dec. 29, 2020 PC:Lt. Gov. Office

Hawaii COVID-19 cases are on the rise, local health experts urge vaccinations. With the omicron variant already circulating in Hawaii, another COVID-19 surge is expected, health officials warn, just as holiday gatherings get into full swing. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Health Department marks 1-year anniversary of first COVID-19 vaccine shot. The first COVID-19 vaccine in the state was administered to Dr. Lester Morehead at Queen’s Medical Center on this day a year ago, signifying a turning point in the state’s battle against the coronavirus. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now.

House Panel Wants Answers On Rail Audit Contracts.
As the House Investigative Committee examining two audits by the Hawaii Office of the Auditor nears the end of its work, it is seeking more information on several contracts related to the Honolulu rail project. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i Airports Set to Receive Nearly $50 Million to Improve Infrastructure, Safety. US Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced the new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Maui Now.

Hawaii Innocence Project Receives $570,000 Grant From DOJ.
The Hawaii Innocence Project at the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law has been awarded a substantial grant from the Department of Justice to fund DNA testing. Civil Beat.

Dentists Could Soon Find It Easier To Move To Hawaii Under Proposed Bill. Its sponsor says the state House measure would align Hawaii’s dental licensing law with those of 46 other states. Civil Beat.

Interim fix for USS Arizona Memorial dock pursued as $5.8 million contract for long-term replacement is awarded. The National Park Service is hoping the latest repair to a chronically-failing shoreside dock at the USS Arizona Memorial visitor center will take fewer than the 17 days it took for a fix in September. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiian Airlines welcomes back first Australian travelers. A nearly full plane flew into Honolulu from Sydney on Wednesday to start the recovery of service from Australia to Hawaii after the route was suspended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now.

Hawaii records 5 new coronavirus-related deaths, 282 additional infections. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 230 new cases on Oahu, five on Hawaii Island, 28 on Maui, 13 on Kauai, two on Molokai and four Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


Sheldon ‘Kalani’ Hao selected as new Honolulu Fire Department chief. Sheldon “Kalani” Hao, the Hono­lulu Fire Department’s acting deputy fire chief, has been selected to become the department’s new fire chief. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

City Finalizing Deal With Consultant To Help Select The Next Honolulu Police Chief. PSI Services LLC has been awarded a $145,777.50 contract to the relief of police commissioners who believed the process was taking too long. Civil Beat.

Defense bill directs military to offer alternatives to Red Hill. The latest iteration of Congress’ annual defense bill includes a provision that directs the military to conduct an assessment of alternatives to its Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, including consideration of locations outside of Hawaii. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Public hearing set for order requiring Navy to drain tanks at Red Hill. A public hearing is set for Monday, in which the Navy is expected to contest the Hawaii Department of Health’s emergency order instructing it to drain the fuel from its 20 underground Red Hill fuel tanks. Star-Advertiser.

Lawsuit Alleges Inmate Was Killed For ‘Being A Snitch’ In The Miske Case. Suit claims James Borling-Salas gave Honolulu police information about the alleged murder-for-hire of Jonathan Fraser. Civil Beat.

A New Program To Help Homeless People On Oahu Is Off To A Slow Start. The CORE program has hired 15 people since starting operations in mid-October and has had to scale back plans to rely mostly on community health workers. Civil Beat.

Hawaii Island

Richards to seek state Senate seat. Kohala Councilman Tim Richards is planning to forego a final term on the County Council to run for the District 4 Senate seat vacated when the state Reapportionment Commission redrew the boundary lines on the Big Island. West Hawaii Today.

$10M boost for Big Isle airports. Big Island airports will receive $10 million in federal funds for infrastructure improvements as part of a $246 million funding package for the state. Tribune-Herald.


New Maui Police Chief Officially On Board. New Maui Police Chief, John Pelletier was sworn in during a blessing and badge pinning ceremony held this morning at the Wailuku Police Station. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now.


Federal report details fatal 2019 Kauaʻi helicopter crash, unusual weather pattern. The National Transportation Safety Board released an investigation report Wednesday on a fatal Kauaʻi tour helicopter crash that killed seven people in 2019. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Kaua‘i County Council voice concerns for drug use in public spaces.
The Kaua‘i County Council, with support of county administration, has passed a resolution acknowledging the increase of opioid drugs, including fentanyl, on Kaua‘i, and encouraged heightened enforcement within drug-free zones. Garden Island.

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