Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Russian military vessel spotted off Hawaii, public schools nearing crisis as staff shortage rises, Rep. Har's drunk driving charge dropped, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii News Now
Kahuku High & Intermediate School PC:Hawaii News Now from social media

U.S. military tracking Russian military vessel near Hawaii. The vessel has been in waters just outside of the Hawaii’s exclusive economic zone while commanders have monitored movements since at least Friday. Star-Advertiser.

Public schools improvise as strain of COVID staffing shortages mounts. COVID staffing shortages are hitting public schools hard, forcing many campuses to improvise. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Fourteen lawmakers have formed a group to focus on legislation to help Hawaii’s working families.
During the upcoming legislative session, the Working Families Caucus will sponsor five bills. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii’s Legislature Will Take On Climate Change.
The Environmental Legislative Caucus plans to announce a package of climate change measures the first week of the 2022 session. Civil Beat.

Rep. Sharon Har gets drunk driving case dismissed on technicality. State Rep. Sharon Har was acquitted of drunken driving and the case against her was dismissed today after her attorney cited a Dec. 10 Hawaii Supreme Court decision asserting that criminal complaints are defective if they do not follow a procedural law requiring a signed affidavit or official declaration from the complaining party. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4.

House May Ask AG To Probe Alleged Criminal Conduct By State Auditor. The committee tasked by the Hawaii House of Representatives to examine two state audits is expected to make numerous recommendations next week to the Legislature based on its work over the past eight months. Civil Beat.

Ige mulls change to Safe Travels: To be deemed ‘fully vaccinated,’ booster shot would be needed. Gov. David Ige said Monday he is considering changes to the state’s Safe Travels program to take into account users’ booster status. Tribune-Herald. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Covid-19 Hospitalizations Rise As The Omicron Surge Continues. Hawaii health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated, and urging people who are vaccinated to get booster shots to avoid overwhelming hospitals. Civil Beat. KHON2.

250 traveling nurses headed to the islands, state sees surge in hospitalizations. Nearly 250 traveling nurses are expected to begin work in Hawaii's hospitals as early as next week. KITV4.

Queen’s West declares emergency amid bed shortage. The Queen’s Health Systems on Monday once again declared an “internal state of emergency” for its West Oahu hospital as the rate of admissions there outpaced the number of available beds amid Hawaii’s omicron surge. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Hawaii sees 3,875 new coronavirus cases, bringing statewide total to 147,099. The new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 2,761 new cases on Oahu, 348 on Hawaii Island, 564 on Maui, 134 on Kauai, 11 on Molokai, nine on Lanai and 48 Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

LIVE: Congressional hearing underway as Navy complies with order to drain Red Hill tanks.
The Navy will comply with the state’s emergency order to drain its Red Hill underground fuel storage tanks, a spokesperson confirmed to Hawaii News Now on Monday night. The news comes ahead of a congressional hearing on the issue Tuesday. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

HPD And DOE Sued For Allegedly Handcuffing 10-Year-Old Girl Over Drawing. The civil rights lawsuit was filed Friday and alleges that the girl suffered physical, emotional and physiological injuries in the wake of the incident. Civil Beat.

New laws called for as use of illegal fireworks continues. Battlefield conditions created by illegal fireworks that consume Honolulu every New Year’s Eve have become a nearly year-round affair, prompting lawmakers to call for more enforcement and new laws. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu renewable energy suffers setback. One renewable energy development firm recently terminated an agreement to produce electricity from a proposed 60-megawatt solar farm in Kunia, while the developer of a project twice as big in the same area is on the brink of possibly doing the same. Star-Advertiser.

First cruise ship to Hawaiʻi in 2 years arrives with positive COVID-19 cases in isolation.
Department of Transportation spokesperson Jai Cunningham said the cruise line has reported multiple positive COVID-19 cases — although declined to give numbers on passengers or staff. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Higa sentencing delayed: Defense attorney cites pandemic travel reluctance to postpone hearing. Former County Councilman and Na Leo TV CEO Stacy Higa is getting a reprieve from sentencing and possible incarceration for embezzling federal money and bribing a co-conspirator. West Hawaii Today.

Hydrologist: A wet December closed out 2021. After the first two months of the wet season — October and November — got off to a slow start, December “appears to have made up for lost ground,” according to Kevin Kodama, senior hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Dr. Pang discusses omicron: Stay home “if you’re not perfectly well”. Maui District Health Officer Dr. Lorrin Pang provided some guidance on the latest omicron surge as workplaces deal with shortages, and adjust to updated isolation and quarantine standards. Maui Now.

Maui police face a ‘staffing crisis’ of their own with alarming number of vacancies. There are currently 145 vacant positions within the Maui Police Department. Hawaii News Now.

Maui County rainfall alleviates drought after one of the wettest Decembers in half century. One of the wettest Decembers in the last half century quenched extreme drought in Maui County, which was suffering from the worst conditions in the state. Maui Now.

Kauai

County studies beach parking, considers visitor fees.
The county is looking to impose a $10 parking fee for visitors at certain county beach parks. Garden Island.

Local group to look at military impact on climate Jan. 12. The U.S. military is the largest greenhouse-gas emitter in the world, yet it is exempt from climate negotiations, according to Kaua‘i Climate Action Coalition. Garden Island.

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