Thursday, April 21, 2022

Honolulu police reforms proposed, Kealoha doctor brother convicted on 38 counts of opioid distribution, school reverses lei ban, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Honolulu Ballot Proposals Would Reshape Police Oversight. The charter amendments need support from six of nine City Council members to be added to the November ballot. Civil Beat.

State Rep. Sharon Har skirts question about why she went out during COVID-19. State Rep. Sharon Har has yet to explain to a special House committee why she was out at night during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 while taking prescription medication for a respiratory ailment, drank alcohol and was subsequently arrested — and later acquitted — of drunken driving. Star-Advertiser.

Positive COVID-19 tests on the rise as Hawaii’s free testing program comes to an end
. On Wednesday, the state’s weekly average positivity rate rose to 7.1% — up from 4.9% the previous week and 4.0% the week prior to that, according to the state Department of Health.  Star-Advertiser.

Hawai‘i reports 17 new deaths, 1,736 Covid-19 infections in past week. There are 1,212 coronavirus cases on O‘ahu, 150 on the Big Island, 88 on Kaua‘i, three on Lana‘i, 206 on Maui, seven on Moloka‘i, and 70 diagnosed out of state. Hawaii News Now.

Oahu

Commission Recommends Prosecution In Falsified Campaign Donations Case. Developer Timothy Lee allegedly reimbursed his employees for thousands of dollars they gave to candidates in 2020. The executive of a company leading development in the Ala Moana area could be facing criminal penalties over allegations that he made illegal donations to Honolulu mayoral candidates in 2020. Civil Beat.

World champ big wave surfer Makua Rothman files papers to run for City Council. Rothman is making a bid for the seat held by Heidi Tsuneyoshi, who is now running for governor as a Republican. Hawaii News Now.

HFD says new $12M helicopter will make rescues safer. The Honolulu Fire Department is asking the City Council for funds to purchase a new helicopter. KHON2.

Wahiawa Nursing Home Will Close Its Doors In July. The staff of the Wahiawa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center will help about 60 residents find new homes, officials said. Civil Beat.

Leilehua High School reverses ban on lei giving at graduation ceremony. The school was under fire for banning lei, saying the decision was based on COVID restrictions. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Despite uptick in COVID cases, some parents say it’s time to move beyond masks in classrooms. Dozens of parents and children signs in front of the state office building in Wailuku on Wednesday morning. They want the state Department of Education to remove its mask mandate for public school classrooms. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawaii Island

Gas tax cut stalls at council. The final measure of a tax-trimming trifecta — a move to cut the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon — stalled Wednesday in the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Army study won’t recommend altering Hilo breakwater. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated a second study in 2021 to determine whether opening a breach in the breakwater would demonstrably improve the bay’s water quality. That study, however, determined that it would not. Tribune-Herald.

Katherine Kealoha’s Brother Convicted Of Running Prescription Drug Ring. Dr. Rudolph B. Puana, 50, of Waimea was found guilty in federal court Wednesday of 38 counts of distributing and dispensing oxycodone, one count of distributing or dispensing fentanyl “outside the course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose,” and conspiracy to distribute or dispense the drugs. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

As wastewater soils ocean, Māʻalaea injection wells fuel debate over who’s liable. Wastewater is leaking from archaic Māʻalaea condominiums injection wells, damaging ocean reef and other natural habitats.  Maui Now.

Maui Judge Tells Irrigation Company To Temporarily Restore Water. A Maui County judge on Tuesday told Launiupoko Irrigation Co. that it needs to restore running water to families in Kauaula Valley after the private water company cut it off before the Easter weekend without notice. Civil Beat.

Cleanup underway to remove 175 abandoned vehicles from remote Kanaio area of Maui. Approximately 175 abandoned derelict cars and trucks are being removed from a remote area of Kanaio on Maui over the next three weeks, according to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources. Maui Now. KITV4.

Maui parents, students rally against DOE mask rules. Saying that masks should be a choice, about 50 to 75 people rallied in Wailuku this morning against the state Department of Education’s indoor mask mandate. Maui Now.

Kauai

Most-polluted test site in April is Moloa‘a Stream. The Blue Water Task Force has released its April test results. Garden Island.

Protesters want to ‘let children breathe’.
An anticipated group of more than three dozen people was expected at a sign-waving rally decrying the required wearing of face masks by school students in an indoor setting Wednesday. Garden Island.

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