Friday, September 2, 2022

Agreement nears to reopen Waipio Valley, $10M for sexual assault victim at McKinley High, Maui airport revamp improves wait times, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

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Tentative Agreement Reached To Restore Access To Waipio Valley, Plaintiffs Say. After community outcry and a lawsuit, a community group says a settlement has been reached in a dispute over the mayor’s emergency proclamation that shut down access. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald.

Many mailed ballots in Hawaii’s primary election weren’t tallied due to missed deadline. County election officials report that 3,125 ballots cast by mail in the Aug. 13 contest didn’t count because they weren’t received in time. Star-Advertiser.

Election Could Change DHHL’s Plans For Spending $600 Million On Hawaiian Housing. The next governor will likely pick new leadership for the department. And both Josh Green and Duke Aiona want to see more money put toward building homes than infrastructure. A huge influx of cash for the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands this year could lead to the development of more than 3,100 housing lots to help reduce an ever-growing waitlist of Hawaiian beneficiaries, now totaling more than 28,000 individuals. Civil Beat.

Department of Education appoints third deputy superintendent. A third new deputy state superintendent for Hawaii’s public school system was confirmed Thursday by the state Board of Education. And while critics have expressed concern that having three deputies instead of one will worsen school bureaucracy, board members say the new appointees will be key to improving the massive state Department of Education. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.

SHOPO leadership faces backlash over significant increase in stipends.
Facing a backlash over their raises, police union leaders have decided to let officers vote on their pay levels. This comes after police officers across Hawaii see a hike in union dues. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Health Department recommends new bivalent COVID-19 boosters. The updated boosters are reformulated to protect against both the original COVID strain and the most recent omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, the latter of which is dominant across the U.S. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Kauai Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Oahu

Judge orders state DOE to pay $10M to sex abuse survivor after 10-year legal battle. A judge has ordered the state to pay $10 million to a former McKinley High School student who was repeatedly sexually assaulted by more than half a dozen male students. It’s believed to be the largest amount awarded in Hawaii to a single sex assault survivor. Hawaii News Now.

Vandalism delays system launch of Oahu red-light cameras. Someone climbed a utility pole at the intersection of School and Kalihi streets in May and damaged equipment that had been installed for an engineering study that the state Department of Transportation said would be used in determining which 10 intersections would get red-light cameras. Star-Advertiser.

Some restaurants seeking exemptions to food ware ordinance. No more extensions, city officials said the food ware ordinance banning disposable foam and plastic take-out containers goes into effect next week. KHON2.

Oʻahu dumps coal, rebounds with oil, longs for solar. AES Hawaiʻi’s coal-fired power plant in Kapolei ceased operations Thursday, marking the end of Oʻahu's 30-year relationship with coal. Hawaii Public Radio.

How many people took advantage of free rides on TheBus? TheBus on Oʻahu made rides free for a whole week in August. So how did we do? The numbers are in and the city says ridership was better than expected. Hawaii Public Radio.

Oxygen Tanks May Have Caused Honolulu Ambulance Fire To Spread Faster, Experts Say. No official cause has been given as multiple agencies continue to investigate last week’s blaze outside Adventist Health Castle hospital. Civil Beat. KHON2.

Contaminants found in water samples at Oʻahu prison. The state Department of Health has detected low levels of two contaminants in water samples at the Waiawa Correctional Facility on Oʻahu. Water samples were collected throughout the facility, but the contaminants were only found at the entrance gate guard shack. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

On the hunt: Police commission begins process of selecting next chief. The department announced Thursday that Deputy Police Chief Kenneth Bugado began serving as acting police chief on Wednesday upon the retirement of Paul Ferreira, who joined the department in 1982 and took its helm in December 2016. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. KITV4.

Battle of TROs involving prosecutor heads to mediation. County Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen wouldn’t comment Thursday about whether a deputy prosecutor who has an ongoing court battle with a neighbor has been placed on leave or is the subject of an internal investigation. Tribune-Herald.

U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Tours Kealakekua Bay. The tour of West Hawaiʻi's hard-hit coral ecosystem was a part of the 45th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force meeting in Kona. Big Island Video News. Kauai Now.

Maui

Outside Investigator Sought To Probe Maui’s Monster House Permits. The Office of Council Services is requesting proposals to conduct a formal legislative investigation of the county Planning and Public Works departments. Civil Beat.

Federal, state agencies take steps to expedite lines at busy Kahului Airport. Outbound passengers during the peak departure window Thursday at Kahului Airport appeared to move more smoothly through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints after a series of changes to screening procedures that include the opening of additional lanes and installation of advanced screening technology. Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

County Officials Fear Kids Won’t Have A Safe Way To Get To New Kihei High School. With four months until the new high school in Kihei is expected to open, Maui County Council members are growing increasingly frustrated that the Department of Education still won’t tell them how students will safely cross a busy four-lane highway to get to the new campus. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Kauai

Mayor moving away from COVID updates. With the pandemic shifting to the background of public consciousness, the Mayor announced Thursday that he would be moving away from the updates. Garden Island. Kauai Now.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay project site becomes legal battleground. When the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is complete, it will be a luxury resort that caters to the upper crust of the upper crust — with typical rooms priced at between $1,500 and $2,000 a night and premium lodging going for more than $20,000. Garden Island.

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