Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Two more plead guilty in legislative bribery scandal, special session mulled after Supreme Court felony ruling, police officers charged in rapes, more news fro all the Hawaiian Island

Businessman pleads guilty in huge bribery scandal that led to convictions of 3 public officials. A former Maui County official and the wealthy Honolulu businessman who bribed him both pleaded guilty to felony charges in Hawaii federal court Monday in connection with a six-year bribery scheme that steered more than $19 million in contracts to one company in exchange for $2 million in cash, trips, casino chips and other compensation. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat.  Associated Press. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Lawmakers eye special session to tackle ruling that’s put hundreds of felony cases at risk.
High-profile criminal cases over the weekend had prosecutors on Hawaii Island scrambling in an effort to keep the suspects in custody. That’s because a recent state Supreme Court ruling requires grand jury indictments for felony crimes. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige extends SNAP emergency proclamation once again. Gov. David Ige has signed a fourth emergency proclamation allowing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program emergency allotment benefits to continue in the state in line with the federal COVID emergency. Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. KHON2.

A New Sense Of Urgency Is Driving Nonprofits To Grow More Local Food In Hawaii. Some of Hawaii’s busiest food banks are turning to growing their own food rather than waiting for donations as the number of people showing up for help rises. Civil Beat.

Oahu

Honolulu Elections: The Race Is On To Represent Downtown. In the Honolulu City Council race to represent downtown Honolulu and its surrounding neighborhoods, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam is promising new leadership while Traci Noguchi is pledging to continue the work she’s already doing as an aide to incumbent Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office Seeks Special Session to Reverse High Court’s Grand Jury Decision. The Honolulu prosecutor’s office says the Supreme Court ruling could result in 168 convicted felons being released unless indicted by a grand jury. Civil Beat.

HPD Chief Expects to Issue First Concealed Carry Gun Permits in October. HPD is slated to hold final its public hearing Oct. 4 before issuing new rules governing firearm permits and licenses. Civil Beat.

Judge Denies Kealoha Attempt To Sideline Federal Prosecutor. Prosecutors said Kealoha’s attempt to remove Michael Wheat from her case had no merit. The judge agreed. Civil Beat.

Retired Honolulu police sergeant charged with sexual assault of teen.
A retired Honolulu police sergeant with 25 years of experience on the force was arrested Friday and charged with continuous sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, according to police booking records. Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu's acting planning department director says staffing is top priority. As Deputy Director, Takeuchi Apuna oversaw the day-to-day personnel operations, while also handling projects addressing oversized residential homes, known as "monster homes," and short-term vacation rentals. Hawaii Public Radio.

Senior affordable housing project planned for condemned Waikiki property. The city is planning new senior affordable rental housing for Waikiki following the condemnation of a derelict apartment building sandwiched between the Watermark, one of Oahu’s toniest condominiums, and freshly renovated walk-up apartments. Star-Advertiser.

Officials: It could take months to determine what sparked a deadly ambulance fire.
More than three weeks after a deadly ambulance fire, officials are still working to identify the exact cause.The City Council committee on Public Safety called a special meeting Monday to discuss what exactly sparked the blaze, but the investigation continues. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

The Hawaii Supreme Court will hear oral arguments regarding a three-year-old Maunakea land use case this week. In 2019, Hilo residents Ku‘ulei and Ahiena Kanahele filed a petition with the state Land Use Commission requesting that the Commission declare that the current usage of the land on Maunakea summit is improper for its current zoning. Tribune-Herald.

Hunting rules could be eased. Hunters might be allowed to take twice as many feral pigs per day, seven days a week, in certain Puna forest reserves under new regulations being considered by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. Tribune-Herald.

Protesters Block Access To County Road Leading To Waipio Valley. The group objects to Mayor Mitch Roth’s decision to start allowing limited access again to the famous Big Island valley. Civil Beat. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.

Maui

80% of beach parks have ‘low resiliency’ to sea level rise. Solutions could include restoring dunes, relocating parks, acquiring more land, study says. Maui News.

Shoreline erosion along Kahana’s Lower Honoapiʻilani Road topic of public meeting Sept. 22.
Maui County’s Department of Public Works will hold an online community meeting to discuss shoreline erosion and mitigation alternatives along Lower Honoapiʻilani Road at Kaʻopala Bay in Kahana via Zoom on Sept. 22 from 9 to 11 a.m. Maui Now.

Veteran Maui police officer arrested for sex assault. Police say Sgt. Justin Mauliola, 35, of Wailuku has been placed on paid administrative leave, and his credentials and firearm have been temporarily removed. Authorities say his police powers have been temporarily suspended. Maui Now. KHON2.

Kauai

Kaua‘i felonies may be dismissed because Supreme Court ruling in State V. Obrero
. Koloa man Kristofer Dwight Bush is facing a range of felony charges, including attempted murder, for an April incident where he allegedly attacked his girlfriend and her family with pepper spray before stabbing her and her brother. Garden Island.

DHHL’s Waimea project wins planning award. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ Pu‘u ‘Opae Kuleana Homestead Settlement Plan was selected as the winner of the American Planning Association Hawai‘i Chapter’s Outstanding Planning Award at the Hawai‘i Congress of Planning Officials Conference awards session Thursday at the Grand Hyatt Kaua‘i Resort &Spa. Garden Island.

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