Wednesday, September 28, 2022

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins caught up in Hawaii military contractor scandal, DOH fines Navy $8.7M for Pearl Harbor sewage discharges, Maui County workers to receive pandemic hazard pay, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Ex-Hawaii Contractor Pleads Guilty To Making Illegal Donations To US Sen. Susan Collins. The hearing came about three weeks after Martin Kao admitted to obtaining more than $12.8 million in pandemic relief loans under false pretenses in a separate case. He pleaded guilty to pleaded guilty to conspiracy and other charges Tuesday in federal court for funneling nearly $200,000 in illegal campaign contributions to political action committees supporting Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins in her 2020 bid for reelection. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii state senators want to see draft bill before deciding on special session. State senators want to review draft legislation that would give prosecutors more options to charge major crimes before they decide whether to convene a special session of the Legislature, according to Senate leadership. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

A step toward the future: State to receive $6.4M for new EV charging stations. The state is getting about $6.4 million in federal funding to be matched by state funds to build five new charging stations on the Big Island, one on Maui, one in Honolulu and another on Kauai. Hawaii currently has about 800 charging ports. Hawaii News Now.

DOH encourages flu vaccine for upcoming season. As Hawaii enters flu season in October, the state Department of Health already has reported a slight uptick in outpatient visits from influenza-like illness. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii’s monkeypox case tally grows to 37. The number of monkeypox cases in Hawaii has grown by three more to 37, according to the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu

Navy fined $8.7 million for sewage discharges into ocean around Pearl Harbor. The Hawaii Department of Health has fined the Navy $8.7 million for discharging sewage, or partially treated sewage, into the ocean, as well as related maintenance failures at its wastewater treatment plant near Pearl Harbor. Civil Beat. Star-Advertiser. Hawaii Public Radio. Big Island Now. Garden Island. KITV4.

Stressing urgency of project, Pentagon says emptying Red Hill tanks will cost $280M. Emptying the Red Hill Bulk Storage Fuel Tanks will cost at least $280 million, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder. Next month, crews plan to take out jet fuel from the pipelines before extensive repairs. Hawaii News Now.

Taxpayers To Cover Legal Expenses For Honolulu Police Officers Involved In Makaha Crash
. Commissioners made no conclusions on accusations that the officers caused and fled the scene of a car crash but said state law mandates that they deserve legal representation. Civil Beat.

Rising Prices, Increasing Poverty, Slowing Job Growth. When Oahu residents open their electric bills in October, they could be in for the latest in a long series of unpleasant surprises. The average bill is expected to be up 4%, or about $9 per household – following a yearlong rise that already has people complaining. Civil Beat.

UH Mānoa researcher receives $3.4M to study fungi-bacterial relations in climate change. Some of the earthʻs smallest organisms could cut the impact of climate change. Understanding how is the goal of work by a researcher at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaii Island

Council to consider bill restricting carry of firearms in ‘sensitive places’.
A bill to restrict the carrying of concealed and unconcealed firearms in “sensitive places” in Hawaii County, including medical and government facilities, schools and parks, establishments that serve alcohol, as well as several other locations, is set to be considered by the County Council. West Hawaii Today.

Feds warn of new batch of fentanyl on island. A new batch of fentanyl has made its way to the Big Island, the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area revealed Monday via a Threat Bulletin. The agency added the suspected powdered fentanyl has resulted in a high number of overdoses, with multiple fatalities. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Now.

Prince Kuhio Plaza seeks long-term lease extension. Prince Kuhio Plaza is seeking a 40-year extension of its lease for almost 39 acres of Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Maui

Payday: Some essential Maui County workers to receive hazard pay. United Public Workers members in Maui County can expect compensation for working during the pandemic. Now, Maui County has settle with the union over temporary hazard pay for 700 UPW employees. The pay will be 20% of their hourly salary. KHON2.

Next phase of major Wailea development with 1,000-plus homes gets green light. After a marathon contested case, Maui Planning Commission today gave a green light to the next phase of long-debated Honuaʻula, a master planned community with more than 1,000 homes slated for 670 acres in Wailea. Maui Now.

Voting explainer: Maui County charter amendment ballot questions. There will be 13 charter amendment questions on the Maui County general election ballot — the most of any county — with two alternative proposals, for a grand total of 15 questions to sift through. Hawaii Public Radio.

Kaopala Bay erosion puts shoreline at risk. Realigning a roadway and relocating utilities are some of the proposals to salvage a small shoreline in West Maui as sea level rise and erosion put properties and streets in jeopardy. Maui News.

High-end Maui hotel rates, especially in Wailea, expected to remain high. Maui County hotels continue to have lowest occupancy, highest revenues. Maui News.

DOD’s largest telescope atop Haleakalā on Maui gets mirror recoat,
preserves space domain awareness. Maui Now.

Kauai

Hanamā‘ulu Man Arrested Following Bomb Threat to Kōloa Elementary. According to a preliminary report, on Monday, at 12:06 p.m., Kōloa Elementary School administration received a call from a male, later identified as 20-year-old Lopaka Santos, who said a bomb was set to detonate after school was finished. Kauai Now.

Ha‘upu View workforce-housing complex blessed. The Kaua‘i County Housing Agency, in partnership with the Ahe Group, held a blessing ceremony Monday for the completion of Ha‘upu View, the county’s newest workforce-housing complex on Pua Loke Street. Garden Island.

Family of Christmas Eve car-crash victims file lawsuit. Along with his active criminal case, the Lawa‘i driver who caused a fatal 2020 Christmas Eve car crash is facing a new lawsuit in civil court. Garden Island.




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