Showing posts with label contact tracing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label contact tracing. Show all posts

Friday, August 20, 2021

Ige asked to close beaches, lock down travel as COVID rages, parents say Department of Education isn't doing enough for keiki safety, Ironman postponed, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Hawaii mayors weigh more restrictions amid COVID-19 surge. COVID-19 cases are surging across all islands while Gov. David Ige and county mayors discuss the possibility of bringing back tougher restrictions in order to reduce virus transmission. KHON2.

Growing number of COVID cases overwhelms Hawaii’s contact tracing efforts. A DOH spokesman said they recently expanded their team from 269 last week to 313, but the team still struggles to keep up with the hundreds of newly infected people every day. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii’s unemployment rate plunges to 7.3%. Hawaii’s labor market proved to be resilient in the face of the surging COVID-19 virus as the unemployment rate in July plunged to a 16-month low of 7.3% and nonfarm payroll jobs jumped by 10,200 over the previous month. Star-Advertiser.

Can Hawaii Employers Force Workers To Be Vaccinated? It’s A Hot Topic Right Now. More and more agencies and business are announcing vaccine mandates for employees if they want to keep their jobs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii auto sales more than doubled in second quarter. Hawaii auto sales were off to the races in the second quarter with new-vehicle registrations reaching the highest number in 14 years. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Turns To Mainland Teachers To End Distance Learning Backlog. The state DOE reported 383 new COVID-19 cases among students and staff last week but cited no evidence of school-based transmission. Civil Beat.

Parents and teachers criticize Hawaii’s Department of Education as pandemic grows
. Parents and teachers worried about the impact of the growing pandemic on Hawaii’s public schools roundly criticized the state Department of Education on Thursday, saying its efforts to safeguard students are either not working or inadequate. Star-Advertiser. KHON2.

Problems Persist As Corrections Officials Struggle To Comply With Federal Order.
Settlement talks are underway including the creation of a panel to oversee reforms needed to cope with the pandemic in Hawaii’s prisons and jails. Civil Beat.

Legislators ask why HHSC has delayed mandatory vaccinations
. Three state lawmakers sent a letter Thursday to the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation requesting information about its decision to delay implementation of mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations until the vaccines have been fully approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaii Covid Hospitalizations Climb As Delta Variant Rages.
Hawaii’s sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in July was largely fueled by cases in correctional facilities, restaurants, an indoor wedding reception and an indoor concert where the band wasn’t vaccinated, according to the state’s latest report on clusters. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii records 4 new coronavirus-related deaths, 752 additional infections. Today’s new confirmed and probable infection count by island includes 426 new cases on Oahu, 125 on Maui, 163 on Hawaii Island, 25 on Kauai, four on Molokai, one on Lanai and eight Hawaii residents diagnosed outside the state. Star-Advertiser.


3 mortuary trailers on standby in event Honolulu morgue runs out of space.
Although COVID deaths haven’t spiked as much as cases, the City and County of Honolulu is preparing for the worst. Last year, the Honolulu Fire Department spent about $330,000 dollars of its CARES funding to buy three mortuary trailers. Hawaii News Now.

Advocates told abandoned residents of Hauula care home could be left at ER. The facility notified the state that the state and families it was voluntarily shutting down due to “economic hardship.” The residents must scramble to find homes before the Sept. 11 shutdown. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu police pledge openness about shootings. The fatal shooting of a machete-wielding man who allegedly attacked Honolulu police officers in a North School Street parking lot Aug. 11 was the fifth shooting by an officer this year, surpassing the entire number of incidents from 2020 as the public pushes police to be more transparent any time an officer fires a weapon at a suspect. Star-Advertiser.

Former councilwoman Kym Pine in financial dispute with former employee. Former District 1 City Councilwoman Kym Pine went to small claims court in Pearl City on Thursday to face her former employee who alleges she was not paid for agreed services for Pine’s unsuccessful 2020 mayoral campaign. Star-Advertiser.

Rail Canopy Defects Cost Another $15 Million. Are Taxpayers Liable? The canopy arms have caused numerous problems. It’s not yet clear who’s responsible and who ultimately should pay to fix them. Civil Beat.

HART board still looking for applicants to fill its final vacant seat. The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board of directors is still attempting to fill its final vacant seat. Star-Advertiser.

Patrols increase at Oahu’s Laniakea Beach to protect sea turtles as visitors increase. Oahu’s surge in tourism has generated larger waves of visitors to the North Shore’s Laniakea Beach Park, popularly dubbed Turtle Beach, and people continue to break the law by harassing the endangered green sea turtles there, the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the turtle conservation group Malama na Honu report. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Roth asks Ige to OK new restrictions. County parks and recreational facilities would close again under a new emergency rule proposed by Mayor Mitch Roth that has been sent to Gov. David Ige for consideration. Tribune-Herald. KHON2.

Ironman World Championship rescheduled to February 2022 amid spike in coronavirus cases on Hawaii Island. Organizers announced today the event that was originally scheduled for Oct. 9 has been rescheduled to Feb. 5, 2022. Star-Advertiser. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now.
COVID temporarily shuts down Hilo library. The Hilo Public Library closed Wednesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The library will be undergoing a thorough cleaning and will reopen on Saturday. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.


Maui County Mayor Hopes Vaccinations, Distancing Can Prevent Another Lockdown. Maui County's mayor said the possibility of another lockdown is still on the table, but he hopes more vaccinations and social distancing will slow the spread of cases before that might be necessary. Hawaii Public Radio.

New Destination Manager at Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau announced the appointment of Meagan DeGaia as destination manager. In this newly created position being funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, DeGaia will be responsible for supervising, managing, implementing and reporting on the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan, its Community Enrichment Program, as well as signature events within Maui County. Maui Now.

Hotel’s new pool and improvements approved.  The Maui Planning Commission last week voted 9-0 to allow the Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott, Maui to conduct improvements on its property, including installing a new pool and constructing outdoor living spaces for 14 ground floor guestrooms. Maui News.

Scientists Anxiously Await Opening of Inouye Solar Telescope on Haleakalā.
COVID-19 travel restrictions set back construction on the telescope's critical systems. Hawaii Public Radio.


Rental car companies oppose county’s new proposed tax class. Major rental-car companies are opposing a bill before the Kaua‘i County Council that seeks to create and define a real-property-tax class for rental-car fleets. Garden Island.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Mayors mull vaccination mandates for county employees, schools open to in-person learning, local celeb chef dies of COVID, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

PC:Steven Cornfield via Unsplash
COVID vaccination PC:Steven Cornfield via Unsplash

All 4 Hawaii mayors are considering vaccine mandates for county workers. Potential policy changes would apply to nearly 13,000 workers statewide. Hawaii News Now.

Health officials look to add contact tracers. After scaling back its contact tracing program at the start of the year, state health officials are increasing the number of staff used to track COVID-19 cases as the highly ­contagious delta variant causes cases to spike to the highest levels seen since the start of the pandemic. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s public schools open new academic year amid virus concerns. Osa Tui Jr., president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, said members reported that some schools opted to cancel large assemblies in their gymnasiums, but others did not, meaning hundreds of students sat shoulder-to-shoulder in events on different islands. Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Tribune-Herald. Garden Island. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. 

Rejection Of Ige’s Judicial Nominee Raises Questions Of Diversity In Hawaii Courts. Far fewer than half of the state’s judges are women, and men still far outnumber women in the legal field and in applications for vacancies. Civil Beat.

Beloved local chef, TV star Kawasaki dies while ill with COVID-19. A local family is mourning the loss of 45-year-old local star chef Grant Kawasaki. KHON2.

With COVID already canceling games, sports officials consider testing, mandating vaccines. With three non-leagues games cancelled this weekend, some feel there are better solutions to allowing athletes to suit up. Hawaii News Now.

Aug. 3, 2021 COVID-19 Update: 389 Cases, 1 death. The confirmed cases included: 266 on O‘ahu (+2 probable); 65 on Hawai‘i Island (-1 probable); 34 on Maui (-3 probable); six on Kaua‘i; and 18 in Hawai‘i residents diagnosed while out of state (+2 probable). KITV4.


In First Six Months In Office, Honolulu Mayor’s Campaign Collected Over $600,000.
Of the total donations, $450,000 went to repay Blangiardi for money he loaned his campaign. Civil Beat.

Honolulu rail costs ‘unimaginable,’ retired transit official says
. A retired Federal Transit Administration official who had evaluation responsibility for America’s rail projects — including the city’s troubled system — called Honolulu’s spiraling costs and $3 billion deficit “unimaginable” and “far beyond” anything he has seen across the country in 30 years with the FTA. Star-Advertiser.

Mistaken identity lands man in Hawaii mental hospital for over 2 years
. Hawaii officials wrongly arrested a homeless man for a crime committed by someone else, locked him up in a state hospital for more than two years, forced him to take psychiatric drugs and then tried to cover up the mistake by quietly setting him free with just 50 cents to his name, the Hawaii Innocence Project said in a court document asking a judge to set the record straight. Associated Press.

Updated Indictment In Miske Case Includes New Defendants And Details Of Alleged Murder. The kingpin’s daughter-in-law was named as a defendant, along with a business associate alleged to have bought a large fish bag to dispose of a body at sea. Civil Beat.

Reusable take-out container pilot project launches on Oahu's North Shore. A new pilot project, known as Full Cycle Takeout, hopes to reduce trash. KITV4.

Amazon has big plans for Kalihi Kai site.
Amazon is preparing to change the way it fulfills customer orders in Honolulu with a new facility that could involve company-branded vans and personal vehicles delivering packages. Star-Advertiser.

State received 2 proposals in bid for removal of the Falls of Clyde from Honolulu Harbor. The Hawaii Department of Transportation said it has received two proposals in response to its solicitation for the removal of the historic Falls of Clyde ship from Honolulu Harbor. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Council members vote to oust Van Pernis. County Council members on Tuesday voted narrowly in favor of removing a commissioner from the Leeward Planning Commission. Tribune-Herald.

Puna land purchase advances.
Hawaii County will consider purchasing 165 acres of Puna land under its open space land-buying program. Tribune-Herald.

COVID cases reported at Life Care Center of Hilo. Nearly a dozen COVID-19 cases have been reported at Life Care Center of Hilo. Tribune-Herald.


Community Input Sought at Maui Charter Commission Meeting. This is the latest in a series of meetings scheduled over the next several months by the Commission to obtain input and insights from the community related to proposed Charter amendments that will be considered for placement on the ballot in November 2022.  Maui Now.

Keawakapu Home Listed at $38M as Neighboring Property Sells for $45M, Highest on Record. A Balinese and Hawaiʻi-inspired beachfront home in Keawakapu, Maui is on the market, listed at $38 million. It comes up for sale as a separate property down the road, also in Keawakapu sold for a record $45 million. Maui Now.


County has enough cash to ‘cure’ rent delinquency. Local nonprofit Kaua‘i Economic Opportunity, Inc. handles all landlord-tenant mediation cases in Kaua‘i County. Garden Island.

West Kaua‘i Energy Project discussion is Aug. 10. Keeping members informed and soliciting community feedback on the West Kaua‘i Energy Project is the intent of a series of monthly community meetings starting Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 4:30 p.m., at the Kekaha Neighborhood Center. Garden Island.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Ige proclamation makes 10-day quarantine official, Kapolei casino plan spurs backlash, Kahele resigns state seat to enter Congress, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Kupuna hula in Hawaii ©2020 All Hawaii News

Report: Hula, Other Cultural Programs Can Improve Hawaiian Health. Hula and other culturally based programs should be used to address longstanding health inequities affecting Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders in Hawaii, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine. Civil Beat.

UH Report: Hawaiian Culture is Just What the Doctor Ordered. A new report by the University of Hawaiʻi medical school found structural inequities and historical events are partly to blame for continued health disparities among Native Hawaiians. Hawaii Public Radio.


Gov. David Ige reduces Hawaii’s travel quarantine to 10 days to match health guidelines. Starting Thursday passengers entering the state of Hawaii and traveling between counties will only have to quarantine for 10 days instead of 14 days if they don’t have an exemption from the state’s travel entry requirements. Star-Advertiser.

State issues new COVID-19 rules, shortening quarantine and extending eviction protections. Governor David Ige issued a new COVID-19 emergency proclamation early Wednesday evening, reducing the length of the state’s mandatory self-quarantine for travelers and extending a moratorium on evictions into next year. Hawaii News Now.

Gov. Ige reduces mandatory self-quarantine to 10 days for Hawaii travelers.  Gov. David Ige signed a 17th COVID-19 emergency proclamation on Dec. 16 that reduces the state’s mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers from 14 to 10 days, starting on Thursday, Dec. 17. KHON2.

Governor Ige reduces state's mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers to 10 days. The proclamation specifies the moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent is extended until Feb. 21, 2021. KITV4.

Hawaiʻi Travel Quarantine Period Shortened From 14 To 10 Days. Governor Ige issued his 17th COVID-19 emergency proclamation on Wednesday, reducing the quarantine period for travelers into and within Hawai‘i. Big Island Video News.

Self-Quarantine for Inter-Island Travelers Reduced to 10 Days. The state’s mandatory self-quarantine for travelers entering the state and traveling between counties has been reduced from 14 days to 10. Big Island Now.

Gov. Ige Signs 17th COVID-19 Emergency Proclamation, Reducing Quarantine From 14 to 10 Days. Governor David Ige signed a 17th COVID-19 emergency proclamation reducing the state’s mandatory self-quarantine period for travelers entering the state and traveling between counties from 14 to 10 days. Maui Now.

Full text of Gov. David Ige's 17th Emergency Proclamation can be found here.

COVID-19 Vaccine Skepticism Grows In Hawaii. Public health agencies have been slow to launch campaigns to counter vaccine skepticism, a trend in Hawaii that could thwart efforts to achieve herd immunity. Civil Beat.


As more vaccines arrive, urgency grows to educate the public . According to a survey, health officials say less than half of the general public are willing to take the vaccine. The goal is to get 70% of the population vaccinated to get herd immunity. KHON2.

Elections Officials Want To Tweak Hawaii’s Mail-Voting Law Next Year. The Legislature may consider adjustments to in-person voting sites among other proposals after the state’s first foray into all mail-voting. Civil Beat.


Kahele Resigns State Senate Seat, Opening Call For Replacement Candidates. Congressman-elect Kai Kahele has formally resigned as State Senator for District 1, allowing Hawaiʻi County Democrats to initiate the process to find three prospective appointees to the fill the seat. Big Island Video News.

Kai Kahele Resigns From Hawaii State Senate. Less than three weeks before he will be sworn in as a U.S. representative, Kai Kahele on Wednesday stepped down from his state Senate seat. Civil Beat.

Kahele resigns from state Senate. U.S. Congressman-elect Kai Kahele has officially resigned from his state Senate seat. Tribune-Herald.

Congressman-elect Kai Kahele announces resignation from Hawaii State Senate. Congressman-elect and State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele has officially announced his resignation from the Hawaii State Senate. KHON2.

Democratic Party to Begin Process to Fill Kahele’s Senate District 1 Vacancy. Congressman-elect and current State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele (District 1 – Hilo) officially announced today his resignation from the Hawaiʻi State Senate. Maui Now.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 16: 110 New COVID-19 Cases And 4 Deaths In Hawaii. Among the cases recorded Wednesday were 85 on Oahu, 14 on Maui, five on the Big Island and six Hawaii residents diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Bar owners ask court to let them open. A federal judge may rule Friday on whether bars on Oahu can reopen after they have been closed all but a few weeks since COVID-19 hit Hawaii in March. Star-Advertiser.

HPD Chief Ballard ‘still on the fence’ about getting COVID vaccine. In a meeting with the Honolulu Police Commission Wednesday, Chief Susan Ballard said she’s among those that will likely pass on getting the shot — at least for now. Hawaii News Now.


Proposed Home Lands casino would allow golf course, theme parks, sporting events. The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wants a lone exception to Hawaii’s ban on all forms of gambling to create a destination resort in Kapolei that would allow 24/7 gambling, liquor, a golf course and even aquariums, theme parks and sporting events. Star-Advertiser.

Plan to build casino on Hawaiian Home Lands in Kapolei a big gamble, critics say. A proposal to build a stand-alone casino resort on property owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands is facing heavy opposition from community leaders and lawmakers. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaiian Homes Commission to consider casino proposal. An agenda item for next week’s Hawaiian Homes Commission meeting, the idea of building a casino on Department of Hawaiian Homes trust land in Kapolei, Oahu, is raising eyebrows statewide, especially among trust beneficiaries. Tribune-Herald.

Department of Hawaiian Home Lands pushes proposal for a casino in Kapolei. Could Hawaii get its first casino? If a controversial proposal by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) passes next week, the state would be one step closer to that reality. KHON2.

Honolulu police seize more than a dozen gaming devices in Kapahulu raid. Police arrested a 54-year-old woman on suspicion of promoting gambling and possession of gambling devices. Star-Advertiser.

Conditions at Halawa Correctional Facility unsafe due to outbreak, union says. With the state’s largest prison currently battling an outbreak of COVID-19, the union representing more than 300 employees at Halawa Correctional Facility says the state isn’t doing enough to improve hazardous conditions there. Star-Advertiser.


Caldwell says last mass food distribution event to take place Friday. The city is offering one more mass distribution of food on Oahu — the last large one for the year — at Aloha Stadium this coming Friday. Star-Advertiser. 

City to hold final food distribution event of the year on Friday. With the economy still flat and the tourism industry still struggling, city officials said Wednesday that it was no secret that food insecurity was still a top-of-mind issue for thousands of Oahu families. Hawaii News Now.


What Did HPD Do To Prevent Another Kealoha Scandal? Not Much, Chief Says. City Councilman Tommy Waters identified holes that remain in the department’s handling of misconduct, especially when it involves the chief. Civil Beat.

City Council reviews audits on HPD, prosecuting attorney’s office. After reviewing two recently published audits, a Honolulu City Council committee explored options for greater oversight of the Honolulu Police Department while criticizing the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for its utter lack of leadership. Star-Advertiser.

Oahu doctors relieved to get the vaccine. Dr. Melanie Kim, a hospitalist at Straub Medical Center, has witnessed firsthand the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on her patients, some of whom at the end of their lives have had to die alone. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii Island

Partnership ensures post-arrival COVID testing will continue through mid-January. Mayor Mitch Roth on Wednesday announced a partnership between Hawaii County and a private philanthropist that will ensure trans-Pacific post-arrival COVID-19 testing for those arriving on the Big Island will continue through Jan. 15. Tribune-Herald.

Green: Vaccine roll out ‘going well’. Kona Community Hospital anticipates it will begin immunizing staff for COVID-19 on Wednesday. West Hawaii Today.

Big Isle hospitals prep to receive, administer COVID-19 vaccines. As the highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out in other parts of the state, Big Island hospitals are still waiting to receive their first doses. Tribune-Herald.

Shoppers flock to new Safeway store in Kailua-Kona. Wednesday marked the grand opening of Kailua-Kona’s new Safeway location in the Niumalu Marketplace. The 63,000-square-foot supermarket — 25% larger than the previous location in the Kona Crossroads Shopping Center — is the first shop to open in the marketplace between Lanihau Shopping Center and Henry Street. West Hawaii Today.


AlohaSafe Alert app officially launches for use in Maui County. The AlohaSafe Alert app officially launched on Wednesday in Maui County, the first County in the State of Hawaii to have this resource available to curb the spread of COVID-19. KITV4.

UH-MC donates freezer to store Pfizer vaccine. Doses expected to arrive on Maui by the end of the week. The University of Hawaii-Maui College has donated a freezer large enough to house thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to arrive on island by the end of the week, Maui Health CEO Mike Rembis said Monday night. Maui News.


DOCARE officers cite Maui man for selling undersized ahi. State Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Officers following up on an anonymous tip on Tuesday afternoon cited Crispin B. Santos, 37, of Kahului, after finding him at a roadside stand in possession of 15 ahi weighing between two and two-and-a-half pounds. Star-Advertiser.

Kahului man cited, accused of selling undersized ahi. DOCARE officers cited Crispin Santos Tuesday afternoon after they say he was found with 15 ahi, weighing between two and two and a half pounds. Hawaii News Now.

Kahului man cited for selling undersized ahi. Officers from the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) cited a Kahului resident for suspicion of selling undersized ahi on Tuesday, Dec. 15. KHON2.

Kahului Man Cited for Selling Undersized Ahi. A 37-year-old Kahului resident was cited on suspicion of selling undersized ahi. Maui Now.


7.6% of CARES Act funds left on Kaua‘i. Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds are set to expire at the end of this month, and the county’s $28 million slice has a remaining balance of $2,190,512, or about 7.6%, to be spent in December. Garden Island.

Kaua'i set to reduce its mandatory quarantine time period to mirror the state
. Anyone traveling to Kaua'i must still quarantine regardless of a pre-travel test. KITV4.

KPD honors 93rd Police Recruit Class graduates.
The Kaua‘i Police Department held a small, socially distanced ceremony on Tuesday for its 93rd Police Recruit Class graduates. Garden Island.

EPA fines Kauai tour company $45K for illegal cesspool.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a helicopter tour company on Kauai to close an illegal cesspool and pay $45,000 in fines. Star-Advertiser.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Hanauma Bay reopens, schools face deep budget cuts, Health Department to scale back contact tracing, Maui dogs sniff out COVID-19, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

copyright 2020 All Hawaii News all rights reserved
Hanauma Bay snorkeling spot ©2020 All Hawaii News

Hanauma Bay Is Reopening — But Capacity Will Be Limited. The county nature park is one of Hawaii’s most popular tourist attractions, but fewer visitors will be allowed in, face masks will be mandatory and nonresidents will pay more in fees. Civil Beat.

Hanauma Bay Reopening Today Under City Guidelines. Prior to the shutdown, as many as 3,000 residents and tourists entered the marine sanctuary daily. Hawaii Public Radio.

City reopens Hanauma Bay with new restrictions and higher fees. The city reopened Hanauma Bay on Wednesday, but announced new restrictions aimed at ensuring the environmental gains the preserve made while it was shut down aren’t lost when residents and visitors return. Hawaii News Now.

Hanauma Bay reopens to the public, new measures aim to protect nature preserve. Hanauma Bay, which has been closed since March, reopened to the public on Wednesday for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. KHON2.

Visitors welcomed back to Hanauma Bay with new fees and restrictions.  A new limit of 720 daily visitors has been set for the reopening in a pilot program seeking to balance conservation with recreation, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon at the preserve. Star-Advertiser.


Hawaii plans to shrink contact-tracing team next year. While health experts are predicting a third wave of infections fueled by the holidays, Hawaii’s contact tracers that track COVID-19-positive residents are set to be reduced after the new year. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii DOH Plans Cuts In Contact Tracing Team
Despite Continued COVID-19 Worries. Even as more cases are anticipated, Hawaii is “doing pretty well” a state health official said. Civil Beat.

State's contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of individuals who may have come in contact with an infected person. The state's COVID-19 contact tracing team has reached out to more than 66% of all people who may have come in contact with an infected person. KITV4.

Lack of interest in quarantine may be a barrier in contact tracing efforts. The State Department of Health (DOH) has released more results of its contact tracing efforts, including the percentage of cases being reached. KHON2.


State Education Board Holding Two Virtual Meetings Dec. 3 on Proposed Budget Cuts. The Hawaii State Board of Education will hold two meetings Thursday, Dec. 3, to vote on the proposed Department of Education budget for the 2021-23 fiscal biennium. Due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the proposed budget includes a 10-percent cut for public school operations and positions and consideration of a 9-percent cut to special education. Maui Now.

School Funds, Special Education Programs Face Cuts In DOE Budget Proposal. Hawaii State Teachers Association warns that proposed cuts could mean a loss of 1,000 teacher positions. Civil Beat.

HSTA says DOE budget cuts could result in loss of 1,000 teachers. The Hawaii State Teachers Association this morning expressed grave concerns about proposed budget cuts that would result in the loss of 1,000 teachers, including special education teachers. Star-Advertiser.

Proposed state education budget cuts concern HSTA. The Hawaii State Teachers Association is taking aim at budget reductions proposed by the state Department of Education the union says will undoubtedly affect Hawaii’s students. Tribune-Herald.

Hawaiʻi DOE Proposes Budget Cuts, HSTA Responds. The Hawaiʻi State Teachers Association says the proposed, deep budget cuts will have "damaging impacts" on schools. Big Island Video News.

HIDOE Proposed Budget Cuts Could Impact Student Programs, Special Education, HSTA Says. The Hawai‘i Student Teacher Association fears the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s proposed cuts could result in lost jobs and student programs. Big Island Now. Big Island Now.

Budget crisis won’t spare schools and that has educators worried about the future
. With the pandemic squeezing state budgets, public schools are facing as much as $264 million in budget cuts over the next two years. And that’s got the teachers union asking which programs could be slashed. Hawaii News Now.

Teachers union says budget cuts could eliminate jobs and school programs. The Department of Education (DOE) is faced with making more than 200 million in budget cuts thanks to COVID-19. The teacher’s union knows cuts are needed but said they come at the expense of students and teachers. KHON2.

Teachers Union President: Education Budget Cuts Could Cost 1,000 Jobs. Hawaii State Teachers Association President Corey Rosenlee said Wednesday that 1,000 teaching positions could be lost if the Department of Education's budget cuts are not reworked. KITV4.


Subsea connectivity in Pacific, Hawaii expanded. Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP said Wednesday it has signed an agreement with Hawaiian Telcom to secure significant international capacity on the Southeast Asia-United States trans-Pacific fiber cable system from Guam to Los Angeles. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Dec. 2: 78 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii. Health officials reported 78 new COVID-19 cases statewide on Wednesday, including 63 on Oahu, one on the Big Island, one on Kauai, four on Maui. Nine residents were diagnosed out of state. Civil Beat.


Police Commissioner: People Want Answers On HPD’s Low Crime-Solving Rate. Chief Susan Ballard says the FBI data on HPD’s clearance rates is wrong, but her department shared data with a city councilman that reveals similarly troubling numbers. Civil Beat.

Honolulu Police Department switching to new data-reporting system. The Honolulu Police Department will switch to a new, data-rich system for reporting crimes at the start of the new year. Star-Advertiser.

HPD investigation into COVID-19 overtime violations will take months, chief says. It will be months before the Honolulu Police Department can publicly report on the apparent overtime violations within the department’s COVID enforcement teams, according to HPD Chief Susan Ballard. Star-Advertiser.

Some residents have problems with a proposed 30-story tower at Ala Moana Center. The 400-foot Ala Moana Plaza would feature 583 rental units with 20% set aside as affordable. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

Monsanto: Roundup did not cause cancer in Big Island men. The men, who range in age from 60 to 77, claim exposure to glyphosate — a herbicide marketed by Monsanto as Roundup — and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, manufactured and marketed by Monsanto in the U.S. until banned in 1979, caused their non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tribune-Herald.

Virtual Meeting On Helicopter Noise Set For Dec. 3. The Hawaii Air Noise and Safety Task Force will hold a virtual meeting about the Hilo and Kona regions on Thursday morning. Big Island Video News.

Funding For Airport COVID Testing in Jeopardy; Mayor-Elect Details Possible Changes. A new mayor will take the helm in Hawai‘i County on Monday. Likely accompanying his arrival will be substantial changes to COVID testing policies at Big Island airports, though those adjustments will be more a result of timing than political philosophy. Big Island Now.

You haven’t heard the last of Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim. While Kim’s time in office is coming to an end, the 81-year-old says he’s not preparing to retire. Instead, he’s preparing for his next act. Hawaii News Now.

Group seeks transparency from DOH after virus outbreak at Hilo veterans home. A Hawaii seniors advocacy group has called on the state Department of Health to release more information about nursing home inspections after a coronavirus outbreak at a veterans home caused at least 27 deaths earlier this year. Hawaii News Now.

Life Care Center of Kona employee tests positive for COVID-19. A Life Care Center of Kona employee remains in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19. The staff member last worked at the Keauhou care facility on Nov. 11 and remained in isolation, according to the early Tuesday update posted to the center’s website. West Hawaii Today.


How Maui Dogs Are Learning How To Sniff Out Coronavirus Infections. Perspiration samples from Hawaii residents recently diagnosed with COVID-19 are key to a study of whether dogs can sniff out the virus. Civil Beat.

Meetings Seek Feedback on Maui’s 5,000-Unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui nonprofits, Hawaiian Community Assets hosts a series of community meetings from December 2020 through February 2021 to gather feedback from local residents on the development the County’s 5,000-unit Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan. Maui Now.

DLNR: Kahakapao Recreation Area on Maui is a “Hot-Spot” for Illegal Trails. A series of legal, planned, and engineered trails at Kahakapao Recreational Area on Maui provide thrills and fun for mountain bikers, as well as for hiking and horseback riding. But illegal trails have become a concern with the state Department of Land and Natural Resources identifying 21 such paths crossing the popular Pineapple Express mountain bike trail alone. Maui Now.

Citizens’ Patrol back on road after COVID delays. Program credited with deterring car break-ins at popular beach parks. Maui News.

Maui home prices reach new highs. Median for single-family units hits $867,500 in October. Maui News.


CDC tipped Kauai police about COVID-positive fliers arrested after landing. A tip from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led to the arrest of a Kauai couple on Nov. 29 when they landed on the Garden Isle after boarding a plane in San Francisco knowing they were COVID positive. They had been told by airport quarantine station officials to stay in San Francisco. KHON2.

Protesting COVID restrictions.
About 25 people protested the state’s mask mandate and the county’s temporary Safe Travels shutdown yesterday afternoon. Garden Island.

Businesses struggle to stay open. The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort &Spa will be closing temporarily on Dec. 7 in a move to further protect its staff. Garden Island.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

New state contact tracer on leave after Health Department upheaval, downsized 75th WWII anniversary commemoration held, many jobless still wait for unemployment checks, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

Dr. Emily Roberson Aug. 20, 2020
More Health Department Drama: New Contact Tracing Head Asks For Leave. Announced with fanfare by Gov. David Ige last month, Emily Roberson says she is frustrated with trying to do her job and says leadership needs to make clear the chain of command. Civil Beat.

Newly hired head of Hawaii’s contact tracing program asks for leave, cites chain-of-command issues at Department of Health. A leave request Wednesday from the head of Hawaii’s COVID- 19 contact tracing program citing chain-of-command issues is reinvigorating calls to clean house at the state Department of Health. Star-Advertiser.

Head of state's contact tracing program is on leave. Emily Roberson has been on the job for about two weeks. Lt. Governor Josh Green told KITV4 part of Roberson's problems include micromanaging from Dr. Sarah Park. KITV4.

‘We With Sarah!’ Co-Workers Defend Embattled Epidemiologist. Campaign buttons, poster bear catchy slogans supporting Dr. Sarah Park. Civil Beat.


Critics raise concerns over possible release of COVID-19 vaccine this fall. Lieutenant Governor Josh Green says he's been following the vaccine trials and believes more research and testing is needed before it's ready to be used on humans. KITV4.

State’s confusing COVID-19 reports make it difficult to track spread of virus, experts say. Data that doesn’t match, moving averages that don’t make sense — the state’s reporting of COVID-19 is confusing even for scholars analyzing the information. Hawaii News Now.

Health Department Struggled To Warn Young People About COVID, New Efforts Aim To Fix It. The state Department of Health continues to record a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among young people. One key reason may be that public messages to avoid the virus haven't yet effectively reached them. Hawaii Public Radio.


State’s Acting Labor Director: We’re Ready To Handle A Surge In Jobless Claims. Those assurances come as DLIR still struggles to resolve thousands of complex claims that have proven difficult to resolve. Civil Beat.

State pledges to launch ’virtual call center’ to field questions about jobless benefits. The state says a “virtual call center” is in the works to deal with the endless delays on its unemployment hotline. Hawaii News Now.

The Cost Of Failure To Contain The Virus? Massive Layoffs. With no end in sight to the shutdown of tourism, dozens of companies have filed letters with labor officials outlining job cuts and extended furloughs. Civil Beat.

Hawaii’s jobless benefit boost may be used up. The new $400 weekly bonus is retroactive to Aug. 1 and may already be exhausted because state officials aren’t sure if they can obtain such funds beyond four weeks. Star-Advertiser.


Defense Secretary Mark Esper and several World War II veterans from Hawaii mark the 75th anniversary of war’s end. The commemoration Wednesday on the fantail of the battleship Missouri — the site of Japan’s unconditional surrender on Sept. 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay — featured 12 local World War II veterans and comments by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, among others. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii remembers end of World War II in scaled-back ceremony aboard Battleship Missouri Memorial . Defense Secretary Mark Esper stopped off in Hawaii on Wednesday to speak at a scaled-back and socially distanced ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, on whose decks Japan surrendered in 1945 in Tokyo Bay. Pacific Business News.

In somber ceremony, veterans and dignitaries mark 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. The Greatest Generation and its WWII veterans provide a legacy of service and sacrifice that we should all look up to, said Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday at a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Hawaii News Now.

Wednesday marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. Wednesday, September 2 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II where more than 400,000 U.S. service men and women made the ultimate sacrifice. KITV4.


5 staff, 2 inmates within Department of Public Safety test positive for COVID-19. Within the division, there are now 49 active cases among staff: 43 at OCCC; two at Halawa Correctional Facility; two at the Women’s Community Correctional Center; and the two new cases within the Sheriff Division. Star-Advertiser.

VIRUS TRACKER — Sept. 2: 339 New Cases, 1 Death In Hawaii. Some of the cases announced Wednesday were actually identified last month. Civil Beat.

Hawaii reports 1 coronavirus-related death on Oahu and 339 new cases. Hawaii Department of Health officials today recorded one new coronavirus-related death and 339 new cases, bringing the statewide totals since the beginning of the pandemic to 75 fatalities and 8,991 cases. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates For Wednesday, Sept. 2nd: 339 New Cases, 1 Death. Big Island Video News.

339 New COVID-19 Cases, Includes 90 Cases From Delayed Reporting (302 O‘ahu, 2 Maui, 35 Hawai‘i Island). Maui Now.


H-3 testing to proceed today despite federal objection. Drive-thru surge testing for COVID-19 is scheduled to continue on the H-3 Freeway today as the state defies the Federal Highway Administration for a second time and risks the loss of federal funding. Star-Advertiser.

Mayor Caldwell says Oahu lockdown remains at two weeks, for now. Nearly a week into Oahu’s stay-at-home, work-from-home order, it’s not clear whether it might have to be extended. Mayor Kirk Caldwell says the current plan is still to keep it for two weeks. KHON2.

Free COVID-19 tests at Kalihi public housing met with high demand. The effort to mass test residents for COVID-19 in Hawaii’s public housing is expanding. Hawaii News Now.

Chamber of Commerce asks city to delay plastic ban that takes effect in 2021. On January 2021, restaurants on Oahu will no longer be able to give people plastic utensils, straws or plastic bags with handles for take-out food. This is part of a law that passed last year. KHON2.

Corruption sentencing hearings for Katherine and Louis Kealoha rescheduled again. A U.S. judge today set a Nov. 30 sentencing date for retired Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha and his now-estranged wife, Katherine Kealoha, who was a former high-ranking city prosecutor. Star-Advertiser.

New HPD commission meets, as citations handed out are on the rise.  The newly assembled police commission held their first regular meeting Wednesday. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Island

County, state beach parks to close Friday as virus cases surge on Big Island. With COVID-19 cases on Hawaii Island continuing to surge, Mayor Harry Kim announced Wednesday that all county and state beach parks will close for two weeks starting Friday. West Hawaii Today.

Hawaii County Beach Park Closure: Amendments To Mayors Rule Detailed. Starting on September 4, beach parks can only be used to access to the ocean, exercising, fishing and gathering food, and using the bathrooms and shower facilities. Big Island Video News.

Gov Approves Mayor’s Request to Close Beaches for 2 Weeks. Gov. David Ige approves Mayor Harry Kim’s request to close Hawai‘i Island’s beaches for two weeks in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19. Big Island Now.

Delegation seeks closure of Milolii Fishing Village due to virus. The entirety of Hawaii Island’s delegation asked Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim on Wednesday to restrict access to and test all residents of the Milolii Fishing Village in South Kona as COVID-19 cases rack up. West Hawaii Today.

Call For Miloliʻi Fishing Village Closure After COVID-19 Outbreak Reported. Lawmakers are asking Mayor Kim to close the South Kona fishing village and take other actions after a cluster of COVID-19 was identified. Big Island Video News.

18 more residents at state veterans home in Hilo test positive for COVID-19. More than half of the residents at Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home have been infected by COVID-19. Tribune-Herald.

Council seeks scrutiny of FCC permits: Nonbinding resolution supports safety regulations of wireless facilities. The Hawaii County Council unanimously approved a resolution Wednesday supporting the Natural Resources Defense Council and other elected officials who have petitioned in federal court for stricter environmental review before the Federal Communications Commission approves wireless communication facilities and other sources of radiofrequency emissions. West Hawaii Today.


New Maui Partnership Assists Local Ranches While Providing Food to Those in Need. Maui Mayor Michael Victorino announced today a new CARES Act funded partnership with local ranchers to provide ground beef to Feed My Sheep and people in need. Maui Now.

A Second Maui Judiciary Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19. The Hawaiʻi State Judiciary confirmed a second positive COVID-19 case involving an employee at Hoapili Hale on Maui. Maui Now.

700 Lanai resort workers are put on furlough. More than 700 workers for Four Seasons Resorts Lana’i, who were furloughed Aug. 11, continue to receive medical benefits and will be brought back when the two luxury resorts reopen, resort officials said Tuesday. Maui News.


Kauai councilman’s meth ring trial postponed to next year. A U.S. judge today postponed trial for 12 people accused of drug trafficking in Hawaii, over the objections of a councilman accused of leading the ring. Associated Press.

Kaua‘i Veterans Center is still open for business. The Kaua‘i Veterans Council in Lihu’e was recently awarded a $62,660 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Grant from the county to help keep the Kaua‘i Veterans Center open to the public during this pandemic. Garden Island.

Unemployment fraud disrupting PUA. Steven Roy Carvalho submitted a full-page color print out of him holding up his driver’s license to his face. Surely, it’s him, but even that hasn’t been enough to prove his identity to the state. Garden Island.

Meet The New Cult In Town: Love Has Won, Now Quarantining On Kauai. Residents are concerned about the group giving the spiritual community there a bad name. Civil Beat.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Hawaii battles COVID-19 surge, government fights data release, entire H-3 freeway to become testing site, more news from all the Hawaiian Islands

state Department of Health
Hawaii coronavirus cases on Aug 27, 2020, state Department of Health
U.S. Surgeon General warns spike will continue as COVID-19 cases climb above 300. Coronavirus infections in Hawaii reached their second-highest daily level Thursday as Oahu began complying with a two-week stay-at home order limiting business and activities on the island. Star-Advertiser.

Number of COVID-19 cases likely to spike again after testing surge, officials warn. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell likened Hawaii’s battle against coronavirus to ’war’ on Thursday, hours after the state Department of Health reported four new COVID-19 deaths statewide ― the most in a single day since the start of the pandemic. Hawaii News Now.

Lt. Gov. Green expects to see 'big surge' at Hawaii hospitals in next two weeks. Green compared the streak to hot spots like New York and Texas and predicted that some hospitals will see a "big surge" in the next two to three weeks. KITV4.


State Asks Lawyers, Law Students To Help With Unemployment Claims Backlog — Pro Bono. Hawaii labor officials have been struggling to resolve thousands of unemployment claims with disputes over job separation. Civil Beat.


Distance learning extended for Hawaii public schools, encouraged for private schools. Teachers and families have more clarity today after public schools extended distance learning through Oct. 2 and private schools got more specific guidance on operating during the shutdown. Star-Advertiser.

DOE extends distance learning through 1st quarter. The state Department of Education said Thursday that public schools will be limited to distance learning through the first quarter of the school year, but the union representing the state’s teachers claims that is still not enough to keep educators and students safe. Tribune-Herald.


New Local Apps Will Help with Contact Tracing. Contact tracing helps fight the spread of COVID-19, but it is time consuming work that has overwhelmed the state Health Department. Two local apps designed to help contact tracers do their job faster and more effectively are in the works to combat this issue. Hawaii Business magazine.

HGEA leader blasting state response to coronavirus. The leader of the Hawaii Government Employees Association is blasting the state Department of Public Safety after a cluster of COVID-19 cases involving both employees and inmates at the Oahu Community Correctional Center. Hawaii News Now.

Hawaii Tourism Authority offers top post to John De Fries. Hawaii Tourism Authority today offered its top job to John De Fries, who upon acceptance would become the organization’s first Native Hawaiian chief. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii sees July visitor arrivals plummet 98% from a year ago. Only 22,562 visitors flew to Hawaii in July, which last year was Hawaii’s best tourism month. Star-Advertiser.

Women Were Already Struggling At Work. The Pandemic Is Making It Worse. Women are filing for unemployment and losing their businesses at higher rates than men. Civil Beat.


Defense Secretary Visits Hawaii For RIMPAC. Mark Esper’s visit to the state was part of a broader tour of the Pacific that includes Guam and Palau in a signal to China. Civil Beat.

Vintage warbirds move to Wheeler Army Airfield for the 75th end-of-WWII aerial parades. Some of the airpower stars of World War II landed at Wheeler Army Airfield on Thursday, coming in from the Waianae Range side to touch down at the historic airport in preparation for three aerial parades in honor of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Star-Advertiser.

Historic war planes to fly over Oahu in honor of WWII 75th anniversary. Historic war planes will fly over Oahu this weekend to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. KHON2.


The Latest: 4 Deaths, 306 New Cases; DOE Extends Learn From Home; Hundreds Line Up For Tests. A day after saying COVID-19 infections appear to be stabilizing, the Hawaii Department of Health today reported one of the state's worse daily counts in the pandemic: 4 deaths and 306 new cases. Hawaii Public Radio.

Hawaiʻi COVID-19 Updates For August 27: 306 New Cases, Four New Deaths. Big Island Video News.

VIRUS TRACKER — Aug. 27: 306 New COVID-19 Cases In Hawaii And 4 Deaths. Civil Beat.

4 new COVID-19 deaths in Honolulu as Hawaii sees 306 new cases on 1st day of Oahu lockdown. Department of Health officials reported four new COVID-19 deaths and 306 new coronavirus cases, bringing the statewide totals since the beginning of the pandemic in February to 7,566 cases and 55 fatalities. Star-Advertiser.


Government workers who worked from home before now deemed essential Oahu government workers who were able to work from home during the first lockdown aren’t allowed to this time around. KHON2.

DOH Won’t Give Honolulu The Data It Needs To Detect Coronavirus In Our Sewage. Researchers need access to coronavirus test results by zip code in order to corroborate what they are finding in the island’s wastewater system. Civil Beat.

Payments From Honolulu’s $25 Million Hardship Fund Are Mired In Red Tape. Less than 10% of the money has been handed out in the past three months due to onerous application requirements and concerns about fraud. Civil Beat.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell announces additonal $25 million for COVID-19 small business relief. Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that the City and County of Honolulu will provide an additional $25 million for the city’s small business grant program started in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Star-Advertiser.


State to use entire H-3 Freeway as COVID-19 testing site next week. State and city authorities are planning a full closure of the H-3 Freeway next week to help facilitate surge COVID-19 testing efforts on Oahu, the Department of Transportation announced Thursday. Hawaii News Now.

H-3 freeway eyed as site for COVID-19 surge testing next week. The H-3 freeway could be fully closed between Halawa Interchange and the Halekou Interchange to accommodate a COVID-19 surge testing location on Oahu, the state Department of Transportation reported today. Star-Advertiser.

State will shut down H-3 for two days; freeway will serve as COVID testing site. The Department of Transportation will shut down the H-3 freeway on September 1 and on September 3. KHON2.

H-3 freeway to close for COVID-19 surge testing next week. City and state officials are planning a full closure of the H-3 Freeway next week to continue COVID-19 surge testing on Oahu. KITV4.


Candidates for Honolulu mayor land support of major unions ahead of election. Honolulu businessman Keith Amemiya and former television executive Rick Blangiardi each announced endorsements involving major Hawaii labor groups this week as the two prepare to face off in November’s general election. Hawaii News Now.

Details of rail P3 plan remain concealed. Details of negotiations between city officials and potential third-party entities that would help construct and operate the struggling $9.2 billion rail project remain shrouded in mystery, even to members of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, who sought to get some answers Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Judge intervenes in prison housing for alleged crime boss Mike Miske. A Honolulu businessman accused of leading a violent organized crime ring was segregated from other inmates at a detention center beyond the 14-days of quarantine to protect against the spread of COVID-19, until a U.S. judge intervened. Associated Press.

Bill would allow for more group living facilities. A bill allowing certain group living facilities to be exempted from needing to be 1,000 feet from each other was approved tentatively by the City Council Zoning, Planning and Housing Committee on Thursday. Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii investor buys second Waikiki apartment property. The Hawaii investor who recently closed on the purchase of the fee-simple ground lease beneath the leasehold Laniakea Apartments in Waikiki also bought the High Tide Apartments, a small multifamily building next door, last month for $3 million. Pacific Business News.

Hawaii Island

Hilo a virus hot spot. State officials confirmed that as of Wednesday there were 94 active coronavirus cases in Hilo. Tribune-Herald.

Number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Hawaii Island could soon test capacity. Since the pandemic began in March, the Big Island has reported a total of 253 cases. This week, though, the island has reported consecutive days of double-digit new cases. Hawaii News Now.

14 COVID-19 Patients Being Treated at HMC. The Hilo Medical Center reports a slight uptick of one COVID-19 patient now hospitalized in its facility bringing the total to 14. Big Island Now.

Planning director sends employees home: Close contacts of two employees test positive for COVID-19. The county Planning Department office in Hilo was closed to the public and operating Thursday with just two officials at the oars after close contacts of two employees tested positive for coronavirus. West Hawaii Today.

Map Tracks All The Places County “Bug Busters” Have Cleaned. The County provided interactive map that tracks the Bug Busters spraying locations. The map marks “essential businesses”, water spigots, bus shelters, and disinfection areas. Big Island Video News.

As jury service questionnaires are appearing in Big Island mailboxes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Third Circuit Chief Judge Robert D.S. Kim offered assurance the Judiciary is doing everything possible to keep jurors safe. West Hawaii Today.

‘It’s the best we can do’: Courthouse manages influx of District Court cases amid pandemic. A line of people stretched from the entrance of Keahuolu Courthouse to the parking lot as 129 people waited to be checked in for Thursday morning’s Kona District Court calendar. West Hawaii Today.

Fixing Century-Old Breakwater Could Bring Marine Life Back To Hilo Bay. Hawaii County officials want the Army Corps of Engineers to do a new study that could pave the way for improved water quality. Civil Beat.


Contact tracing on Maui meeting need; more testing likely on horizon. Contact tracers in Maui County are “not overwhelmed” and increased testing may be on the horizon in the battle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Maui County Health Department officials said Wednesday. Maui News.

Prosecutors oppose release of about half on inmate list. Supreme Court order calls for freeing of inmates due to COVID-19. The Maui County prosecutor’s office is opposing the release of 53 inmates or about half the number eligible for release under a state Supreme Court order issued this week to address jail overcrowding amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Maui News.


Pretrial detainee scales fence, escapes from Maui Community Correctional Center. A pretrial detainee from Maui Community Correctional Center escaped from the facility this evening, the state Department of Public Safety reported. Star-Advertiser.

Pre-trial detainee held on theft, drug charges escapes from MCCC. A pre-trial detainee being held on a slew of theft and drug charges escaped from the Maui Community Correctional Center on Thursday night, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Hawaii News Now.

Police searching for prisoner who escaped Maui Community Correction Center Thursday night. Police are asking the public’s help regarding the whereabouts of an escaped male prisoner from Maui Community Correction Center on Aug. 27. KHON2.


Employee of Maui Police Department Tests Positive for COVID-19. An employee at the Maui Police Department has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a department press release. Maui Now.

Probation officer seeks telework due to COVID-19 risk. A senior probation officer, who was exposed to COVID-19 at work, is hoping the state Judiciary reexamines options for officers to work from home and to limit the number of workers in the Kahului office. Maui News.


Keeping COVID spread at bay on Kaua‘i. While there have not been any new cases reported on Kaua‘i in about a week, yesterday, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced that the most recent case reported on the island had no known travel connection, and has been categorized community spread. Garden Island.

PUC says KIUC can’t cut off electricity for non-payment. In light of continued economic hardship for some members caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the state Public Utilities Commission has ordered the continued suspension of service disconnections for Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative members. Garden Island.