Hawaii News

Both HMSA, Kaiser propose ACA health insurance rate hikes

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s two largest health insurers have filed to raise insurance rates next year. The Hawaii Medical Service Association is seeking to raise its rates by an average of about 27 percent, while Kaiser Permanente is proposing a rate increase of about 20 percent, the Honolulu ...

State/In Brief

The Associated Press Fire damage estimated at over $100M for high-rise HONOLULU — Officials say a deadly fire in a Honolulu high-rise apartment building caused an estimated $100 million or more in damage. Honolulu Fire Captain David Jenkins said Tuesday the blaze is considered one of the ...

Plane in crash reportedly had engine troubles

WAIPAHU, Oahu (AP) — The uncle of a pilot who died in a plane crash with three others said that the plane previously had engine troubles. Rescue crews recovered the bodies of pilot Dean Hutton and his three passengers Saturday. The single-engine plane crashed in a mountainous area northwest ...

4 bodies found in small plane wreckage on Oahu

HONOLULU (AP) — Firefighters say they have recovered the bodies of four people at the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed in mountains on Oahu. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports crew members aboard a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted the wreckage during a search Saturday. ...

19 state AGs seek military transgender protections

HONOLULU (AP) — The top legal officers in 18 states and the District of Columbia have asked Congress to pass legislation prohibiting discrimination against transgender service members. Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin sent the letter dated Thursday in response to President Donald ...

HECO approved to start three solar farms on Oahu

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved three solar projects that have the combined capacity to power more than 17,900 homes. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the Hawaiian Electric Co. announced on Thursday that it expects the facilities to be in service no ...

Records show high-rise had outdated alarms

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ, The Associated Press HONOLULU — A Honolulu high-rise condominium building where a blaze this month killed three people failed to update its fire alarms to meet safety standards despite an engineering firm recommending the changes after another fire four years ago, city ...

New Honolulu law makes distracted walking illegal

HONOLULU (AP) — A law banning Honolulu pedestrians from using cellphones and other electronic devices while crossing the street will be going into effect Oct. 25. Mayor Kirk Caldwell called the city’s new law one he wishes it didn’t have to pass, but he said common sense does not ...

FDA OKs company to tout mac nut health claims

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Federal regulators have approved a Hawaii macadamia nut company’s request to claim the nuts can help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease under certain circumstances. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval comes two years after discussions began, West ...

Man gets 4 years in prison for harassing monk seal

HONOLULU (AP) — A judge on Wednesday sentenced a Hawaii man to four years in prison for harassing a pregnant Hawaiian monk seal. Hawaiian monk seals are among the world’s most critically endangered marine mammals. There are about 1,400 in the wild. Shylo Kaena Akuna harassed the seal in ...

Rehabilitated owl dies after second collision

LIHUE (AP) — A Hawaiian short-eared owl that was struck by a vehicle in late March has died after being hit by another vehicle two months after it was rehabilitated and released back into the wild. The state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources said two more owls were found dead on ...

Judge recommends permit for Thirty Meter Telescope

State land board will now set deadline for opponents, applicants to file arguments By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER HONOLULU — A construction permit should be granted for a giant telescope planned for a Big Island mountain summit that some consider sacred, a hearings officer recommended ...

Developer offers leased Mercedes-Benz to buyers

HONOLULU (AP) — A developer in Honolulu recently began offering consumers a Mercedes-Benz on a three-year lease if they buy a unit in one of three towers. Howard Hughes Corp. is offering the Mercedes incentive along with a few others in an attempt to spark sales at three of its towers, the ...

Soldier pleads not guilty to supporting Islamic State

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER The Associated Press HONOLULU — A U.S. Army soldier based in Hawaii pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempting to support the Islamic State. Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was arraigned in federal court in Honolulu after a grand jury indicted him last week ...

Man gets 20 years in prison for son’s death

Peter Kema Jr., 6, disappeared in 1997 By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER The Associated Press HONOLULU — The father of a 6-year-old Big Island boy who disappeared two decades ago was sentenced Monday to 20 years in prison for manslaughter, fulfilling a deal with prosecutors that required him to ...

State / In Brief

UH president aims to boost enrollment HONOLULU — After five straight years of declining enrollment at the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus, university President David Lassner has set a goal to hold enrollment flat for the fall and boost it back up to 20,000 students by 2020. Manoa’s ...

Fatal Oahu fire highlights lack of uniform sprinkler mandates in U.S.

By CALEB JONES and CATHY BUSSEWITZ HONOLULU (AP) — When Moon Yun Pellerin’s parents bought a 27th-floor condominium in a high-rise overlooking Waikiki about 15 years ago, they didn’t realize the wave-shaped building had no fire sprinklers. “We didn’t even consider it,” Pellerin ...

State awarded $715,000 grant to protect coral reefs

LIHUE (AP) — Those who study Hawaii’s coral reefs are hoping a recent $715,000 federal grant awarded to the state of Hawaii will amp up both the education and conservation of the underwater ecosystems. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awarded the grant to the state of ...

Education investigations result in 5 terminations

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Education closed 11 employee misconduct investigations during the past three months, resulting in five terminations and one resignation. The nature of the investigations is confidential because they involve protected personnel data, the Honolulu ...

Hawaii prepares for ‘unlikely’ North Korea missile threat

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER, The Associated Press HONOLULU — Hawaii is the first state to prepare the public for the possibility of a ballistic missile strike from North Korea. The state’s Emergency Management Agency on Fri- day announced a public education campaign about what to do. ...