Hawaii News

State/In Brief

The Associated Press Hawaiian Airlines offers $98 fares HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines has dropped prices to $98 for some round-trip flights as Southwest Airlines enters the Hawaii market. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the Honolulu-based airline was offering low airfares Monday ...

Honolulu to pay $550K to settle police lawsuit

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council has agreed to pay $550,000 to a retired police lieutenant who claimed that Police Chief Susan Ballard had tampered with recruits’ test scores when she was in charge of the training division. The council approved the payment Friday to settle the ...

Honolulu City Council urges rejection of Navy fuel tank plan

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council is urging the state Department of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reject the military’s plans to prevent leaks of enormous fuel tanks near Pearl Harbor. Hawaii Public Radio reports the council adopted a resolution Friday that ...

State Senate approves immigrant sanctuary bill

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Senate has approved a bill that would make it the second “sanctuary state” for undocumented immigrants. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that the Senate bill has been referred to the House for consideration. The proposal allows local law enforcement to ...

Auditor ends contract for audit of rail change orders

HONOLULU (AP) — The state auditor has canceled a $700,000 contract with an outside accounting firm to examine change orders and other cost items of the 20-mile rail line under construction on Oahu. The office terminated the contract with BKD LLP because it was not happy with the work, state ...

Council OKs legal fees for embattled Honolulu prosecutor

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council has approved hiring a law firm to represent the city’s prosecutor against an impeachment effort launched when he became a target in a federal corruption investigation. The council voted 5-2 Friday to pay up to $75,000 to represent Prosecuting ...

Shipping delays leave some shelves bare at stores across state

HONOLULU (AP) — Shipping delays between Hawaii and the Mainland have left some grocery store shelves empty on Oahu, officials said. Officials with Honolulu-based Matson Inc. confirmed Tuesday that deliveries have fallen behind schedule because of a combination of bad weather and mechanical ...

Honolulu’s top prosecutor takes leave of absence amid federal investigation

HONOLULU — Honolulu’s top prosecutor said Thursday he would take a leave of absence from his office, a move that comes after he has been made a target of a federal corruption investigation. Keith Kaneshiro said in a statement he was acting to “avoid further distraction” and ensure the ...

Hawaii opens medical marijuana registration to visitors

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is allowing visitors who are qualified to receive medical marijuana elsewhere in the U.S. to register and buy it from dispensaries in the state. The state Department of Health announced Tuesday that it is also rolling out an online registration system for medical ...

Hawaii lawmakers pass automatic recount and voter registration bills

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers have passed several bills to make it easier to vote and boost confidence in elections. In the state House, the measures include requiring automatic recounts when victory margins are exceptionally narrow, voting by mail across the state and automatic voter ...

Audit finds Hawaii’s recycle program susceptible to fraud

HONOLULU (AP) — A state audit says Hawaii’s redemption and recycling program is susceptible to fraud because it relies on distributors and redemption centers to self-report. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the audit released Tuesday found that officials have not addressed flaws in the ...

UH-Hilo expects enrollment growth, shooting for 3,500 students in fall

HILO (AP) — Officials at the University of Hawaii at Hilo expect freshman enrollment to increase this fall after seeing growth in the number of student applicants and acceptances. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Big Island university is in its second year of a five-year contract with ...

Hawaii eyes tourism jump from Japan’s longer ‘Golden Week’

HONOLULU (AP) — The tourism industry in Hawaii is anticipating a boost from a stretch of Japanese holidays known as “Golden Week” that has been extended this year. The four national holidays typically held over seven days are a popular time for Japanese tourists to visit Hawaii, the ...

Cancer diagnosis delays Kealohas’ corruption trial

HONOLULU — A trial for a former Honolulu prosecutor, her now-retired police chief husband and officers accused of framing her uncle to try to mask her financial schemes has been moved back so she can get cancer treatment. Katherine Kealoha’s doctor talked to a judge during a court hearing ...

Owner of geothermal plant, damaged by lava, planning to restart this year

HILO (AP) — The owner of a Hawaii geothermal plant that had to close during last year’s eruption of Kilauea volcano plans to bring the plant back online by the end of the year. Ormat Technologies CEO Isaac Angel made the statement in company financial results released last week, the Hawaii ...

Haena park parking and boardwalk ready

HAENA, Kauai (AP) — State officials say Haena State Park on Kauai has a new boardwalk and freshly paved parking lot. But visitors won’t get to use them until flood-damaged Kuhio Highway reopens and road access is restored. That could happen by end of next month. The Garden Island ...

Study: More sharks bite people in Hawaii, but risk is minuscule

HONOLULU (AP) — The rate of shark bites in Hawaii has been increasing slightly in recent years, but the risk remains extremely low — roughly 5-in-1 million — according to new research. Recently published research that looked at 55 years of global data showed shark bites around the ...

USD: ‘Hawaiian Day’ party, lei determined inappropriate

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) — A student organization at the University of South Dakota has been told that holding a “Hawaiian Day” party violates the school’s policy on inclusiveness. So, the Student Bar Association has renamed its winter social event “Beach Day.” And even though the ...

Survey shows increase in people living on Oahu streets

HONOLULU (AP) — Preliminary figures show the number of people living on the streets of Oahu has increased by 12 percent over the last year. The Point in Time Count conducted in late January recorded 2,401 unsheltered homeless people on the island, increasing from the 2,145 counted a year ...

Big Island residents raise cost concern for sewer connection

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Some Big Island residents are asking how they will be able to afford sewer systems connections after large-capacity cesspools are shut down. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Hawaii County is planning to build wastewater treatment plants in Naalehu by 2022 and Pahala by ...