Hawaii News

State senator to seek US House seat held by Gabbard

HILO (AP) — A Hawaii state senator plans to run for the U.S. House seat held by Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. Democrat Kai Kahele announced his plans Monday. Kahele, a Native Hawaiian, is the Hawaii Senate’s majority floor leader and a major in the Hawaii Air National Guard. He was ...

Postal Service will keep open historic Kauai post office

LIHUE (AP) — A historic post office on Kauai will remain open after the U.S. Postal Service reversed a decision to shut it down. The service had announced its decision to close the Lihue Post Office in December 2017, prompting hundreds of letters and coconuts to be sent to the service in ...

Lamb stolen from Big Island animal shelter

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A lamb named Loa was stolen from a Big Island animal shelter and another sheep injured in the theft had to be euthanized, officials said. Hawaii Island Humane Society staff discovered the months-old lamb was missing from the Waimea shelter Monday, West Hawaii ...

Gabbard apologizes for past LGBTQ statements

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday responded to criticism about her past work advocating against gay rights by apologizing in a video. The nearly four-minute-long clip, which was shot in her Washington, D.C. ...

State sets earlier closing time for Iolani Palace grounds

HONOLULU (AP) — The grounds of the Honolulu palace of the Hawaiian monarchy will close earlier to eliminate the potential for vandalism and vagrancy, officials said. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources announced this week that the Iolani Palace State Monument will close at 6 ...

4 arrests after men occupy OHA lobby

HONOLULU (AP) — The Office of Hawaiian Affairs says 12 people forced their way into the state agency’s lobby and assaulted two staff members. A statement from the agency says the 12 forcibly removed staff members from the lobby of their Honolulu office and occupied the lobby. Honolulu ...

Divers swim with great white

HONOLULU (AP) — Divers monitoring a rotting whale carcass off the shores of Oahu this week found themselves face-to-face with a massive great white shark, prompting state officials to warn recreational divers and snorkelers to stay out of the water near the dead sperm whale amid reports some ...

Hawaii lawmakers consider minimum wage hike

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Lawmakers gathering for the first day of a new legislative session said Wednesday they will consider raising the state’s minimum wage. The state last boosted its minimum wage in 2014, when legislation gradually increased it from ...

Audit: Consultants hold key jobs in Honolulu rail agency

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Private consultants hold key senior positions inside the Honolulu agency building the city’s rail line, yet the agency fails to consistently monitor their performance, the state auditor’s second report on the enormously over-budget rail ...

Huge trash-collecting boom heads to the Big Island for fix

HILO (AP) — A trash collection device that broke apart while deployed in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii was scheduled to arrive to the Big Island on Sunday. The 2,000-foot long floating boom was being towed to Hilo after its support crew discovered that a structural ...

Honolulu city attorney targeted in federal corruption probe

HONOLULU — The city of Honolulu’s chief legal officer received a target letter linked to an ongoing federal corruption investigation sparked by allegations that a now-retired police chief and his former prosecutor wife framed a relative for stealing their home mailbox. The target letter ...

Son sentenced for killing, dismembering mom

HONOLULU — A man who admitted to killing and dismembering his mother during an argument in their Honolulu apartment has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Yu Wei Gong was charged with murder after he called police in 2017 to turn himself in after a suicide attempt. He admitted killing his ...

Housing returns to agenda for lawmakers this year

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers plan to once more tackle the state’s housing shortage as they gather for a new session this week. The Senate is expected to consider a proposal from Sen. Stanley Chang, who wants the state to build high-density apartment buildings on state land near stops along ...

Tourism industry keeping Pearl Harbor visitors’ center open

Donations will keep popular site afloat for at least a week HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii tour companies, hotels and airlines are pitching in more than $50,000 to keep the USS Arizona Memorial visitors’ center open during the federal government shutdown. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports ...

Whales to be counted amid shutdown

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — An annual humpback whale count in Hawaii will take place despite the federal government shutdown. West Hawaii Today reported Friday that volunteers from the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation will coordinate this season’s Ocean Count, a community citizen science ...

Infant diagnosed with rat lungworm

HILO (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health says a Big Island infant who fell ill in December has been confirmed as 2018’s eighth case of rat lungworm disease in the state. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday that the department said in a statement that the East Hawaii child was ...

US Rep. Gabbard is running for president in 2020

Iraq war vet joining what is expected to be a crowded Democratic field WASHINGTON — Democratic U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has announced that she is running for president in 2020. Gabbard said in a CNN interview slated to air today that she will be formally announcing her ...

Auditor: Premature contracts inflated rail costs

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Officials prematurely awarded contracts for Honolulu’s commuter rail line a decade ago to minimize public criticism and show the project was moving along. But this practice dramatically swelled costs as plans changed, a new audit of the ...

Big Island jail, courts make changes after mistaken release

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say procedures have been changed for jails and courts after a man charged with murder was mistakenly released from a Big Island jail last summer. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Hawaii Department of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda told state ...

Family wants answers after boy dies scuba diving

HONOLULU (AP) — The family of a 13-year-old boy who died while scuba diving off Oahu is searching for answers. Temuulin Tsogt was diving Saturday with his family near Hawaii Kai as part of a tour with Island Divers Hawaii. He was visiting the U.S. from Mongolia. Honolulu Ocean Safety ...