Hawaii News

Residents settling in at Big Island homeless camp

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — After drawing much skepticism from the community, an open-air homeless camp in Kailua-Kona has become a symbol of optimism after only more than a week into its existence. Linda Vandervoort was one of the community members who was more than a little skeptical when she ...

Battle starts over $200M estate of royal descendant

HONOLULU (AP) — The $200 million estate of a 91-year-old descendant of Hawaiian royalty has become the topic of a legal dispute between her lawyer and her longtime partner. The Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa suffered an acute stroke in June, which on July 24 turned into her ...

State / In Brief

The Associated Press Weaned monk seal moved to new home HONOLULU — A Hawaiian monk seal born on a Waikiki beach has been moved so that it can remain a wild animal and won’t become accustomed to interacting with people. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources says the female ...

Deportation of Hawaii coffee farmer appealed

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — Nearly a month after a Hawaii coffee farmer returned to Mexico on orders to leave the United States, his attorney is fighting for the man’s return. Jim Stanton filed a notice Tuesday with the Board of Immigration Appeals, signaling intent to dispute a Department of ...

Sprinkler retrofit bill advances in Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) — Some Honolulu residents believe a bill that would require older high-rise buildings to retrofit sprinklers would be too costly, while others believe the sprinklers would prevent another deadly fire like the one last month. The Honolulu City Council pushed the bill through its ...

Oahu resident contracts rat lungworm brain parasite

HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Health said an Oahu resident has contracted rat lungworm, a potentially deadly brain parasite. The department said Wednesday that it’s not known how the individual got the disease. The person began experiencing symptoms last month. An investigation ...

False killer whale used in sonar research back in limelight

Kina currently at Sea Life Park; animal rights activists say she should go free By CALEB JONES / The Associated Press WAIMANALO, Oahu — Compared with other marine mammals, 40-year-old Kina has lived a particularly winding and high-profile life. She went from the open ocean off Japan, to a ...

Newborn monk seal to be moved

HONOLULU (AP) — State and federal authorities plan to move a newborn Hawaiian monk seal away from Waikiki so it can remain a wild animal and won’t become accustomed to interacting with people. Officials will take the seal shortly after it is weaned to a remote, undisclosed part of Oahu ...

Officials believe invasive deer eradicated

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Hawaii officials believe they have successfully removed an invasive deer species from the southern region of Big Island with no confirmed sightings of axis deer in five years. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife investigation determined that axis deer were introduced to Kau eight ...

Father is questioning prison about suicide policy

HONOLULU (AP) — The father of a Hawaii inmate who took her own life is asking why the prison she was held at had her in solitary confinement instead of suicide watch before her death. Jessica Fortson, 30, was found unconscious in a cell by a corrections officer on July 11 and was declared ...

Hamilton inducted into the Surfers’ Hall of Fame

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Hawaii surfer Bethany Hamilton lost 60 percent of her blood and her left arm in a 2003 shark attack. After multiple surgeries, she vowed to get back on the board — which she did just one month later. And now, 14 years later, she has taken her place among the ...

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 ...