Hawaii News

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Records show high-rise had outdated alarms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. ...

Federal grand jury indicts soldier on terrorism charges

By CALEB JONES, The Associated Press HONOLULU — A federal grand jury in Hawaii indicted a U.S. soldier Friday for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State. Army Sgt. 1st Class Ikaika Kang was arrested by an FBI SWAT team July 8. Kang was ordered held without ...

Claims of human rights abuses in Hawaii’s commercial fishing fleet

Complaint filed with human rights commission over enslavement of foreign fishermen By CALEB JONES HONOLULU (AP) — A human rights complaint has been filed with an international commission to investigate claims of human rights violations in Hawaii’s commercial fishing industry. Turtle ...

Woman pleads not guilty in death of granddaughter

HILO — A Hawaii woman has pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the starving death of her 9-year-old granddaughter. A Nov. 13 trial date was set for 59-year-old Henrietta Stone at her arraignment Tuesday, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. Stone is charged along with ...

Native Hawaiians not very healthy, first national study says

By MIKE STOBBE NEW YORK (AP) — Hawaii consistently ranks among the healthiest states, but a federal survey found Native Hawaiians are in unusually bad health. Native Hawaiians — descendants of Hawaii’s original Polynesian settlers — are in worse health than many other Americans. They ...

State still owes $33M for failed inter-island Superferry

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s inter-island ferry was shut down eight years ago, but the state still owes $33 million for the costly failure. The state auditor said Wednesday Hawaii still owes money to pay off the bonds that financed barges and ramps for the ferry. The Hawaii Superferry ran ...