Hawaii News

Restoration planned for Chinatown building

HONOLULU (AP) — A group of investors is planning a $10 million restoration to an iconic building in Honolulu’s historic Chinatown district that is expected to include a new restaurant and boutique hotel. Details of the project were published last week in an environmental assessment by ...

Big Island raises matching funds to save small airport

HILO (AP) — Air service at a small airport on the Big Island will continue this year after officials and community partners raised the amount required in matching funds. The county council approved the remaining amount in matching funds last week for the Waimea-Kohala Airport, accepting ...

Salt-makers working to save practice

LIHUE (AP) — Families that harvest salt from salt beds in Kauai fear current conditions in the unincorporated community of Hanapepe and climate change are threatening their important cultural practice. Ku‘ulei Santos, vice president of the salt-makers’ board, told the Garden Island ...

Officials confirm fifth case of rat lungworm

HONOLULU (AP) — The state has confirmed that a Big Island toddler is the fifth victim this year of rat lungworm, a disease that is expected to continue to spread due to climate change. It’s the third confirmed case of rat lungworm disease on the Big Island. The state Department of ...

Alert level for Hawaii volcano downgraded

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Slowing activity at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano has prompted scientists Friday to downgrade their alert level for the mountain. The U.S. Geological Survey issued a “watch” for Kilauea’s ground hazards, down from a ...

Less popular area of Hawaii Volcanoes sees more activity

HILO (AP) — The closure of the main area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has prompted more people to visit the less-frequented Kahuku Unit, leading to more resources being directed into that area. Most of the Big Island park closed in May because of the Kilauea volcano eruption, so ...

Panel formed to seek solutions to helicopter noise

HILO (AP) — A new roundtable panel will look for solutions to commercial helicopter noise that has drawn the ire of Big Island residents. Officials announced the committee Tuesday during a meeting with residents hosted by the state Department of Transportation Airports Division, the Hawaii ...

Mormon critics challenge church’s tax-exempt status

HONOLULU (AP) — Mormon critics are asking the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to investigate allegations that the church uses a Hawaii cultural center to commit tax fraud. Gay-rights activist and Mormon critic Fred Karger delivered a complaint to a Honolulu IRS office Thursday asking for an ...

Big Island dispensary gets green light to grow medical marijuana

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Department of Health has signaled a green light for a medical marijuana dispensary to start growing on the Big Island. Hawaiian Ethos is the seventh dispensary to open a production center in the state, and the first on the Big Island. Eight dispensaries ...

Honolulu equips first group of officers with body cameras

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Police Department has issued its first set of body-worn cameras to 35 officers. Officers who work day shifts in downtown Honolulu were outfitted with the body cameras Monday, Hawaii News Now reported . The department plans to roll out dozens more every month ...

Hawaii accountant sentenced for stealing $7M from nonprofit

HONOLULU (AP) — A former accountant convicted of stealing nearly $7 million from an Oahu nonprofit organization was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Lola Jean Amorin was sentenced Wednesday after pleading no contest in June to 18 criminal charges, including first-degree theft, computer ...

WWII POWs buried as unknowns in Hawaii get memorial marker

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — Nancy Kragh grew up without her father, who was among 400 prisoners of war killed when a ship taking them from the Philippines to Japan was bombed. On Wednesday, she and other family members of prisoners on that ship dedicated a ...

State / In Brief

The Associated Press Unruly passenger brings flight back HONOLULU — Officials say a flight from Maui to San Francisco was diverted to Honolulu because of an unruly passenger. Hawaii News Now reports Hawaiian Airlines Flight 42 departed from the Kahului Airport on Saturday afternoon ...

Jail gaffe prompts inmate release restriction

HILO (AP) — A recent blunder that resulted in an accused murderer being erroneously released has prompted a new restriction for Hawaii Community Correctional Center inmate releases. Deputy Attorney General Laura Maeshiro, representing the state Department of Public Safety, said Thursday ...

Prohibited emails to telescope case judge prompts notice

HONOLULU (AP) — A member of the Hawaii board that approved a controversial giant telescope improperly contacted a state Supreme Court justice weighing the fate of the project. Justice Michael Wilson filed a notice saying he didn’t read emails he received from Sam Gon last month. The ...

Judge rules against 3rd trial for U.S. agent in fatal shooting

Derrick Watson’s ruling directs state prosecutors to dismiss the case By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER The Associated Press HONOLULU — A U.S. State Department agent who shot and killed a man in a Hawaii fast-food restaurant cannot be tried a third time, a U.S. judge ruled ...

Big Island to request $550M for volcano disaster recovery

HILO (AP) — Big Island Mayor Harry Kim is planning to ask the state Legislature for $550 million for disaster recovery following the effects of the Kilauea volcano eruption. Kim said he discussed a conceptual plan with Gov. David Ige last week, and Hawaii County officials are preparing a ...

Medley of Democrats compete for Hawaii U.S. House seat

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — The seat representing Honolulu in Congress is open for anyone’s taking, as the incumbent, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, runs for governor instead of re-election. Seven candidates are seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination in ...

Missile alert plays a key role in race for governor

By CALEB JONES The Associated Press HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige wants voters to look at his four years of accomplishments, including his handling of the Big Island’s erupting volcano, as reasons to give him a second term. But U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, his main opponent in ...