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Hawaii News

More than half of Honolulu’s virus recovery funds allocated

HONOLULU (AP) — Officials have said nearly 60 percent of Honolulu’s federal coronavirus recovery funds have been allocated for use, leaving $165.4 million pending. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday that Honolulu has spent about $72 million of its available $387 ...

Geothermal plant plans to be back online

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s only geothermal power plant is nearly ready to begin producing electricity again following delays in rebuilding the facility that was partially destroyed by lava two years ago, company officials said. Puna Geothermal Venture plans to restart operations by the end ...

Commission will not amend biomass plant bidding waiver

HONOLULU (AP) — The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission denied a motion to reconsider its previous denial of a bidding waiver for a $350 million biomass plant. Honua Ola Bioenergy hopes to launch the plant that would burn trees to generate electricity on Hawaii island. The commission ...

State tax revenue forecast to drop 11%

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — State tax revenue — severely depleted because of the coronavirus pandemic — will likely decline 11 percent this fiscal year if tourists begin to return to the islands by mid-November, an advisory panel for the governor and lawmakers ...

Honolulu mayor is extending stay-at-home order by 2 weeks

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Tuesday he would extend the city’s stay-at-home order for two weeks to control the coronavirus but will modify the rules to allow solo activity at beaches, parks and trails. The stay-at-home order will be kept in place through Sept. 24. ...

Police panel: Neck restraint should be labeled deadly force

HONOLULU (AP) — A Honolulu Police Department committee said a neck restraint should be designated as a “deadly force” option in the department’s use-of-force policy. Honolulu Police Commission member Richard Parry said the department’s Use of Force Committee favors moving vascular ...

Federal funds to help state battle meth, opioid abuse

LIHUE (AP) — Hawaii is expected to receive more than $4 million in new federal funding to help respond to methamphetamine and opioid abuse. Democratic U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz announced the receipt of a grant that expanded its funding for the first time to address stimulants including meth, ...

State/In Brief

The Associated Press Atlas Air makes emergency landing No injuries were reported after an Atlas Air flight carrying more than 200 people had to return to Honolulu after experiencing engine problems Saturday evening, officials said. Video shared on social media showed passengers sitting ...

Doctor: State virus services are lacking for Pacific Islanders

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii has the highest number of Pacific Islanders per capita in the nation, but the state’s outreach efforts have been ineffective in helping curb the spread of the coronavirus, a doctor who serves the community said. Pacific Islanders have been hardest hit by COVID-19 ...

State’s head of contact tracing returns as COVID-19 cases continue to rise

HONOLULU (AP) — The head of Hawaii’s coronavirus contact tracing program has returned to work after going on leave earlier in the week because of department confusion over the chain of command. Dr. Emily Roberson resumed her position as disease investigation branch chief with the state ...

Hawaii island closes beaches, shore parks through Sept. 19

HILO (AP) — Hawaii County has closed all beaches and shoreline parks for part of September in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said the closure went into effect Friday and continue on the Big Island through Sept. 19. The agency ...

Inmate arrested for allegedly killing man inside Oahu jail

HONOLULU (AP) — Authorities arrested a man on charges he killed a fellow inmate inside an Oahu jail in the second violent death in a Hawaii correctional facility within weeks. Police arrested 27-year-old Ezequiel Zayas on suspicion of first-degree murder after he allegedly assaulted ...

75th anniversary of end of WWII is mostly virtual amid pandemic

By CALEB JONES The Associated Press HONOLULU — When Japanese military leaders climbed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945, the battleship was packed with U.S. sailors eager to see the end of World War II. On Wednesday, the 75th anniversary of the surrender, some of ...

Oahu beach has first green sea turtle hatchlings

COVID-19 mulled as reason for nests HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaiian green sea turtle hatchlings appeared for the first time on an Oahu beach owned by the U.S. military, which wildlife experts believe may be partly a result of the coronavirus. Experts said there have never before been hatched ...

3 Hawaii inmates, 1 employee test positive for virus

OCCC now tallies nearly 300 — 256 inmates and three staff — with the coronavirus HONOLULU (AP) — The state Department of Public Safety announced Friday that three inmates and one staff member at the Oahu Community Correction Center tested positive for COVID-19. There are now nearly ...

Health officials dispute contact tracing report

By CALEB JONES The Associated Press HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Health is disputing a state auditor report that said health officials did not provide timely information on its coronavirus contact tracing program. The report, released Wednesday, says the auditor’s office ...

Judge intervenes in prison housing for alleged crime boss

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER The Associated Press HONOLULU — A Honolulu businessman accused of leading a violent organized crime ring was segregated from other inmates at a detention center beyond the 14-days of quarantine to protect against the spread of COVID-19, until a U.S. judge ...

Law school graduates in Hawaii fear virus infection at bar exam

HONOLULU (AP) — Some recent law school graduates in Hawaii have said they fear being infected with the coronavirus during the state bar exam. The Hawaii bar exam is expected to proceed Sept. 9 and 10 with possibly up to 200 applicants confined to a single room for eight hours per day, The ...

Hawaii auditors stonewalled in contact tracing probe

By CALEB JONES The Associated Press HONOLULU — A report from Hawaii’s state auditor’s office says Department of Health officials stonewalled them while attempting to get answers about the government’s coronavirus contact tracing program. The report, which was released ...