Hawaii News

Hawaii salary commission endorses annual pay raises for elected officials

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii’s state salary commission has recommended a series of annual pay raises for state legislators beginning in 2021. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday that some leading lawmakers support the commission’s recommendation to boost all legislators’ pay by ...

Alert level for Kilauea volcano is lowered

HILO (AP) — Scientists have downgraded the alert level for Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in response to reduced activity, saying the next eruption is likely a few years away. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory announced Tuesday that the alert level for the Big ...

Hawaii County short-term rental rule changes draft published

HILO (AP) — An updated draft of rules for short-term vacation rentals has been published by Hawaii County’s planning department. The list of regulations published by Big Island county planners could end up being the long-awaited final draft, West Hawaii Today reported Monday. Under ...

14-year-old cheetah named Oringo dies at Honolulu Zoo

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Zoo says its only cheetah has died. The zoo announced last week that the 14-year-old male cheetah named Oringo was euthanized because of health complications related to aging. The big, fast cats have an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years in the wild. ...

Hawaii governor requests $4.3M to house inmates in Arizona

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s administration has requested an additional $4.3 million to continue housing inmates on the mainland as security systems are upgraded at a state prison. The latest funding request would bring the cost to $18.7 million for incarcerating prisoners at ...

Hawaiian Humane Society boss quits after euthanasia protests

HONOLULU (AP) — The head of the Hawaiian Humane Society has stepped down amid criticism of her leadership and handling of the organization’s euthanasia policies. President and CEO Lisa Fowler relinquished her post immediately for “personal reasons” after leading the animal protection ...

Redevelopment project for famed Hawaii resort collapses

WAILUA (AP) — An effort to revive a Hawaii resort that hosted Elvis in its heyday has collapsed due to financial difficulties. The Garden Island reported Tuesday that the project to redevelop the former Coco Palms resort fell apart after developers defaulted on $11.2 million in ...

Man injured in apparent shark bite off Big Island

The Associated Press HONOLULU — State officials say a 75-year-old man sustained an apparent shark bite on his leg while paddling an outrigger canoe in an isolated area off Hawaii’s Big Island. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources released a statement Tuesday saying the ...

State / In Brief

The Associated Press Monk seal born in North Kona KAILUA-KONA — A Hawaiian monk seal gave birth on the Big Island’s North Kona coast last week. Claire Simeone, the director of the Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital, told West Hawaii Today she estimates the pup weighs about 25 ...

Honolulu police chief ‘exceeds expectations’

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard gets high marks for her first performance evaluation since taking over the department. The Honolulu Police Commission released Ballard’s evaluation Thursday, saying she “exceeds expectations” in most categories including leadership, ...

Ukulele makers celebrate Portuguese roots

HONOLULU (AP) — The owners of a family ukulele business on Oahu will celebrate their deep musical roots at a cultural festival in Portugal. Joe Souza and his wife, Kristen, have been invited by the Portuguese government to perform in the island of Madeira’s ukulele festival next month, ...

Taiwan leader to stop in Hawaii

BEIJING (AP) — Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen left Thursday on a tour of diplomatic allies in the Pacific that will end with a stopover in Hawaii. Taiwan has struggled to shore up its dwindling roster of allies as countries are choosing instead to establish relations with Beijing, which ...

State / In Brief

The Associated Press Committees reject plastic ban bills HONOLULU — Two state legislative committees have rejected proposals that would have banned a variety of plastics used by the food service industry. The committees on Wednesday amended an anti-plastics bill to delete a section ...

Rail project whistleblower lawsuit attracts federal scrutiny

$9.2 billion rail line is the largest public works project in state history HONOLULU (AP) — A rail contractor whistleblower says the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general has inquired about his claims. A lawsuit filed by 55-year-old Edward Morris says he was fired last ...

Justices reject B&B owner who denied room to gay couple

By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER The Associated Press HONOLULU — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place Hawaii court rulings that found a bed-and-breakfast owner violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to rent a room to a lesbian couple. The justices rejected an ...

Prosecutor visits office despite leave amid probe

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro is on paid leave because he’s a target in a federal investigation but that hasn’t kept him away from the office. Acting Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Nadamoto insisted he’s in charge of day-to-day operations at the office ...

State / In Brief

The Associated Press Hawaiian Airlines to add daily SFO flight HONOLULU — Hawaiian Airlines plans to add an additional daily flight to San Francisco in the fall. The Garden Island reported Sunday that the airline will add a third daily service between Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye ...

Big Island council seeks details of disaster funding

HILO (AP) — County councilors in Hilo are seeking details about how administrators plan to spend millions in disaster funds resulting from the volcanic eruption last year. Hawaii County Council members asked county administrators Wednesday for details of a possible $60 million payout for ...

State sanctuary bill dies in Legislature

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — A bill that would have made Hawaii the third so-called sanctuary state for immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally has died at the state Legislature. The state Senate passed the bill and sent it to the House. But Rep. Gregg Takayama, ...

$1.3 million cash for the home of Honolulu couple in corruption probe

HONOLULU (AP) — A U.S. judge on Wednesday approved the sale of a home belonging to a retired Honolulu police chief and his former prosecutor wife mired in a corruption investigation. A buyer is offering more than $1.3 million in cash for Louis and Katherine Kealoha’s home in Hawaii Kai, ...