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Hawaii News

COVID-19 pandemic turbo-charges state government’s use of technology

HONOLULU — Before the pandemic, a Hawaii state senator drafted legislation to compel the University of Hawaii’s board to livestream its meetings so faculty and students on different islands could watch. University officials asked for two years to implement the idea. Then the pandemic ...

Honolulu extends driver’s license renewal deadline to April

HONOLULU (AP) — City officials in Honolulu have extended the deadline to renew driver’s licenses, state identification cards and permits to mid-April in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The city said the extension would provide additional time for about 30,000 residents on Oahu to ...

Rare nest of sea turtle hatchlings rescued

HILO (AP) — A Hawaii family discovered a rare nest of olive ridley sea turtles on the Big Island before alerting experts, who said the hatchlings are not normally encountered in the area. Jeremy, Jen and Kian Van Arkel found about seven hatchlings stuck in rocks and driftwood debris on a ...

Hanauma Bay to open 1 hour earlier than normal

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation has announced that it will open the Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve to the public an hour earlier than normal. The bay will now open at 6:30 a.m. “This aims to cut down on lines, especially in the morning,” said department ...

Mayor extends COVID-19 safety rules in Honolulu

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi has extended coronavirus restrictions for another month through mid-March starting today, but said that could change if confirmed cases remain low. “I don’t want to mislead the public in any way,” Blangiardi said during a news conference ...

EPA fines Hawaii oil refinery for safety, waste violations

HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii oil refinery has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $219,638 for chemical safety and hazardous waste violations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said. Par Hawaii Refining LLC violated the federal Clean Air Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act at ...

Man unhurt after sliding down Mauna Kea slope

HONOLULU (AP) — A man was unharmed after sliding hundreds of feet down a slope from the summit of Hawaii’s highest mountain, authorities said. The Hawaii County Fire Department estimated the man slid about 700 feet down an icy slope on Mauna Kea shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday. Rescue ...

Army to conduct training exercises during February

HONOLULU (AP) — The U.S. Army will conduct all mission-essential training exercises at Schofield Barracks throughout the month of February, military officials said. The announcement was made last week with a warning to local communities who may hear training activities from their nearby ...

At least 2 seals die after caught in fishing nets

HONOLULU (AP) — Postmortem exams show at least two of three Hawaiian monk seals found on Kauai last year died after they were caught in fishing nets. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration determined the seals likely drowned after becoming entangled in gillnets, KITV-TV ...

State/In Brief

The Associated Press Wind farm to fund bat, petrel research HONOLULU — The operator of a Hawaii wind farm has agreed to fund research into their environmental practices after some endangered species were killed by their turbines. Kawailoa Wind agreed to pay $250,000 to research how ...

Protest police presence backed by appeals court

KAILUA-KONA (AP) — A Hawaii appellate court has ruled that Hawaii County’s police chief was within his authority when he requested help from police in other counties during the 2019 protests over the Thirty Meter Telescope. The state Intermediate Court of Appeals issued an opinion last ...

Final two in corruption case sentenced

HONOLULU (AP) — A retired Honolulu police officer and a Big Island firefighter were sentenced Wednesday in connection with a corruption case involving a former Honolulu prosecutor and her retired police chief husband. Retired Honolulu police officer Niall Silva was sentenced to nine months ...

Lawmakers want new management over Mauna Kea

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — House Democratic leaders announced plans Tuesday to develop a new management structure for Hawaii’s tallest mountain, where protesters in past years have blocked the construction of a large telescope on the peak some Native Hawaiians ...

Hawaii GOP chairwoman resigns over QAnon tweet controversy

By AUDREY McAVOY The Associated Press HONOLULU — The chairwoman of the Hawaii Republican Party has resigned after a senior party member used an official Twitter account to send tweets defending adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Shirlene Ostrov stepped down “to allow the ...

Honolulu City Council approves housing tower in Chinatown

HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council has endorsed an affordable rental housing tower for older adults on city land in Chinatown. Council members voted Wednesday to provide regulatory approval for the 156-unit Halewaiolu Senior Residences project for older residents with low incomes, ...

FHB posts 4Q earnings

HONOLULU (AP) — First Hawaiian Inc. (FHB) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $61.7 million last week. The Honolulu-based bank said it had earnings of 47 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for nonrecurring costs, were 50 cents per share. The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. ...

State/In Brief

The Associated Press Pre-travel testing to include South Korea HONOLULU — Travelers from South Korea can soon bypass Hawaii’s mandatory 10-day quarantine by producing a negative COVID-19 test from a trusted screening partner in their home country. Democratic Gov. David Ige ...

Concerns raised over $53K plan to honor historic home

HONOLULU (AP) — Birthday plans for one of Hawaii’s most esteemed houses have raised concerns over the proposed $53,000 cost while the state deals with significant economic problems stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. David Ige proposed the commemoration of Washington Place, the ...

Hawaii GOP official resigns after posting pro-QAnon tweets

By MARK THIESSEN The Associated Press A high-ranking official with the Hawaii Republican Party confirmed Monday that he resigned after posting a series of tweets about the QAnon conspiracy theory on the official party account, saying its adherents shouldn’t be mocked. “We should ...

University of Hawaii to proceed with teaching telescope

HILO (AP) — The University of Hawaii plans to proceed with construction of a teaching telescope on the state’s highest mountain despite mixed reaction from the public. The university plans to erect the telescope at Halepohaku, a mid-level facility on Mauna Kea, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald ...