DOH reports 15 new COVID-19 cases on Big Island

Fifteen new cases of COVID-19 were reported today on Hawaii Island, bringing the total number of cases reported since the start of the pandemic to 2,604. The state Department of Health of Health reported 72 new cases across Hawaii. According to data from the DOH, 31 cases have been reported in Hilo over the past…

HCCC remains in quarantine; inmate test results pending

No new positive COVID-19 tests were reported Tuesday among inmates or staff at Hawaii Community Correctional Center, which remains in quarantine after an employee recently tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the state Department of Public Safety. The department announced Monday that the Hilo jail was placed in quarantine, per its pandemic protocol, after…

Mayor, council get down to budget business

The county’s finances are in a “precarious” position and the administration and County Council need to put aside “petty politics” and work together, said Mayor Mitch Roth on Tuesday in his first budget presentation before the council’s Finance Committee. “We have many problems. Our county is in a race against time with decrepit and outdated…

One wet March: Most places on BI record higher than average rainfall totals

March, traditionally the rainiest month of the year for the windward side of the Big Island, was much wetter than usual. Most of the rain gauges in East Hawaii recorded wetter than average totals for the month. And Pahoa set a record for March rainfall, with 30.5 inches, or 210% of its March average of…

No timeline in place for Waianuenue road work

A pavement rehabilitation project is in the works for a section of Waianuenue Avenue, but a start date for the improvement has not been established. Sherise Kana‘e-Kane, information and education specialist for the Hawaii County Department of Public Works, said DPW currently is working to secure federal approval and funds for the project. The pavement…

Making Hilo ‘a bit more colorful’: Downtown mural highlights mobility, agriculture

Acolorful new mural is being painted onto the wall of a downtown Hilo business. Big Island Toyota has partnered with Temple Children and is sponsoring a mural that will decorate the wall behind the Hilo Farmers Market on Mamo Street. Hilo artist Kristie Kosmides designed the mural and has a team of people helping her…

State briefs for April 13

Hawaii could pay over $370K in homestead lawyer fees HONOLULU (AP) — The state of Hawaii could pay over $370,000 in lawyer fees after losing a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 2,700 Native Hawaiians who spent years on the waitlist for homestead land. The $370,418 payment is pending approval from the state…

Reports: Man kills self after standoff at Honolulu hotel

HONOLULU (AP) — A standoff between Honolulu police and an armed man who fired shots through the door of his room at a luxury resort ended when the man was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, local media reported Sunday. A SWAT team entered the fourth-floor room at The Kahala Hotel &Resort about 3:30…

Portion of Mamo Street to close for 3 days

The county Department of Water Supply will close Mamo Street from Kamehameha Avenue to the intersection of Punahoa Street for three nonconsecutive days. The closure will be for the installation of new water system infrastructure. Traffic will be limited to local traffic only. The road closure is slated for the following three days: • 8…

Richards allowed to vote on Rodenhurst confirmation despite serving as a reference

It’s not a violation of the ethics code for a County Council member to serve as a reference for someone seeking a county job and then voting on that person’s confirmation, the Board of Ethics ruled Monday on a 3-1 vote. At issue was Kohala Councilman Tim Richards’ endorsement of Public Works Director Ikaika Rodenhurst…

On the call: Dispatchers honored during National Telecommunicators Week

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week — also known as National Dispatchers Week — a time to recognize and thank telecommunications personnel in the public safety communications field. In a ceremony Monday at the Hilo police station, which was attended by Police Chief Paul K. Ferreira and command staff, Mayor Mitch Roth presented…

‘Safe Travel Cards’ in works

Quarantine exemptions for some fully vaccinated travelers could begin as early as May 1. “Safe Travel Cards,” a type of vaccine passport, could be in place for interisland travelers by that date, Lt. Gov. Josh Green said during a livestream Monday. Although details are still being finalized, Green, a Big Island physician, said plans for…

DOH ‘pauses’ use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The state Department of Health said today it will pause its use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. on Tuesday recommended a “pause” in using the single-dose vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots, the Associated Press reported. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and…

Hawaii to allow some nurses to perform abortions

HONOLULU — Gov. David Ige on Monday signed legislation that would make Hawaii the latest state to allow some nurses to perform abortions. Hawaii law previously said only physicians could perform early, in-clinic abortions. But because of a doctor shortage, several smaller islands lack abortion providers which forces residents of those islands to fly to…

Second sibling voted off ‘American Idol’

After making it to the top 24 of “American Idol,” Liahona Olayan was voted off the show Sunday night. Olayan, a former Pahoa resident, was one of eight singers who did not have enough votes from viewers to make it to the next round. Although saddened by the results, Olayan addressed her supporters and followers…

Green: Hawaii to cross milestone of 1 million vaccine doses by week’s end

Lt. Gov. Josh Green anticipates Hawaii will reach the one million COVID-19 vaccine dose mark by week’s end. With 954,594 doses administered by the state, Department of Defense and pharmacies, Green said Monday he expects the number of doses in arms to surpass one million two weeks before initially thought when vaccines began being administered…

Hamakua-Kohala Health working to expand facilities to accommodate physicians

Although Hawaii continues to face a shortage of physicians, finding providers willing to practice isn’t a challenge for Hamakua-Kohala Health. Hawaii’s physician shortage worsened in 2020, but CEO Irene Carpenter said HKH — which has clinics in Laupahoehoe, Honokaa, Waimea and Kapaau — doesn’t have difficulties recruiting or retaining providers. Its problem is space —…

Automatic voter registration bill nears passage

Hawaii is one step closer to joining a growing number of states enacting automatic voter registration. Senate Bill 159 would make voter registration part of the application process for a driver’s license or identification card. The measure was passed by the state House on Friday, with only one vote — Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Oahu) —…

Flood advisory issued for Puna, Ka‘u and interior portions of Big Island

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Ka‘u and Puna and the interior of Hawaii Island. A flood advisory means localized flooding may occur. Rainfall is being reported at a rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour in Volcanoes National Park and the Pahala area, according to Civil Defense. Due to…

Ige to sign bill that will let APRNs perform abortions

Gov. David Ige will sign House Bill 576 into law at 1:30 p.m. today. The legislation will permit advanced practice registered nurses to provide medication or aspiration abortion care in the first trimester of pregnancy — as long as they have prescriptive authority, practice within their specialty and have a valid and unencumbered license. The…

Keaau man dies in motorcycle crash

A Keaau man died following a single-vehicle crash Saturday in Ka‘u. The accident occurred .3 miles west (makai) of the 68.5 mile marker on Highway 11. The Hawaii Police Department has identified the man as 60-year-old Ray Allen Riveira Sr. Responding to a 5:13 p.m. call, police determined that a blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle heading east…

Firefighters battle HPP house fire

The cause of a Friday morning fire that caused significant damage to a home in Hawaiian Paradise Park is under investigation, according to a written statement from the Hawaii Fire Department. Eleven units responded to the 11:18 a.m. alarm of the fire on 16th Avenue, with the first unit arriving on scene seven minutes later.…

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