Counting inmates where they live: Redistricting Commission ponders jail and prison populations

Should inmates in Big Island correctional facilities be counted at the facility itself or where they usually live when they’re not incarcerated? That’s a question the county Redistricting Commission is mulling over as it strives to draw boundary lines for County Council districts for the next decade. It’s more than a philosophical debate: As commissioners…

Big Island adds 66 new COVID cases Saturday

The Big Island Saturday reported 66 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the island’s tally to 9,803. The Big Island cases were among 408 new cases of COVID-19 reported across the state Saturday that increased Hawaii’s case total to 77,777. According to the DOH, 6,369 new cases have been reported in Hawaii in the past 14 days,…

Booster shots available but emphasis still on the unvaccinated

Some Big Island residents who are fully inoculated against COVID-19 with a vaccine from Pfizer are now eligible for a booster dose — although the state Department of Health continues to prioritize immunizations for the unvaccinated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday approved a series of recommendations from a panel of…

Neighbors: Suspicious activity at house destroyed by fire

Neighbors of a Hawaiian Beaches home destroyed Wednesday evening in what authorities think might be an intentionally set fire said there had been suspicious activity at the house prior to the blaze. According to a Hawaii Fire Department statement, witnesses saw a woman enter the house. A short time later, there was a “boom,” and…

Water reservoir project moves forward: Final EA released for 10 million gallon tank in Kohala

Hawaii County is moving forward with plans to construct a 10 million gallon water reservoir to serve coastal areas of South Kohala. The Hawaii County Department of Water Supply proposes to build the 36-foot-tall prestressed concrete water tank on property currently owned by Parker Ranch. Also included in the project are accessory waterlines and a…

New Keauhou Post Office operators announced

The U.S. Postal Service recently confirmed it has awarded a temporary contract to a vendor to operate the Keauhou Post Office at Keauhou Shopping Center. The contract, which is valid through the end of November, was awarded to mother-daughter business partnership duo Juslyn and Chelsey Ikeda. The Ikedas will operate the Keauhou Contract Postal Unit…

Man charged for alleged assault aboard Hawaiian Airlines flight

Federal authorities have charged a 32-year-old man who allegedly assaulted a flight attendant Thursday morning on a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Hilo. Steven Sloan Jr. was charged with assault and interfering with a flight crew. Assault is punishable by up to a year in prison, while interfering with a flight crew is punishable…

Supreme Court affirms, but further limits, subpoena of KAHEA bank records

A Hawaii Supreme Court ruling on a subpoena by the attorney general to access bank records of a nonprofit organization opposed to the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope has both parties claiming victory. The high court on Tuesday unanimously partially approved and partially denied an appeal by KAHEA: The Hawaiian Environmental Alliance. The nonprofit…

DOH: 403 new COVID-19 cases statewide, 68 on Big Island

The state Department of Health today reported 403 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, including 68 new infections on the Big Island. An average of 393 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 16-22. Hawaii County now has a 5.7% test positivity rate compared to a 4.8% positivity rate statewide. In the past…

Ironman competition to be held in Utah instead of Kailua-Kona

The Ironman World Championship will be held outside of Hawaii for the first time in its 40-plus history, race officials announced today. The next edition of the grueling triathlon featuring a 2.6-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run will move to St. George, Utah, and be held May 7, 2022, Ironman announced this morning…

Flight attendant on Hilo-bound Hawaiian Airlines jet attacked by passenger

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaiian Airlines said Thursday a passenger assaulted one of its flight attendants in an unprovoked attack during a flight. The airline said the incident occurred shortly after flight HA152 left Honolulu for Hilo at 7:30 a.m. The flight attendant was walking down the aisle at the time. The pilot returned the plane…

DOH: 445 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide, 81 on Big Island

The state Department of Health today reported 445 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, including 81 new infections on the Big Island. An average of 421 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 15-21. Hawaii County now has a 5.7% test positivity rate compared to a 5% positivity rate statewide. In the past…

DOH: 330 new COVID-19 cases statewide, 38 on Big Island

The state Department of Health today reported 330 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, including 38 new infections on the Big Island. An average of 443 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 14-20. Hawaii County now has a 5.8% test positivity rate compared to a 5.3% positivity rate statewide. In the past…

Lots of money, lots of need: Council gets an update on federal rescue funds

By NANCY COOK LAUER West Hawaii Today Hawaii County’s $39 million federal American Rescue stimulus package has increased to almost $60 million, all of which must be spent by the end of 2024, members of the County Council Finance Committee learned Tuesday. And that’s not counting an estimated $168 million in public transit, housing, public…

Experts eye more Hawaii travel testing to contain COVID

HONOLULU — Hawaii officials are facing pressure to increase COVID-19 testing for travelers as the islands deal with a record surge of new infections, hospitalization and deaths. The calls come as federal guidelines change to require negative virus tests from both vaccinated and unvaccinated people coming to the U.S. Despite evidence that more COVID-19 testing…

DOH: 280 new COVID-19 cases statewide, 39 on Big Island

The state Department of Health today reported 280 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Hawaii, including 39 new infections on the Big Island. An average of 465 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 13-19. Hawaii County now has a 6.3% test positivity rate compared to a 5.6% positivity rate statewide. In the past…

Kolekole Bridge weight limit raised to 12 tons

The Hawaii Department of Transportation announced the allowable vehicle-plus-load limit on Kolekole Bridge north of Hilo on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) is now 12 tons. The revised weight restriction is possible due to emergency welding of two of the four steel trusses of the bridge completed Monday. The welds have been tested and signs…

COVID-19 surge tapers off: Hospitalizations, number of new cases in decline

Hawaii appears to be “out of the red zone” for COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. The state Department of Health on Monday reported an average of 484 new cases daily Sept. 12-18. The state averaged 567 new cases daily Sept. 5-11. An average of 706 cases were reported daily Aug. 30-Sept. 5. Lt. Gov. Josh Green…

Alternating single-lane traffic on Kolekole Bridge as repairs under way

The Hilo-bound lane of Kolekole Bridge on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) is closed between now and 3:30 p.m. for emergency repairs, according to the state Department of Transportation. During work hours Hilo-bound traffic will be allowed over Kolekole Bridge by contraflow in the Honokaa-bound lane. Flaggers will direct traffic and electronic signs have been…

DOH: 431 new COVID-19 cases statewide, 59 on Big Island

The state Department of Health today reported 431 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases statewide, including 59 on the Big Island. An average of 484 new cases have been reported daily Sept. 12-18. Hawaii County has a 6.3% test positivity rate, compared to a 5.7% positivity rate statewide. The county’s positivity rate is 1% lower…

Kolekole Bridge disruption: Emergency weight limit impacts emergency responders, truckers, mass transit

State Sen. Lorraine Inouye on Friday said the state Department of Transportation is declaring the area of Hawaii Belt Road near Kolekole Bridge a “traffic emergency zone.” “What that means is, they can do the work in a shorter period of time,” said Inouye, vice chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, who represents the district…

Public meeting on Hoku Kea set for Wednesday

Members of the public are invited to attend a virtual public meeting this week to discuss the University of Hawaii’s plans to decommission the Hoku Kea telescope on Maunakea. A draft environmental assessment for the removal of the teaching telescope was released earlier this month. UH will host an online presentation and question-and-answer period about…

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