DLIR launches another unemployment benefits program

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations on Wednesday announced it will launch the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation Program. Claimants are eligible for MEUC if, in addition to W-2 wages, they earned a net income of at least $5,000 in self-employment work in the most recent taxable year before they applied for unemployment benefits.…

Hilo woman among first winners of vaccination contest

A Hilo woman and Honolulu man were named the first two winners of the #HIGotVaccinated prize giveaway. Elaine Nishiura of Hilo won 100,000 HawaiianMiles, provided by Hawaiian Airlines, and Mark Matsuo of Honolulu won two round-trip tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. “I really appreciate it and was very excited to have won, especially since…

Seattle group wins appeal in quest to overturn Ireland murder convictions

The state Intermediate Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto erred when he denied a group seeking to overturn convictions in the Dana Ireland murder trial a hearing on a motion to unseal post-conviction DNA testing conducted on a piece of key evidence. The ruling by the three-judge appellate panel vacates…

Ige signs Juneteenth, financial protection bills

Gov. David Ige signed five bills into law today, including one that widely reforms the state’s payday lending laws. The five bills were split between two signing ceremonies, one involving a pair of bills commemorating significant days and months, and the other introducing financial protections for vulnerable people. The bills included: • Senate Bill 697,…

HCCC outbreak, lifting of interisland restrictions prompts free testing

Hawaii County will offer a free, short-term COVID-19 testing program in the wake of an ongoing outbreak at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. Testing will start from 3-6 p.m. today at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Tests also will be administered June 19, 23 and 26 in the upper parking lot of Waiakea…

Borce wraps up three-year stint at PTA

After three years at the helm, Lt. Col. Loreto “JR” V. Borce Jr. on Tuesday passed the baton — or, more accurately, presented the colors — of Pohakuloa Training Area to Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin. The Honolulu-born Borce’s command was extended a year in what is usually a two-year assignment to continue work on renewing…

Woman killed in Puna moped crash Sunday

An unidentified woman was killed Sunday evening after crashing a moped on Government Beach Road in Puna. According to a police report, a woman driving a moped north on Government Beach Road veered off the left shoulder, struck a tree and fell into a four-foot ditch. Police responded to the incident at 5:08 p.m. and…

Chinese national indicted in federal court for laundering money through Big Island properties

A Chinese national has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly laundering $11 million through properties on the Big Island. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Yao Zhungjun, 50, of Beijing defrauded his employer — a Chinese corporate entity called J. R. Simplot Company — of millions of dollars…

Hawaii County to offer free COVID-19 testing in Hilo

Hawaii County will will offer a free, short-term COVID-19 testing program to address an ongoing outbreak at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo. According to the county, testing will begin Wednesday at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Tests also will be administered June 19, 23 and 26. The decision to offer this testing was…

Police: California man apparently drowns at Anaehoomalu Bay

Police say a 52-year-old visitor from California apparently drowned Sunday in waters off South Kohala. The victim has been identified as Steve Reading of Murrieta, Calif. Police officers and Hawaii Fire Department personnel responded about 11 a.m. to a report of an unresponsive snorkeler found in waters at Anaehoomalu Bay, within Waikoloa Beach Resort. Reading…

Hilo man shot, killed in Sunday shootout with police

A Hilo man was killed in a shootout with Hawaii police officers at a Hilo residence Sunday evening. According to a Hawaii Police Department news release, South Hilo patrol officers responded at 7:10 p.m. to a domestic abuse report at a residence on Mokuhonua Lane. After officers attempted to contact the occupants of the residence,…

Keeping us all safe: Hundreds get COVID-19 vaccine, though demand for shot is waning

The Hawaii Department of Health held its second COVID-19 vaccine clinic Saturday at Kealakehe Intermediate School, with the majority of participants receiving their second dose. DOH Health Educator Jason Dela Cruz said 154 individuals received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the May 15 clinic at the school. On Saturday, 130 of those…

Construction on Kipuka Keaau Community Center pushed back

Plans to open a youth center in Keaau have been pushed back yet again, with the facility now expected to open to the public in 2026. The Lili‘uokalani Trust was issued county permits to construct the Kipuka Keaau Community Center — a facility in Keaau for Hawaiian children and families to participate in after-school programs…

Hilo man charged with attempted murder, domestic abuse

A Hilo mother of two is in “serious but stable condition” after being stabbed seven times at a residence Thursday morning. Cyrus Jabilona, 24, of Hilo, has been charged with second-degree attempted murder and felony domestic abuse after allegedly stabbing 25-year-old Cheylee Octavio seven times at his residence on Kimo Place in Hilo. “He tried…

Building code revisions ahead: County Council to take up last 2 pieces of construction requirements

The Big Island is moving into 2018. The 2018 international building code, that is. After a year’s delay and consultation with contractors, business groups and members of the architectural, engineering and real estate sectors, the county administration has proposed adoption of two chapters of the code with county-specific amendments. The chapters cover new and existing…

More HCCC inmates test positive

Nearly 200 inmates at Hawaii Community Correctional Center have so far tested positive for COVID-19 in an ongoing outbreak that began last month. The state Department of Public Safety on Friday announced that 40 of 70 new inmate test results received as part of the mass testing effort underway at the Hilo jail were positive,…

State briefs for June 12

Honolulu loosens virus restrictions as vaccinations rise HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu on Friday loosened some restrictions on social activity now that more than half its population has been vaccinated against COVID-19. The new rules allow outdoor social gatherings of up to 25 people and indoor gatherings of up to 10. Karaoke bars and nightclubs may…

Hawaii tourism officials call for more sustainable industry

HONOLULU (AP) — As people flock back to Hawaii after more than a year of pandemic travel restrictions, some industry experts are calling for more environmentally responsible and sustainable forms of tourism. Crowded neighborhoods, highways and beaches have renewed calls for changes in the tourism industry, Hawaii Public Radio reported Wednesday. Hawaii in 2019 had…

Taxi companies lose certificates: Pandemic thins cab ranks even as demand grows

“Bradley Hollister, dba Paradise Taxi!” “Luana Limousine, dba Laura’s Taxi!” “Shaka Taxi!” “Kelly Does Kona LLC, dba World’s Coolest Cab!” One by one, their names were called out in the mostly empty auditorium. The few members in the audience looked at each other, shook their heads and occasionally spoke up. “Oh, he moved to the…

President of Southwest talks expansion during Hilo stop

It was quiet and drizzly Thursday morning as Southwest Airlines President Tom Nealon made his way to the carrier’s counter at Hilo International Airport, warmly greeting the customer service agents behind the desk. As the carrier expands service to and from Hawaii, company leaders spent the week in the islands and visited Hilo on Thursday.…

State briefs for June 11

Union: No charges support action in shooting HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii police union leaders on Thursday said a grand jury’s decision not to indict anyone in a shooting that killed a 16-year-old boy supports the officers’ actions. Grand jurors Wednesday declined to indict three Honolulu police officers in the April shooting death of Iremamber Sykap.…

Popular bluff reopens at HVNP

More trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park have been reopened following the 2018 Kilauea eruption. Uekahuna bluff at the rim of Kilauea’s caldera has been reopened to the public, along with a half-mile of both Crater Rim Drive and Crater Rim Trail connecting the Kilauea Overlook to the Uekahuna parking lot. “We are so pleased…

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