Beach birth: Hawaii blocks some Waikiki sands for seal pup
The birth this week of an endangered seal at Hawaii’s most popular tourism hubs highlights the tension between protecting the islands’ fragile ecosystems and maintaining access to the pristine white-sand beaches that attract millions of visitors each year.
Dirty money: Ex-lawmaker gets 2 years for cesspool bribes
A former Hawaii lawmaker has been sentenced to two years in prison in a federal corruption case that’s drawn attention to a perennial problem in the islands: the tens of thousands of cesspools that release 50 million gallons of raw sewage into the state’s pristine waters every day.
Prosecutors: 2 Hawaii lawmakers took bribes to steer bills
Federal prosecutors say a Hawaii state senator and a state representative took bribes including cash, hotel rooms and casino chips in exchange for shaping legislation that would benefit a company involved in publicly financed cesspool conversion projects.
Stanford beats Liberty, spoils Darius McGhee’s 41-point game
Spencer Jones scored a career-high 25 points, Brandon Angel scored 10 of his 17 points in the final nine minutes and Stanford beat Liberty 79-76 on Thursday in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, spoiling Darius McGhee’s 41-point performance.
Hawaii gets tourism surge as coronavirus rules loosen up
When quarantine rules were put in place early in the pandemic, arrivals plummeted and the state's tourism-dependent economy tanked. In October, state officials launched a pre-travel testing program that allowed visitors to sidestep quarantine rules. With a few exceptions, people in Hawaii are still required to wear masks while in public. “I think we’re all going to have to be prepared for a potential surge in tourism,” said Hawaii state Rep. Scott Saiki, a Democrat. “These banners provide a tool to help Honolulu Police officers do their jobs in gaining compliance with COVID-19 rules,” Sakahara said.
Kevin Na has a big finish and wins the Sony Open
Chris Kirk putts on the 13th green during the third round at the Sony Open golf tournament Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Honolulu. Na finished one shot ahead of Joaquin Niemann and Chris Kirk, and only one of them got a consolation prize. Niemann chipped in for birdie from 55 feet on the par-3 17th and got up-and-down with a long bunker shot on the 18th hole for a 66. Needing nearly 150 FedEx Cup points at the Sony Open, his tie for second was worth 245 points. He looked comfortable even when the Sony Open appeared to be slipping away.
Steele takes lead with 61 to get another chance in Sony Open
Brendan Steele lines up his putt on the ninth green during the third round at the Sony Open golf tournament Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)HONOLULU – Brendan Steele knows he can play well at the Sony Open whether it's windy or calm, in sunshine or rain. One year after Steele lost a late lead at Waialae and lost in a playoff, he delivered the lowest score of his career Saturday in ideal conditions with a 9-under 61 that gave him a two-shot lead going into the final round. “You hope that you come back and you play well and erase whatever negative memories there are,” Steele said. It was wide open on Saturday, and it's not likely to be any different in the final round.
Nick Taylor gets a break and a birdie and leads Sony Open
Nick Taylor hits from the eighth fairway during the second round of the Sony Open golf tournament Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu. Taylor gave himself at least some separation with a gap wedge to 6 feet for birdie on No. 8, and then even his worst swing of the day turned into a birdie on the par-5 ninth. “I think it's probably harder out here to make double (bogey) and there's a lot of birdie opportunities,” Taylor said. Cink already won the season-opener in the Safeway Open in September, his first victory since the 2009 British Open at Turnberry.
Niemann finishes with eagle and shares the lead at Sony Open
(AP Photo/Jamm Aquino)HONOLULU – Joaquin Niemann had no regrets about the 18th hole at the Sony Open. “Spent a few days thinking about that last hole, but taking all the positives from the week and pull it out for this week.”They weren't easy days for Niemann. The 22-year-old from Chile is still too young to have experienced the inevitable losses that pile up in this sport. Niemann's only bogey was when he fell asleep on a 25-foot birdie putt above the hole at No. We talked for an hour about the whole tournament, not for that 18th hole.
Lava spatters, flows inside crater of Hawaii volcano
This Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, photo released by the U.S. Geological Survey shows continuing eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano. Geological Survey via AP)HONOLULU – Lava spattered and flowed over the weekend inside the crater of a Hawaii volcano that began erupting in December. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the lava is confined to the summit crater of Kilauea, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Sunday. Vents on the northwest side of the crater spattered Saturday while erupting lava flowed through crusted-over channels into a lava lake that has formed in the crater. A small island of cooler, solidified lava floated in the lava lake, rising about 20 feet (6 meters) above the surface, scientists said.
Hawaii volcano gushes lava from vents in summit crater
Lava is rising more than 3 feet per hour in the deep crater of a Hawaii volcano that began erupting over the weekend. The U.S. Geological Survey says Kilauea volcano within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island was gushing molten rock from at least two vents inside its summit crater. Kilauea volcano began spurting lava Sunday after two years of relative silence. About 700 homes were destroyed when lava surged through volcanic vents in a residential neighborhood during the last year of that episode. The lava bursting out of the ground during the latest eruption is contained within Halemaumau, a massive crater within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Volcano erupts on Hawaii's Big Island, draws crowds to park
In this photo provided by the National Park Service, people watch an eruption from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on the Big Island on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. In the first hours of the eruption, lava mixed rapidly with water in the summit's crater lake to create steam. The water was the first ever recorded in the summit crater of Kilauea volcano. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Jessica Ferracane said in a telephone interview that the volcanic activity is a risk to people in the park and that caution is needed. Last night's eruption was contained to the summit caldera within the national park.
Hawaii certifies Biden's win of state's presidential vote
HONOLULU – Hawaii on Tuesday certified the results of its presidential vote after the state Supreme Court dismissed an elections complaint challenging the entirety of the Nov. 3 general election in the islands. President-elect Joe Biden won 63.1% of Hawaii’s vote, compared to President Donald Trump’s 34%, according to the final summary report from the state Office of Elections. The pending court case had held up certification of the presidential vote for more than two weeks. The plaintiffs alleged the state’s non-partisan Office of Elections violated state law when they implemented the state’s new vote-by-mail system this year. Hawaii’s elections are administered by the Office of Elections, a state agency that reports to the bipartisan Hawaii State Elections Commission.
Police: Couple flew to Hawaii despite positive virus tests
HONOLULU – A couple were arrested at a Hawaii airport after traveling from the U.S. mainland despite knowing they were infected with COVID-19, authorities said. The couple took a COVID-19 test in Seattle after returning from abroad, police said, then received their positive results while flying between Seattle and San Francisco. “Officials notified the couple of positive test results and directed them to isolate.”But the two, who had a layover in San Francisco, decided to continue on to Hawaii over the weekend. “They knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death,” Kauai police said. Effective Wednesday, all travelers to Kauai must spend 14 days in quarantine regardless of whether they obtain a negative COVID-19 test.
Hawaii seeks to be seen as a remote workplace with a view
A group of Hawaii leaders is trying to attract more people like Matsui to work remotely in Hawaii during the pandemic. (Ashley McCue via AP)HONOLULU – Software engineer Raymond Berger begins his work day at 5 a.m., before the sun comes up over Hawaii. Lifelong Kauai resident Jonathon Medeiros felt uncomfortable when he saw an airline ad luring remote workers to Hawaii. Many Hawaii neighborhoods are overrun with illegal short-term vacation rentals, and having those properties occupied legally by longer-term tenants is appealing, said Ryan Ozawa, communications director for local tech company, Hawaii Information Service. “We want to do our part in keeping Hawaii safe.”While the Millers plan to stay four to six months, others are looking at Hawaii as a longer-term remote workplace.
Long wait for Hawaii vote spurs call for more voter centers
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, a long line of people waiting to vote stretches around City Hall on Election Day, in Honolulu. Overall, the state’s vote-by-mail election appears to have been a big success, leading to record numbers of voters participating. The law also gives voters the option to vote in person at voter service centers, where people may also register to vote or get help with casting a ballot. Ma said people waited between two to four hours on Tuesday at the two voter centers on Oahu, an island with about 549,000 registered voters. Another factor was people who view voting in person on Election Day as sacrosanct and something they wanted to do.
US surgeon general to plead not guilty in Hawaii virus case
Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday that his client, who is charged with illegally entering a Hawaii public park that was closed because of the coronavirus, will plead not guilty. The rural park offers a view of the famed Mokolii island, also known as Chinaman’s Hat for its cone shape. Adams told a police officer who cited him that he was visiting Hawaii to work with Gov. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell had closed them at the time to try to prevent crowding that could spread the virus. It’s important that we all do the right things right now, even if we don’t feel we are personally at risk.”
Lives Lost: Hawaii football coach who prepped kids for life
A Honolulu community is mourning the loss of Talamoa, a mentor, football coach and father figure who died after contracting COVID-19. (Ke'ala Aki via AP)HONOLULU – Honolulu football coach Willie Talamoa bought his players cleats, drove them to practice and often stayed late to talk with those having trouble in school. “Next thing you know, the kid’s asking to try out for the football team,” Aki said. If Millare was slacking in school, Talamoa prodded him to do better. “I can hear him honking his horn and that’s a sign for me to know, ’Oh, Coach Willie is here.
Tourists return to Hawaii amid ever-changing pandemic rules
Coronavirus weary residents and struggling business owners in Hawaii will be watching closely as tourists begin to return to the islands on Thursday without having to self-quarantine upon arrival. The new testing program is an effort to stem the devastating downturn the pandemic has had on Hawaii’s tourism-based economy. But gaps in the pre-travel testing program coupled with increasing cases of COVID-19 across the U.S. have raised questions about whether Hawaii is ready to safely welcome back vacationers. David Ige on Wednesday to talk about a new restaurant debit card that will give some unemployed Hawaii residents a $500 to spend at local restaurants over the next 60 days. “This second test upon arrival to Hawaii island will provide an extra layer of protection for our community," said Big Island Mayor Harry Kim in a statement Monday.
Pearl Harbor shooting probe finds mental health care flaws
The Navy said Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, its investigation into a shooting at Pearl Harbor last December was unable to determine what caused a submarine sailor to kill two civilian workers before fatally shooting himself. Romero was assigned to the USS Columbia submarine, which was in dry dock at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard at the time of the Dec. 4 shooting. The report singled out shortcomings by the submarine force's mental health program, which diagnosed Romero with “phase of life problems.” Romero met with a licensed provider at the program's Pearl Harbor clinic once. A forensic psychiatrist who reviewed Romero's case for the investigation said Romero showed signs of an undiagnosed mental disorder. The psychiatrist said the most probable diagnoses for Romero, in order of likelihood, were as follows: autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety disorder, personality disorder, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder and adjustment disorder.
Hawaii to allow travelers to skip quarantine with virus test
David Ige said Wednesday that starting Oct. 15, travelers arriving from out of state may bypass a 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative for COVID-19. Travelers will have to take the test within 72 hours before their flight arrives in the islands. Earlier this year Ige planned to start a pre-travel testing program on Aug. 1 only to have to postpone it as COVID-19 cases spiked on the U.S. mainland and in Hawaii. Hawaii leaders are hopeful that pre-travel testing will encourage people to return to a Hawaii in a way that keeps residents safe. “I want to emphasize that this pre-travel testing will allow us to add a greater element of safety for travel into our state,” Ige said at a news conference.
Kahele wins Hawaii Democratic primary for Congress
FILE -- In this Jan. 15, 2020 file photo, is state Sen. Kai Kahele at the opening day of the Hawaii Sate Legislature in Honolulu. Kahele is favored to win the Democratic Partys nomination to represent Hawaiis 2nd Congressional District in the primary election. The seat is currently held by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat who decided not to run for reelection so she could focus on her presidential campaign, which was ultimately unsuccessful. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)
Kahele wins Hawaii Democratic primary for Congress
FILE -- In this Jan. 15, 2020 file photo, is state Sen. Kai Kahele at the opening day of the Hawaii Sate Legislature in Honolulu. Kahele is favored to win the Democratic Partys nomination to represent Hawaiis 2nd Congressional District in the primary election. (AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy, File)HONOLULU State Sen. Kai Kahele has won the Democratic nomination to represent Hawaiis 2nd Congressional District in Saturday's primary election. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ed Case won the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District seat after he ran unopposed. He represented the 2nd Congressional District from 2002 to 2007 and served in the state House from 1994 to 2002.
Crew makes ocean trip to recover deceased Paralympian's boat
HONOLULU A sailing crew embarked from Honolulu on a mission to locate and recover the boat of Paralympian who died during a solo attempt to row from California to Hawaii. The U.S. Coast Guard located her body June 22, two days after Madsen sent a message saying she planned to enter the water to make a repair. Madsens boat, Row of Life, carried two transmitters that sent a final location Friday before becoming caught in Hurricane Douglas. The crew expects to spend about five days aboard Johnsons sailboat, Blue Moon, before reaching the spot where Madsen's boat is likely to be. One of the primary goals is to recover personal items remaining on Row of Life, including a video diary of the journey.
Hurricane Douglas within 'razor thin' distance of Hawaii
Surfers take on large waves generated by Hurricane Douglas at Laie Beach Park, Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Laie, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)HONOLULU Hurricane Douglas came within razor thin distance of the Hawaiian Islands but spared the state the worst of the strong winds, storm surge and flooding officials had warned about. It had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph), making it a Category 1 hurricane. President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for Hawaii because of the hurricane, directing federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts. A warning for Maui and a hurricane watch for the Big Island were canceled.
Hawaii prepares for high winds, rain as hurricane nears
A worker puts reinforcements on boarded storefront windows in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, Saturday, July 25, 2020, as Hurricane Douglas approaches. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)HONOLULU Hawaii prepared for the onslaught of Hurricane Douglas on Sunday, with predictions of high winds, rain and storm surge. Douglas weakened Saturday to a Category 1 hurricane as it approached Hawaii, but officials warned people should not be lulled into complacency. We know that it is weakening as it approaches, but it still will have significant impact on each island, Hawaii Gov. President Donald Trump issued an emergency declaration for Hawaii because of the hurricane, directing federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts.
Ex-officer in Hawaii sentenced for making man lick urinal
FILE - This undated file photo from video provided by Hawaii News Now shows Honolulu police officer John Rabago outside federal court in Honolulu. A former Honolulu police officer has been sentenced to four years in prison for forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal. The homeless man was just as defenseless and powerless as the children of defendant John Rabago, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said. Rabago threatened to beat the man and stuff his face in a toilet if he didn't lick the urinal, Kobayashi said. Earlier this year, the homeless man filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department and the city.
Pandemic knocks out large sections of Hawaii's economy
The coronavirus pandemic has taken out large sections of Hawaii's tourism-based economy, including the Chang family's turtle and dolphin snorkel tour business and their regular music gig in Waikiki. Roland Changs sister NJ compared the wreckage to the way the fire goddess lays waste when a volcano erupts and lava flows across the land. Their tour business may even have to close. I think there are a lot more questions than answers, Roland Chang said. Roland Chang said he supports these moves, given they are so important to protect the elderly who are more vulnerable to the disease.
Hawaiian Airlines passengers taken to hospital after smoke in cabin
A flight from Hawaii to New York was diverted when an attendant died on board. (CNN) - Seven passengers were taken to hospitals when a Hawaiian Airlines flight landed in Honolulu on Thursday with smoke in the cabin and cargo hold, officials said. The passengers had "smoke-related symptoms," Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement. The other 177 passengers and the seven crew members were bussed to the terminal. "We sincerely apologize to our passengers for this incident and thank them for their cooperation in the evacuation," the airline statement said.
Obama's high school jersey for auction
(CNN) - A high school basketball jersey once worn by former President Barack Obama is up for auction. The white jersey, which says "Punahou" and "23" on the front in blue lettering, is faded and stained but still expected to fetch a pretty penny. The future 44th president wore the jersey in his senior year at Punahou School in Honolulu, where he was a member of the 1979 Hawaii State Champion boys' varsity basketball team. The jersey belongs to another Punahou alum, Peter Noble, who was three years younger than Obama. The jersey comes with Noble's yearbook from Obama's senior year, according to Heritage Auctions.
At least 35 people injured on Air Canada flight headed to Australia
CNN VideoAt least 35 passengers were wounded when an Air Canada flight on its way to Sydney encountered severe turbulence, the airline said. After leaving Vancouver on Thursday, Air Canada flight 33 was forced to land at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, the airline said. "We just hit turbulence pretty quick. Lots of people hit the ceiling, lots of screaming," passenger Michael Bailey told CNN affiliate KHNL/KGMB. The flight, which was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, was about two hours past Hawaii when it hit "unforecasted and sudden turbulence," the airline said.