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pixabay/Creative Commons

The oversight commission for Hawaiʻi’s jails and prisons is raising concerns over the state’s plan to mass test inmates for COVID-19. The state Department of Public Safety maintains its prison population is a priority for testing, but at their monthly meeting, the commissioners disagreed, saying it is jails that are more of a worry.


The lack of visitors to Hawaii continues to drain local businesses. That includes some major attractions, such as Dole Plantation and Kualoa Ranch. Jobs have been cut, other adjustments have been made — and an uncertain future lies ahead.

AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe

Anti-government protestors in Thailand are planning their biggest rally to date this weekend. Organizers say they expect as many as a hundred thousand people to show up in the streets of Bangkok. So far, the government is reacting with caution.

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

Updated: 9/18/2020,  9:05 p.m.

The Hawaii Department of Health today reported 13 deaths from COVID-19 and 114 new cases. Twelve of the deaths are from the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, where 17 people have died of the virus. The state said the delay in accounting for the fatalities was because of pending medical records.

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Autonomous vehicles may soon be coming to Hawaii’s streets, but will still need a human operator for now.

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The state Department of Health issued guidance for schools, both public and private, to transition to at least some in-person learning.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is claiming "resounding vindication" from an independent commission's report on the coronavirus crisis in nursing homes, but some panel members say that's a misinterpretation of their conclusion that much remains to be done to safeguard vulnerable residents.

AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

For the first time in nearly eight years, Japan has a new Prime Minister. While Shinzo Abe has left the government, his influence remains — including in the cabinet of his successor.

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

Mainland travelers may be able to avoid quarantine if they get a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in Hawaii starting October 15th. But some say the one-test plan is unsafe for Hawaii.

Office of the Governor

Updated: 9/17/2020, 3:07 p.m.

The Hawaii Department of Health today reported four more deaths from COVID-19 and 160 new cases. The daily infections are in the triple digits again having fallen below 100 earlier in the week. 

Casey Harlow / HPR

The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing many local businesses and organizations to the financial brink. One of them is the Waikīkī Aquarium – a local institution hanging on by a thread.

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One of the most influential financial groups in the Asia Pacific warns that tens of millions of people in the region may be pushed below the poverty level by the coronavirus. The Asian Development Bank expects improvements next year, but prospects vary from country to country.

Sandee Oshiro/HPR

HILO — A new state program providing $100 million of rental assistance to struggling tenants in Hawaii has received more than 6,000 applications.

AP Photo/Eugene Tanner

Updated: 9/16/2020, 12:10 p.m.

The Hawaii Department of Health today reported three more deaths from COVID-19 and 102 new cases. The daily infections are up to triple digits again after two days when daily infections had fallen below 100. 

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sending a larger COVID-19 team to the Big Island Thursday to help contain the coronavirus outbreak at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home. Multiple investigations are underway into the outbreak at the Hilo nursing home that has claimed the lives of 14 veterans and left another 84 residents and staff infected with the virus.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

WASHINGTON — Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday the House will remain in session until lawmakers deliver another round of COVID-19 relief, a move that came as Democrats from swing districts signaled discontent with a standoff that could force them to face voters without delivering more aid.

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The timing of a broad return of tourism to Hawaii remains a question mark.  Some airlines are betting that by next summer demand will increase for mainland routes to the islands. But airlines around the world are struggling—and some in the Asia Pacific are announcing new plans for survival.

sirichai_1999 / Pixabay

Hawaii is experiencing drought in many parts of the state after an unusually dry August, which is normally the peak month of hurricane season.

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File

Updated 9/15/20, 12:47 p.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The city of Louisville agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor and reform police practices as part of a settlement announced Tuesday, months after Taylor's slaying by police thrust the Black woman's name to the forefront of a national reckoning on race.

AP Photo/Tim Wright

Updated: 9/16/2020, 12:19 p.m.

Fourteen people have now died of COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo operated by Utah-based Avalon Health Care Group. The nursing home operator has also recorded deaths at its two other Hawaii facilities, five at the Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center and three at Avalon Care Center.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Joint Information Center

The state Department of Health has redesigned its contact tracing program with a new leader to adapt to the surge in COVID-19 cases. It's too soon to tell if the changes will be enough to contain the virus but the program will be closely watched.

Richard Wainwright/AAP Image via AP

One of the world’s largest mining companies is changing some of its top management following the destruction of sites sacred to Indigenous people in Australia. The move comes after months of criticism — including from some of the company’s top shareholders.

Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home

Updated: 9/14/2020, 12;15 p.m.

The state Department of Health today reported no new deaths and 80 COVID-19 cases, the first time the number of daily infections has fallen below 100 in recent days.

Hawaii Public Radio

Small businesses owners on Oahu say constant disruptions from efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 are making survival increasingly untenable.

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In a monumental announcement Monday, scientists say they have detected a chemical compound in the atmosphere of Venus that is strongly associated with biological life.

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Jeff Rich, a University of Hawaii Manoa graduate, is set to appear tomorrow on "Jeopardy!" when the television game show begins its 37th season in the age of COVID-19.

The university said in a news release that Rich, who received a Ph.D. in astronomy in 2012 and now works at Carnegie Observatories in Los Angeles, is prohibited from revealing details of the taping of the show, but he admitted to having the jitters.

Hilo Medical Center / Hilo Medical Center

Updated: 9/13/2020, 12:010 p.m.

The state Department of Health today reported 2 more deaths and 114 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the state death toll to 99 and the total number of cases to 10,700. 

Lt. Gov.  Josh Green
Lt. Gov. Josh Green

Updated: 9/12/2020, 12:12 p.m.

The state Department of Health today reported 1 more death and 131 new cases, bringing the state death toll to 97 and the total number of cases to 10,588. 

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

PHOENIX — Christina Torres, 32, a middle school teacher in Honolulu, had to postpone her June wedding and was not able to travel to her grandmother’s funeral in California because of the pandemic. She misses being able to deal with stress by going to the gym and getting together with friends.