Ashley Mizuo

General Assignment/Community Reporter

Born and raised on O’ahu, she’s a graduate of ‘Iolani School and has a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.   

Ashley’s first experience in audio storytelling was recording conversations with her grandfather about what it was like to grow up in Japanese internment camps during the second World War. More recently, she has been working as a statehouse reporter in Illinois’s capital city and before that as an editorial fellow at Washingtonian Magazine. She’s also done internships at the CBS Chicago bureau in their Specials and Investigation Unit and at Honolulu Magazine, where she wrote an award-winning feature story. She’s also worked in social media and produced and hosted a podcast asking people about their worst day at work—with the descriptive title “Work Sucks.”

Ways to Connect

Courtesy of Malama I Ke Ola Health Center

Community health centers are changing the way they communicate with patients to combat misinformation and vaccine hesitation. 


The state of Hawaii Department of Education has been debating how to use federal stimulus funds as it faces steeps budgets cuts. A bill at the state legislature would use the money to pay teachers to avoid furloughs and layoffs, and it has the support of the Hawaii State Teachers Association. 

Ashley Mizuo / HPR

Hawaii’s Pacific Islander communities have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is not clear if they are actually receiving the vaccine.

Casey Harlow / HPR

The state is considering a measure that would create a state lottery system to fund public education. But some think it may hurt low income families.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Updated 2/3/21, 11:59 a.m.

State health officials warn that the more transmissible UK COVID-19 virus may be present in Hawaii. Diagnostic Labs detected a molecular clue in four samples that could indicate that the specimens are the more transmissible variant.


The state faces steep budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic--and that may include education. 

Children advocacy groups hope to fill the gaps in services and find new ways to generate funds for those programs.

Jason Gillman from Pixabay

Updated 2/1/21, 12 p.m.

Some Hawaii schools and childcare facilities water pipes will be tested for lead this year. It's part of a federal initiative partially funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Updated 1/29/21, 1:14 p.m.

The state’s largest private medical laboratory is scaling up its COVID-19 testing capacity. Diagnostic Laboratory Services will go from being able to do 1,000 tests a day to 4,000.

As the state tries to vaccinate Hawaii residents a key task will be communicating with the public to combat misinformation and include community partners.

Ashley Mizuo / HPR

The state department of education is facing steep cuts to make up for the state’s massive budget shortfall due to COVID-19. However, new federal dollars and a more optimistic revenue outlook, means the cuts will be smaller than expected.

AP Photo/Marco Garcia

Updated 1/20/21, 11:58 a.m.

When it comes to COVID-19 vaccines in Hawaii, demand is running far ahead of supply. That word came Tuesday from top state officials -- including Governor David Ige.

The number of middle and elementary school students who are more than two grade levels behind in math and reading is higher now compared to previous years, according to the State Department of Education. This comes after Hawaii public school students have been largely distance learning due to COVID-19.

Ashley Mizuo / HPR / The mass vaccination center at Pier 2 will open on Monday.

Two mass COVID-19 vaccination centers will soon open on Oahu.

Daniel Dennison (State of Hawaii)

Updated 1/13/21, 11:58 a.m.

Any reports of mass vaccination centers being set up in Hawaii are not yet definite says House Speaker Scott Saiki.

Nurse Together / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The nurses at Kapiolani Medical Center have authorized a strike after about four months of negotiation with the hospital. 

Pixabay Commons
Pixabay Commons

The holiday surge of COVID-19 cases the state was bracing for has started. Hospitals are expected to be heavily affected in the coming weeks.

Ashley Mizuo / HPR

Long-term Care Facilities have started to vaccinate residents who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Catherine Cruz / HPR

Updated 1/7/21, 12 p.m.

Governor David Ige condemned the actions of protestors who stormed the U.S. Capitol in D.C. Monday morning, protesting the congressional confirmation of the presidential election’s result.

Daniel Dennison (State of Hawaii)

Updated 1/6/21, 3:30 p.m.

Governor David Ige condemned the actions of protestors who stormed the U.S. Capitol in D.C. Monday morning, protesting the congressional confirmation of the presidential election’s result.

Hawaii universities have been largely distance learning due to COVID-19.

However, Brigham Young University-Hawaii hopes expanded testing will put the institution on the path to reopening. 

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

Nurses at Hawaiʻi Pacific Health's Kapiʻolani Hospital have been unable to come to a labor agreement with the medical facility due to a dispute over COVID-19 protocols. 

AP Photo/Hans Pennink, File

Residents of long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. In Hawaii, those facilities are preparing to distribute the first doses of vaccines.

Distribution could start as soon as next week.

Along with much of the rest of the state government, the state Department of Education faces sharp budget cuts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three principals explained what these cuts will mean for their schools.

COVID-19 vaccinations officially started Wednesday at Queen’s Medical Center. However, five frontline workers were vaccinated on Tuesday-- making them the first in the state to receive the doses.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Updatd 12/14/20, 12:10 p.m.

A COVID-19 outbreak at the Hālawa Correctional Facility has grown to infect more than 160 inmates and nearly 30 staff. The prison is currently in lockdown with all inmate movement including transfer to and from the facility have been suspended forthe next two weeks.

Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii is one step closer to relief from the COVID-19 virus. State officials said the state will receive 81,000 thousand doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the month of December.


State government workers will face furloughs starting in 2021.

Sgt. John Schoebel/Army National Guard via AP

Members of the Hawaii National Guard have been a vital part of the state’s COVID-19 response. Since
President Donald Trump extended the federal funds to keep them in place through March, the Guard's presence will continue to evolve.

ErgoSum88 / Creative Commons / Wikimedia Commons

Updated: 12/7/2020, 3:40 p.m.

The state Department of Health reported 0 deaths and 81 new COVID-19 cases today.

AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher

Updated: 12/4/2020, 12:23 p.m.

The state Department of Health reported 10 deaths and 106 new COVID-19 cases today -- a startling increase in fatalities. Because of the department's two-day delay in posting new numbers, the counts represent cases from Wednesday.

Some counties are reporting more timely numbers that may differ from the state's counts.

According to the state numbers, Oahu had 73 new cases, Maui County 15, Hawaii County 11, and Kauai 3. Lanai and Molokai had none. Four more were diagnosed out of state.