General News

AP Photo/Caleb Jones

The Hawaii Supreme Court heard arguments Friday on the legality of granting licenses to foreign workers in Hawaii’s longline commercial fishing fleet, which for years has been under scrutiny after an Associated Press investigation revealed claims of human trafficking and questionable labor practices.

Ryan Finnerty
Ryan Finnerty

Honolulu city councilmembers have filed complaints with the city's Ethics Commission for more transparency regarding the resignation of Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Hawaii's unemployment rate dropped significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but was still tied for third-worst in the nation in August.

AP Photo/Tim Wright

Updated: 9/19/2020, 3:06 p.m. There was very little evidence of proactive preparation or planning for COVID-19 at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, according to a report released late Friday. The 16-page report was compiled by a team of infectious disease experts from the Department of Veterans Affairs after an onsite assessment last week. 

William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai'i

Flags across Hawaii will be flying at half-staff in honor of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died yesterday at 87.

Gov. David Ige called her “a giant in advocating for justice and equity,” adding that she “visited Hawaii several times, and it was clear that her values were closely aligned with those of our community.”

Wikimedia Commons

Honolulu officials arbitrarily rejected electronic signatures in an impeachment petition, a lawyer for a businessman who wants the city's embattled prosecutor impeached argued before the state Supreme Court Friday.

pixabay/Creative Commons
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.

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.

Cory Lum / Civil Beat

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

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.

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.

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/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.

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.

creazilla /

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.

Jeopardy Productions Inc.

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.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via AP

LOS ANGELES — Authorities searched Sunday for a gunman who shot and critically wounded two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who were sitting in their squad car — an apparent ambush that drew an angry response from the president.

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.

Cheyenne Maltezo/Honua Ola

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission denied a motion to reconsider its previous denial of a bidding waiver for a $350 million biomass plant.

AP Photo/John Locher

Updated: 9/12/2020, 12:27 p.m.

SALEM, Ore. — Wildfire smoke that posed a health hazard to millions choked the West Coast on Saturday as firefighters battled deadly blazes that obliterated some towns and displaced tens of thousands of people, the latest in a series of calamities this year.

AP Photo/Audrey McAvoy

Utilities and alternative energy providers have felt the economic effects of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Demand has fallen, but both groups also hope to be part of Hawaii’s eventual recovery.

Casey Harlow/HPR

LIHUE, Hawaii — Kauai became the final county in Hawaii to pass a bill prohibiting the sale and use of plastic foam food containers.