General News

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Most Oahu businesses and activities that were shut down under the city’s stay-at-home order can restart beginning tomorrow but with restrictions. 

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Updated: 9/23/2020, 9:42 a.m. Staff at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo have been getting death threats, according to a state emergency management official.

This comes just one day after the state released a report placing partial blame on staff for a COVID-19 outbreak that has taken the lives of 26 veterans and infected another 78 residents and staff.

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Updated: 9/23/2020, 12:05 p.m. The Hawaii Department of Health today reported two new deaths from COVID-19 and 168 new cases statewide. The latest infections broke a string of three consecutive days of double-digit case counts that had been a hopeful sign the spread was easing. 

Big Island Video News

Updated: 9/22/2020, 10:50 a.m. A culture of complacency among staff at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo was a major contributor to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the facility. That’s according to a new report on the outbreak, which has claimed the lives of 25 veterans as of today and infected another 79 residents and staff.


Keaau Elementary

About 18,000 Hawaii students attended this year’s public summer school. The programs were to especially help students who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

Hawaii Department of Health

Updated: 9/22/2020, 2:40 p.m. The City and County of Honolulu will lift its stay-at-home order Thursday, setting up criteria for reopening that will allow businesses to operate under limited capacity and gatherings of up to 5 people such as at beaches. 

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HILO — Hawaii County Council members have accused the county's administrators of a slow response in enacting programs to assist the public's recovery from the Kilauea volcanic eruption two years ago.

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Updated: 9/21/2020, 11:53 a.m.

Where we stand

The Hawaii Department of Health today reported no new deaths from COVID-19 and 56 cases statewide. It's the second consecutive day of no deaths and double-digit case counts. But two more fatalities at the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo were reported yesterday, bringing the death toll at the troubled nursing home to 24. 

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.”

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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.

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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.

Big Island Video News

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. 

Big Island Video News

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.

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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.

Big Island Video News

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.

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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.