General Assignment

HOLLYN JOHNSON
HOLLYN JOHNSON

Hawai‘i Island Mayor Billy Kenoi testified in his own defense Wednesday. The criminal trial against the Big Island mayor for the alleged misuse of his government issued purchasing card entered its fifth day. Kenoi took the stand, appearing emotional, as he recounted his family and upbringing in Kalapana.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

A 14 year old Hawaiian monk seal is back in the water after a lifesaving surgery to remove a fishing hook he swallowed. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released RE-74, also known as Benny, after a two-week recovery period.

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

When it comes to clean energy use, Hawai‘i is in a bit of a rut. That’s according to the Blue Planet Foundation, who released their 4th annual energy report card. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

The nonprofit gave the Aloha State a grade of a B-minus, the same as last year. The report card presents a big picture assessment of Hawaii’s progress toward 100 percent clean energy. It focuses on five categories, including transportation, efficiency, economics, renewables, and smart grid.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company is closing operations by the end of the year. The legacy of sugar has touched many lives in Hawai‘i. Before the final harvest is in, we’re hearing from a variety of voices. HPR’s Molly Solomon recently spent some time in Maui and has one of those stories.

Flickr / EDMUND GARMAN
Flickr / EDMUND GARMAN

As most of you know, it is hard to break into Hawai‘i’s housing market. The latest census numbers show the state’s median housing value increased 7.4% to nearly $567,000, making it the highest in the nation. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, that’s nothing new. 

AP
AP

Three out of four state counties have now submitted a record detailing the number of untested rape kits. That’s according to the Attorney General’s office who released the inventories from Maui, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i county police departments.

All counties failed to meet the September 1st deadline, part of a new law passed earlier this year requiring inventories of untested kits.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Hawai‘i is taking the plunge into virtual reality. State tourism officials are launching a new campaign to promote the islands through this emerging technology.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

For the first time, the Hawai‘i Tourism Conference featured a session on LGBT travel. The islands have long been a destination for gay visitors, but state tourism officials have been slow to advertise it. As HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, many believe it’s an opportunity Hawai‘i can’t afford to pass up.

Eileen Chao
Eileen Chao

A ferry service on Moloka‘i is struggling to stay afloat and may have to shut down. The company that has been operating the service for nearly 30 years says low ridership and competing air fares are to blame. 

Flickr / LuxTonnerre
Flickr / LuxTonnerre

The U.S. Department of the Interior has finalized a rule that creates a pathway to federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. The process began two years ago, and included thousands of pieces of testimony from listening sessions across the state and on the mainland.

AP
AP

Disney announced it will no longer sell a costume many complained was offensive and compared to blackface. The Halloween outfit depicted Maui, a Polynesian demigod who’s also a character in the upcoming film, “Moana.”

Flickr / US Mission Geneva
Flickr / US Mission Geneva

The largest conservation conference, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, recently wrapped up earlier this month. One thing that was stressed was its commitment to zero waste. But as HPR’s Molly Solomon reports, the conference wasn’t as green as advertised. 

Maui County / Lois Whitney
Maui County / Lois Whitney

Major flooding and heavy rain prompted an emergency proclamation Wednesday in Maui County. The wet weather knocked out a water line, flooded parks and homes, and caused several mudslides. HPR’s Molly Solomon says it’s just the latest in what’s been a wetter than normal couple of months.

Natural Resources Defense Council
Natural Resources Defense Council

The federal government has introduced a new plan to manage noise pollution in our waters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration outlined a 10-year strategy, called the Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap, that aims to reduce impacts on marine mammals.

DLNR
DLNR

State officials say the fungal disease called Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death is continuing to threaten native ‘ōhi‘a trees on the Big Island. 'Ōhi'a covers about 865,000 acres statewide. Recent surveys show the disease has now impacted nearly 50,000 acres on the Big Island, an increase of a little more than a third from earlier this year.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The largest environmental symposium is underway this week in Honolulu. And the more than 9,000 participants are doing their best to go green. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on sustainable measures that conservationists hope will become the new normal.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

More than 17 years in the making, Kaua‘i’s first traditional voyaging canoe is ready to set sail. The island plans to celebrate with a launch party Sunday, September 11. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited the Garden Isle recently and has this report.

Maui Memorial Medical Center
Maui Memorial Medical Center

The transition of three state-run Maui medical facilities to Kaiser Permanente has hit another snag. The move will now be delayed until next summer. The decision has left hospital officials worried about further cuts to services and staff.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Sugar operations at HC&S on Maui are winding down. Back in January, the state’s last sugar plantation announced plans to close down by the end of the year. HPR’s Molly Solomon was there for what will be the final harvest and has this report.

Lee Gillenwater/The Pew Charitable Trusts
Lee Gillenwater/The Pew Charitable Trusts

President Barack Obama has announced plans to expand the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, more than quadrupling its current size. That will make it the largest marine protected area in the world. The expansion permanently protects thousands of marine species and coral reef systems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Imagine re-thinking a neighborhood through the lens of food. That’s what a group of residents, business owners, and policy makers in Kaka‘ako have been doing. HPR’s Molly Solomon visited one of their workshops and has this report.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Lava from Kīlauea has been erupting from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent since 1983. Recently the flow reached the ocean, for the first time in three years. Thousands of visitors and residents have been flocking to Kalapana to see it for themselves.

Flickr / _e.t
Flickr / _e.t

Update: State health officials order an embargo on raw frozen scallops distributed by Koha Oriental Foods and True World Foods as their Hepatitis A investigation continues.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

A Waikīkī youth outreach center recently got a much-needed makeover. Thanks to funding raised by a group of local builders and contractors, the nearly $50,000 project is complete. 

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The locally produced TV series Family Ingredients has just the right mix of food, culture, and local history. The show has been airing on PBS to a national audience with the season finale airing tonight. Closer to home, Hawai‘i residents have been gathering to watch it in a unique viewing experience. 

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Over the past several years, the sharing economy has taken hold in cities across the country. One that could get more attention in Hawai‘i is the expansion of car sharing. HPR’s Molly Solomon takes a look at what that might mean for one neighborhood in particular.

Flickr / velkr0
Flickr / velkr0

For the past year, shoppers on O‘ahu have not received single-use plastic bags at the checkout line. But in many grocery stores, thicker plastic bags that are considered reusable are still allowed. That’s a problem for environmentalists who are calling on the city and county to propose a better ban. 

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

A coalition of community and environmental groups are challenging the Navy on plans to use two Pacific islands for bombing and live-fire training. The lawsuit was filed in Saipan. HPR’s Molly Solomon explains.

The two islands in question are Pagan and Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands. That’s where the Navy is proposing a military test site.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

The remnants of Tropical Storm Darby continue to drift away from the islands. And while the state escaped any major damage, cleanup is continuing. HPR’s Molly Solomon has more.

A muddy mess at the intersection of Dillingham and Middle Street is one of the final remains of Darby, the first major storm to hit Hawai‘i this hurricane season. Heavy rain Sunday night caused the nearby Kalihi stream to overflow, flooding the road with tree branches, debris, and thick layers of mud.

Molly Solomon
Molly Solomon

Next Monday, Hawai‘i public school students will return to classrooms across the state. And chances are, many of those school rooms will be hot. HPR’s Molly Solomon reports on how plans to cool classrooms remain uncertain. 

Earlier this year, it seemed like cooler days were ahead for Hawai‘i’s public schoolchildren. The legislature and the Governor had agreed to spend $100 million to cool one thousand Hawai‘i classrooms by the end of the year.

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