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Former Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi dies from cancer

Kenoi died Tuesday at his home in Volcano after a long battle against cancer.

Views expressed in this Hawaii State News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.

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Former Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi succumbs to cancer

Kenoi, once a rising star in the Hawai‘i Democratic Party and a witty, sometimes controversial leader, died Tuesday at his home in Volcano after a bout with a rare form of cancer. He was 52. West Hawaii Today. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Civil Beat. Hawaii News Now. KHON2. KITV4. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now. Maui Now.

Bill would give lawmakers control over auditor’s paycheck

The House speaker and Democratic majority leader co-introduced a bill that would empower the Legislature to set the salary of the state auditor. The move may be another sign that the current auditor, Les Kondo, has fallen from favor. Civil Beat.

Hawai‘i’s gambling bills are under serious review

Lawmakers are gearing up to consider allowing some form of legalized gambling — a potential solution to budget shortfalls and the challenge of getting Native Hawaiians onto state Hawaiian home lands. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

CDC supports reopening schools, but Hawai‘i officials are hesitant

Federal health officials found “little evidence” that schools are meaningful contributors to the spread of COVID-19 if precautions are taken. But the head of the Hawai‘i State Teachers Association says that public schools are not following basic safety guidelines. Civil Beat.

State jobless rate declines to 9.3%

The labor market is showing more signs of recovery, with the unemployment rate falling to 9.3% by the end of December. At its peak in April 2020, unemployment hit 23.8%, and has trended downward since then. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Hawaiian Airlines reports $162M loss amid 79% drop in revenue

The airline finished what it called the most challenging year for the air travel industry with a $162.6 million loss during the last three months of 2020. Honolulu Star-AdvertiserKHON2.

Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn to take command of U.S. Army Pacific

The brother of the disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn — who suggested that President Trump could declare martial law and “rerun” elections — has been tapped to be the next commander of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

COVID-19 vaccine distribution is uneven because of limited supplies

The state Department of Health is well into its vaccination rollout, but there still appears to be confusion about inconsistencies in the pecking order within designated priority groups. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


Voting still open for the 2021 HVCA People’s Choice of Startup Paradise

This award is for the startup that the Innovation Community believes best represents the interests of Startup Paradise. This company serves as an example for others to follow based on their successes, popularity, and the unwavering support of their fellow community members. Click here to cast your vote!


Former no. 2 under Caldwell is working again at the City Council to get taxpayer-funded benefits

Roy Amemiya, who served as managing director in the Caldwell administration, is back at Honolulu Hale as a staffer for new Councilman Calvin Say. Hawaii News Now.


Survey Reveals Virus’s Impact on Hawai‘i’s People

Almost half of Hawai‘i households have lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic and about 1 in 4 have fallen behind on some of their bills at the time this survey was conducted. Those are among the dire findings… read more.


National Science Foundation is gathering TMT feedback ahead of funding decision

Foundation officials said yesterday they’ve conducted 53 virtual meetings with more than 100 people in Hawai‘i on both sides of the controversial project. The outreach could help determine whether to award as much as $850 million to the stalled telescope, now estimated to cost $2.4 billion. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Post-arrival testing to continue through February

Hawai‘i County will continue testing trans-Pacific arrivals for COVID-19 thanks to continued partnerships with private philanthropists. Tribune-Herald.

The Future of Local News Isn’t What it Used to Be

In the wake of the Great Recession, news media in Hawai‘i churned and innovated. A decade later, the recession caused by COVID-19 has led to more churn and innovation. Now, local broadcasters face the same kind of competition from the internet, where breaking news can be reported immediately..read more.


Maui County vacation rentals reach 41.8% occupancy in December

The occupancy rate for vacation rentals ticked upward to close the year at over 40%, with an average daily rate of $277, according to a report from the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority. Maui Now.

Erosion closes Puamana Beach Park 

The West Maui park will be closed through Feb. 28 due to safety concerns, says the Department of Parks and Recreation. Maui Now.


Alleged quarantine breaker is held at OCCC

The Utah man, David Barnes, was charged with three violations of quarantine and a trespassing charge after posting a series of TikTok videos. He was unable to appear at his Tuesday plea hearing after being transferred to the O‘ahu Community Correctional Center. Garden Island.


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