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Hawaii State News


Governor Ige won’t change mask and travel rules because COVID-19 numbers are still too high.

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

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Governor says he won’t change mask and travel rules as infection numbers are too high
Gov. David Ige said he is concerned that recent COVID-19 cases appear to be stuck at an elevated level, and he doesn’t expect to ease restrictions to the state’s mask mandate or travel entry requirements soon. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Lack of herd immunity on the Mainland could extend Safe Travels program
With vaccination rates slipping in the U.S., scientists and medical experts think herd immunity is now an unreachable goal, forcing state officials to extend Hawai‘i’s Safe Travels program. Hawaii News Now.

Plans for inter-island vaccine passport moving forward, but trans-Pacific travelers must wait
A week before its scheduled launch, state and county officials are ironing out plans for a vaccine passport program. But Governor David Ige has ruled out passports for trans-Pacific travelers for now. KITV4. Civil Beat.

Most people surveyed in Hawai‘i say they will get vaccinated
In a Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll, only 12% say they have chosen not to be immunized. There is also support for vaccine passports and employer mandates. Civil Beat.

Marines in Hawai‘i restructure to deter China
The Marine Corps is restructuring to better deter China in the western Pacific, and plans to remove all 16 amphibious vehicles and eliminate cannon artillery. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Head of the teachers’ union is vying to be interim superintendent
Corey Rosenlee, who leveled strong criticism against Superintendent Christina Kishimoto over her leadership of Hawai‘i’s public school system during the pandemic, is now vying for her job. Civil Beat.

Many high schools will hold small-scale, in-person graduation ceremonies
While the class of 2021 will not have completely “normal” graduations, events with just students or limited guest lists are being planned, the Department of Education announced Monday. Hawai‘i Public Radio. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Big Island Now. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Staff physicist Ben Rotter holds one of Nalu Scientific’s cutting-edge creations. | Photo: courtesy of Nalu Scientific
Nalu Scientific Measures the Universe from Hawai‘i
The local startup founded by UH researchers develops cutting-edge technology for use around the world, underwater and in space… read more.
City closes application portal for rent assistance program after 20 minutes
Applications for a federally funded program to help with rent, utilities and other bills were closed shortly after coming online Monday afternoon because of tremendous demand. Hawaii News Now. KITV4.

Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission approves Kapolei Energy Storage project
The commission has approved a major energy storage project in Kapolei to ensure that the lights stay on when O‘ahu’s coal power plant retires in fall 2022. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

McCully neighborhood selected for city pilot project called “Shared Streets”
The goal is to bring traffic speeds down so people can safely walk and bike in the street and to discourage cut-through traffic. Waiola and Hau‘oli streets were selected for the pilot. KHON2.

UH hosting international esports tournament is a “major milestone”
UH Mānoa is a host site for the Overwatch League’s East vs. West tournament this week — the first international esports tournament in the state and a major economic opportunity. Hawai‘i Public Radio.

Keawaula gates to be reopened on weekends only, for now
While the trail has been open, the gates near the southern entrance of Ka‘ena Point State Park have been closed to discourage large gatherings, bonfires, overnight camping, vandalism and other illegal behavior. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Click here to find resources to help employees retain their health care coverage

Resources to help employees retain their health care coverage

We understand that times are uncertain, and that some employers are making difficult decisions to reduce staff. If that happens, our decision support tool can help them continue their health coverage… read more.

Food Basket to scale back to six locations in July
After serving tens of thousands of people across the Big Island for more than a year, the Food Basket says the scale is not sustainable. The organization has moved from 15 to eight locations, and will reduce the number to six in July. Tribune-Herald.

Puna Strong grant recipients named
Nearly 30 organizations were named Monday as recipients of a $380,000 award through the Puna Strong grants program. Tribune-Herald. Big Island Now.

Photos: courtesy of Keiki Kaukau
Keiki Kaukau’s Toys and Games Include Local Food Play Sets

Keiki Kaukau’s line of toys, books and games includes wooden play food sets that feature everything from laulau to Spam musubi and more. April Hail, a mother and teacher from Mānoa, creates the sets, which serve as language learning tools and gateways to cultural more.
State officials aim to move parts of Maui road inland as seas rise
Hawai‘i officials have proposed moving sections of the Honoapi‘ilani Highway that experts say is among the most vulnerable to erosion and rising sea levels, but some community members say the plan doesn’t go far enough. Hawaii News Now.

Maui Land & Pineapple Co. sells utilities after first-quarter loss
The company announced Monday that it sold two subsidiaries operating water systems at Kapalua Resort. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kaua‘i sees spike in COVID-19 cases following relaxed travel restrictions
Health officials say loosened travel restrictions, more transmissible variants and a growing laxness among the community are likely contributing to the rapid rise. The island is now on track to reinstate Tier 3 restrictions this week. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Hawaii News Now.

Mass testing, quarantine begin at KCCC
After a Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center employee tested positive for COVID-19, inmate movement has been restricted and mass testing rolled out, the state Department of Public Safety announced yesterday. Garden Island.

Leader of cult that spurred protests on Kaua‘i found mummified in Colorado home
Authorities have arrested several people after the body of the “Love Has Won” leader was found wrapped in a sleeping bag and decorated with Christmas lights in a southern Colorado home. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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