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FBI probes Hawaii Defense contractor


The FBI begins a criminal investigation into Martin Kao’s campaign donations to U.S. Senator Susan Collins.

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FBI probes a Hawai‘i defense contractor’s donations to U.S. Sen. Susan Collins
The FBI has launched a new criminal investigation into Martin Kao over campaign donations he made to Collins after she helped steer an $8 million contract to his company, Navatek LLC, in 2019. Kao already faces criminal charges for defrauding a pandemic relief aid program of millions of dollars. Civil Beat. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Questions raised about how much longer Ige can invoke emergency powers
State lawmakers tried to limit Gov. David Ige’s emergency powers during the legislative session but could not reach agreement. But as the state moves closer to herd immunity, some say the governor has fewer reasons to hang on to those powers. KHON2.

Demand from domestic and inter-island travelers soars
As more people get vaccinated, the pent-up demand Hawai‘i economists have been predicting is coming to fruition — complete with long lines at TSA and Safe Travels screening stations upon arrival. Hawaii News Now.

Legislature directs federal funds to patch up Hawai‘i’s shaky broadband system
Hawai‘i’s new Broadband and Digital Equity Office was seeded with $5 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. State officials predict Hawai‘i could potentially receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for broadband improvements, especially in rural areas. Civil Beat.

State gets another $20M in lawsuit over software failure
Insurers for a Colorado company that years ago botched a software project for the state Department of Transportation have agreed to pay $20.7 million to settle a lawsuit over the failed system. Civil Beat. Maui Now.

Half of new prison guard recruits test positive for COVID-19
The 40 recruits were completing a training program in Honolulu, and most had refused to get vaccinated. Twenty have now tested positive, including one who was hospitalized. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Probable cases will raise Hawai‘i’s case count by 1,600
Hawai‘i will see a one-time jump in its total count of COVID-19 cases today after the state Department of Health adds in about 1,600 probable cases that it has kept track of since the start of the pandemic. Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Maui Now. Hawaii News Now. KHON2.

Local Companies Remain Weak on Revenue, Profit and Employment
For 24 years, the BOSS Survey has asked local business owners and executives about revenue, profit and employment at their companies. The numbers in the latest survey, conducted in March and April 2021, are among the most dismal ever… read more.
Prosecutor: Body cam footage in fatal police shootings to be withheld for at least 30 days
After taxpayers spent millions to provide the Honolulu Police Department with body cameras, city Prosecutor Steven Alm now says video in two fatal police shootings will be withheld from the public for 30 to 60 days. Hawaii News Now.

Proposed Job Corps program aims to support workers and diversify economy
A Honolulu City Council committee advanced a measure Tuesday to create a new Job Corps program, which would be a collaboration between the city and the University of Hawai‘i. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Honolulu mayor asks governor to lift restrictions on youth water sports 
Mayor Rick Blangiardi wants the governor to continue removing sports-related restrictions and add surfing, canoeing, and similar sports. KITV4.
For a second summer, COVID-19 concerns have cancelled the Junior Lifeguards Program. Hawaii News Now.

Honolulu councilwoman wants more race data collected
The Legislature passed a resolution last month that specifically called for race data from county police departments and certain state agencies. City Councilwoman Esther Kia‘āina has now introduced a measure to urge city agencies to collect detailed race data beyond the minimum federal standards. Civil Beat.

Architectural renderings let UH football players and fans visualize new home
On Tuesday, UH officials released architectural renderings of the retrofitted Clarence T.C. Ching Athletic Complex that will be used for the Rainbow Warriors’ six home games this season. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.


Today’s Lesson: No Wi-Fi=No Learning

Disparities in internet access have long made learning more difficult for some students. Educators, nonprofits, companies and families are working on immediate fixes, but a complete solution likely means changes in… read more.

Hawai‘i County to end COVID-19 district testing
The county screening program will end this week after about 14 months in operation. West Hawaii Today. Big Island Video News. Big Island Now.

Native Hawaiian consent needed for TMT, Canadian group says
The organization that represents the astronomy community in Canada — one of the Thirty Meter Telescope’s international partners — says it cannot support the project unless it has the consent of Native Hawaiians. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

BLNR denies petition for contested case hearing challenging land acquisition
The Ala Kahakai Trail Association intends to purchase a 1,841-acre parcel south of Nā‘ālehu using a $1.5 million grant awarded by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources in April, despite opposition by some Ka‘ū residents. Tribune-Herald.

Khara Jabola Carolus, Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women, with her kids. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino
Hawai‘i Economics and Economists in the Spotlight

Economics and economists have a huge impact today on the thinking of politicians, businesspeople, philanthropists and other decision-makers around the world, including Hawai‘ more.
Pineapple workers to receive $4.8M for abuse, horrible living conditions on Maui farm
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission collected the money with the help of federal departments to settle a national origin and race discrim­ination lawsuit against Maui Pineapple, which closed in 2009. Hawaii News Now. Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Winds delay start of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia training voyage 
Tuesday’s scheduled departure from Lahaina was delayed because of dangerous conditions in the ‘Alenuihāhā Channel. Maui Now.

Mortgage help available for residents impacted by COVID-19
For qualified residents, the Community Development Block Grant Mortgage Assistance Program pays up to $1,500 per month for a maximum of three months. Maui Now.

Loop Road reopens in Wailua after 3-year closure
Repairs to the rural road, damaged during the April 2018 floods, were delayed by rainfalls and vandalism. The state Department of Land and Natural Resources says vehicles with 4-wheel-drive capabilities and high clearance can now access the road. Garden Island.

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