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The Conversation: The Move to Get Students in Classrooms

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AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher
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Superintendent Christina Kishimoto on the move to get students in the classroom; Mobile vaccine clinic at an old remote fishing village; Saying goodbye to Sears retail stores; Reality Check with Civil Beat; Coffee farmers battle a coffee leaf rust

Superintendent Christina Kishimoto on the move to get students in the classroom

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Credit Office of Governor David Ige
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There is a big push to get some 94,000 public school elementary students back into classrooms with face-to-face instruction over the next few weeks. DOE Superintendent Christina Kishimoto spoke with us about the layered COVID-19 mitigation strategy in schools, the different strategies to keep students separate when eating, and the latest budgetary concerns around IT services and full-time employees. 

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Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto

Mobile vaccine clinic at an old remote fishing village | Full Article 

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Credit Rep. Kaiali'i Kahele
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The old Hawaiian fishing village of Miloli?i on Hawai?i Island is on its way to achieving herd immunity against COVID-19. This past weekend, nearly half of the residents in this remote South Kona community received their coronavirus vaccine. HPR reporter Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi shares how the town's 300 residents received the vaccine with the help of Bay Clinic, Inc.

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HPR reporter Ku‘uwehi Hiraishi

Saying goodbye to Sears retail stores

The retail giant Sears is closing its stores in Pearl Ridge and Hilo, and there are signs the retailer may close the Maui and Kona stores as well. Kay Day, a longtime leasing agent for Ala Moana Shopping Center, spoke with us about the history of Sears on the islands and the changing retail climate. We also spoke to people shopping at the Pearl Ridge store who remember Sears as their reliable one-stop shop.

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Kay Day, leasing agent at the Ala Moana Shopping Center; Sears customers Walter and Fuku

Reality Check with Civil Beat: Halting the Speedy Release of Inmates Due to COVID-19 | Full Article 

The release of some lower-level inmates has been expedited during the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers Wednesday limited the kinds of inmates who will qualify for that program following cases of reoffenders and the stabilization of COVID-19 infections, Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Kevin Dayton reported.

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Honolulu Civil Beat reporter Kevin Dayton

Coffee farmers battle coffee leaf rust disease across the islands

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Credit Courtesy State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture
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Coffee farming, a $56 million industry in Hawai‘i, is under threat due to a disease first discovered in 1869 in Sri Lanka, commonly known as coffee leaf rust. State agricultural officials have asked for emergency approval for Priaxor Xemium, a disease-fighting fungicide. Greg Takeshima, acting manager for the state's pesticide branch, shared the latest news with us. Find the webinars here

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Greg Takeshima, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture pesticide branch

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Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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