Maui County

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While the entire state of Hawaii has suffered from the shutdown of tourism, one area has been hit the hardest.  

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Short-term vacation rentals in Hawaiʻi may be reopening to more regulation under COVID-19.

Casey Harlow / HPR

WAILUKU — The Maui County mayor has announced he will allow the $822.6 million budget for the upcoming year to go into effect without his signature.

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Maui County’s unemployment rose to 35% in April, the highest rate in the state due largely to the massive impact of the coronavirus on the tourism industry.

Casey Harlow / HPR

WAILUKU — The Maui County Council has approved an $822.6 million budget for the next fiscal year that includes $66.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funds.

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Last updated: 5/27/2020

Information -- it's inoculation against the anxiety that can take hold as COVID-19 spreads, jobs are lost and lives are frayed. Hawai‘i Public Radio is compiling resources and information to help the community deal with the hurdles ahead as we navigate life during a pandemic.

UH Hilo Pharmacy School

WAILUKU — The Hawaii State Department of Health has confirmed the state's first case of rat lungworm disease this year was detected in Maui.

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Updated: 5/7/2020, 12:06 p.m.

Hawaii legislative leaders announced today that lawmakers will convene on Monday to deal with a projected $1 billion budget shortfall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Updated: 5/5/20, 12:12 p.m.

Retailers including shopping malls that can maintain social distancing for employees and customers can reopen beginning after midnight on Thursday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige announced today. The governor said, however, that officials expect cases of the coronavirus  will increase as more people leave their homes to visit the newly opened businesses.

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Maui Mayor Michael Victorino says the county plans to work with state regulators to deal with groundwater discharges in the wake of a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling yesterday.

 

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that sewage plants and other industries cannot avoid environmental requirements under landmark clean-water protections when they send dirty water on an indirect route to rivers, oceans and other navigable waterways.

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WAILUKU — Nearly all the sales and use of plastic disposable food ware in Maui will be banned under a bill that was given final approval by county officials.

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WAILUKU — Hawaii has experienced a significant reduction in the use of electricity because of the coronavirus, with Maui's use dropping the most among the three largest islands.

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Updated: 4/6/2020, 11:56 a.m.

The state's confirmed and presumed positive coronavirus cases today number 387, up by 16 from yesterday, with one new death, according to the state's latest daily update. The death count is now at five.

 

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Flickr / versello

Updated: 4/5/2020, 9:18 p.m.

The state's confirmed and presumed positive coronavirus cases now number 371, up by 20 from the previous day, according to the state's latest daily update. The death count stands at four.

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WAILUKU — Hawaiian Electric has proposed the construction of a battery storage system on Maui that will lead to the closure of a power plant there.

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Molokaʻi currently has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, and local residents and businesses are taking precautions to keep it that way.

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WAILUKU — Maui residents have been using signs and checkpoints to help enforce a government order to keep visitors off Hana Highway during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Noe Tanigawa / Hawai'i Public Radio

As people learn new habits in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus, where and how people get good food is high on the list of new challenges.

Ryan Piros / Maui County

WAILUKU — Emergency air ambulance helicopters will be allowed to land at night at the Maui Memorial Medical Center in April to reduce patient transport time, health officials in Hawaii said.

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WAILUKU — Police in Maui arrested a man for allegedly making arrangements online to meet an undercover officer who was posing as a teenage girl.

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Updated: 3/16/20, 4:20 p.m.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige on Monday confirmed the state has its first community-spread coronavirus case. The state reports there are now 10 cases of COVID-19 in the state with the addition of two Oahu residents and one Maui visitor. Media reports say a Kualoa Ranch employee with no travel history to indicate her infection came from out of state has tested positive for the virus, which signals the disease is spreading within the community.

County of Kaua'i

Updated: 3/12/2020, 11:59 a.m.

Hawaiʻi’s mayors are not getting the help they’ve sought from the state Legislature this year to tackle a growing problem – abandoned cars. Transportation is a legislative priority for the Hawaiʻi Council of Mayors, but none of the measures the group proposed this year to deal with junk cars made it out of its originating chamber. Counties are now seeking solutions to this mounting problem on their own.

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Native Hawaiians say their calls for rain have been answered on the island of Kahoʻolawe. A week-long brushfire scorched more than 9,000 acres there before it was contained last Saturday and fire crews extinguished a flareup earlier this week. A group headed to Kahoʻolawe Thursday to assess the damage and begin restoration of the land.

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Molokaʻi may become the first island in Hawaiʻi where new short-term vacation rentals are banned and old ones phased out. The Maui County Council quietly approved a measure last month to do all that and it’s now awaiting Mayor Michael Victorino’s signature. This comes as Maui planners consider extending a ban to the entire county.

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WAILUKU — Fewer sea turtles were found stranded on Maui last year than in 2018, although officials say most cases continue to be caused by fishing gear, officials said.

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Maui Mayor Michael Victorino is asking the state Legislature to extend a deadline that will allow the county to impose a general excise tax surcharge on business activities such as sales of products.

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Organizations such as the Surfrider Foundation and Sierra Club are active in addressing broad environmental issues at the local level, including on Maui. But one island company and a homegrown community group are developing ways to recycle and reduce waste that could be adopted beyond the county.

Casey Harlow / HPR

Far from the view of the nearly three million visitors who travel to Maui County each year are two landfills that are filling up fast and approaching the end of their lifespans. 

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Nearly five years ago, Hawaii Public Radio reported a series of stories about the state of garbage around the islands. This week and next, we’re going back for another look in a series we’re calling “Trashing the Islands.”

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