Neighbor Island News

Reports from across the Hawaiian Islands

Abhinaba Basu / Flickr

Maui business leaders say they face the same conditions as Oahu— only more so. We get an explanation of that from Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier.

Wikimedia Commons

Flood Rebuilding Costs; Cabs Push Back Against Ridesharing; Volunteer Week; SHOCKA on Stage

Hundreds Rescued from Kauai's North Shore

Apr 17, 2018
DVIDS / U.S. Coast Guard

Following the weekend flooding, the Hanalei District - including Wainiha and Haʻena, faced heavy damage. The Hanalei River became swollen, and many neighborhoods and farmlands flooded. Emergency rescue crews evacuated 152 people by helicopter, 121 by bus and others by water. Currently, it is an active search and rescue effort.

DVIDS / U.S. Coast Guard

Kauai Flooding Update; 2018 National Health Security Preparedness Index; Volunteer Week; Electric Buses


Haleakalā National Park is one of Maui's most popular visitor draws. But starting this year, park officials vastly reduced the number of tour companies allowed to operate in the park. One business that didn't get a contract had to shut down earlier this month. We get more from contributing reporter Colleen Uechi.

Robert S. Donovan / Flickr

The State Legislature is considering a bill to ban two sunscreen ingredients over concerns they harm the state’s reefs.  But not everybody agrees that’s the right thing to do. Contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more from Hawai‘i Island.


Paʻulaʻula o Hipo, the site of Fort Elizabeth, the fort built by Russian trading interests in the early 19th century, is best remembered as the setting for the brief alliance between the Russian-American Company and Kauai's High Chief Kaumualiʻi. But there's more than one story behind what is now a National Historic Landmark.

Waikiki The Film

Chinese Labor in Saipan; Kauai’s Russian Fort; Kaka’ako Walking Tour; Waikiki the Movie

PPD / Pixnio

It was six months ago today that Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. Today, there are still communities on the islands that either have no power or only intermittent electricity. One question for the state of Hawai‘i: how would our islands fare if we faced a similar situation? HPR Contributing Reporter Sherry Bracken took that question to power company officials on the Big Island to learn more.

Wikimedia Commons

Hawai‘i Public Radio has learned that the Hawai‘i County Police Department is missing some illegal drugs from its evidence room. Police Chief Paul Ferreira says the case involves cocaine and hashish. The investigation has now been referred to the county prosecutor and the case is continuing to develop. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has the exclusive story from Hawai‘i Island.

Sgt. Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos / Puerto Rico National Guard

The island of Puerto Rico is home to more than 80 pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. Hurricane Maria, which hit late last September, devastated the island and closed those plants. The impact is still affecting the supply of pharmaceuticals and other medical products to the state. From Hawai'i Island, Sherry Bracken has more.

Adam Barhan / Flickr

Since it launched in 2005, Maui Brewing Company has expanded tremendously — and it’s done so by supporting the entire local brewing industry. Pacific Business News editor in chief A. Kam Napier has more.

Images of Money / Flickr

The Hawaiʻi County Council is considering a ballot initiative to make government salary adjustments more transparent.

Wikimedia Commons

Community meetings on Hawaiʻi County's General Excise Tax bill are set for this week.

Free for Commercial Use / Flickr

Hawai'i County’s Mayor has about three weeks to send a budget to the County Council. Since 2000, the budget has increased more than 250 percent. That’s a concern for county property owners, who are the primary source of funds. From Hawai'i Island, Sherry Bracken has more.

Nightscream / Wikimedia Commons

Maui High is one of three public schools in the state to offer a day care program for students with children. But now that program is getting phased out because the school is running out of space. We get more from HPR contributing reporter Colleen Uechi.

Bryan Berkowitz

There’s a court case that’s drawing a lot of attention and not just for the reason the defendant is on trial but because he is insisting on defending himself in his native Hawaiian language. HPR Reporter Ku’uwehi Hiraishi has this story.

Sherry Bracken

Ambulance services on every island have a number of clients who are frequent callers—some more than 50 times a year.  On Hawai'i Island, the 300 most frequent 9-1-1 callers make up eleven percent of their total calls, at a cost to the health care system of around $7 million dollars. Hawai'i County’s Fire Department is now using a new system to improve the situation. From Hawai'i Island, Sherry Bracken has more.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Mauna Loa is the largest active volcano on earth and makes up more than half of Hawai'i Island's land mass. Its last eruption was nearly 34 years ago, but over a longer time frame time. It’s erupted every 5 to 6 years with the potential to reach far flung parts of the island. As part of “Volcano Awareness Month,” scientists at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory are hosting workshops to inform the community. From Hawai'i Island, contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has more.

JeepersMedia / Flickr
JeepersMedia / Flickr

This week is a busy one for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry. And while another record year is expected for tourism, more people at the beach means plenty of sunscreen ends up in the ocean. There’s now a movement in Maui County to ban sunscreen containing chemicals that scientists say are harming the reefs. We get more from HPR contributing reporter Colleen Uechi of The Maui News

Marlena Dixon / State Department of Health
Marlena Dixon / State Department of Health

The State Department of Health has created a Rat Lungworm Task Force to look at this daunting disease. Also known as angiostrongyliasis, it is a concern for people throughout the state.  It causes severe pain, brain swelling, and often, ongoing neurological problems. Hawai'i Island contributing reporter Sherry Bracken talked to members of the Task Force to find out what they know about some of the most frequently asked questions about the disease.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Rat lungworm disease can be devastating. The overwhelming majority of cases have been on Hawai'i Island. State legislators on that island have made several requests to fund ongoing research and outreach efforts at the UH Hilo College of Pharmacy and Hilo Medical Center. In the last legislative session, funds WERE allocated—but not to institutions on the Big Island. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken follows the money.

Syracuse University Lava Project

Kauai Pesticide Report; Dangers of Downsizing Marine Preserves; Art and Science of Creating Lava


Republican Tax Plan Advances; Johnson Amendment Repeal; Prosecuting Agricultural Theft on Hawaii Island; Habitat Zone for False Killer Whales

Rat Lungworm Update

Nov 23, 2017
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The number of rat lungworm cases confirmed by the State Department of Health has been growing since the department began tracking them a decade ago.  For the first 8 years, there were 65 cases in the state.  But numbers are increasing – 12 last year, and 17 so far in 2017.  Most of the cases have been on the Big Island—65 out of 78. But this year there have also been 6 cases on Maui and one on O'ahu. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken spoke with a pair of medical professionals working on the spread of rat lungworm on the Big Island, and has an update.

Nathan Fitch/Island Soldier

Aquarium Fish Permits; North Kona Water; Micronesian Veterans of U.S. Military


Hawai'i County Water Supply has had numerous well failures in North Kona for the past year. In early October, the situation seemed to be getting better. But as HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken explains, wells continue to fail.

Daniel Ramirez / Flickr

Micro Unit Affordable Rental Project; Salvinia Invasion on Kauai; Pilot André Borschberg; Antonio Carlos Jobim Tribute Concert

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Waste disposal is a challenge for residents of any island. On Hawai‘i Island, county officials have been talking about the potential closure of the Hilo Landfill for more than three decades. Now, county officials say the closure will happen—and this time there’s a definite timeline. HPR contributing reporter Sherry Bracken has an update.

Maui’s Water Wars

Oct 19, 2017
Will Scullin / Flickr
Will Scullin / Flickr

Water can be a contentious subject, especially in East Maui, where streams have long been diverted for sugar. Now, a battle to restore these streams is coming to an end. We get more from contributing HPR reporter Colleen Uechi of The Maui News.