About The Kaʻū Calendar

Ka`u, Hawai`i, United States
A locally owned and run community newspaper (www.kaucalendar.com) distributed in print to all Ka`u District residents of Ocean View, Na`alehu, Pahala, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, Volcano Village and Miloli`i on the Big Island of Hawai`i. This blog is where you can catch up on what's happening daily with our news briefs. This blog is provided by The Ka`u Calendar Newspaper (kaucalendar.com), Pahala Plantation Cottages (pahalaplantationcottages.com), Local Productions, Inc. and the Edmund C. Olson Trust.

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Ka‘ū News Briefs, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022

Hawaiʻi County will help determine the use of $79 million in opioid settlement funds coming to the State of Hawaiʻi. Photo from NPR
SEVENTY-EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS IN OPIOID SETTLEMENT FUNDS will be used in all four Hawaiʻi Counties. Gov. David Ige and the mayors announced Tuesday that an Advisory Committee of the counties will determine the recommended uses for Hawaiʻi's share of $26 billion to be distributed nationally. The settlements resolve lawsuits against the three largest drug distributors and one of the largest drug manufacturers in the country.
    Hawaiʻi’s portion of these settlements was determined by a formula that takes into account population and impact of the opioid crisis. The $78 million includes approximately $63 million over 18 years from the settlement with the three major distributors and $15 million over nine years from the Johnson & Johnson settlement.
    The counties and Hawaiʻi state government agreed to use 85 percent of the funds for opioid treatment, prevention, and education, as well as other abatement measures and strategies. The other 15 percent is reserved for treatment, prevention, and education on other risky substances.
    A Memorandum of Agreement facilitates compliance with national settlement agreements. Eighty-five percent of opioid settlement funds will be spent in consultation with an Advisory Committee composed of equal numbers of state and county representatives. Each year, at least 15 percent of the total will be spent at the local level, and each county will determine how its respective share is spent.
  The governor said, “Too many of us know children, spouses, neighbors, or colleagues who are suffering every day from the impacts of drug addiction and misuse. I want to thank our mayors and our community, healthcare and government stakeholders who have come together to help the people of Hawaiʻi. Our efforts will be successful because all stakeholders are working closely together to achieve success.”
    Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth said, “Thanks to this collective statewide effort spearheaded by Gov. Ige and our healthcare providers, our counties will each be able to receive much-needed resources to combat the opioid crisis that we see island-to-island, community-to-community. Many of our first responders and local non-profit organizations have been working in the trenches to keep our families safe and free from the adverse effects of opioids and other illicit substances, and now we can look to amplify their efforts through this settlement. The work that our Corporation Counsels and State Attorney General’s Office have put in to ensure that we hold pharmaceutical companies accountable to our local communities cannot go understated, and we mahalo them for their dedication and commitment to justice.”
    Other anticipated settlements with major drug makers will contribute millions more to the state and counties’ abatement efforts. "In addition, cases against and investigations into other opioid actors are ongoing, and Hawaiʻi could see millions more when these are concluded," says a statement from the governor.

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A LOCKDOWN WAS DECLARED AT SISTER CAMPUSES OF KA'Ū public and charter schools on Tuesday. Shortly after 8:30 a.m., Puna patrol officers responded to Kea‘au High School for a reported threat by a 17-year old male student believed to be armed. As officers arrived, the juvenile was observed within a vehicle on campus, and as officers attempted to identify him, he fled on foot into a forested
area. Police set up a perimeter encompassing two area schools and the forest. Area I Criminal Investigation Division personnel responded to the scene to assist patrol in the search.
    As a precaution, Kea‘au High, Middle and Elementary and Ke Kula 'O Nāwahīokalani'ōpuʻu Iki Lab Public Charter School were locked down. The schools are located in the Kaʻū-Kea‘au-Pāhoa Complex Area of the state Department of Education.
    Shortly before 10:45 a.m., police located the young man and arrested him without incident. He was not armed. The initial verbal threat was made in-person, and later followed up with a general threat the suspect allegedly posted online.
    Hawai‘i Island police charged the 17-year-old student accused of threatening students and school personnel with first-degree terroristic threatening. He was transferred to the custody of the State of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division and scheduled for transport to the Hawai’i Youth Correctional Facility on O‘ahu.
    A statement from Hawaiʻi Police Department says, "Police would like to thank the community for their patience as this case was investigated. Police take threats of violence extremely seriously, especially those involving the use or threatened use of a firearm or other weapon. The protection of life is paramount."
    Area I Juvenile Aid Section is continuing this investigation. Police ask anyone with information about the incident to call the police department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Jenny Lee at (808) 961-2279 or Jenny.Lee@hawaiicounty.gov.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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POLICE ARRESTED 16 FOR DUI from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7. Hawaiʻi Island police arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Two were involved in a traffic accident. One was under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 613 DUI arrests compared with 684 during the same period
last year, a decrease of 10.4 percent. There were no arrests in Kaʻū for DUI this past week, with six DUI arrests since January. In South Hilo there were 175, Puna 131, and Kona 226.
    There have been 480 major accidents so far this year compared with 474 during the same period last year, an increase of 1.3 percent.
    To date, there were 23 fatal crashes (one fatal crash reclassified on 5/30/22 due to a medical condition) resulting in 25 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths, and one of which was reclassified due to a medical condition), compared with 13 fatal crashes, resulting in 13 fatalities for the same time last year. This represents is an increase of 76.9 percent for fatal crashes, and 92.3 percent for fatalities. Police promise that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

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THE PUBLIC MEETING ON THE THIRTY-METER TELESCOPE is Wednesday at Nāʻālehu Community Center from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the aim is to gather public opinion from Kaʻū to help determine whether NSF should continue to fund the project. Meetings are being held around the island. See stories at

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