Stories by Emma Grunwald

Minimum wage hike falls short on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E – The Kaua‘i County Council is aiming to address the island’s high cost of living for working residents, following the recent announcement that the minimum wage increased to $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2024.

Landfill expansion project in the works

LIHU‘E — As the County of Kaua‘i’s only landfill runs out of space, local officials have not yet been able to expand the current landfill’s capacity, find a new landfill location, or implement an alternative solution to help manage the decades-long issue of the island’s overflowing waste.

County seeks approval for ‘Waimea 400’ affordable housing

LIHU‘E — As the County of Kaua‘i Housing Agency works to obtain land use and environmental approvals for a new affordable housing development on the island’s westside, the agency is asking members of the public to weigh in on plans for the future project.

BLNR weighs in on Coco Palms land parcels issue

LIHU‘E — A community group fighting to stop the construction of the Coco Palms Resort was awarded joint temporary access rights, along with the developer, for a small piece of disputed state land during a Board of Land and Natural Resources (BLNR) meeting on Dec. 15.

Ambulance services issue gets clarity

LIHU‘E – The state Department of Health met with the Kaua‘i County Council regarding the future of ambulance services on Wednesday, nearly two months after protests led the department to cancel its decision to change emergency medical providers.

7-Eleven Hawai‘i discontinues plant-based musubi

LIHU‘E — 7-Eleven Hawai‘i has confirmed that its plant-based musubi has been discontinued less than five months after its launch, despite reporting high sales and seemingly without the knowledge of its partner on the product.

Kaua‘i rancher accused of cattle theft

LIHU‘E — A cattle company owned by a billionaire Idaho businessman is suing a former Kaua‘i ranch employee for allegedly stealing nearly 200 cows and having them slaughtered without authorization.

Theft cases dominate Kaua‘i court docket

LIHU‘E – Kaua‘i Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe heard various burglary and theft cases on Tuesday, Nov. 28, as some defendants pleaded guilty, others awaited the results of their mental fitness evaluations, while others failed to appear at all.

Kona low to produce heavy rainfall on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau

LIHU‘E — A Kona low is forecast to take aim at Kaua‘i. The island is predicted to be the most heavily impacted in the Hawaiian Island chain due to severe weather conditions this week, as officials urged residents to prepare for heavy rain and flash flood conditions.

County of Kaua‘i aims to recoup search and rescue costs

LIHU‘E – Following a number of recent rescues on the island, the Kaua‘i County Council is working to pass a bill that aims to make it easier to charge people for the cost of being rescued, as well as establish a donation fund to assist with paying for the county’s search and rescue operations.

Poipu hit-and-run case being reviewed

LIHU‘E – The County of Kaua‘i Office of the Prosecuting Attorney has yet to file any charges against the Kalaheo man, who critically injured two teenage girls in a hit-and-run incident in Po‘ipu more than four months ago.

Rainy season affecting water quality on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — The Surfrider Foundation has released its Nov. 11 water quality results for the island, with its senior scientist attributing higher than average bacteria levels at many of the tested sites to the beginning of the rainy season.

Kapa‘a man sentenced for stealing from elderly gentleman

LIHU‘E — A Kapa‘a man, who was reportedly living on the beach when he was hired by a 72-year-old man with disabilities looking for a caregiver, was sentenced to one year in jail on Wednesday for stealing thousands of dollars through forged checks and scamming the elderly victim.