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Sophie Cocke

 Sophie Cocke is a former reporter at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
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                                The Yukio Okutsu Veterans Home was fined in February for not providing proper care.
Hilo veterans home fined again for failing to meet standards

Staffing shortages and health and safety problems have continued to plague the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo, two years after the state took over the nursing facility and fined the company that was managing it over $510,000 for numerous violations following a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 80% of residents, killing 27. Read more

                                The U.S. Navy leads a media tour of the Red Hill Shaft in Halawa. Pictured is once section of the Red Hill Shaft access tunnel.
Congress members seek registry to track health effects of Red Hill

Members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation have introduced bipartisan legislation that would require the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to set up a new registry to track and collect health data from people who were exposed to tap water laced with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in 2021. Read more

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                                Registered nurse Florence Agcaoili takes a vital signs machine to a patient at the Villas inside St. Francis Medical Center in Honolulu.
Hawaii’s health care system receives top scores

Hawaii once again ranked among the best states overall when it comes to its health care system, just behind Massachusetts, in an extensive analysis of 58 metrics that assess access to care, health outcomes, quality, costs, reproductive care and women’s health. Read more

                                Darkfield micrograph of Treponema pallidum, the spirochaete bacterium that causes the disease syphilis.
Syphilis cases on the rise, says state DOH

Amid an alarming rise in syphilis cases in Hawaii, the state Department of Health is urging health care providers to increase screenings for the disease, particularly among women who may become pregnant or are already pregnant in order to prevent the disease from being spread to their babies. Read more

                                Instructions on using bottled water were posted on the Kunia Village office earlier this year due to contamination, but the community has now been given the OK to drink tap water again.
Kunia Village given OK to drink tap water again

Hundreds of residents of Kunia Village have finally been given the all-clear to resume drinking their tap water after two wells that supplied their potable water tested positive for chemicals called PFAS earlier this year. Read more

                                Officials say several people have been injured from misjudging conditions and jumping or diving into the swimming hole fronting Doris Duke’s Shangri La.
Board OK’s removal of Doris Duke breakwater

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources has given the green light to demolish the Diamond Head Breakwater, a wall of large boulders that juts out into the ocean, creating a protected cove fronting Doris Duke’s Shangri La estate. Read more

                                A hydrant pumps ground water into four large filtration tanks on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021, in Pearl City.
Hawaii report details health effects of Red Hill leak

A new report released by the state Department of Health provides an assessment of the health effects people may have faced after being exposed to jet fuel, the cleaning product Simple Green, high levels of chlorine and an anti-icing agent in their drinking water after a pipeline burst at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility on Nov. 20 2021. Read more

                                People gathered in front of the Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Federal Building and United States Courthouse on Wednesday before a hearing in the Red Hill civil lawsuit over the contamination of drinking water.
Judge to decide whether top Navy officer can be deposed

A federal judge is expected to decide soon whether Adm. Samuel Paparo, commander of the Navy’s Pacific Fleet, will have to sit for a deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by military and civilian families whose drinking water was contaminated with jet fuel from the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in November 2021. Read more

                                The HMSA building.
Hawaii insurers could face more scrutiny over executive pay

The Honolulu Star-­Advertiser had in April sought documents that health insurers regulated by the state file annually with DCCA’s insurance division detailing the pay. The insurance division has released salary information for top executives in the past. Read more

                                Navy, EPA and state health officials met Tuesday at Moanalua High School Performing Arts Center for a biannual meeting of the Red Hill Fuel Tank Advisory Committee. Pictured speaking on the screen is Vice Adm. John Wade, commander of Joint Task Force-Red Hill.
Environmental risks will persist after Red Hill tanks are drained

Ever since thousands of gallons of jet fuel spewed from a pipeline at Red Hill in November 2021 and made its way into the Navy’s drinking water system, sickening military families, environmentalists and water officials have had their sights set on ensuring that the fuel in the facility’s massive underground tanks that sit just 100 feet above an aquifer is permanently removed. Read more

                                The Navy prepared in late January 2022 to filter water from the Red Hill shaft and dump it into Halawa Stream.
EPA finalizes order for defueling and closing Red Hill site

The EPA said that it also has amended the agreement, called an administrative order of consent, to address public concerns that it contained weak defueling deadlines and not enough opportunities for public participation. Read more

                                Tripler Army Medical Center.
Hawaii moves to lure mainland doctors

Doctors from other states may soon be able to quickly acquire licenses to practice medicine in Hawaii after state lawmakers passed a bill this month enabling the governor to join the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact, an agreement among states that streamlines the licensing process. Read more

                                TheHandi-Van rider Deborah Braiman uses the transport service three to four times a week. Pictured assisting her in the van on Friday is driver Justin Unutoa.
Honolulu’s Handi-Van shortage worsens

“Everyone has a life. Just because we are disabled, yes, there are some inconveniences, but we should have fair access to transportation and get to our destination in a reasonable time,” said a Handi-Van rider. Read more

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