State briefs for March 19

Kauai County implements nighttime curfew

LIHUE, Kauai — Kauai County Mayor Derek S.K Kawakami implemented, via emergency rule, an islandwide nighttime curfew beginning Friday. The curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m.-5 a.m. daily until further notice.

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Every individual within the Kauai County must remain in their residence during these specified hours, according to a news release issued by the county and posted on the county’s website.

“This decision was made with three goals in mind — one, protecting and preserving our existing resources, two, managing the spread of COVID-19 by increasing social distancing and, three, ensuring that essential services, operations and family care can continue,” Kawakami said in the release.

There are some exceptions to the curfew, including commuting to and from work, working for an essential service provider whose shifts are within the curfew window, delivery services associated with food service establishments or stores that sell food and household supplies and seeking medical attention, the release says.

The county’s houseless community is asked to shelter in place and avoid movement during curfew hours.

Kawakami also stated in the release that airline travel to and from the island be limited to essential needs only.

“Until further notice, visitors should not be traveling to our island for recreational purposes,” he said. “Kauai is on vacation!”

The mayor stated the county understands the measures will “result in hardships for many” business owners and residents, “but the longer it takes us to make these drastic decisions, the longer it will take us to get to a point of economic recovery.”

A copy of the mayor’s emergency rule can be found online at www.kauai.gov/covid-19.

State authorities restrict Hana Highway access

HONOLULU — Authorities restricted access by non-residents to popular Hana Highway on Maui as they fight the spread of coronavirus.

Gov. David Ige decided not to allow non-residents on the highway that’s popular with tourists. The state Department of Transportation is expected to place signs along Hana Higway notifying drivers that the road is open to residents only.

Sen. Kalani English said the move will keep tourists from causing traffic, entering closed parks and coming into contact with one another and residents along the road. The Hana resident said he knows most of the area’s economy relies on tourists but health must come first.

Meanwhile, Hawaii’s construction industry could soften the blow to the state’s economy from the coronavirus, analysts and business leaders said.

The industry could contend relatively well as retailers, restaurants, airlines, hotels and visitor attractions cut back operations in response to the virus.

Construction is close to a $10 billion industry that has been one of the top five contributors to the state’s economic output in recent years. Local government and business leaders proposed boosting public works construction projects to help the state’s economy.

Under state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations guidelines, construction work falls in a category of lower exposure risk to COVID-19 in part because job sites do not allow frequent close contact with the general public.

Ships turned away by other ports head to Honolulu

HONOLULU — Two cruise ships were headed to Honolulu on Wednesday after being turned away by other ports. There were no positive cases of coronavirus on either vessel, officials said.

The Maasdam, operated by Holland America Line, had its port call canceled in Hilo and is set to disembark Friday in Honolulu Harbor, state officials said. It has 842 guests and 542 crew members.

Norwegian Cruise Line said one of its vessels that was turned away by Fiji and New Zealand is expected to disembark in Honolulu on Sunday. The Norwegian Jewel, with about 2,000 passengers, refueled in American Samoa but was not allowed to disembark at the Port of Pago Pago.

New measures to seal borders to reduce the spread of the coronavirus have left some cruise ships stranded as local governments deny permission to disembark.

The Cruise Lines International Association said about 40 ships with 90,000 passengers were at sea when President Donald Trump announced a ban last week that restricts travel by many foreigners to the U.S.

Officials were still working on a plan for the ships’ arrivals, said Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

Man arrested after officer poses online as teen girl

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

Eric Duncan, 34, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child.

An online investigation was initiated Friday in Kihei by an undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl, court records said. A person started a private chat with the agent’s profile on a social media application before they had a text message conversation that became sexual, records said.

The person agreed to meet the agent and a surveillance team at the location saw a man later identified as Duncan, records said.

Duncan was directed to an address in Kihei, where he allegedly tried to lure the agent posing as the girl to his car in a message. When the officer refused, Duncan drove away and was stopped by officers, police said.

Duncan is originally from Indiana and has lived in Hawaii for four years.

Duncan was ordered to not use the internet or make appointments with anyone younger than 18 who is not a family member.

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His bail was originally set at $20,000, but Judge John Breen increased it to $100,000.

Duncan has no prior record and is employed, according to Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson.

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