State briefs for April 30

Businesses want consistency on mask rules

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — Some businesses on Maui want a more consistent approach to pandemic mask rules.

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Hawaii officials have been unclear about when or if mask rules will align with new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC now says people who are fully vaccinated can ditch the masks in certain outdoor situations. But Hawaii still requires outdoor masking in most settings where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Maui Mayor Michael Victorino says he does not support the latest federal guidance and would have preferred the CDC had waited until herd immunity was achieved before making changes. Some businesses say rules need to be more consistent.

“What’s the most challenging about CDC guidelines and state guidelines and county guidelines is that they don’t all match up,” said Claire Byler, general manager of Cafe O’Lei at the Mill House in Wailuku. “For locals I feel like generally people are pretty good about it. But with tourists they’re coming from places where mask mandates are gone; they all have this feeling that they’re tested and they’re cleared. It’s been really challenging for us.”

Prosecutor to investigate police shootings

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu’s new prosecuting attorney said Thursday his office will conduct independent investigations into recent police shootings in which a 29-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were killed.

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Previously, the Honolulu Police Department investigated all shootings by officers and sent findings to prosecutors, a process that could take more than a year, said Steve Alm, who was elected in November.

Police have been cooperative in turning over evidence, Alm said. Prosecutors won’t release any evidence during an investigation.

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