Kanuha Makes State Senate Run Official

Hawaiʻi County Councilman Dru Kanuha pulled and filed his candidacy papers today, Feb. 1, 2018, making official his candidacy for State Senate District 3, representing Kaʻū and Kona.

“The outpouring of aloha and support since I announced my candidacy in September has been so humbling,” Kanuha said. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve even more people in our community as Senator.”

“Having been blessed to grow up in West Hawaiʻi and raised with the values of compassion, respect and aloha for the land, water and people, it will be an honor to bring those values with me to the Hawaiʻi State Senate and work hard to address the needs of our people from Nāʻālehu to Ocean View, South Kona to Kealakekua, Kāināliu to Keauhou, Kailua to Kalaoa,” said Kanuha.

Kanuha was born and raised in Kona, and is a proud graduate of Kealakehe High School and the University of San Diego. Kanuha worked at the State Capitol and at Kamehameha Schools’ Land Assets Division before being elected to the County Council in 2012. He is currently in his third term representing the people of Council District 7.

Kanuha is especially proud of improvements in transportation and recreation he advanced during his three terms on the County Council: building Laʻaloa Avenue as a mauka-makai connector to relieve traffic congestion on both Kuakini Highway above and Aliʻi Drive below, completing the Māmalahoa Bypass Extension from Keauhou to Nāpoʻopoʻo to alleviate congestion in South Kona, opening the new playground at Kailua Park to families, and welcoming the community to Aliʻi Kai Park—delivering on a promise made by the county over four decades ago.

While on the Council, Kanuha’s colleagues elected him chair from 2014 to 2016, and he currently serves as chair of the Governmental Relations and Economic Development Committee. He was also chosen by his colleagues as president of the Hawaiʻi State Association of Counties, a body that advocates for the counties at the Legislature, and is on the board of directors of the National Association of Counties and its Western Interstate Region.


PHOTO UPDATE: Missing Woman’s Friends, Co-Workers Express Concern

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

Kelly Mrowinski. PC: NBC

As the Hawai‘i Fire Department continues its search for Kelly Mrowinski, the traveling nurse from Chicago who was swept down the Wailuku River during a flash flood in Hilo on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, relatives provided photos and friends and co-workers expressed heartfelt concern about the beloved nurse.

Mrowinski, in her mid-20s, went missing around 4 p.m. on Friday.

“We are deeply concerned about our travel nurse, Kelly, who is missing in Hawai‘i, and are doing everything we can to help comfort the families involved,” said an Aya Healthcare spokesperson. “We’ve reached out to Kelly’s family as well as her travel partner and roommate who is also a travel nurse with Aya Healthcare. We can only imagine what they must be feeling right now and want to make sure that they know we’re here to help. We’ve offered our support and are doing everything we can to be of assistance at such a difficult time. Kelly, her family and friends are all in our thoughts and prayers.”

“Kelly is an absolute ray of sunshine whenever we work together,” said Mrowinski’s Aya Healthcare recruiter. “She is always upbeat and has an infectious laugh and positive outlook on life. Nothing gets her down and I admire her outgoing spirit. She has the heart of a true traveler and a real zest for life.”

“Kelly is such a beautiful person inside and out and has the biggest smile,” said a childhood classmate of Mrowinski’s, who is also an Aya Healthcare employee. “She’s very outgoing, energetic and friendly—always surrounded by loved ones, laughing and having a good time.”

UPDATE: Search Continues for Woman Swept Away in Flash Flood

Guide Dies During Lava Tour

NPS File photo.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department reports that one person passed away and three others were injured in the Kalapana Chain Of Craters Road area of the Big Island near the Kalapana lava viewing area near Royal Gardens.

HFD reports that four people were overcome by a noxious steam cloud while on a guided hiking tour near the lava flow.

While on their tour, it rained, which created a noxious steam cloud that quickly surrounded them, affecting their vision and breathing.

The initial HFD call came in as four persons trapped in a noxious steam cloud.

The guide succumbed to the noxious effects of the cloud, while the other three people escaped.

The first unit on scene was Chopper 1 and they located the three people in a safe area.

Chopper 1 found the tour guide unresponsive in another location. He was air lifted to an awaiting ambulance crew.

After physical examination, it was determined that the victim was deceased.

Chopper 1 and Chopper 2 airlifted the three other people to safety; they sustained minor injuries and denied any further EMS services.