Big Island news — in brief for July 10

Hilo airport terminal evacuated after 2 inert grenades were found in luggage

Hilo International Airport briefly halted operations Tuesday morning when Hawaii Police Department personnel responded to a report by Transportation Security Administration staff that two items resembling grenades were detected during X-ray screening within a carry-on bag belonging to male Japanese national departing the country.


Responding to the 5:44 a.m. call, officers secured and evacuated the terminal area as a precautionary safety measure while the department’s bomb squad arrived on scene and determined the items to be inert grenades.

At 6:45 a.m., police arrested 41-year-old Akito Fukushima of Kanazawa, Japan, for first-degree terroristic threatening.

Fukushima was transported to the Hilo cellblock and remains in custody while detectives continue the investigation.

The airport resumed operations at 6:50 a.m.

Police remind the public that replicas of explosives, such as hand grenades, are prohibited in checked and carry-on baggage.

TSA officers also have the discretion to prohibit any item through the screening checkpoint if they believe it poses a security threat.

Green decides not to veto popular bill

Gov. Josh Green has reversed course on a bill he previously said he would veto.

In late June, Green released a list of 17 bills he was considering to veto. One of them, House Bill 2581, would remove a Hawaii statute that allows the governor to, during a state of emergency, suspend electronic media transmissions throughout the state.

While Green argued in his intent to veto list that the governor should keep the authority to cut media transmissions — citing the possibility of terrorists using electronic media to activate destructive devices — news media groups and others cautioned that such an act would hinder citizens’ ability to access vital information during a crisis, and could also be considered a violation of the First Amendment. The bill had broad support in the Legislature.

Green on Tuesday announced his final veto decisions. Of the 17 bills on his intent to veto list, only seven were fully vetoed, with six signed into law outright and four signed into law with line-item reductions.

HB 2581 was signed into law in full. Green did not issue a statement regarding why he reversed his decision.

Kalapana Transfer Station now open twice a week

Starting today, the Kalapana Transfer Station will be open two days a week.

The station will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, according to the Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management.

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