Author Archives: Catherine Cluett Pactol

Woman Disappears at Pala’au Park

Tuesday, July 20th, 2021

Woman Disappears at Pala’au Park

By Catherine Cluett Pactol, Editor

On June 24, after hitting the park caretaker with her vehicle in Kalae, 25-year-old Gianina Leilani Reid abandoned her car and other possessions at the Kalaupapa lookout, fled into the woods on foot, and hasn’t been seen since.

Described by family and friends as smart, artistic and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Reid is originally from Pennsylvania and has lived on Molokai for about three years.

A missing person report released by the Maui Police Dept. on July 9 describes Reid as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, weighing about 120 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes. She has a tattoo of a crescent moon shape on her forehead.…

12 Positive Cases in Molokai Cluster So Far

Friday, May 14th, 2021

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available

There are 12 confirmed active COVID-19 cases on island as of May 14. The cluster originated from Maui construction contractors who were working in a non-clinical, closed area of Molokai General Hospital and tested positive after their arrival, while working alongside Molokai workers. Here’s what we know so far.

“On Tuesday afternoon, MGH was notified that one of the contractors who had been on Molokai the previous week tested positive for COVID-19 on Maui,” said MGH President Janice Kalanihuia. “We immediately shut down the job and tested the12 people who were on-site at that time.…

19-Person Plane Starting Service This Fall

Wednesday, May 12th, 2021

19-Person Plane Starting Service This Fall

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Come this fall, a larger plane will once again be servicing Molokai travelers. Mokulele’s parent company, Southern Airways, will be bringing in a 19-passenger Beechcraft 1900 aircraft to offer two roundtrips to Honolulu from Molokai and Lanai most weekdays initially, the airline announced.

Tickets will be available starting this summer to begin service in the fall, pending the approval of the Dept. of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration.

The pressurized, twin-engine turboprop aircraft will allow kupuna and those with limited mobility greater ease in boarding and moving in the cabin, said Mokulele Chief Marketing Officer Keith Sisson.…

Energy Coop Seeks Local Contractors

Thursday, April 29th, 2021

Ho’ahu Energy News Release

Hoʻahu Energy Cooperative Molokai, a new local entity formed to support community-owned energy projects, seeks interest from individuals and companies based on Molokai with qualifications relevant to energy development.

As a locally-led cooperative of Molokai residents, we are committed to supporting local people and economic development on Molokai. Our energy development partners, Shake Energy Collaborative and Mana Pacific, are equally committed to hiring locally and we collectively put out this call for interest.

We are looking for Molokai people interested in participating in the design, construction and operation of energy projects at this time for several upcoming projects.…

National Guard Assists on Molokai

Monday, April 20th, 2020

National Guard Assists on Molokai

Last week, seven members of the Hawaii National Guard arrived on Molokai to perform thermal screenings at the airport and assist the Maui Police Department during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guardsmen are unarmed and “all local boys just trying to serve their community,” said Staff Sgt. Laurence Kimoha’e Puailihau, Jr., who is from Molokai and now lives on Oahu with his family.

Puailihau joined Councilwoman and Molokai High classmate Keani Rawlins-Fernandez in a virtual talk story last weekend to answer questions and clear up “the uncertainty and anxiety that people feel when they hear the National Guard is coming,” said Rawlins-Fernandez.…

Changes to Local, State and National Policies

Monday, April 6th, 2020

Last week, Molokai experienced its first two coronavirus cases, while as of Sunday, there were 369 positive cases in Hawaii, out of 13,536 tests conducted in the state so far. The state also reported the fourth death linked to the virus.

Following the news of the first positive test result on Molokai last Thursday, grocery stores across the island immediately closed, remaining shuttered for sanitation on Friday. With continued closures for Friendly Market, Misaki’s and Kualapu’u Market opened on Saturday, under a new model: curbside pickup for preordered items only.

“We’ve had long discussions about the safety of our staff, our customers and the island in general and are going to implement curbside pickup only,” posted Kualapu’u Market on its Facebook page.…

Molokai Has First Two COVID-19 Cases

Monday, April 6th, 2020

The Molokai community faced the news of its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases last week. Both are Friendly Market Center employees; the first of whom, confirmed as positive on Thursday, was transported to Oahu for treatment.

After the first case was confirmed, Mayor Michael Victorino, Sen. Kalani English, and Rep. Lynn DeCoite worked with the market’s owners to facilitate testing for all 51 FMC employees at Molokai General Hospital on Friday. The second positive test came out of that round of testing.

“As a precaution, we’ve decided to have all employees [regardless of their test results] remain in self-quarantine,” said Kit Okimoto, co-owner and chief financial officer for Friendly Market.…

Molokai General Hospital Protocol Updates

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

MGH News Release

Molokai General Hospital has begun using an external triage system (patients are greeted and screened outside the ED) to screen patients. Those who may meet criteria will be tested outside of the hospital to expedite care. The testing is an extension of the emergency department services.

We encourage anyone who suspects they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to speak with their medical provider to find out if they meet testing requirements.

As of Wednesday, March 25, Molokai General Hospital will be limiting its number of entrances to one.  All people entering the main facility will need to use the front lobby sliding glass door. …

County Emergency Rules Mandate Staying at Home

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

County of Maui News Release

Mayor Michael Victorino announced a “stay at home and work from home” amendment to the Public Health Emergency Rules in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The amendment is effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, March 25. The new order will be in effect until April 30.

“The health and safety of our community has always been my top priority and I believe we need
to take bold actions if we are to stop the spread of this virus,” Mayor Victorino said. “I am ordering all our residents to stay at home and our visitors to stay in their rooms as much as possible.…

Molokai COVID-19 Update Livestream Friday

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

Molokai COVID-19 Update Livestream Friday

County of Maui News Release

The County of Maui will be providing COVID-19 updates to Molokai and Lanai residents on Friday via a live stream on Akaku Channel 53 and the County of Maui Facebook page.

Mayor Michael Victorino will be joined by Dr. Lorrin Pang from the Maui District Health Office to talk about the coronavirus and answer questions from the public. Questions pertaining to Molokai and Lanai residents can be emailed to Mayors.Office@co.maui.hi.us or asked on Facebook during the stream.

Previously planned for Wednesday, the stream has been rescheduled to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 20.

General information and resources on COVID-19 (coronavirus) can be found on the County of Maui’s website at mauicounty.gov