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Judge grants TRO in panhandling suit

A federal judge has granted a homeless man’s request for a temporary restraining order that prevents Hawaii County from enforcing its panhandling laws when he is soliciting money from passersby.

USGS develops pedestrian tsunami evacuation tool

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new mapping tool, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst, for use by researchers and emergency managers to estimate how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a tsunami-hazard zone. The geographic information systems software extension, released this week, allows the user to create maps showing travel times out of hazard zones and determine the number of people who may or may not have enough time to evacuate. The maps take into account elevation changes and the different types of land cover a person would encounter along the way.

EPA orders county to fix wastewater pipe

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Hawaii County to repair the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant’s ocean outfall pipe. The pipe is leaking treated wastewater close to shore, posing a potential risk to the marine environment and public health, EPA officials said.

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County exploring routes around lava

County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said Tuesday night officials are “looking at multiple other ways to create connectivity” in the event lava from the June 27 flow crosses Highway 130 and isolates lower Puna.

New bike lanes installed on Kuakini Highway

With Ironman coming, pedal-powered vehicles will soon be on the mind of every West Hawaii motorist. And this week, Hawaii County began extending the bike lanes along Kuakini Highway. Work slated to wrap up in the first week of October will extend the lanes from the intersection of Palani Road to Kaiwi Street.

ACLU challenging panhandling laws

A homeless Hawaii Island man has joined the American Civil Liberties Union to file suit against Hawaii County officials, claiming the county code provisions regarding panhandling are unconstitutional.