Monday | January 16, 2017
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In brief | Local briefs 092013

Missing Kapaau woman found in Honokaa

Police have located 35-year-old Claudette Morell of Kapaau, who was reported missing. She was found unharmed Thursday morning in Honokaa.

Some DHS databases to shut down for upgrades

The Department of Human Services is upgrading its databases that maintain medical, food assistance and financial case information. As a result, some of the databases will be temporarily shut down between Sept. 26 and 30. All of its services will be restored Oct. 1.

During the upgrade period, Human Services processing centers across the state will be open for business as usual. Human Services staff will continue to accept applications, schedule and conduct interviews, and assist clients as needed. Current clients will not experience any interruption of services.

The temporary shutdown will impact only first-time applicants for financial assistance, Med-QUEST health insurance coverage and food stamps. Applicants determined newly eligible for benefits during the three-day upgrade period will begin receiving benefits Oct. 1.

The department has mailed letters to its current clients explaining the temporary shutdown, and notifying them they will not experience any interruption of service. A public notice also is posted at, and the federal Food and Nutrition Service has been notified. Additionally, the department has informed food pantries and other food banks about a possible increase in food assistance between Sept. 26 and 30.

The current Human Services databases are 25 years old and do not meet mandates of the federal Affordable Care Act. As part of the systems upgrade, department engineers also are integrating the Kauhale On-Line Eligibility Assistance online Med-QUEST eligibility system. KOLEA will transform access to Medicaid services across the state.

Vehicle fire closes Hawaii Belt Road

Hawaii Belt Road was closed for several hours Thursday morning while firefighters extinguished a vehicle fire.

The cab of a semitrailer, pulling an 8,500-gallon tank with 8,300 gallons of diesel fuel, caught fire at about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, Fire Department officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The driver was able to exit the cab and was not injured. The cab was a total loss, about a $40,000 loss. The trailer was saved with minimal damage.

The road reopened after 7 a.m.

By local sources