NATIONAL NEWS

Mayor says West Maui to reopen to tourism on Nov. 1 after fire and workers are ready to return

Oct 23, 2023, 8:53 PM

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, is viewed Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The resort will re-...

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, is viewed Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Lahaina, Hawaii. The resort will re-open Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, as the first phase for tourism returning to West Maui. (AP Photo/Mengshin Lin)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Mengshin Lin)

HONOLULU (AP) — All of West Maui except for burned-out sections of historic Lahaina will reopen to tourism on Nov. 1 following the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than century, the mayor of Maui County said Monday.

Mayor Richard Bissen said he made the move after talking about it with his Lahaina advisory team, the Red Cross and other partners.

West Maui has about 11,000 hotel rooms, or about half of Maui’s total. Travelers evacuated those hotels after the Aug. 8 fire raged through Lahaina town, killing at least 99 people and destroying more than 2,000 buildings.

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green last month declared West Maui would officially reopen to tourism on Oct. 8 to bring back badly needed jobs and help the economy recover. Bissen modified the governor’s declaration with a phased plan, allowing a small section on the northern edge of West Maui to open first with the rest to follow at an undetermined date.

The community has had an impassioned debate about when to welcome travelers back to the disaster-stricken region. Some residents drafted a petition opposing the return of tourists, saying the community wasn’t ready.

Bissen said Monday that workers are ready to return to their jobs while acknowledging “this isn’t for everyone.”

Those who aren’t prepared to go back to work on Nov. 1 should talk to their employers and “continue to seek the help and attention that they need,” Bissen said at a news conference in Lahaina that was livestreamed online.

The mayor said many residents are also concerned about not having child care. He said the county’s partners are working on that issue.

Residents who have been staying in West Maui hotels and other short-term accommodations after losing their homes in the fire won’t lose their lodging, the mayor said.

“We’re assured by the Red Cross that their housing will not be in jeopardy,” Bissen said.

The mayor said the reopening schedule was voluntary and said some properties have already reopened on their own.

National News

Melissa Shepard, left, directing attorney of Immigrant Defenders Law Center, explains the Biden adm...

Associated Press

Behind Biden’s asylum halt: Migrants must say if they fear deportation, not wait to be asked

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Posters inside a complex of giant, white tents tell migrants in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi they should tell an officer if they fear being deported and “your claim will be heard.” On a side wall where migrants are seated in a processing area, a video conveys the same message on […]

23 minutes ago

FILE - People walk past the Fiserv Forum ahead of the 2024 Republican National Convention, Thursday...

Associated Press

With GOP convention over, Milwaukee weighs the benefits of hosting political rivals

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Downtown Milwaukee turned red last week as thousands of Republican National Convention delegates and other party stalwarts gathered in Wisconsin’s largest Democratic stronghold to formally rally behind Donald Trump as their candidate for president in the pivotal swing state. Outside the security zone where the convention took place, residents grumbled, ignored or […]

43 minutes ago

A second-floor balcony at the Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Florida, on Wednesday, July 17, ...

Associated Press

Ernest Hemingway fans celebrate the author’s 125th birthday in his beloved Key West

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — Ernest Hemingway spent the 1930s in Key West, Florida, and more than six decades after his death, fans, scholars and relatives continue to congregate on the island city to celebrate the author’s award-winning novels and adventure-filled life. Hemingway Days started in 1981 with a short-story competition and a look-alike contest. […]

57 minutes ago

Associated Press

Salt Lake City wildfire prompts mandatory evacuations as more than 100 firefighters fight blaze

Salt Lake City officials have ordered residents to evacuate some areas ahead of a wildfire as more than 100 firefighters work to contain the blaze. Helicopters and airplanes were dropping buckets over the flames Saturday as ground crews tried to contain the fire on Ensign Peak. The first fire crew was dispatched around 4:30 p.m. […]

1 hour ago

Democratic Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi speaks at the North Carolina Democratic Unity Dinner fundra...

Associated Press

Pelosi delivers speech to NC Democrats with notable absence — Biden’s future as nominee

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a state expected to help decide the presidency, House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi did little to quell speculation on President Joe Biden’s path forward as the Democratic nominee to a room full of North Carolina Democrats on Saturday. Pelosi addressed more than 900 people at the North Carolina Democratic Party […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

89-year-old comedian recovering after she was randomly punched on New York street

NEW YORK (AP) — An 89-year-old comedian is recovering after being randomly punched and knocked to the ground while waiting to cross a street in New York earlier this month. D’yan Forest said she had just stopped at a coffee shop and was heading to a swimming pool when someone came up to her from […]

4 hours ago

Mayor says West Maui to reopen to tourism on Nov. 1 after fire and workers are ready to return