State gives first update on Mauna Kea

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FILE – This undated file illustration provided by Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) shows the proposed giant telescope on Mauna Kea on Hawaii’s Big Island. Construction on giant telescope to start again in the third week of July 2019, after court battles over Hawaii site that some consider sacred. (TMT via AP, File)

The state says its priority Monday morning is addressing safety issues along Daniel K. Inouye Highway, formerly known as Saddle Road.

No arrests have been made at this time and the individuals who have secured themselves on the cattle grate are still there.

Jason Redulla, Chief of the Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Unit (DOCARE) of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, says the Transportation Department will be installing concrete barriers on the shoulders of the highway to create a safety buffer between vehicles and people.

Officials will not be installing barricades along Mauna Kea Access Road at this time. They are asking all drivers to avoid the intersection or drive with extreme caution.

For security purposes, Redulla did not disclose how many officers are at the scene or on standby.

We asked Hawaii County Police what the officers are equipped with. In an email, a spokesperson tells us Police have their normal non-lethal/less lethal weapons such as OC sprays, Tasers, and batons.

We’re told they do not have a cannon mounted on our SRT (Special Response Team) vehicles that shoots out tear gas.

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