Senior Reporter

Kevin Dayton

Kevin Dayton is the former Capitol Bureau chief for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. He was formerly Capitol Bureau chief and Big Island Bureau chief for The Honolulu Advertiser, which was Hawaii’s largest circulation daily newspaper until it closed.

He also reported for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald in Hilo, the Honolulu bureau of the Associated Press, Sun Press weekly newspapers in Kaneohe, and the Tucson Citizen.

He also worked as an executive assistant and executive director for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, and is a former U.S. Army sergeant and infantry fire team leader.

He holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii Manoa, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

He and his wife Mahealani live in Hilo and have seven children, five of them grown. They have been state-licensed foster parents since 2009.

Former Prison Chief Nolan Espinda Found Dead At Kailua Beach Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Former Prison Chief Nolan Espinda Found Dead At Kailua Beach

Espinda abruptly retired in 2020 as Covid-19 spread through the state correctional system, and public worker unions called for his ouster.

An Inmate’s Suicide Is Prompting Calls For ‘Meaningful Change’ In Hawaii’s Prison System Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

An Inmate’s Suicide Is Prompting Calls For ‘Meaningful Change’ In Hawaii’s Prison System

The prison director told an oversight commission that the correctional system is trying to prevent inmate suicide but can do better.

Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2019

Investigation Shows Hawaii Prison Officials Tried To Cover Up Errors Leading Up To An Inmate’s Death

The internal affairs report claimed staff had been trained in suicide prevention policies, and a guard made the required cell checks. Neither was true, and an inmate died.

Big Ticket State Budget Items Begin To Make Good On Decades-Old Commitments Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Big Ticket State Budget Items Begin To Make Good On Decades-Old Commitments

Much of the new spending supports Native Hawaiians and working people while boosting the rainy day fund.

HART Board Approves A New Honolulu Rail Plan For A Shorter Route Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

HART Board Approves A New Honolulu Rail Plan For A Shorter Route

Ridership on the truncated line would be nearly 30% less than previous estimates, but the city would complete the system to South Street by 2031.

Legislature Closes Historic Session For Housing And Hawaiians Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Legislature Closes Historic Session For Housing And Hawaiians

Hawaii lawmakers passed almost every proposal they said they would in a rare session bolstered by billions of dollars in extra revenue.

Legislature Gives Final Approval To Minimum Wage, Mauna Kea And Teacher Pay Bills Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Legislature Gives Final Approval To Minimum Wage, Mauna Kea And Teacher Pay Bills

Other measures approved Tuesday would settle claims by Hawaiians on the homelands waitlist, and require judges to release some petty, non-violent offenders without bail.

Daily Ridership Would Drop By Thousands If The Honolulu Rail Line Ends At Civic Center Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Daily Ridership Would Drop By Thousands If The Honolulu Rail Line Ends At Civic Center

An average of 119,600 people were originally expected to board the trains each weekday, but that will drop to 84,000 daily riders with the shorter route.

Lawmakers Approve Hawaii Tax Rebates Of $100 To $300 Per Resident Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2022

Lawmakers Approve Hawaii Tax Rebates Of $100 To $300 Per Resident

The package would cost the state about $250 million, and would provide the first substantive state tax refunds or credits of their kind since 2007.