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Star-Bulletin staff and wire
Thursday, October 14, 2004
'Uncle bank robber' dies in federal prisonAn Oahu man who was dubbed the "uncle bank robber" died yesterday while at the federal detention center near the airport.
Pasesa Levi Williams, 46, collapsed of a heart attack while playing basketball Tuesday afternoon. Williams was convicted earlier this year of robbing one bank but confessed to robbing five others in April and May as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.
He was called the "uncle bank robber" because witnesses described him as someone who did not stand out in a crowd and could pass for anyone's uncle.
Laysan ducks moved in effort to boost ranksWildlife conservationists have relocated 20 Laysan ducks to Midway Atoll in hopes of establishing a second population of the endangered birds and shoring up the species' chance of survival.
The endangered Laysan duck (Anas laysanesis) has the smallest geographic range of any duck species in the world. Until the young ducks were moved to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge on Oct. 3, all Laysan ducks in the world lived on Laysan in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
"We are pleased with how well the ducks have traveled and adapted to their new home," said Michelle Reynolds, a U.S. Geological Survey project leader.
Since their move, the Laysan ducks on Midway have gained body weight of 10 to 20 percent and are dining on Midway delicacies such as emerald beetle grubs and button sedge seeds, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported.
Full-grown Laysan ducks are about 15 to 17 inches long and are brown with bright green-blue to purple feathers on their wings and a white eye ring.
If this group of ducks does well on Midway, a second group might be moved there in 2005.
Biologist to discuss work on rare turtleA biologist who works to protect the endangered leatherback turtle will give a free talk on Oct. 23 at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.
Frank Paladino of Indiana Purdue University will speak on "25 Years of Marine Turtle Conservation in the Pacific: What Have We Learned and Accomplished?"
His talk from 7 to 8:30 p.m., including rare footage from a National Geographic Explorer expedition to Costa Rica, will be followed by a question-and-answer session and a reception.
The leatherback is the world's largest marine turtle, averaging 6 feet long and weighing 500 to 1,000 pounds. It is found throughout the world's oceans, including around Hawaii. In the last 20 years, the world population of leatherbacks fell by more than two-thirds, and is still declining.
Paladino has studied endangered sea turtles in Costa Rica for more than 15 years.
For more information, visit the World Turtle Trust (Honu Project) Web site at www.world-turtle-trust.org.
[ BRIEFLY ]
Hospital foundation receives federal grantThe Kona Hospital Foundation was awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office for its telemedicine project.
The foundation's Rural Telemedicine and Telepathology Distance Learning Network of Hawaii project aims to improve communication and medical assistance for West Hawaii residents, primarily those in rural areas.
"Providing timely and cost-efficient medical care and education to patients, health care providers and students can be a challenge in rural areas," said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka (D, Hawaii). "Residents must often travel long distances to visit a doctor or fly to another island to access certain specialized health care services."
The telemedicine project will enable doctors to provide patients more information on preventing illnesses, managing chronic diseases and decrease health care-related travel expenses.
'Lupus 101' offers basics on the diseaseThe Hawaii Lupus Foundation will hold a "Lupus 101" class to educate the public about the chronic autoimmune disease.
The class is free and will be held on Oct. 26 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Maui VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Room 201.
Guest speaker Dr. Kristine Uramoto will discuss what lupus is and how to live with it.
Lupus Erythematosus is a disorder of the body's immune system which causes a person to produce abnormal antibodies.
Antibodies normally protect the body against external invaders. Antibodies for a person suffering from lupus turn inward and attack the body's own healthy tissue.
For more information and to RSVP, call the Hawaii Lupus Foundation at 800-201-1522.
[ TAKING NOTICE ]
» Edward Schultz, a professor of history and director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, was awarded the 2004 Robert W. Clopton Award for outstanding community service. In his six years of leadership, the center has been transformed into one of the most academically active research centers at the university. Schultz also was instrumental in planning the 100th anniversary of Korean immigrants to the United States.
» Ed and Lynn Hogan were given Chaminade University's highest award, a Doctorate of Human Letters, for years of service through the Hogan Entrepreneurs mentorship program.
Also given recognition as Honorary Hogan Entrepreneurs are Sean Rostron of Oahu, winner of the outstanding Hogan Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2003/2004; Elijah Alaimo of American Samoa; Angela Arevalo of California; Rachel Divina of Lanai; Vu Duong of Vietnam; Matthew Harrell of Florida; Kelsi Kobashigawa and Erin Smith of Oahu; and Petar Samac of Croatia.
» Vision, Strength and Artistic Expression Arts of Hawaii-Pacific received the national Award of Excellence in Public Awareness and Advocacy for its "Artists Mean Business" Legislative Summit and the opening of the Hawaii Artsplace with the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education's Center on Disability Studies.
» The University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has received a $48,300 grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation's Ingeborg V.F. McKee Fund to support studies on muscle-fat tissue interactions and obesity prevention.
By Star-Bulletin staff
Police are looking for a man suspected in burglaries at military housing complexes.
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