Defense chiefs join military roundtable
The chiefs of defense from 22 nations from Australia to Tonga met in Honolulu last week to discuss efforts against terrorism, piracy at sea and a possible avian flu pandemic.
The U.S. Pacific Command sponsored the annual meeting of top uniformed officers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. commander in the Pacific, hosted the event and represented the United States.
Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, could not attend.
Fallon said the conference gave leaders an opportunity to discuss issues concerning their militaries.
"We tackle these issues day to day, but this week we get the varied perspectives all in one room, and together drive closer to solutions," Fallon said in a news release.
They also discussed efforts to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction, or biological, chemical, and nuclear arms.
Last year's meeting, co-sponsored with Japan, was held in Tokyo.
China declined a U.S. invitation to attend this year's gathering.
The meeting included representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Comoros, East Timor, Fiji, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Tonga.
HPU enrollment rises 3% to a new record
A record number of students enrolled at Hawaii Pacific University during the fall semester at its downtown and windward campuses, a 3 percent increase over last year's enrollment, the university reported.
Most of the new undergraduates were Hawaii residents. Graduate programs had the highest gain, 17 percent, due mostly to the new masters programs in social work and secondary education.
The incoming students hail from 200 colleges and universities across the nation, and 50 countries around the world.
Maui college gets $6.7M for renovations
WAILUKU » The governor released about $6.7 million to renovate Maui Community College's Student Center Building, the governor's office announced last week.
The project includes renovating the interior, removing corroded railings and hazardous materials, putting on a new roof and bringing the building into accessibility compliance.
The Student Center Building originally was constructed in 1973.
Pacific nations sign pact
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea » Sixteen Pacific island countries endorsed a plan last week for closer political and economic integration aimed at saving money and boosting security.
The island countries intend to move steadily toward a common market for goods and services.
A 10-year "Pacific Plan" for strengthening weak Pacific island economies, as well as improving policing and government systems, was approved at a meeting of the 36th Pacific Forum on Wednesday at Madang, Papua New Guinea.
The forum is made up of Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
77 among semifinalists for merit scholarship
The names of 77 Hawaii semifinalists in the 51st annual National Merit Scholarship Program were announced recently by officials of National Merit Scholarship Corp.
The nationwide pool of semifinalists, about 16,000, represents less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors, and includes the highest scoring entrants in each state.
These high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for 8,200 Merit Scholarship awards, worth $33 million, that will be offered next spring.
NMSC, a nonprofit organization that operates without government assistance, was founded specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Program. Scholarships awarded through the program are underwritten by NMSC's own funds and about 500 business organizations and higher education institutions.
Lessa M. Furusho
Jonathan J. Paranada
Noelani K. Penney
Education Laboratory School:
Paul J. Anderson
Bryce M. Aisaka, Robert E. Atkinson, Austin T. Barnes, Gitasree D. Borthakur, Jonathan K. Chang, Megan M. Chock, Nolan E. Chung, Lauren M. Fukuda, Shelby Gai, Wesley R. Griswold, Jennifer C. Hui, Jasmine D. Jin, Corey S. Kelsom, Matthew K. Kohatsu, Brent S. Kutara, Jonathan J. Lance, Austin A. Lee, Amanda E. Maehara, Jakara S. Mato, Zachary M. Napier, Bruna Rieder, Kevin W. Sin, Yi-Jing Tan, Amanda A. Tanaka, Christina B. Tanaka, Matthew A. Tanaka, Troy Y. Tokuhama, Mai Tsukikawa, Dean Y. Ushijima, Sarah L. Webb, Jesse N. Wilson, Joshua Wong, Yufeng Yang, Emily S. Zia
Kamehameha Schools, Kapalama Campus:
John M. Fernandes-Salling, Joy N. Kito-Hong, Keahiahi S. Long, Megan K. McCully, Lindsay P. Wilhelm
Matthew C. Cieslak, Morgen K. Sullivan
William H. Bailey, Alison R. Berthiaume, Emma M. Candon, Erin A. Caulfield, Dylan C. Chun, Stuart C. Cornuelle, Tyler F. Dossantos-Tam, Kalae J. Furtado, Jared K. Furuta, Jonathan R. Goto, Scott R. Hiramoto, Andrew J. Kim, Christine A. Loui, Mark A. Lum, Mallory M. McLaren, Andrew McTernan, Drew F. Robb, Scott M. Seki, Robert S. Siko, Andrew H. Sue-Ako, Jeffrey W. Sult, Lorraine A. White, Kevin J. Woods
Amy K. Chang
Sacred Hearts Academy High:
Renee W. Firing
Hawaii Preparatory Academy:
Steven M. Gaughan
Katherine E. Souza
Leilani L. Dimond
Alexander S. Taylor, Joshua L. Verkerke
Stephen G. Kaneshiro
Police, Fire, Courts
By Star-Bulletin staff
Motorcyclist injured critically in accident
A 24-year-old man was in critical condition on Maui after a 78-year-old woman traveling north on Kahului Beach Road in a 1997 Mercury four-door sedan hit his 2003 Honda motorcycle Friday while making a left turn onto Kanaloa Avenue.
The motorcycle driver, who was taken to Maui Memorial Medical Center, was thrown onto the road. He was not wearing a helmet.
Police are investigating whether speed or alcohol were involved.
Structure in Hanalei destroyed in blaze
A 2,000-square-foot building in Hanalei, which was used as a home and warehouse, was destroyed in a blaze yesterday morning.
The fire started about 7 a.m. By the time Kauai fire fighters arrived, the wooden building was fully engulfed. No one was in the building when it went up in flames, Battalion Chief Russell Yee said.
The building is located on the mauka side of Kuhio Highway, next to the Hanalei Center and next to the Tahiti Nui restaurant. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Crash sparks fire and closes highway
About 25 acres burned yesterday in a brush fire near Kona, which started when a tractor-trailer lost control on Queen Kaahumanu Highway, rolled over and caught fire.
Firefighters got to the blaze about 7:13 a.m. and had it contained about 12 hours later, a Big Island fire dispatcher said. More than 45 firefighters helped put out the fire, which was whipped up by high winds.
Two helicopters made water drops throughout the day, while a bulldozer carved out a fire break.
The tractor-trailer was hauling a 40-foot container to a delivery site when it overturned, police said.
Its driver had minor burns but refused treatment.
Police closed the highway between Waikoloa Junction on the Waimea side and Kaiminami Street on the Kona side because of heavy smoke.
Crews were still trying to get the tractor-trailer and debris off the roadway last night and were unsure when it could be reopened.
Missing swimmer turns up at home
The fire department helicopter searched waters off Ala Moana Beach Park last night for a swimmer who later turned up unharmed.
The search started about 7 p.m. after friends reported the man missing. His age was not immediately available. They said he had been swimming at the beach earlier in the day, but had not been seen since.
The search continued for about an hour for the man, who apparently had returned home on foot without telling his friends, a fire dispatcher said.
Break in main leaves condos without water
Wailina Street was closed throughout the day and was expected to reopen early this morning, while Board of Water Supply crews finished repairing the roadway and a broken water main, a spokesman said.
Seven Waikiki condominiums were without water for about 12 hours yesterday after an 8-inch water main break, the board spokesman said.
The break was reported about 5 a.m. on Wailina Street. Water was restored to residents about 6 p.m.