HPU to graduate 350 Thursday
Hawaii Pacific University will hold its summer commencement ceremony Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Waikiki Shell.
About 350 students will receive their degrees, including the first graduates of HPU's master's programs in secondary education and social work.
Hawaii Pacific Health President and Chief Executive Officer Charles A. Sted will deliver the commencement speech and will also receive the Fellow of the Pacific Award, the university's highest accolade, in recognition of his contributions and service to the community and higher education.
Three valedictory speakers will make presentations during the ceremony. Veronica Andersson, a native of Halmstad, Sweden, will represent the on-campus baccalaureate degree programs; Heidi Ann Greenberg Karns, who grew up in Jamestown, N.Y., will represent the graduate degree programs; and Lt. Robert Calderwood, a native of Bellwood, Pa., will represent the military campus programs.
Sewage treatment meetings set
Honolulu residents are invited to two community meetings this month to discuss the city's waste-water treatment system.
The meetings will explain why the city wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow the Honouliuli and Sand Island waste-water treatment plants to continue operating with waivers from full secondary treatment requirements. Treatment upgrades would cost the city $1.2 billion in construction and drive monthly residential sewage fees to $300 in less than 20 years, Mayor Mufi Hannemann contends.
The meetings will be held Tuesday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Ala Wai Elementary School cafeteria and Aug. 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Kapolei Hale. The EPA has extended its public comment period on the March denial of Honouliuli's waiver to Aug. 27.
Lingle touts education winners
Gov. Linda Lingle has recognized Mid-Pacific Institute, a teacher from Maryknoll School and two students from Mililani High for winning awards from the Siemens Foundation.
Lance Suzuki, an advanced placement statistics teacher at Maryknoll, won $1,000 for a Siemens Award for Advancement Placement. Mid-Pac won the advanced placement high school competition and received a $1,000 grant to support its science and math education.
But the biggest prize went to Lucia Mocz and her brother, Philip, of Mililani High, who shared $50,000 as winners of the Western Region Silver Medal in the 2006-2007 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology.
Helped by Dr. Andre Bachman of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, the siblings used complex algorithms to create a computer program that could determine whether a tissue had cancer. The project, which could potentially save time and labor to help diagnose cancer, was successful 71 percent of the time.
Police, Fire, Courts
Fire revives near Makua Cave
A brush fire near Makua Valley flared up last night after being contained earlier in the day.
The fire, which began at about 2:30 a.m. and was contained at 4 p.m., blackened about 100 acres in Makua, fire officials said.
The fire was about a half-mile past Makua Cave on the mountainside along Farrington Highway.
The fire flared up again at about 6:55 p.m. on the Nanakuli side of Makua Cave, fire Capt. Earl Kealoha said. Two companies and two tankers responded.
Kealoha said crews put out the flare-up by 9:15 p.m.
Man is arrested in online sex sting
Police arrested a 38-year-old Nuuanu man yesterday morning on suspicion of first-degree electronic enticement of a child.
The man showed up at an agreed-upon meeting place at Kahala Mall where he expected to meet a girl to have sex, police said. He had arranged the meeting online with the "girl," who was actually a police officer and part of a sting operation.
Officers were waiting for the man and arrested him when he showed up the mall. Charges are pending.
Police say suspect had stolen items
Authorities charged a 23-year-old Honolulu woman Thursday night who allegedly burglarized a Honolulu home Wednesday morning.
Charisse Lawelawe was charged with first-degree burglary. Her bail was set at $50,000.
Police said a 33-year-old Honolulu woman reported seeing a suspicious woman near her home. When police arrived, they found Lawelawe allegedly in possession of stolen property belonging to the woman.
The 33-year-old resident identified the items in Lawelawe's possession as stolen from her home.
36-year-old faces assault charges
A 36-year-old man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 22-year-old man last Saturday.
Manuel F. Montira was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.
Police said the older man befriended the younger man and asked if he could shower at his Waipahu house. The suspect then allegedly threatened the 22-year-old and sexually assaulted him, police said.
Montira's bail was set at $50,000.
2 teens arrested after car crash
Police arrested two teenagers who police say crashed a stolen car early Thursday, just after midnight, in Waipahu.
Officers contacted the owner of the car, a 37-year-old man, and told him about the crash. The owner said the car was stolen.
The teens, ages 17 and 14, were arrested for investigation of auto theft. Police did not release the gender of the suspects nor details about the crash.
Big Isle fires draw arson suspicions
Big Island firefighters responded to three small fires within a block of each other in Kailua-Kona early Thursday that are suspected of having been intentionally set.
The first fire was reported at 3:04 a.m. at Kopiko Plaza. The second fire was reported a short time later against the back wall of the Club on Kopiko Street, and the third fire was reported shortly after that at the Kailua Volkswagen dealership on Ololi Road, according to the Hawaii County Fire Department.
At Kopiko Plaza the fire was set in an unused elevator lobby, according to the Fire Department. The fire damaged the building and equipment.
At the Club, cardboard boxes and pallets were stacked next to the back of the building and set afire. The fire damaged the electrical service entrance to the building.
At the Volkswagen dealership the fire was found in a melting container near where 55-gallon drums of waste oil were stored.
Big Island police are investigating.