Award will help teach Hawaiians
The U.S. Department of Education is awarding $749,000 to the University of Hawaii at Manoa over three years to help teachers in schools with large numbers of native Hawaiian students.
Lois Yamauchi, a professor in the Educational Psychology Department, will be the project director.
In August, 10 teachers from Maui and Nanakuli attended a professional development course conducted by the university. Next year, 15 additional educators will be involved -- 10 from two neighbor islands and five from Oahu.
"Our research team will study the effects of the professional development on teacher and student outcomes," Yamauchi said.
Teachers receive a $750 stipend for their first year of participation and a $1,000 stipend for their second year of participation. The grant also provides airfare and accommodations for neighbor island participants.
EPA funds education on species
Moanalua Gardens Foundation has been given a $30,000 Environmental Protection Agency award to support an education project about native and invasive species.
More than 160 teachers in 50 public and private schools will receive a state-of-the-art curriculum and resource materials for the first through seventh grades, according to an EPA announcement.
"We are pleased to be working with Moanalua Gardens to help educate students and communities about environmental issues that affect our lives," said Kathleen Johnson, EPA public affairs director for the Pacific Southwest.
Lessons tailored to Hawaii's environmental issues are expected to help students understand responsible stewardship and motivate them to become effective future workers, problem-solvers and thoughtful community leaders and participants, the EPA said. For more information on the project, visit www.mgf-hawaii.org or contact Pauline Worsham at 839-5334.
Astronomer to give free lecture
University of Hawaii astronomer Jonathan Williams will discuss "The Birth of Stars and Planets" in a free public lecture at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Institute for Astronomy auditorium, 2680 Woodlawn Drive.
Williams studies star and planet formation with radio telescopes operating at millimeter wavelengths.
He will explain how evidence found by astronomers and cosmo-chemists "points to an unusual origin for our solar system and suggests that Earth-like planets with both land and oceans may be rare."
For more information, see www.ifa.hawaii.edu.
Police, Fire, Courts
Man dies at Big Isle Boiling Pots
A 19-year-old Oahu man apparently drowned on the Big Island yesterday after diving into the Wailuku River in an area known as Boiling Pots.
Firefighters and police responded to a call at about 3:10 p.m. after the man jumped into the pools and failed to surface for 10 minutes. Boiling Pots is an area of pools in South Hilo connected by underground lava flows that make the water bubble as if boiling.
Rescue divers found the man underwater, police said.
A fire helicopter airlifted him to a landing zone at Peepee Falls Park, and paramedics transported him to Hilo Medical Center where he died.
An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death. Police are withholding his name pending notification of kin.
Boy, 7, man, 97, die on Big Isle roads
A 97-year-old pedestrian and a 7-year-old boy visiting Hawaii for a wedding died yesterday in separate traffic accidents on the Big Island.
In North Hilo, Tadashi Yamashita, 97, of Pepeekeo died after a 2002 Mazda van hit him near the intersection of Highway 19 and Kulaimano Road at 2:09 p.m., police said. Yamashita was crossing east to west outside a crosswalk, said Sgt. Christopher Gali.
He died at Hilo Medical Center at 4:08 p.m., Gali said.
The driver, a 23-year-old Hilo woman, was transported for a mandatory blood draw and released. Police opened a negligent-homicide case and ordered an autopsy.
The woman and other passengers were not injured.
Earlier in the day, police arrested a 28-year-old California woman on suspicion of alleged drunken driving after she crashed her car, killing her 7-year-old son and injuring her two other children.
Elaine Meyer of Carlsbad, Calif., was arrested on suspicion of first-degree negligent homicide and operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant. She was released and flown to the Queen's Medical Center in serious condition.
The boy was identified as Razak Meyer.
Police said the accident occurred at 10:26 a.m. on Kohala Ranch Road, east of Akoni Pule Highway. Meyer was traveling west in a Pontiac G6 four-door sedan when she lost control and overturned.
Waimea Fire Station acting Capt. Russell Lee said the car crashed through a guardrail and rolled about 200 feet down an embankment.
The woman, her son, another son, 4, and a daughter, 6, were flown to North Hawaii Community Hospital. The two younger children were treated for minor injuries and released to family friends.
The family was here for a wedding, police said.