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POSTED: Monday, February 02, 2009

Man sentenced for killing surfer

SAN DIEGO » A San Diego man was sentenced today to 20 years to life in prison for killing professional surfer Emery Kauanui, who was raised on Kauai.

Seth Cravens made a brief statement during sentencing, apologizing to the victim's family and his own family.

Cravens was convicted of second-degree murder for killing Kauanui with a single punch to the head during a scuffle on May 24, 2007. Nicknamed the “;Flying Hawaiian,”; Kauanui was a fixture at San Diego's Windansea Beach. His death rocked the seaside community of La Jolla.

Cravens and four buddies were all initially charged with murder, but the other four pleaded guilty to lesser charges. Cravens also was convicted of an unrelated assault.

Hooser, Schatz file for state election

Two state politicians have filed Campaign Spending Commission papers to run for lieutenant governor: State Sen. Gary Hooser, a Democrat from Kauai and Brian Schatz, the Democratic Party chairman.

  Hooser, 55, is a former Kauai county councilman, who has been a state senator representing Kauai since 2002.

He is the former owner H&S Publishing and Waioli Properties, a real estate firm. Hooser now works for Loomis-ISC, a public affairs company.

In 2006, Hooser unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat from the Second District.

Schatz, 36, a former state representative from Makiki, also ran unsuccessfully for the congressional seat won by Rep. Mazie Hirono.

Others who have filed with the spending commission to run for Lt. Governor include Honolulu City councilmen Rod Tam and Donovan Dela Cruz.

Hospital keeps 3 doctors and adds 3

HILO » The private North Hawaii Community Hospital on the Big Island has renewed contracts with three doctors on its staff and has attracted three additional doctors, the hospital announced.

“;That's huge news,”; given the shortage of doctors on the island and the difficulty of attracting new ones, said hospital Vice President Paul Dunne.

Recruiting new doctors is the No. 1 priority for the hospital, he said.

The hospital now has 60 doctors on its staff, Dunne said.

The news follows the announcement last week that Hilo Medical Center and others are preparing a Rural Residency Training Program that could bring 23 more doctors to the island by 2012.

But that program needs $1.1 million in community contributions to stay afloat.

Kona Community Hospital announced last month it added a surgeon and also expects another new surgeon this month.

WCC forges link with UH-Hilo

A new partnership agreement makes it easier for students who begin their post-secondary education at Windward Community College on Oahu to complete their baccalaureate degrees at the University of Hawaii-Hilo on the Big Island.

UH-Hilo Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kenith Simmons says the most rewarding thing about the agreement is that it was faculty-driven.

He said the faculty “;took the initiative, did the heavy lifting and deserve the credit for bringing this about.”;

Among other things, the program offers students the opportunity to be admitted to UH-Hilo while they are completing their studies at Windward Community College.

UH-Hilo already had similar agreements with Kapiolani Community College on Oahu and Hawaii Community College on the Big Island.