POSTED: Thursday, May 07, 2009

Biotech CEO to address UH grads

An Iolani Schools graduate and the founder of a biotech company in Moiliili will be the commencement speaker at the University of Hawaii at Manoa graduation ceremonies May 16.

Dr. Hank Wuh, the chief executive officer of Cellular Bioengineering, will speak to about 2,300 graduates at the Stan Sheriff Center.

The undergraduate ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. and the graduate ceremonies start at 3 p.m.

The Board of Regents will present honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to Agnes “;Aunty Aggie”; Kalanihookaha Cope, a kumu hula and advocate for native Hawaiians; and Albert Wendt, an educator, novelist and poet of the Pacific.

Sarah Kumi Morihara, who is graduating with a degree in biotechnology, will be student speaker.


Ambulance thief pleads guilty

A 23-year-old Punchbowl woman who drove off in an ambulance while paramedics and a patient were still inside pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and driving without a valid driver's license.

Saralyn Lopes faces up to 10 years in prison when she is sentenced in July. She is hoping for probation with a year in jail, according to the terms of her plea agreement with the state.


'Global warming' inventor to speak

Wallace S. Broecker, an internationally noted Columbia University geochemist credited with inventing the term “;global warming,”; will give a free public lecture at 7 tonight at the University of Hawaii at Manoa architecture building auditorium.

His topic: “;What Should We Do About Fossil Fuel CO2?”;

Parking is available next to the architecture building on University Avenue for a $3 ticket obtained at the guard kiosk at either the Maile Way or Sinclair Library entrance.


Neighbor Islands

Lihue, Kauai » Kauai Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe ruled murder suspect Payton Rapozo, 22, fit for trial after a written report by three psychiatrists said he was mentally competent to stand trial. Rapozo is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Antonio Torres in October. Defense attorney Nelson Goo says two members of the panel believe Rapozo didn't have the ability to understand his behavior at the time of the shooting, but agreed he could stand trial. Goo says he may pursue a temporary insanity defense.

Wailuku, Maui » Two education programs on Maui will receive nearly $4 million from the U.S. Labor Department, according to U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. Maui Community College's Rural Development Project will get $3.2 million for job training and infrastructure improvements. The Women in Technology program of the Maui Economic Development Board will receive $740,000. The program encourages women and other underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Hilo, Hawaii » Hawaii County Council members are considering an amended budget proposal from Mayor Billy Kenoi that includes one-day-a-month furloughs for himself and his executive staff. Kenoi and 11 staff members will work on the “;furlough”; days, which amounts to a 4.6 percent pay cut and a $41,714 savings for the county, according to a release from the Mayor's Office.