POSTED: Saturday, May 16, 2009

Alleged 'Dog' attacker avoids charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. » Prosecutors have dropped charges against a man accused of shooting at bounty hunter Duane “;Dog”; Chapman and another man during a pursuit being videotaped for a reality TV show.

An attempted-murder charge was dropped because of conflicting witness statements and because of weak evidence, El Paso County Assistant DA Dan Zook said Thursday. Zook said Brown, Chapman and Chapman's son Leland gave conflicting accounts about details such as whether they saw a gun.

Chapman and bail bondsman Bobby Brown told Colorado Springs police they were fired on while chasing Hoang Nguyen, 35, last month by Nguyen.

Nguyen's public defender, Bill Schoewe, says he plans to ask the judge to order prosecutors to file false-reporting charges over the incident and advised Nguyen to file a civil suit.


1 Kauai school closes, 1 transforms

A private elementary school on Kauai's North Shore is taking on a new name and hopes to expand, while a private secondary school nearby will shut down next month.

Kula High and Intermediate School, founded 15 years ago, will close because of financial difficulties in a weak economy, according to Principal Paulette Phillips.

It has 43 students in grades seven through 12, and was known for its commitment to the arts in its college preparatory program. The last day for students is June 5.

Kula Elementary School, with 54 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, is changing its name to Kauai Pacific School. The two schools, a couple of miles apart in Kilauea, received joint accreditation in 2007 but operated independently this academic year.

Kauai Pacific is looking for a new location and would like to add pre-kindergarten and grades 7 through 12, Principal Lisa Mireles said.

The school emphasizes creativity and global awareness, and gives each student a laptop computer and daily exposure to the arts. It was founded in 1986 as Na Kamalei Kauai Waldorf School.

Kauai Pacific's new name will also reduce confusion with the public Kula Elementary School on Maui.


UH graduation handshake-optional

University of Hawaii students participating in today's commencement ceremonies will have the option of shaking hands or not, or, perhaps, getting a congratulatory pat on the back after receiving their diplomas.

The university reversed yesterday a decision not to allow handshakes after graduates receive their diplomas after a student living in a campus apartment became ill with the H1N1 swine flu.

Instead the graduation will be handshake-optional, UH Manoa Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw said in an e-mail to students, faculty and staff.

Hinshaw said she had heard a variety of views about graduation handshakes and decided to offer a traditional handshake to those who feel comfortable with it.

Each graduate will get a hand-wipe packet, and there will be hand-wash stations in the arena so graduates can clean their hands before and after the handshake.

“;For those who remain uncomfortable with shaking hands, we certainly respect that choice, because our graduates need to make their own decision,”; Hinshaw wrote.

Hinshaw, a virologist, said, “;My practice is to wash my hands frequently and thoroughly, certainly before and after ceremonies. To protect myself, I am also careful not to touch my eyes, mouth or nose until I wash my hands.”;


Neighbor Islands

Lihue, Kauai » Residents and visitors are encouraged to help clean the Garden Isle this month as part of the Great American Cleanup program. Free garbage bags and coupons for cleaning products are available by contacting 241-6623 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Lahaina, Mauai » Waiola Church in Lahaina marks its 185th anniversary today with a celebration at the church. Festivities, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., include food, crafts and entertainment. A luau starts at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Hawaii » The annual “;Click It or Ticket”; program kicks off on the Big Island on Monday. Police will set up roving patrols and seat belt enforcement checkpoints around the island through May 31. Child-restraint and booster seat laws also will be enforced.