POSTED: Monday, October 05, 2009

Woman found dead on beach was tourist

Friends have identified the woman found dead on Waikiki Beach Friday morning as Bryanna Antone, a 25-year-old college student visiting Hawaii as a birthday gift.

A jogger found Antone's body floating in waters off the Royal Hawaiian Hotel at 6 a.m. Friday.

She was last seen leaving the Waikiki Ohana West Hotel at 1:40 a.m. with a known drug offender, Aaron Susa, 31, who remains a person of interest in the case, police said.

The medical examiner said it would take weeks to determine the cause of death.

Antone was a student at the College of Santa Fe in New Mexico and was with her mother, a dental hygienist attending the American Dental Association convention, KITV reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 911 or CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.


Grant helps science teacher training

Science teachers on Maui will get extra training thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Monsanto Fund to Maui Community College.

The money will help develop curriculum and training programs in Maui schools and help teachers on the Valley Isle meet federal requirements to become “;highly qualified”; in science, according to a news release.

The state Department of Education notes 37 percent of science teachers have five years of less of teaching experience, and 38 percent do not meet the “;highly qualified”; requirements.

“;If we can help strengthen the teachers in their science content knowledge base, this should translate into students who are better prepared,”; said Sally Irwin, a science faculty member at the Maui college.

This grant is part of a larger commitment by Monsanto Hawaii to support science education throughout the state.


Stimulus set for port and firefighters

Hawaii is receiving more than $5 million in federal stimulus funds for the Hawaii County Fire Department and the port area in Honolulu, according to a news release from Sen. Daniel Akaka's office.

The fire station in Hilo will receive $4 million from the Fire Station Construction Grant for improving fire stations.

The state Department of Transportation will receive $1.4 million from the Port Security Grant Program to prevent terrorist attacks in the port area of Honolulu.


Red Cross sends more aid for Samoa

The American Red Cross is sending 12 volunteers from Hawaii and California to join the organization's relief efforts in American Samoa.

Seventy-one volunteers, including 15 from Hawaii, left last week from Honolulu. Although dozens of Red Cross volunteers from American Samoa have been providing food, water and supplies to disaster victims, this was the first U.S. Red Cross deployment, officials said.

The group is running the Red Cross disaster relief operation, they said. Two Hawaii nurses and 10 mental health workers from California are due to leave this morning by military transport.

Both Samoa and American Samoa were hit Tuesday by seismic sea waves generated by an 8.0 magnitude quake.



Maui bans taro modified by genetics

WAILUKU » The Maui County Council has unanimously banned genetically modified taro, citing the crop's cultural and spiritual significance to native Hawaiians.

The measure bars testing, propagating, growing or introducing bio-engineered taro, or kalo, in the county.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares says Friday's vote supports a similar move in the state Legislature to ban biotech taro. The bill has been introduced by state Rep. Mele Carroll.

Supporters say taro is a sacred plant and staple food for native Hawaiians and should be kept in its natural form. They fear contaminating native strains of the plant.

Harold Keyser, the Maui County administrator for the University of Hawaii's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, says research could help preserve the crop.