The casting call to select two recurring "local" male and female characters in "Baywatch Hawaii" attracted more than 1,300 aspirants, the largest turnout in Hawaii's film or television history.
1,300 hopeful actors
answer 'Baywatch' call
The "Baywatch Hawaii" wan-nabes -- including a Frisbee-catching dog, a surfing cat, and Nina Kadis, Miss Lebanon in the 1998 Miss Universe Pageant held here -- got one-minute interviews with a three-member panel of state officials and a television executive.
Interviews at Thursday's casting at Ward Warehouse continued more than 15 hours.
From the 105 received "call backs," "Baywatch" hopes to pick a local man and woman to become part of the Hawaii portion of the lifeguard team for the show, which is relocating to Hawaii for at least the next two seasons from its former home base in Santa Monica, Calif. "Baywatch" casting executives are expected to make the final selection next week.
Three grad students receive scholarshipThree graduate students are recipients of the Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship which will enable them to conduct research in Asia.
Tomomi Tanaka, a doctoral candidate in agricultural economics at Kyushu University, who will continue her study of rural communities in Vietnam and hopes to complete her dissertation at the University of Hawaii;
Paula Henderson, a doctoral candidate in history at UH, specializing in the history of science and math in Japan;
Brian Masshardt, a doctoral candidate in political science at UH, who plans to study the separation of religion and state in Japan.
The scholarship was established in 1959 to commemorate the wedding of Akihito and Crown Princess Michika. Its purpose is to promote better understanding between the peoples of Japan and the United States.
Hearing screening offered on Noise Awareness DayIn recognition of International Noise Awareness Day tomorrow, free hearing screenings will be available by appointment at two Oahu hospitals:
Castle Medical Center Audiology Services, 354 Uluniu Street, Room 301, from noon to 2 p.m. Call Peggy Failla, 262-1109.
Straub Clinic & Hospital, Strode Building, 2nd Floor, 888 South King St., from 4-7 p.m. Call Norene Wang, 522-3348.
When calling for an appointment, indicate that it is for Noise Awareness Day.
Exactly two years ago on this date, a shocked and outraged community awoke to learn that vandals had spray-painted obscenities and hate messages overnight at seven Oahu cemeteries, including the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl.
No Punchbowl vandals caught
Officials vowed the culprits would be captured and prosecuted. But today, even after a $35,000 reward pledged by private donors was offered, the case remains unsolved and the reward fund is no longer active.
"There are no new leads or developments," Honolulu Police Department spokeswoman Jean Motoyama said yesterday.
The problem was there were neither eyewitnesses nor any hard evidence to tie anyone to the desecration. Racism pervaded the messages, which also indicated the vandals were upset with police and the judicial system.
Police Capt. Doug Miller, who had headed the task force investigation, said on the one-year anniversary of the desecrations last year that it was "likely the people who did this are gone. There's definitely a mainland connection, based on the language used."
In addition to the columbarium walls at Punchbowl, grave markers were spray-painted at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, Valley of the Temples, Hawaiian Memorial Park, Oahu Cemetery, Nuuanu Memorial Park and Honolulu Memorial Park.
If anyone has any information, call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or police Lt. Bill Kato at 529-3115.
By June Watanabe, Star-Bulletin
The Department of Public Safety's incoming deputy director for prisons, Marian Tsuji, was assistant commissioner for the New York City Department of Corrections. In Hawaii in the early 1990s, she was based at the Women's Community Correctional Center as assistant to the division administrator, who oversaw several correctional facilities. Her background relating to those two posts was misstated in a story Saturday.
By Star-Bulletin staff
Brian Ibaan, a teacher accused of fondling the breasts of at least nine girl students ages 9 to 11, was placed under house arrest today.
Accused molester confined to homeBy Susan Kreifels, Star-Bulletin
The prosecution said detectives are investigating additional allegations of sex assault as well.
Circuit Judge Victoria Marks said the only place Ibaan, 40, can go is from his Mililani home to his attorney's office.
Ibaan was indicted on 13 counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of continuous sexual assault of a minor under 14. The incidents allegedly occurred at two schools and a Mililani home.
Ibaan pleaded not guilty to the charges. His trial was set for June 28. The state had asked Marks to detain Ibaan without bail, or increase his current $150,000 bail.
Detective Gary Daniels testified that Ibaan, a contract-hire art teacher, would stand behind children observing their art with his hands on their shoulders, then slide his hands down their chests and rub their breasts.
Daniels said since the indictment last week, he's been investigating at least four more cases -- two at Mililani Mauka Elementary School and two at Mililani Uka Elementary.
Detective Sheryl Sunia testified that a student at Barber's Point Elementary accused Ibaan of touching her breasts two times. Another girl accused him of doing the same thing in his Mililani home, where he was teaching art.
2 get life sentences in Big Island murdersTwo men were sentenced to life in prison yesterday for murdering two brothers in July 1997 in a dispute involving Big Island drug dealers.
Francisco Davalos, 20, was sentenced to two consecutive life terms for the shooting deaths of Armando and Arturo Renteria-Hernandez. Hector Lopez, 19, received one life sentence in the death of Arturo Renteria-Hernandez only.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ken Sorenson said the two killers also received 151 consecutive months for drug trafficking.
Sorenson said the two men, both Mexican nationals, were dealing black-tar heroin for Arturo Renteria-Hernandez, who traveled from Mexico to check up on their operations. The drug ringleader believed that Lopez was cheating him.
The prosecution could have sought the death penalty for the capital offense of first-degree murder.
But the defendants' ages and their clear records were major factors not to pursue the death penalty.
Jury selection begins in double-slaying caseWAILUKU -- More than 300 Maui County residents have been called to serve as potential jurors in the trial of Daniel Kosi, who is accused of killing two people.
The usual number for a criminal trial in Maui Circuit Court is about 55.
Kosi is charged in the shooting death of kickboxer Eric Vinge near his Paukukalo home and the stabbing death of Aisha Tolentino of Lanai during a police standoff at a south Maui condominium in August 1997.
Jury selection, which began yesterday, is scheduled to take most of this week. Kosi has refused to appear in court, even after a talk with Circuit Judge Shackley Raffetto.
Expected to testify during the trial are Anthony Carvalho and Kosi's former girlfriend Jennifer Kong.
Kong and Carvalho pleaded no contest to reduced charges in exchange for their testimony.
Fire crews answer two calls this morningFire crews this morning battled two blazes on Oahu.
A brush fire near the Hawaii Kai Golf Course was reported at about 2:52 a.m., fire officials said. It was under control at 3:36 a.m.
Meanwhile, arson is suspected in a Waipahu fire. A tarp at 94-1339 Hiapo St. was reported afire at 5 a.m., officials said. It was under control at 5:10 a.m. About $500 worth of damage was reported.
UH student accused of sexual assaultAn 18-year-old University of Hawaii man has been arrested for sexually assaulting a female student in January.
The woman, 18, was reportedly assaulted at Johnson Hall on Jan. 29, police said. She reported the incident yesterday because she feared for her safety.
Driver questioned on crash that killed passengerWAILUKU -- The driver of a car in which a passenger died Friday night after it struck a sugar-cane haul truck on Haleakala Highway has been questioned and released.
The driver, who fled after the crash, turned himself in to police Saturday afternoon, Maui police said. Dead in the crash was Juan Martinez-Espinosa, 36, of Kihei.
Three men sought in Leeward robberiesCrimeStoppers, the sheriff's department and police are seeking three men for questioning in Leeward Oahu armed robberies.
Craig Alon Domingo, 33, is described as 5 feet 11, 245 pounds, muscular, with short brown hair and brown eyes, medium or fair complexion, with a slight mustache and multiple tattoos on left arm and hand.
Dan Jose, 34, is described as 5 feet 8, 215 pounds, muscular, with short black hair and brown eyes, medium or dark complexion, with a mustache, goatee and multiple tattoos on back and both hands.
Anthony Swaba, 31, is 5 feet 11, 228 pounds, very muscular, with short black hair and brown eyes, medium or dark complexion, with a mustache and multiple tattoos on left arm and hand.
Call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300, or "Crime" on your cellular telephone.
Boy allegedly threatened schoolgirl with toy gunA boy at Honowai Elementary School was arrested yesterday for allegedly threatening a girl with toy gun. He was booked for first-degree terroristic threatening.
See expanded coverage in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
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