Police, Fire, Courts

By Star-Bulletin Staff


>> Anna Liem, a biology teacher at Punahou School, has won a $1,000 2003 RadioShack National Teacher Award. Liem was among 110 educators who were awarded for their work toward excellence in mathematics, science or technology. Punahou School also received a $500 RadioShack Tech Tool Grant for equipment.

>> Constantinos S. Papacostas, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has received recognition from the Policy Committee of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization for developing and maintaining its Web site. He is OMPO's director for Land Use and Travel Demand Model Development.

>> Eugene So, who is home-schooled; Daniel Lum and Leon Hou, of Iolani School; and Matthew Mariconda, of Punahou, are members of the Hawaii State MathCounts team in a national math competition in Chicago this summer. They were the top scorers in the 20th annual Hawaii MathCounts State Competition in March.

In the March competition, the team from Iolani, which includes members Aaron Fong and Kellie Young, won the perpetual team trophy. Mililani Middle School placed second, and Waiakea Intermediate placed third. The contest was for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

>> Wai-Fah Chen, dean of the University of Hawaii-Manoa College of Engineering, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction.

>> Winners of the University of Hawaii College of Business Pacific-Asian Management Institute are the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, $5,000 first prize; and Fudan University of China, $3,000 second prize.

Finalist teams National Sun Yat-sen University of Taiwan, and Sungkyunkwan University of Korea each received $1,000.

>> Habilitat has received grants from the Junior League of Honolulu Inc., Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Servco Foundation and Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

>> The Crown Prince Akihito Scholarship Foundation has awarded two-year scholarships to University of Hawaii students Kelly Hansen and Lynn Murata for their study in Japan. The foundation also gave two-year scholarships to Japanese students Rino Kawase and Aya Kitamura to study at the Manoa campus.

"Taking Notice" runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Please send items to City Desk, Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana, Suite 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813.

Bishop Museum to refurbish planetarium

The Bishop Museum planetarium will be renovated in June and get a new name -- the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium -- the museum announced.

The Watumull Foundation is paying for much of the renovation. The size of the donation and the cost of the renovation is not being made public.

The planetarium will close June 22-28 while new carpet, improved lighting and upgraded seats are installed.

"We are pleased to provide support to the Bishop Museum's planetarium," Gulab Watumull said. "We hope that our contribution will improve the experience for the visitor. It is wonderful to know that Hawaii's children will continue to benefit from the planetarium -- learning about science, astronomy and the exploration of space."

Watumull is a Bishop Museum board member. The planetarium is being renamed after his father.

Honolulu Airport case collects guilty plea

Hawaii's attorney general announced that one more defendant in the Honolulu Airport kickback case pleaded guilty yesterday in Circuit Court.

Roy Yoshida, 59, pleaded guilty to second-degree theft after state investigators said he overbilled the Department of Transportation by at least $6,500 while performing auto and body painting work for the Airport Division from July 14, 1997, through Jan. 10, 2002.

Yoshida is the second defendant to plead guilty in the case, which involves violations of state procurement at the airport. On Nov. 7, 2002, former airport maintenance supervising inspector Harry Shibuya pleaded guilty to being an accomplice to first-degree theft.

Joshua, Kayla top list of isles' kid names

The top baby names in Hawaii last year were Joshua, and Noah for boys and Kayla and Taylor for girls, according to the Social Security Administration. The list of the 1,000 most popular baby names for 2002 across the country were released yesterday. Nationally the top names for boys included Jacob, Michael, Matthew and Joshua. For girls they were Emily, Hannah, Madison and Ashley.

In Hawaii the top names for boys were Joshua, Noah, Jacob, Justin and Matthew. Top names for girls were Kayla, Taylor, Alyssa, Ashley, Kiana and Alexis.

The SSA started compiling baby name lists in 1997 and now offers lists dating to 1880. Complete lists for each state can be found at


Corrections and clarifications

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at

Police, Fire, Courts


By Star-Bulletin staff

Honolulu Police Department Crimestoppers


Reward offered for stolen computer

CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department are asking for the public's assistance in recovering a laptop computer that was stolen from a rental car at a Kaneohe restaurant on April 17 between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Police said the public affairs director from a large beverage company was at a business meeting when her car was broken into and a company laptop was stolen. The company is offering to pay the full $1,000 CrimeStoppers reward for the recovery of the laptop from that vehicle.

The laptop is described as a black and gray Compaq ARMADA E500 model, serial number 1J07DN94S3X.

Anonymous calls about the missing laptop are being taken at CrimeStoppers, 955-8300 or *CRIME on a cellular phone.

Fire destroys Pauoa Valley home

Flames fully engulfed a two-story wooden home at 2705 Booth Road in Pauoa Valley last night. The fire was reported to firefighters at 8:03 p.m. and brought under control 30 minutes later. Firefighters said that by the time they arrived on scene, the house was already up in flames. Fire officials said a family of four was not home at the time of the blaze.


Burned body on Kauai is of cardiac victim, 91

LIHUE >> An autopsy has determined that a 91-year-old woman found burned beyond recognition near a car involved in a brush fire in Lawai on April 30 died of cardiac arrest, police said. The victim was identified as Florence Au. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Hit-and-run victim identified on Big Isle

Big Island police have identified the victim of a hit-and-run accident on Mamalahoa Highway (Route 19) near Nani Waimea in South Kohala yesterday morning. The victim was identified as Esther Etta Gipson, 42, of Independence, Mo. Police are still looking for the driver of the vehicle that struck her.

Anyone having information about the traffic death is asked to call officer Martin Ellazar at 326-4646, Sgt. Leroy Victorino at 961-2332 or the police nonemergency number at 935-3311. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call CrimeStoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona.


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