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Newswatch

For Thursday, September 2, 2010

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:58 a.m. HST, Sep 02, 2010



Leadership shift

Lt. Gen. Keith J. Stalder will relinquish command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific to Lt. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen at 4 p.m. today at Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay.

Stalder is retiring after more than 37 years of Marine Corps service.

Thiessen's most recent posting was as deputy commandant of the Marine Corps for programs and resources.

 

Recktenwald confirmation expected

Associate Justice Mark Recktenwald's appointment as chief justice is expected to be confirmed by the Senate today after the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the nomination yesterday.

Sen. Brian Taniguchi, chairman of the five-member committee, said he hasn't counted votes, but said, "I get the feeling he's going to be confirmed." Recktenwald, 54, would be appointed to a 10-year term to become the state's fifth chief justice and head of the state Judiciary with some 1,800 employees.

He would replace Ronald Moon, who stepped down as chief justice this week after serving 17 years, longer than any state chief justice. Moon had to retire because of the state Constitution's mandatory retirement age of 70 for justices and judges.

Moon turns 70 Saturday.

Recktenwald was appointed by Gov. Linda Lingle after her nomination of appeals Judge Katherine Leonard was rejected by the state Senate by a 14-8 vote last month.

 

Threatening acts draw indictment

The 23-year-old man shot by police last month outside a Sheridan Street karaoke bar was holding a 9 mm semi-automatic gun over a group of men when he was shot, said Vickie Kapp, deputy city prosecutor.

An Oahu grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging the man, Daniel C. Kim of Manoa, with attempted second-degree murder, terroristic threatening and firearm offenses stemming from the Aug. 22 incident outside Little Seoul karaoke bar.

A state judge set bail at $250,000.

Kapp said Kim had been assaulted previously in the bar, and this upset him. But she said the man Kim was threatening wasn't involved in the assault.

Police said that when officers arrived, Kim had already fired several shots and refused to put down his handgun. One officer fired three shots at Kim, hitting him in the abdomen.

An ambulance took Kim to the Queen's Medical Center in critical but stable condition.

 

Deputy to serve 1-year jail term

A veteran state sheriff's deputy will spend one year in jail for sexually assaulting a child 18 years ago.

A Circuit Court judge ordered Edwin Salinda to begin serving his term yesterday. He also received five years probation in a plea agreement.

Salinda was charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault against a 6-year-old, from 1992 to 1994. The state agreed to let him plead guilty in May to four counts of second-degree sexual assault.

Deputy City Prosecutor Thalia Murphy said she entered into the plea agreement to spare the victim from having to testify. She said the victim did not report the sexual assaults until last year, when she was 23 years old.

A state Department of Public Safety official said yesterday that Salinda is no longer employed as a sheriff's deputy.

 

NEIGHBOR ISLANDS

Plant species thought to be extinct found

A Hawaiian plant species thought to be extinct has been found on the Big Island.

The Nature Conservancy and Parker Ranch said yesterday staff discovered the plant earlier this summer in an upland rain forest on the slopes of Kohala volcano.

They were surveying a rare tree snail population on the ranch when they stumbled upon a plant with greenish white flowers and dark green leaves. They couldn't identify it and so sent photographs to Thomas Lammers, an expert at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

He identified it as Clermontia peleana singuliflora, a species last seen on the Big Island in 1909 and last collected in East Maui in 1920.

More than 30 plants have been found since, and the conservancy has collected seeds to propagate the species.

 

Hawaii-Hilo identifies key study fields

A survey conducted to help the University of Hawaii at Hilo develop a new strategic plan identifies marine science, Hawaiian studies and pharmacy as the school's academic strengths.

Respondents said the school's small size and student-to-instructor ratio helped facilitate strong classroom interaction.

But respondents also felt academic rigor was a "key" shortcoming.

One College of Arts and Sciences faculty member suggested the problem lies with failing to push students and hold them to high standards.

But others said it's the school's responsibility to serve the local population and support students of all abilities.

The university surveyed students, faculty and staff to help it develop a 2010-2018 Strategic Plan. It received 502 responses.






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