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Former AP Hawaii bureau chief Gordon Sakamoto dies at age 82

Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 5:45 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 5:43 PM


            This 1980s photo provided by the family shows Gordon Sakamoto, former Associated Press bureau chief in Honolulu, at work in the UPI bureau in Honolulu . Sakamoto died at his Honolulu home Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, after heart failure and a long battle with chronic kidney disease, his son Kyle Sakamoto said. He was 82 years old. Honolulu-born Sakamoto was named chief of bureau in 1994, overseeing AP operations in Hawaii and the Central Pacific. He joined the AP after working for five years as a marketing specialist for the state of Hawaii and had worked for UPI for 27 years in San Francisco and Hawaii. (Courtesy Sakamoto Family via AP)
This 1980s photo provided by the family shows Gordon Sakamoto, former Associated Press bureau chief in Honolulu, at work in the UPI bureau in Honolulu . Sakamoto died at his Honolulu home Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, after heart failure and a long battle with chronic kidney disease, his son Kyle Sakamoto said. He was 82 years old. Honolulu-born Sakamoto was named chief of bureau in 1994, overseeing AP operations in Hawaii and the Central Pacific. He joined the AP after working for five years as a marketing specialist for the state of Hawaii and had worked for UPI for 27 years in San Francisco and Hawaii. (Courtesy Sakamoto Family via AP)

Gordon Sakamoto, one of the first Asian-Americans hired to work in a U.S. bureau of an international news service, died Wednesday at 82.

Sakamoto, a former Hawaii bureau chief for The Associated Press, started his journalism career with United Press International in Honolulu in 1960. He retired in 2001 after overseeing operations in Hawaii and the Central Pacific for AP.

He died in his Honolulu home after heart failure and a long battle with chronic kidney disease, his son Kyle Sakamoto said.

Honolulu-born Sakamoto worked for UPI for 27 years in San Francisco and Hawaii. He joined the AP in 1993 after working five years as a marketing specialist for the state of Hawaii.

The AP named him chief of bureau in Honolulu on Jan. 1, 1994. The next day, he was kicked off the island of Lanai while trying to cover billionaire computer-software mogul Bill Gates' ultra-secretive wedding. It was one of the adventures in reporting he often reminisced about.

To some former AP reporters, he wasn't only a mentor, but a father-figure.

"He taught me a lot about journalism, about life, about family and to be a better person," said Jaymes Song, a former Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Sakamoto hired to work with him at the AP.

Song recalled Sakamoto helping a cash-strapped student at the Asian American Journalists Convention in New York City in 2001.

"Gordon gave him money out of his own pocket— a complete stranger," Song said. "He brought the guy with us to a Yankees game. That's the kind of guy he was. He took care of people, and he cared about people. That's what made him a great news leader and person."

Sakamoto was a pioneer as an Asian-American in journalism.

"He was a manager in an industry where there were little-to-no minorities in management," Song said, noting that Sakamoto graduated from Missouri Valley College.

That wasn't something Sakamoto talked about or bragged about, but it made him a leader who was sensitive to differences in culture and values, said Song, who later led the Hawaii bureau as an administrative correspondent. Song and Sakamoto remained close even after Sakamoto retired and after Song left journalism for a career in real estate.

Jean Christensen was a rookie reporter fresh out of a temporary AP gig in Minneapolis when she called Sakamoto looking for a job.

"I told him I lived in Hawaii as a kid, and he said, 'How's your Pidgin,'" she recalled of the mix of languages created by Hawaiians, Filipinos, Puerto Ricans and others who worked in Hawaii's sugar plantations.

Sakamoto's Hawaii roots shaped the way he directed news coverage of the state, said Christensen, now a bankruptcy attorney.

"His love of Hawaii was just always so apparent," she said. "We were so protective of Hawaii. We wanted to make sure that stories about Hawaii didn't just play on stereotypes."

He was a "steady hand" during breaking news events such as the 1999 mass shooting at Xerox Corp.'s Honolulu warehouse, Christensen said. He championed his reporters' story ideas, she said, recalling how supportive he was when she pursued a story about paniolos, or Hawaiian cowboys, on the Big Island.

"I remember him as a quiet man who took pride in his appointment as our chief in Hawaii and was zealous in trying to meet the members' needs in Hawaii and see that Hawaii's story made it out to the rest of AP," said former AP President and CEO Louis D. Boccardi.

On top of his duties representing AP to member outlets, he juggled the bureau's sports coverage. Retired Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Ann Miller traveled with him covering golf for about a decade.

"He never complained about it," she said.

In 1998, Sakamoto wrote a first-person account of being a 6-year-old Lunalilo Elementary School student when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

While more than 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the mainland were sent to internment camps during World War II, those in Hawaii fared better, he wrote: "Living in the islands, with their melting pot of ethnic groups, eased the fears of retaliation for my parents, who were second-generation Japanese-American, or Nisei. In no time, we kids of Japanese ancestry were out playing with our Chinese and Portuguese neighbors and parking ourselves in their homes."

Sakamoto's knowledge of Hawaii's culture, politics and society made him well-suited to lead the bureau, said David Briscoe, who succeeded him as bureau chief from 2001 to 2009.

"One of the great things about the AP is some of its best people do come from the local community," Briscoe said. "Gordon probably was one of the few really home-grown bureau chiefs."

David Cassidy's daughter reveals what she learned from father’s last words

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 11:27 PM

Katie Cassidy  (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Katie Cassidy (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)(Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

Days after “The Partridge Family’s” David Cassidy passed away from organ failure, his daughter Katie vowed to make the most out of time with her loved ones as she revealed her late father’s last words.

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“Words cant express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time,” the actress tweeted on Saturday. “My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time.’ This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute….thank you.”

The 30-year-old actress had a complicated relationship with her father for most of her life, having been raised by her mother and model Sherry Williams and her stepfather Richard Benedon.

“Because I didn’t raise her, I didn’t have to parent her,” David told PEOPLE in 2009. “I’m always here and totally nonjudgmental. To be able to go to someone I’m genetically linked to, tell them anything and know that they’re not going to judge me -- it’s unbelievable.”

“It’s nice when your dad can be your friend,” Katie echoed her father’s words at the time.

However, the pair drifted apart over the years, and were no longer on speaking terms as of February of this year.

“I wasn’t her father. I was her biological father but I didn’t raise her. She has a completely different life,” David explained. “[But] I’m proud of her. She’s very talented. It’s hard for me to even accept how old she is now.”

The star was hospitalized last weekend for liver and kidney failure. Following his tragic death on Tuesday, his family announced that sad news and thanked fans for their support via a touching statement:

“On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy. David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years.”

Cassidy is survived by his daughter Katie Cassidy; son Beau Cassidy; brothers Shaun, Patrick and Ryan; stepmother Shirley Jones; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ivanka Trump shares what she's thankful for 'each and every day'

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 10:54 PM

Ivanka Trump (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

After celebrating Thanksgiving with her family, Ivanka Trump shared an adorable family photo on Instagram and revealed what she’s thankful for “each and every day.”

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“Thankful for this crew, each and every day!” she captioned the picture, which includes the first daughter, her husband Jared Kushner and her children Arabella, 6, Joseph, 4, and Theodore, 1.

Thankful for this crew, each and every day! ♥️

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump) on

Prior to the holiday, the special assistant to the president was present at the annual White House tradition of the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. She shared some photos on Instagram from the event, showing her, daughter Arabella and sister Tiffany petting the turkey, Drumstick, who received a pardon from President Trump on Tuesday. In the photos, Ivanka and Arabella sport matching red coats, while Tiffany dons a red dress.

The family is thought to have celebrated Thanksgiving at President Trump’s exclusive Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, along with the president, First Lady Melania Trump and their son, 11-year-old Barron.

Macy's credit card machines go down on Black Friday

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:55 PM

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23:  People shop at Macy's department store on
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 23: People shop at Macy's department store on "Black Friday" on November 23, 2017 in New York City. Black Friday starts earlier in the season on Thanksgiving Day instead of the Friday after. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)(Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

When the credit card machines went down at Macy’s on Black Friday, chaos was inevitable. In recent years, the day after Thanksgiving has become known not for the deals, but for the fights that ensue when shoppers rush for those deals.

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The machines seemed to be down all over the nation, and angry shoppers flooded Twitter with their complaints as Macy’s worked to get its systems running again.

It’s a particularly tough break for Macy’s, which is almost the unofficial retail sponsor of the holidays. It’s Thanksgiving Day parade has been a staple for generations, and every American of a certain age remembers watching “Miracle on 34th Street” in which Kris Kringle fills in for a drunken Santa at a Macy’s in Manhattan.

In a statement to NBC, the company said, “It is taking longer than usual to process some credit and gift cards in our stores, but we had added additional associates to the floor who are working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.” The news outlet reported problems in Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; Chicago; New York City, Richmond, Virginia; San Diego; and across New Jersey.

The company eventually took to social media in hopes of calming the tempers of some customers, asking them to send direct messages.

CNN Money notes that Macy’s stock could have really used the boost from a blockbuster Black Friday; their revenue dropped 6.1 percent in the last quarter, which marks the 11th straight quarter in which they’ve experienced declines. A lot of that decline is probably due to customers moving online for shopping, but unreliable credit card machines definitely won’t help their image.

This Black Friday has been no less eventful than those in previous years. Early in the morning, a brawl broke out in an Alabama store that caused the entire mall to shut down. Even more absurdly, four grown men were caught on video fighting over a toy car at Walmart.

But, like always, the holiday has been a success for retailers, with TechCrunch reporting $640 million in sales at 7 a.m. on the West Coast. Unsurprisingly, a lot of that money changed hands online, and a large portion of transactions even occurred via mobile devices. Which means that while shoppers may have hit the brick-and-mortar stores, they were still buying on the web. Early estimates showed that sales were up over 18 percent from 2016, so with any luck, retailers made out big -- even though a few Macy’s locations are probably very, very disappointed.

New York woman shot by hunter who mistook her for deer

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 9:37 PM

(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)(Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A New York woman is dead after she was shot by a hunter who mistook her for a deer while she was walking her dogs on Wednesday evening.

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Rosemary Billquist, 43, lived near the border of New York and Pennsylvania and was shot just before 5:30 p.m. The shooter, identified as 34-year-old Thomas Jadlowski, heard her scream and ran to her. He applied pressure to the wound and called 911, The Buffalo News reports. Billquist was shot roughly 100 yards from her home.

Authorities say that the shooting occurred after sunset, noting that it’s illegal to hunt at night in the state of Pennsylvania. Her husband, Jamie Billquist, told The Buffalo News that “they tried saving her [but] it was just too bad … It’s horrific. It will be with me the rest of my life.” He added, “She was always out to help somebody. She never wanted credit and was always quiet about it. She’s just an angel. An angel for sure.”

Officials say that Jadlowski is cooperating with their investigation and that no charges have been filed yet.

Rosemary Billquist was rushed to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania where personnel were unable to save her. Jamie was watching TV when an ambulance pulled into his driveway and a paramedic that he knew told him “we’ve got a gunshot wound,” and they ran to the field. Her husband rode with her to the hospital.

Jamie recalled his wife as an avid athlete with a zest for life, estimating that she ran over 60 marathons. He says that he knows the Jadlowski family but said simply, “It’s a two-second decision that he’ll regret for the rest of his life.”

If authorities do decide to press charges, Jadlowski will likely face involuntary manslaughter, which is defined in the Pennsylvania Penal Code as follows:

A person is guilty of involuntary manslaughter when as a direct result of the doing of an unlawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, or the doing of a lawful act in a reckless or grossly negligent manner, he causes the death of another person.

Involuntary manslaughter is a first-degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.