NAHA, Okinawa — A military spouse pleaded guilty in Japanese court Wednesday to having marijuana mailed from the States to his off-base home.

Gregory W. Hartman, 30, husband of a Navy lieutenant, told the judge he had made an arrangement with a friend to mail about a half-ounce of marijuana to his home in Kin.

Customs officials detected the plastic bags in a container of peanut butter after the package arrived Jan. 7 at Kansai International Airport near Osaka, according to prosecutor Kenichi Abe. He recommended Hartman be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Defense attorney Satoshi Kawamitsu argued that any sentence be suspended, since Hartman has no previous criminal record. He said Hartman wanted the marijuana to help with depression caused by having to give up his job to follow his wife when she was assigned to Okinawa.

Sentencing is scheduled May 8.

Two advance in national scholars programTwo Department of Defense Education Activity high school seniors recently were selected as 2009 semifinalists in the Presidential Scholars program, according to a news release.

Audry Padgett from Kadena High School on Okinawa and Bruce Pfirrmann from Nile C. Kinnick High School in Yokosuka, Japan, were among 560 students selected in the national competition, the release said.

The program recognizes high school seniors’ academic achievements and exceptional talent in the visual, creative and performing arts.

The Commission on Presidential Scholars will select up to 141 to be named as national presidential scholars, the release said. The 141 scholars will be honored in Washington in June.

UMUC to hold Okinawa graduation ceremonyYOMITAN, Okinawa — The University of Maryland University College will hold its 53rd commencement ceremony at noon Saturday at the Yomitan Cultural Center.

More than 90 graduates on Okinawa will receive their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, and a reception will follow at 2 p.m. at the Coral Cove on Torii Station, a news release announced.

University president Susan Aldridge is the commencement speaker, the release said.

For more information, call Mika Gardaya at 634-3767.

Torii Beach to host ‘Follies’ variety showTORII STATION, Okinawa — The Pacific Okinawa Players will present "Follies," a variety show, at 7 p.m. May 1 at Torii Beach.

Admission is free. The performance will be at the new outdoor pavilion near CJ’s Bar & Grill.

For more information, e-mail

Bus transportation provided to flower festivalServicemembers and their families are invited to the May 30 opening ceremony for the Paju Festival of Flowers at Paju City, north of Seoul near Munsan, according to U.S. Forces Korea.

Bus transportation will be provided to people who make reservations by May 15.

Buses will depart at 9 a.m. May 30 from the Korean War Memorial near Yongsan Garrison.

Contact Ben Hur at for reservations.

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