*An investigation has been launched after University of Hawaii officials handed $200,000 to a talent agency to book Stevie Wonder for a gig next month.
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A third-party concert promoter acting on behalf of UH wired the deposit to a company in Miami to hire the singer for a benefit show on Aug. 18. However, the event was called off when it was discovered that the event was planned without Wonder’s consent.
Officials at UH are now trying to recoup the funds and have contacted the FBI for assistance.
Refunds are being offered after 6,000 tickets were sold for the event.
*For folks who though Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was premature, consider that two universities are already expressing interest in building his presidential library.
The University of Hawaii is well into early preparations – including preliminary searches for potential sites, talks with National Archives officials and deliberations on what if any new academic center might accompany an Obama library and museum, reports the AP.
The University of Chicago, located in the city where Obama’s political career began, signaled an interest a year ago but has said very little since then.
And Obama is saying even less. Asked to discuss Obama’s views about a presidential library, a White House spokesman simply said, “No comment.”
Nonetheless, Hawaii is making it known it wants to be considered when the time comes to bid.
“This is something that presidents typically think about toward the end of their presidency, and Obama hopefully is still toward the beginning of his presidency,” said Robert Perkinson, an American Studies professor who is helping lead UH’s effort.
“So it’s not surprising that (Obama) doesn’t want to think about it. But those of us who are interested in bidding, we have to think about it a lot earlier than he does,” Perkinson said.
There currently are 13 presidential libraries, spanning from Herbert Hoover through George W. Bush. The groundbreaking for Bush’s facility at Southern Methodist University in Dallas is scheduled for Tuesday.