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State roundup for October 12

Coast Guard tech still missing

HONOLULU (AP) — Coast Guard officials are expanding their search for a missing U.S. Coast Guard technician who was last seen along Oahu’s north shore.

Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Gene Maestas said Thursday that the U.S. Navy, Honolulu police and fire officials have offered to help in the search for Aviation Survival Technician 1st Class Russell Matthews.

Police found the 36-year-old guardsman’s car abandoned at the Mokuleia side of Kaena Point on Tuesday night. He was last seen that afternoon.

Maestas says the Coast Guard has launched 19 rescue operations and covered 649 nautical square miles in their search.

Police say Matthews is emotionally distraught, and that his friends and family are concerned for his welfare.

Maestas says Matthews is a rescue swimmer with 15 years of experience in the Coast Guard.

Oahu high-rise plan is revealed

HONOLULU (AP) — Howard Hughes Corp. has unveiled its plan for Ward Centers in Honolulu.

Construction could begin next year on three residential high-rises as part of a revised master plan transforming 60 acres into almost an entirely new neighborhood.

Ward Centers — now being called Ward Village — would be dominated by condominium towers and would have twice as many shops and restaurants.

The new plan would double the amount of retail, dining and entertainment venues. It also calls for 22 skinnier towers that preserve more public views of the mountains and ocean compared with a previous plan.

The Texas-based Howard Hughes Corp. acquired Ward Centers from General Growth Properties about two years ago.

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — A company plans to generate electricity for Kauai by burning wood chips from trees grown and harvested on the island.

Green Energy Team LLC said Wednesday it received U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee that will allow it to begin construction on a biomass-to-energy plant near Koloa next year.

The $90 million plant will supply more than 11 percent of Kauai’s electricity needs.

The project is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs and 39 permanent operating jobs.

Green Energy will sell power from the plant to the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative under a contract approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

The utility says the plant will contribute significantly to its efforts to generate 50 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2023.


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