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State roundup for October 26

Coco Palms may not be restored

LIHUE, Kauai (AP) — A Kauai County proposal to change the permit process for structures damaged by Hurricane Iniki could mean the end of restoration plans for the resort where Elvis Presley filmed “Blue Hawaii.”

Tour guide Bob Jasper says repealing the Iniki Ordinance would mean the death of Coco Palms Resort.

Kauai’s council held a hearing Wednesday to consider the plan backed by Mayor Bernard Carvalho. Carvalho told the county planning commission in a June letter that property owners looking to rebuild have had ample time to use the ordinance’s expedited permit process.

“Coco Palms should be made an exception to the ordinance,” testified Larry Rivera, the resort’s former music director.

A local investment group is trying to buy and restore it. Coco Palms Hui LLC is seeking demolition and building permits. The resort is currently owned by Maryland-based Petrie Ross Ventures.

The hotel has been closed since the 1992 storm.

Developer Tyler Greene, a managing partner with Bridge Real Estate Hawaii, said permits under the expedited process would let them skip an environmental impact statement.

The county planning department is reviewing suspended demolition permits for the resort.

Architect Ron Agor, who was hired by developers for the project, says he’s working with county officials to get the permits back on track.

“Until we come to an agreement with the county on what we need to do, the county wanted to be assured that we would not start the demolition process,” Agor said.

Man allegedly posed as officer

HONOLULU (AP) — Bail has been set at $500,000 for a man suspected of impersonating a police officer and sexually assaulting a woman.

A 45-year-old Michael Lee Carter was arrested Wednesday in Chinatown.

Police say a 21-year-old woman reported she was held against her will the morning of Sept. 15 in Honolulu and sexually assaulted.

Prosecutors on Thursday charged Carter with first-degree sexual assault and kidnapping.


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