State roundup for October 27


Lanai resort to be overhauled

WAILUKU, Maui (AP) — A $27 million renovation of Lanai’s largest hotel could begin before the end of the year.

Some residents are optimistic the island’s new billionaire owner, Larry Ellison, will ensure renovations for the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay don’t have a negative impact on the community. Ellison bought 98 percent of Lanai last year.

Residents complained that crime increased when former owner David Murdock brought in workers to build the two resorts.

But Manele resident Caron Green said Ellison’s company, Pulama Lanai, plans to fly and ferry workers to and from the island, with some staying at the sister resort, The Lodge at Koele.

The company held an informational meeting Wednesday, which was attended by about 40 residents. The company told residents it will not use large trucks to transport materials from the harbor to Manele Bay, Green said, and gave residents a phone number to call if they see workers acting inappropriately.

“I think they are being sensitive to the community and the community’s concerns,” she said. “They are trying to do it in the best possible way.”

The resort will remain open during renovations, which are expected to take six to eight months.

Police probing unsolved hit-run

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police are looking for new witnesses in the hit-and-run death of an Alaska man six months ago.

Sgt. Kim Buffett said police continue to investigate the death of Marc Bucho of Homer, Alaska, whose body was found at about 8 p.m. April 19 on Kalanianaole Highway near Hilu Street in Waimanalo.

Bucho, 42, remained close to his ex-wife, Emily Bucho. Months before he died, he told her he suspected he was in danger.

“If I ever die down here, no matter what you’re told, it’s not an accident,” he said.

“He was expressing to me that somebody was out for him,” she said Thursday by telephone from eastern Washington state. “He didn’t express in detail who it could be.”

Bucho suffered from pancreatitis. The extreme stomach pain, vomiting and weight loss kept him from working, Emily Bucho said

“He was in excruciating pain that never went away,” she said.

He treated his pain with oxycodone or hydrocodone but was regularly short of money because he could not work, she said. She suspects he owed money to a drug dealer for painkillers.

“I think it was a drug dealer that was sending a message,” she said. “‘If you don’t have the money and don’t pay up, this is what will happen to you.’”

An autopsy concluded Bucho died from blunt force injuries.

A witness who lives near the scene told police she heard a thud and saw Bucho in the roadway.

Emily Bucho said she and their 16-year-old daughter continue to grieve. They spoke at least once a week and Bucho sent text messages to his daughter every day.

“He was always caring and concerned for me,” Emily Bucho said.

Bucho moved to Hawaii in 2000 but returned to Alaska to be with his mother.

He traveled back to Hawaii in December and planned to move to Washington to be close to their daughter when his symptoms were under control, Emily Bucho said.

 

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