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Saturday, December 16, 2000

State to acquire
beachfront once
owned by Loretta Lynn

By Rod Thompson
Big Island correspondent

HILO -- Beachfront North Kona property formerly owned by country and western singer Loretta Lynn will become state land in an exchange approved yesterday by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.

The current owner of the 3-acre property at Kiholo Bay, heart pacemaker inventor Dr. Earl Bakken, will trade it for six acres of state land mauka of his house.

Bakken earlier sought nine acres of pahoehoe lava land just mauka of his house as a location for a caretaker's house. Appraisals showed that the 3-acre Lynn property on a pebble beach, which Bakken bought in 1999 for $2.7 million, was equal in value only to six acres of the lava land.

A Land Board staff report said a 2,000-square-foot house built by Lynn is a liability, since it has no water, electricity, or sewer, and poses a security problem, so it has no value.

The staff recommended having Bakken remove the Lynn house, but Land Board head Timothy Johns said his department should be notified before the house is demolished in case some use is found for it.

Legislative approval for the exchange already has been granted.

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