brutally assaulted in Valley bar
Police are looking for suspects in
a brutal assault at a parking lot
of a Mendenhall Valley bar early
Just after 3 a.m. Juneau police
received a report of an assault in
When officers arrived they found a
35 year-old Juneau man lying on
the ground bleeding heavily from
The suspect or suspects fled
before police arrived.
According to the police
investigation, the man was likely
struck on the face and head with a
5 foot long, 3 inch diameter tree
The victim was treated at the
scene by Capital City Fire/Rescue
personnel and then transported to
Bartlett Regional Hospital.
At the hospital it was determined
the victim had numerous
lacerations, facial bone
fractures, and internal bleeding
in his head.
He was flown to Anchorage for
advanced treatment of his
Police ask if you have information
on this case please call the
Juneau Police Department at
Trail Sled Dog Race begins in
By MARY PEMBERTON -Associated
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is
under way in Alaska's largest city
where 67 teams set their sights
The ceremonial start, where
mushers take a short run through
Anchorage, is mostly for the
enjoyment of the fans. It gives
them an opportunity to get up
close to their favorite mushers,
some of whom have rock star status
This year's field is smaller -
down from a record 96 last year -
but most of the big names are in
it, including two-time defending
champion Lance Mackey. He says
he's approaching the 1,100-mile
race the same as always - expect
the worst and hope for the best.
Mackey sees no limit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Lance
Mackey says he sees no limit to
what he and his sled dogs can do.
The two-time defending champion of
the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
says every year he learns
something more about his dogs and
how to get the best performance
out of his team.
Mackey will try for a third
Mackey has already redefined
what's possible in long-distance
sled dog racing as the only musher
to win the Iditarod and the Yukon
Quest International Sled Dog Race
in the same year.
He's done it twice.
The 38-year-old Mackey took a
breather from the Quest this year
to help train Harry Alexie, an
Alaska Native from Bethel who is
in the National Guard, to run the
Mackey says he felt honored when
Alexie asked for his help.
Helping to catch a crook can
earn you cash, Juneau Crime Line
targets armed robber
The armed robbery at Fred Meyer
Sunday night is the focus of
Juneau Crime Line this week.
A store employee was robbed a
gunpoint as she was walking into
the store at the garden end of the
Police now say the bandit got away
with a small amount of money from
a bank bag and purse she was
The suspect is described as a
light skinned male about five foot
six, 130 pounds. He's in his late
teens and was last seen wearing a
ski mask, gloves, and a dark coat.
Callers to Crime Line may remain
anonymous and still be eligible
for a cash reward.
The Crime Line number is 586-4243.
snatchers get prison time in state
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two young
women convicted of robbing
trick-or-treaters in Talkeetna at
gunpoint have been sentenced to
stiff prison terms.
Palmer Superior Court Judge
Beverly Cutler on Friday sentenced
18-year-old Kendra Butts to three
years in prison.
The woman who wielded the gun and
fired a round into the air,
20-year-old Amber Martin, was
sentenced to nine and a half years
Prosecutors say the women put on
masks on Halloween night 2007, got
out of a vehicle, shot into the
air and held-up seven children.
They took candy and a cell phone.
Butts last year was sentenced in
federal court to six months in
prison for agreeing to cover up
evidence in a truck that
investigators said she and others
used in the robbery.
Information from: KTUU-TV
to lose one hour
Daylight Savings Time begins
Most people set their clocks back
one hour before they go to bed
Kerttula waiting for Governor's
decision on Senate vacancy
It's now a waiting game for Juneau
Representative Beth Kerttula with
the decision on who replaces Kim
Elton in the State Senate now in
the hands of Governor Palin.
Local Democrats sent the Governor
a letter Thursday with Kerttula as
the lone name on their list.
Kerttula tells us she's
"humbled" by the support
she has received.
She also tell us that she's very
respectful of the fact that this
is the Governor's decision.
During last Fall's national
campaign, Kerttula said Palin
wasn't qualified to be Vice
When asked if that statement may
come back to haunt her, Kerttula
didn't think so and added that the
Governor will make a
She expects Palin to make that
decision on a timely basis since
Juneau is without representation
in the State Senate until that
Just because Kerttula was the only
name submitted by local Democrats,
the Governor is not mandated to
select her for the seat. She is
required to pick a registered
Democrat since that's who filled
Bears men headed to state, Lady
Crimson Bears lose to Lady Kings
The women's team at Juneau Douglas
High School went down to defeat at
the hands of the Ketchikan Kings
Friday afternoon by a score of 49
The Ketchikan Lady Kings will now
represent Region V at the state
Thursday night the Crimson Bears
men's team a claimed the regional
crown with a 75 to 69 win night
over the Ketchikan Kings, sweeping
the three game series in two
The Crimson Bears men will
represent Region V at the state
tournament March 19th through the
the Crimson Bears men will play Sitka
in the Crossover Tournament in Ketchikan
game will be broadcast on KINY starting
at 8-15 p.m.
sentencing held up again
Sentencing has again been
postponed for two key figures in
the VECO bribery scandal.
Former company CEO Bill Allen and
Vice President Rick Smith have
been awaiting sentencing since
they pleaded guilty in May, 2007.
Prosecutors have requested delays
citing the "exceedingly
complex" nature of the
Testimony from Allen and Smith led
to the convictions of former U.S.
Senator Ted Stevens and two state
The status report filed with U.S.
District Judge John Sedwick this
week was the fifth delay sought by
The last was seven months ago.
The judge wants to know by the end
of June if the Justice Department
is ready to sentence the two VECO
(Anchorage Daily News)
Former House aide hit with
WASHINGTON (AP) - A grand jury has
indicted a former congressional
staffer on corruption charges for
taking a free trip to the 2003
Prosecutors have charged Fraser
Verrusio, who worked under
Republican Rep. Don Young when the
congressman chaired the House
Transportation and Infrastructure
Officials say Verrusio and another
Capitol Hill staffer accepted an
illegal gratuity when lobbyists
gave them an all-expense paid trip
to New York, including the World
Series game and a visit to a strip
The indictment charges Verrusio
helped the lobbyists get favorable
language for an equipment rental
company into a Federal Highway
The indictment is the latest in
the investigation surrounding
ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
man to serve ten years in federal
prison on Alaska drug charge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A
21-year-old Seattle man will serve
ten years in prison following his
drug conviction in federal court
U-S District Court Judge Timothy
Burgess also ordered Calvin T.
Dunbar to forfeit more than
$185,000, the amount of drug
proceeds on him when he was
Assistant U-S Attorney Kimberly
Sayers-Fay says Dunbar conspired
with others to distribute nearly
ten kilograms of cocaine and crack
She says they had the drug shipped
to Anchorage from the Lower 48.
submits Railbelt utilities plan
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The early
comments are mixed for Governor
Palin's proposed Railbelt
Palin Friday unveiled a bill that
would have the six power utilities
that serve Alaskans from Homer to
Fairbanks buy wholesale power
through a new state corporation.
She says a centralized power
authority is needed to plan,
finance and build future power
plants to take advantage of
economies of scale.
The six utilities affected are
Golden Valley Electric Association
in Fairbanks, Matanuska Electric
Association, Chugach Electric
Association, Anchorage Municipal
Light & Power, the City of
Seward and Homer Electric
Nearly half of their generating
facilities are nearing the end of
their useful lives.
However, energy experts say single
utilities do not have the
resources to build large projects
that could give consumers the best
Chugach Electric spokesman Phil
Steyer says his cooperative
supports the concept of the
regional corporation and Palin's
But Brian Newton, head of Golden
Valley Electric Association, says
he's disappointed that the bill
carries more stick than carrot as
incentive for utilities to join.
The utilities historically have
enjoyed state grants to help pay
for new power plants or interties
but state officials have said that
support is less likely in the
future unless the utilities work
Team summoned to St. George Island
to oversee unloading of fuel from
The Coast Guard has called in the
Pacific Strike Team of the
National Strike Force to unload
the fuel from a fishing vessel
that went aground early Thursday
morning on the north shore of St.
Petty Officer Sara Francis
explains they decided to call in
the strike team due to the
sensitive nature of the
environment on and around St.
She says Information from the
Department of Interior and the
State of Alaska indicates a beach
on the north end of the island is
home to fur seal and sea lion
rookeries and haul outs and many
species of marine birds.
The beach is also adjacent to an
archeological site of an historic
Russian Aleutian settlement.
Six members of the team left
Thursday from California.
They'll start unloading Saturday.
With help from additional District
17 personnel, the team will work
to safely remove the 15,000
gallons of diesel fuel and 668
gallons of lube oil reported on
The five crewmembers of the Mar
Gun were hoisted from the 112 foot
stern trawler and taken to St.
No injuries were reported.
The cause of the grounding will be
Saint George Island is 760 miles
southwest of Anchorage.
Alaska's unemployment rate is
By ANNE SUTTON - Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP and KINY) - State
economists are sounding a mixed
message on employment in Alaska.
January's 7.9 percent unemployment
rate is up 1.5 percent over
January of last year. However, the
number of payroll jobs in January
is well above last year's count -
by 5,200 jobs, according to Alaska
labor department statistics
State economist Dan Robinson
speculates that the economy in the
Lower 48 is so bad that some
workers may have stayed in Alaska
once their seasonal jobs were up,
while others may be moving up in
search of jobs.
Robinson says job growth in the
state is expected to dry up
somewhat this year, especially in the
area of tourism.
unemployment rate in January was
at seven percent. That was up a
full percentage point from
December and nearly two percent
from last year.
Anchorage was at 6 point 8
percent; Mat Su Borough at 10
point 8, and Fairbanks at 8 point
8 percent in January, all up a bit
from the previous year.
The rate for Haines was 16 point 9
The Skagway, Hoonah and Angoon
census area was at 28 point 3
percent which was the high in the
The low was the North Slope
Borough at four percent.
15-year-old Anchorage boy killed
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Anchorage
police say a 15-year-old boy is
dead after an accidental shooting.
Police Lieutenant Dave Parker
identifies the victim at Brenton
He says the boy and other
juveniles were in a house Thursday
afternoon when a gun being handled
by a 16-year-old boy fired.
Buckmaster was taken to a local
hospital, where he was pronounced
Parker says a parent also was at
the south Anchorage home at the
time of the shooting.
Police are continuing to
(KTUU-TV - Anchorage)
owner files for bankruptcy
The company that owns Redfern, the
developer of the Tulsequah Chief
mine, has been granted bankruptcy
protection by Canada's Supreme
Redcorp Ventures Ltd. is based in
Vancouver British Colombia.
Redfern suspended construction at
the Tulsequah Chief mine in
The mine is located in Canada,
about 45 miles northeast of
grinds to a halt at midway point
By ANNE SUTTON -Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Work has
ground to a halt this week in the
state Capitol, but lawmakers
insist they are still moving at a
good clip toward the 90-day
Thursday was the halfway mark in
Twenty-six of 60 legislators are
in Washington, D.C., for an energy
conference, and many others have
gone home for a long weekend. So
far only one bill - a measure to
extend the Joint Armed Services
Committee - has passed both the
House and Senate.
Lawmakers say they are only
constitutionally mandated to pass
a state budget and that process is
Still, continued uncertainty over
Alaska's portion of the federal
stimulus bill and complex energy
related legislation from Gov.
Palin could be a stumbling blocks
to staving off the need for a
special session. The regular
session ends April 19.
Two State Senators meet with top
Obama official in White House
Members of the Senate Majority
back in D. C. for the energy
conference conducted a
teleconference press availability
with Alaska reporters today.
Anchorage Senator Hollis French
told of a meeting he and fellow
Anchorage Senator Bill Wielechowski
had with Pete Rouse, the senior
advisor to President Obama, at the
The topic of discussion was the
proposed natural gas pipeline from
the North Slope.
French says it was extremely
encouraging to be able to speak to
someone about the project at such
a top level in the government.
Senate President Gary Stevens
spoke of former Juneau Senator Kim
Elton who begins work as the
Interior Department's director of
He called it a key spot and
"sort of the Alaska mole in
Stevens says Elton will play an
extremely important role and
they're glad he'll be there.
Elton starts that job on March
Kelly drafting bill allowing
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - State
Rep. Mike Kelly says he's drafting
a bill that would allow firearms
restricted under federal law to be
built and used in Alaska.
The Fairbanks Republican says the
Alaska Firearms Freedom Act is
inspired by a similar bill that
passed the Montana House of
Representatives. It allows someone
to own firearms or components
restricted by the federal
government, as long as they are
built and kept entirely in the
Kelly made the announcement while
addressing about 400 members of
the Second Amendment Task Force, a
gun rights group that has urged
gun owners to openly display their
Kelly told the group he resents
infringements on gun rights, such
as having to go through a metal
detector at a courthouse.
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Begich tells AG to back off on
assault weapon ban
WASHINGTON (AP) - Alaska Sen. Mark
Begich has told the Obama
administration he will oppose any
gun restrictions officials may be
In a letter to Attorney General
Eric Holder, Begich, a Democrat,
said the Justice Department should
enforce existing laws rather than
propose additional laws they said
could infringe on Second Amendment
Begich said the ability to legally
own firearms and use them for
hunting and other activities is
part of the fabric of life in
Begich's letter follows a similar
message from two other Western
Democratic senators: Max Baucus
and Jon Tester of Montana.
The letters were prompted by
Holder's recent comment that
reinstating a ban on the sale of
assault weapons could help reduce
bloodshed in Mexico, where 6,000
people were killed last year in
Crude settles higher
NEW YORK (AP) - Crude oil futures
prices ended higher on the New
York Mercantile Exchange.
The near-month contract for the
benchmark grade rose $1.91 --
closing at $45.52 a barrel.
State inmates file lawsuit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Two
inmates have filed a lawsuit
claiming they were physically and
sexually assaulted while in the
The lawsuit filed against the
state Department of Corrections
claims one assault took place in
October 2007 and the other in
Both men say they were attacked in
the living area of the Yukon
Kuskokwim Correctional Center.
Attorney Sean Brown says both men
were in jail on misdemeanor
charges when they were attacked,
possibly over several days.
The state had no immediate comment
on the lawsuit.
(Anchorage Daily News)
summit planned in Juneau next
month, award nominations now open
What is billed as the first annual
Juneau Health Summit is scheduled
for April 23 and 24.
Among the sponsors is the
Cooperative Extension Service at
the University of Alaska
Dr. Sonja Koukel is with that
organization's Health, Home, and
Family Development Program. She
says it's being modeled after a
very successful summit started in
Instead of ideas coming from the
top down, she explains they want
to hear from community members
about planning for health and
wellness in Juneau and what they
think would work for them.
She says they also plan to present
various awards during a dinner on
They include advocate or
collaboration for health, general Wellness,
youth, physical activity,
nutrition, and behavioral health
which the doctor says could
include mental health or substance
Nominations are due March 17.
For additional information and a
nomination form, contact Larry
West at 586-4648.
Other sponsors include SEARHC,
Bartlett Regional Hospital, the
State Division of Public Health,
Southeast Public Health Nursing,
the United Way of Southeast
Alaska, Premera Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Alaska, National
Alliance of Mental Illness, and
Alaska Native Sisterhood Camp 2.
inmate trained service dog to be
given to injured Iraqi veteran
An Army soldier wounded in Iraq
has a new best friend: a dog
trained as a service animal by
inmates at Hiland Mountain
Sergeant William Ondell met the
lab mix, Wyatt, only recently.
He formally took ownership at
a ceremony at the prison Friday.
The Department of Corrections says
Wyatt is the first graduate of a
new program at the women's prison
in Eagle River.
Inmates have trained nearly 200
dogs from the Mat-Su Animal
Shelter to prepare them for
The program expanded last year to
include specialized training for
service animals to assist disabled
Ondell was wounded by a suicide
bomber during his second tour in
June 2 picked as date for
special election in Mat Su to
choose new mayor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A special
election will be scheduled for a
new mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna
Mayor Curt Menard died this week
after a battle with cancer.
Borough official Patty Sullivan
says an ordinance calling for a
June Second election will be
introduced next week.
Deputy Mayor Lynne Woods is the
(Copyright ©2009 Alaska
Juneau Communications -