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State news in brief

Posted: October 18, 2013 - 12:07am

Chugiak deaths were homicide, suicide

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say the preliminary investigation into the deaths of two people at a home in Chugiak appears to be a homicide-suicide.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says in a release that 40-year-old Nita Kilapsuk called police just after 4 a.m. Thursday. Kilapsuk reported there was a verbal argument with her boyfriend, 49-year-old Michael Hagood.

She indicated to a police dispatcher she wanted to leave, but he wouldn’t allow it, and he was armed.

Dispatchers lost contact with Kilapsuk while officers were en route.

Police officers reported hearing gunshots when they arrived, and found both dead inside the residence.

Castro says it appears no one else was on the property. Next-of-kin have been notified.

Chugiak is north of Eagle River.

 

Court: DNR withheld action on water applications

JUNEAU — A state agency has been ordered to begin processing water reservation applications from a group seeking to protect fish from development of a coal mine in south-central Alaska.

Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner found the Department of Natural Resources “unreasonably withheld” agency action on applications filed by the Chuitna Citizens Coalition in 2009.

Rindner ordered the department to begin adjudicating the applications within 30 days of his order, which was dated Oct. 14. Rindner said he was taking no position on what the outcome of the adjudications should be. He also sided with the agency on several points.

The Department of Law is considering an appeal.

The coalition bills itself as a group of landowners, fishermen and conservationists working to protect the Chuitna River from “destruction” by mine developers.

 

Soldotna driver convicted of assaulting joggers

KENAI — A jury has convicted a 38-year-old Soldotna driver of felony assault for striking two joggers.

Jeromy Hurlburt was convicted Tuesday of injuring Melanie Papp, who was 46, and her mother, Joan Miller, who was 63, on March 21, 2012.

Hurlburt told investigators something caused his car to pull left and strike the joggers.

Defense attorney Lyle Stohler said Hurlburt was not under the influence of drugs as he drove but swallowed methamphetamine to avoid an arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Amanda Browning disputed that. She says Hurlburt had fresh track marks that dripped blood when he was tested after the crash.

She says Papp and Miller continue to suffer from their serious injuries

The Peninsula Clarion reports Hurlburt will be sentenced Jan. 21.

 

Man charged with stabbing in Mountain Village

MOUNTAIN VIEW — A 37-year-old man in the community of Mountain Village has been charged with stabbing his brother.

Alaska State Troopers say Luther Aguchak was arrested Wednesday night and charged with stabbing his 38-year-old brother with a knife in the stomach.

Troopers say the injured man received non-life-threatening injuries. He was flown to Bethel for treatment.

Luther Aguchak was charged with domestic violence assault.

He was jailed in Bethel.

 

NPR-A lease sale will go on as scheduled

JUNEAU — A planned lease sale for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska will go on as scheduled.

Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman KJ Mushovic confirmed the news on Thursday, following the end of the partial federal government shutdown.

During the shutdown, an Interior Department spokeswoman said the agency was evaluating on a day-to-day basis whether to hold upcoming lease sales due to the shutdown. At least one sale was postponed.

The NPR-A lease sale is scheduled for Nov. 6. BLM has said it will include 408 tracts and cover approximately about 4.5 million acres.

 

Police seek light-color truck in fatal hit-and-run

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say a light-color, full-size pickup truck is a vehicle of interest in a fatal hit-and-run.

The incident Wednesday morning killed 36-year-old Corbin Grassman on the Old Seward Highway.

A passer-by just before 3 a.m. spotted the fatally injured man lying near 69th Avenue.

Officers and emergency medical personnel say the man was dead at the scene and appeared to have been struck by a vehicle.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says in an email announcement that police are asking for help finding the truck.

The pickup did not appear to have a bed canopy.

 

Man charged with assaulting unconscious woman

FAIRBANKS — A 52-year-old Fairbanks man has been charged with sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in a downtown parking lot.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Leslie Aveoganna is charged with assaulting the highly intoxicated woman outside the former Alaska Railroad Depot.

A passer-by saw Aveoganna and the woman and alerted staff at The Diner restaurant.

An employee ran to the parking lot and yelled at Aveoganna. A second employee flagged down a police officer.

The woman was found face down in the parking lot. Police in criminal complaint say she was “essentially unconscious and unresponsive due to apparent intoxication.”

Aveoganna told police he had been drinking vodka with the woman.

He was charged with felony sexual assault held without bail at Fairbanks Correctional Center. He was arraigned Monday.

 

Council announces Bethel court nominees

JUNEAU — The Alaska Judicial Council has nominated two candidates for the Bethel District Court.

The council has advanced the names of Nathaniel Peters and Kirsten Swanson to Gov. Sean Parnell, who will appoint the successor to Judge Dennis Cummings. Cummings retired.

According to information provided by the council, Peters is an assistant public defender in Palmer who has been practicing law for 8 ½ years. Swanson is in private practice in Juneau and has been practicing law for 18 years.

 

Fairbanks hosts officials ahead of 2014 games

FAIRBANKS — Representatives from five nations will be in Fairbanks this week to get updates on the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.

Those attending represent the Arctic Winter Games International Committee and Chefs de Mission. They will come from Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Sweden and five Canadian territories.

They will assist in completing plans for the 2014 games in Fairbanks. They will also tour sporting and cultural venues during the three day meeting, which starts Thursday.

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