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State new in brief for Friday, Nov. 1, 2013

Posted: November 1, 2013 - 6:38am

Board seeks delay in redistricting hearings

JUNEAU — The Alaska Redistricting Board has asked to delay until early January possible hearings in the legal dispute over Alaska’s redistricting map.

Lead board attorney Michael White was diagnosed with cancer and has been undergoing treatment.

In court documents, co-counsel Nicole Corr said it was initially believed White’s treatment would be completed by the end of November but it’s now expected to continue until Dec. 12. She said White will need at least two weeks after completing radiation to recover sufficiently to participate in the case.

A judge originally laid out a timeline suggesting he would issue a decision by late November but granted the board’s initial request for a continuance, blocking off Dec. 9-16 for possible hearings.

Plaintiffs have until noon Friday to file any opposition to the latest request.

 

Vessel grounded near Valdez towed to Cordova

ANCHORAGE — The Coast Guard in Alaska says an Oregon-based fishing vessel that ran aground near Valdez has been refloated and towed to Cordova.

The 65-foot Fate Hunter was under water for almost three months before it was towed Tuesday.

The Coast Guard says 75 tons of salmon on board was disposed of to help lift the vessel.

The Fate Hunter, based in Astoria, also had 1,900 gallons of fuel and oil aboard when it grounded Aug. 11 about four miles west of the Prince William Sound community of Valdez.

The Coast Guard says all recoverable fuel and oil was removed.

According to the Coast Guard, the cause of the non-injury grounding remains under investigation.

 

Tongass studying public cabin program

JUNEAU — U.S. Forest Service officials say the public use cabin system on the Tongass National Forest is not sustainable.

Forest managers are devising a plan to identify underused and rundown cabins and look at gearing funding toward more popular sites. The forest managers, in a release, say another goal is sustaining more cabins through volunteer efforts.

Forest officials say rising costs and declining funding have led to a $600,000 shortfall in the cabin program’s budget.

The forest managers say its most popular cabins are often booked over 100 nights a year. But of the 152 cabins it manages, 21 generally more remote cabins had fewer than 10 nights of use.

The forest managers say declining funding has limited its ability to keep pace with deferred maintenance, meaning less-used cabins have been allowed to deteriorate.

 

Healy man dies in SUV crash

ANCHORAGE — A 24-year-old Healy man has died in a traffic crash near the interior Alaska community.

KTUU-TV reports William F. Revely IV died in the crash on Healy Spur Road.

State Troopers say Revely early Thursday was driving a sport utility vehicle but lost control and the vehicle rolled on the dirt road.

Spokeswoman Megan Peters said the SUV landed on its roof and skidded for 150 yards.

Two others in the vehicle were wearing seat belts and suffered minor injuries. They declined medical treatment.

Peters said witnesses indicated alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Healy is 78 miles southwest of Fairbanks on a 2.5-mile spur road leading from the Parks Highway north of the entrance to the Denali National Park.

 

BP announces divestment plans, no details

JUNEAU — BP plc announced plans this week to divest $10 billion in assets before the end of 2015.

But spokesman Robert Wine said by email he has received no guidance on where those assets might be, or which part of BP’s business would be affected.

BP is a major player in Alaska’s oil industry and is among the companies pursuing a major natural gas pipeline project in the state.

The company, in a release, said proceeds from the divestments are expected to be used predominantly for additional shareholder distributions.

 

Name of man shot dead in Anchorage motel released

ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police have released the name of a man killed in a shooting at a local motel.

The Anchorage Daily News reported police found 25-year-old Jose Cortez dead Sunday night at a Motel 6 in the city’s midtown area.

Police say they were called to the scene by a motel employee who reported hearing a single gunshot from an upstairs room.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said there were others in the room, but no one has been charged in connection to the case.

Castro said an autopsy would determine whether the shooting was accidental or intentional or if another person was involved.

 

Army leaders to tour facilities at JBER

ANCHORAGE Officials say U.S. Army Alaska leaders are scheduled to tour Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage for an overview of facilities and services available for soldiers, their families and civilians.

Army officials say the tour scheduled for Friday is part of the Army’s Ready and Resilient Campaign.

The tour will be conducted in a morning rotation and another in the afternoon.

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