Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Young Juneau bear up past bedtime

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JUNEAU - A young black bear apparently doesn't know he should be in hibernation.

Neil Barten, area management biologist for state Fish and Game, said Douglas Island residents have reported every four to five days of seeing the bear in their yards or crossing a street.

Barten figures the cub lost its mother sometime in the summer or fall. She would be the one to go to bed for the winter and take him with her.

The cub probably doesn't know what he's supposed to do, he said. If the bear is caught, Barten said they could try to build a den box for it and see if he goes to sleep. He doesn't know if that would be effective, but thinks it would be worth a try.

Barten isn't sure if there's a zoo that might be interested in having the bear if they are able to catch it.

Woman dies after drinking antifreeze

ANCHORAGE - A 51-year-old Emmonak woman died after drinking antifreeze she mistook for home brew, Alaska State Troopers said.

Thelma Immamak's boy-friend, Franklin Murphy, also drank the toxic liquid with her on Sunday and was airlifted to Anchorage for treatment. His condition was not immediately available Tuesday.

The antifreeze was stored for unknown reasons in a soft drink bottle, according to trooper Teague Widmier.

Emmonak is a dry community, meaning sales and possession of alcohol are banned.

Immamak and Murphy, 45, had been drinking home brew and thought that was in the beverage bottle, Widmier said. Troopers based in Emmonak investigated and didn't find anything criminal, Widmier said.

Expanded hospital to be unveiled today

KENAI - The expanded Central Peninsula General Hospital will be unveiled today, along with a new name.

The hospital will be officially introduced as Central Peninsula Hospital in a 5 p.m. ceremony, followed by tours of the 82,000-square-foot addition.

The new space includes 50 new private inpatient rooms and artistic directional symbols painted on the walls. This is part of the second phase of a $49.9 million three-part expansion project.

Mountain Tower is the name of the new two-story addition to the hospital, which is still under construction.

Construction for this phase was cost $31 million. A $9.14 million contract has been awarded for the third part: renovation of 25,000 square feet of the original building and an additional 8,100 square feet of new construction.

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