Alaska Digest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, January 20, 2005

Search for missing woman expanded

JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers and rescue organizations expanded the search Wednesday for a Douglas woman who went missing Sunday night, according to trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said the search area at the end of North Douglas Highway was expanded further out into the woods Wednesday where the vehicle owned by Rebecca Mass, 46, was found abandoned Sunday.

He said unusally heavy snowfall in the area has made the search difficult.

Troopers and volunteers searchers will meet at the Juneau post of the Alaska State Troopers today to make a determination on how long to continue the search, Wilkinson said.

State: Tanner crabs show no sign of oil

UNALASKA - Early deliveries of Tanner crab from the Unalaska Bay fishery show no signs of having been affected by oil spilled from the soybean freighter that broke apart when it ran aground last month.

The commercially caught crab have passed rigorous inspections, with no evidence of oil contamination, the state Department of Environmental Conservation said Wednesday.

The state has a total of eight inspectors performing spot checks of crab deliveries to seven seafood processing plants in Unalaska and one in Akutan.

Efforts to inspect crab have been intensified because of the oil spill, said Lynda Giguere, a Department of Environmental Conservation spokeswoman.

"We stepped up with more inspectors," Giguere said. "There's a lot more scrutiny."

Inspectors check the look, smell, feel and color of the crabs and run ultraviolet light over the them to reveal any evidence of oil contamination. So far they haven't found any evidence of oil during their tests.

"We're happy with the results," Giguere said. "It's always good news when a catch isn't compromised."

The Malaysia-flagged Selendang Ayu was en route from Tacoma, Wash., to China when it grounded and broke apart Dec. 8. In addition to a load of soybeans, the 738-foot-long vessel was carrying an estimated 424,000 gallons of intermediate fuel oil and 18,000 gallons of diesel. Most of the oil is believed to be lost and efforts are being made to offload what remains. The Selendang Ayu's owner, Singapore-based IMC Group, is responsible for salvage and cleanup costs.

Fairbanks man dies in shooting

FAIRBANKS - A 20-year-old man was killed by gunshots fired in a South Fairbanks apartment.

Eric R. Trinidad died Tuesday on the operating table after walking toward nearby Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Authorities had no suspects and no one was arrested Wednesday. However, the lead investigator, Lt. Dave Kendrick told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner there were clues to a possible motive.

"It's not an, 'Oh, jeez, somebody just killed this guy out of the blue"' situation, Kendrick said. "There are a few motives."

He declined to identify motives and would not say whether police found a weapon.

The shooting took place across from Hunter Elementary School.

Trinidad was a frequent visitor to the apartment building and may have lived there at times, Kendrick said.

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