Northwest Digest

Posted: Monday, January 22, 2007

Juneau vehicles shot

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JUNEAU - Two vehicles were shot in the early morning hours Sunday on Killewich Street, Juneau police said.

Officers responded at 11:19 a.m. and spoke with witnesses who said they heard gunshots at 5:53 a.m. One witness said a dark-colored SUV was seen in the area when the shots were fired. No injuries were reported.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Juneau police at (907) 586-0600 or Crime Line at (907) 586-4243.

Regent used UA seal to back grant request

FAIRBANKS - Former Mayor Jim Hayes used his current title of University of Alaska regent to bolster a federal grant request for LOVE Social Services, a nonprofit organization run by his wife and the center of a federal theft and money laundering case.

Hayes, 61, and his wife, Chris, 56, were indicted last week on federal charges of theft, conspiracy and money laundering. The indictment claims they funneled more than $450,000 in government grants to fund construction of a church where Jim Hayes is the pastor.

Alaska law and university policy prohibit public officials from using their positions for personal gain or the gain of their family.

In 2003, LOVE Social Services was trying to secure a $745,000 grant from the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Jim Hayes, who serves on LOVE Social Services' board of directors, supplied a letter of support.

"The seal is supposed to be used for official university business," said UA spokeswoman Kate Ripley. "That is in our policy and in our regulations."

Hayes is not being investigated by the university for his actions, Ripley said.

Thieves break into, damage nine chuches

ANCHORAGE - Nine churches in Anchorage and others in Wasilla have been the targets of burglars since December.

Six of the break-ins have been in Eagle River.

The thieves have pried open doors with crowbars, broken into safes and made off with Sunday collections, according to police.

In most of the cases, the thieves have left thousands of dollars worth of damage, setting off fire extinguishers and destroying office equipment.

"I think they were being destructive. Once they didn't get what they were looking for, they started beating things up," said Russ Bott, facilities manager for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eagle River.

Police are gathering information on the cases, said Lt. Paul Honeman. "We suspect one person or group is responsible for them all."

The burglaries may be connected to several thefts at coffee shops near the churches, he said.

Several denominations have been struck and thieves seem most interested in cash in church offices.

Safeway nixes growth hormone in milk

PORTLAND, Ore. - Got Milk? Safeway does but it doesn't have a controversial artificial growth hormone anymore.

The grocer chain said milk suppliers for the grocer's Northwest processing plants have stopped using recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH. The artificial hormone is injected into dairy cows to make them produce more milk. It has been tied to increased udder infections and the resulting antibiotic use by dairies, and it has raised fears of greater cancer risks among humans.

Monsanto Co. markets rBGH under the brand name Posilac. Monsanto and many dairy farmers who want increased yields from their herds contend that milk from cows treated with the hormone is identical to that from untreated cows.

Safeway's decision affects milk supplied to processing plants in Clackamas, Ore., and Bellevue, Wash. Those plants process and package milk circulated in Alaska stores.

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