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Posted: Monday, January 24, 2000

Mill problems slow mine work

JUNEAU - An electrical malfunction with a grinding mill at the Greens Creek mine on Admiralty Island was corrected during an emergency service call Friday night from General Electric, according to mine manager Keith Marshall.

The shutdown of the semi-autogenous grinding mill on Wednesday, caused by a burned out control board, could have affected shifts for up to 60 employees, Marshall said. Some employees were immediately reassigned to duties associated with contingent operation plans.

After work through the night Friday into Saturday, the problem was corrected and the mill restarted, Marshall said. No shifts were canceled, he said.

The Greens Creek mine, with 266 employees, was recently cited as the No. 1 private employer in Juneau by the Juneau Economic Development Council.

Conservation group gets $1 million grant

ANCHORAGE - Lowell Thomas Jr., former state senator, lieutenant governor, Bush pilot and television producer, has donated $1 million to the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the state's largest conservation group. The gift brings the environmental group's endowment to more than $2.3 million.

The donation is the second in a year for Thomas. In May he made a $1 million endowment gift to the Alaska Pacific University Nordic ski program. ``The state's been so good to me and the family,'' Thomas said. ``There comes a time in life when one feels they should give something back.''

Thomas' gift comes quickly after another major boost for the state nonprofit conservation foundation. Earlier this month, multimillionaire David Rockefeller Jr.'s Alaska Fund for the Future merged with the conservation group to funnel Lower 48 conservation donations to Alaska.

Thomas' donation remains the largest single gift to the conservation foundation in its 20-year history, executive director Deborah Williams said.

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