Northwest Digest

Posted: Friday, January 26, 2007

Homer shootout gets federal attention

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ANCHORAGE - The shooting of a Kenai Peninsula fugitive by law enforcement officers last year may have violated Alaska law, and the incident will be reviewed by the U.S. Attorney's office in western Washington.

State prosecutors announced Thursday that the shooting of Jason Carlo Jacob Anderson in the parking lot of the Homer airport was investigated by Alaska State Troopers and reviewed by their office.

Prosecutors shared their findings with the U.S. Attorney General's office in Anchorage and the matter has been assigned to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Washington to avoid any conflict.

Anderson, 31, of Duluth, Minn., died in the shootout and his 2-year-old son, also named Jason, was critically wounded.

Anderson had been living under an assumed name with his girlfriend and their two young children. He was wanted on a federal arrest warrant for methamphetamine trafficking.

On March 1, Anderson was in a rented car with his two children at the Homer airport. Two federal marshals assisted by four Homer police officers tried to serve a federal arrest warrant on Anderson and a shootout ensued.

Anderson was hit nine times. The 2-year-old was shot in the face and critically wounded.

Dr. Franc Fallico, the state's chief medical examiner, concluded that Anderson was mortally wounded by the gunfire. He also concluded that Anderson shot his son before turning his gun on himself. A 6-month-old girl in the vehicle was not wounded.

Idaho plans to charge $26.50 to bag a wolf

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho hunters may soon be able to kill a wolf legally.

Idaho plans to charge $26.50 per tag for residents who want to bag one of the predators in a public hunt, once federal Endangered Species Act protections are lifted. The cost would be $256 for out-of-state hunters.

The Fish and Game Commission also plans a special hunt outside a regular wolf season. Those tickets would be offered to the highest bidder or in a lottery.

The commission approved the plan Thursday at a hastily called special meeting on a package of changes that now must be approved by the Legislature.

Wolves were reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains - including Idaho, Montana and Wyoming - a decade ago after being hunted to near-extinction. More than 1,200 now live in the region, including about 650 in Idaho.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced plans to begin delisting the animals from federal protections in Idaho and Montana as soon as this month.

65-year-old woman beats mountain lion

SAN FRANCISCO - State wildlife officials on Thursday credited a 65-year-old Fortuna woman with saving her 70-year-old husband's life by clubbing a mountain lion that had his head gripped in its jaws until the animal let go.

Jim and Nell Hamm, who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Feb. 9, were hiking in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park on the far North Coast when he was attacked by a single lion, Supervising Ranger Maury Morningstar said.

"He didn't scream. It was a different, horrible plea for help, and I turned around and by then the cat had wrestled Jim to the ground," Nell Hamm said in an interview from the hospital where her husband was recovering from a torn scalp, puncture wounds and other injuries.

Game wardens, who closed the park and released hounds to track the mountain lion, shot and killed a pair found near the trail where the attack happened.

Nell Hamm said she grabbed a four-inch wide log and beat the animal with it, but it wouldn't relinquish its hold on her husband's head.

"Jim was talking to me all through this, and he said, 'I've got a pen in my pocket and get the pen and jab him in the eye,"' she said. "So I got the pen and tried to put it in his eye, but it didn't want to go in as easy as I thought it would."

When the pen bent and became useless, Nell Hamm went back to using the log. The lion eventually let go, and with blood on its snout, stood staring at the woman, who screamed and waved her wooden weapon until the animal slowly walked away.

"She saved his life, there is no doubt about it," said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game.

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