Northwest Digest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Friday, January 28, 2005

Man gets jail time for vandalizing cars

JUNEAU - A man accused of kicking side mirrors from vehicles in the Marine Parking Garage in the early hours of Dec. 1 has been ordered to serve 150 days in jail.

Malcom D. Tullis, 22, agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree criminal mischief to resolve felony charges of third-degree criminal mischief. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to appear on the charge.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks sentenced him to an additional 30 days for missing his court date. For the criminal damage offense, Weeks suspended 150 days from a 270-day sentence and placed Tullis on probation for three years.

Restitution will need to be determined within 90 days, Weeks added, though he ordered that Tullis will have to pay at least $200 per month, beginning 30 days after his release from jail.

Police reported that 17 vehicles were damaged in the incident that led to the arrest. Damage was initially estimated at more than $5,000, before all of the victims were notified.

Fish board extends sockeye season

KENAI - New rules to allow Cook Inlet commercial drift fishermen to fish sockeye salmon earlier in the season have been adopted by the state Board of Fisheries.

The board failed to do away with "window" closure periods that east side setnetters said were causing too many fish to escape up the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. Setnetters use nets staked to a beach.

Commercial drift and sport fishing representatives told the Peninsula Clarion of Kenai they were happy with the board's decision.

"It's all a compromise," said United Cook Inlet Drifters Association President Roland Maw.

Maw said the board action, which granted drifters additional time in July and August, will help fishermen get to fish sooner and spread the harvest out more, something that will add to the overall quality of the product.

Kenai River Sportfishing Association President Ron Rainey said his group was pleased with cooperation behind the scenes between sport and commercial interests.

Nonetheless, because the closure windows were allowed to remain in place, setnet fishers said they were far from happy.

Changes passed by the board will allow managers to grant setnet fishermen more hours of emergency order fishing time. Central district drift fishers will be allowed additional openings.

Damaged research boat heads to Hawaii

ANCHORAGE - A damaged Semester at Sea research vessel with 990 people on board changed course Thursday in a calmer Pacific Ocean and headed for Hawaii for repairs.

The 591-foot Explorer had been destined for Midway Island but chose to take the longer route to Honolulu for repairs, the Coast Guard said.

Semester at Sea is a study-abroad program for undergraduate students with the goal of giving students a more global perspective.

The Explorer lost power in three of its four engines Wednesday when a 50-foot wave broke bridge windows, damaged controls and injured two crew members. The vessel was about 650 miles south of Adak, which is 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Crew members were able to start a second engine but could manage just 10 knots - about 11.5 miles per hour - in 35-foot seas and winds gusting to 50 miles per hour.

Seas diminished Thursday to 15-foot seas with winds of 20 mph.

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