Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, January 29, 2006

Man arrested on charge of vehicle theft

JUNEAU - Police arrested Phillip Wallen on charges of vehicle theft, failure to stop at the direction of a police officer, drunken driving and driving with a suspended license Friday night.

At 7:51 p.m., an officer attempted to make a traffic stop for erratic driving on Mendenhall Loop Road near Nancy Street. Wallen reportedly began to speed up and refused to stop when the officer activated his emergency lights. The car pulled to the side of the road near Tongass Boulevard, at which point the officer used the front of his police cruiser to pin Wallen's vehicle against a snow bank.

Wallen was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center without bail.

Group calls for end to wolf kill program

ANCHORAGE - The court battle over Alaska's aerial wolf-killing program continued Friday with an animal rights group requesting that planes with pilots and gunner teams stay grounded.

Friends of Animals, the group that has been waging a more than two-year court fight against the predator control program, filed a request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction late Friday afternoon - one day after the state approved emergency regulations to resuscitate the program.

The state has said permits were being reissued and the program could be up and running by as early as this weekend.

Jim Reeves, lawyer for Friends of Animals and seven Alaska plaintiffs, said the request to halt the program was made to Superior Court Judge Sharon Gleason in response to what he described as a "complete rewrite of the predator control program" by the board.

Fairbanks copes with poor air quality

FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough has issued advisories for poor air quality in the area, likely due to increased wood burning during the ongoing cold snap in Alaska.

The region has been under air-quality advisories for much of the month because of high concentrations of fine particles in the air. Fairbanks has seen more pollution from fine particles this winter than in any since 1999, when it began testing for it, said Ron King, with the state's Division of Air Quality.

The advisories mean people who suffer from heart disease or respiratory problems, as well as children and the elderly, should avoid prolonged exercise, said Jim Conner, an air quality specialist at the borough.

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