Posted: Friday, February 02, 2001

Man arrested on sex assault charge

JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department responded about 2:15 a.m. Thursday to a reported rape on Davis Avenue in the Lemon Creek area. A woman said she had been assaulted, and described her assailant, according to police Capt. Tom Porter.

Officers arrested a suspect, Sonny C. Cortez, 28, at 4:57 a.m. on Fourth Street on a charge of first-degree sexual assault. Cortez was taken to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

According to Juneau court records, Cortez has no previous criminal record.

Moose plan could include predator control

ANCHORAGE - A task force appointed by Gov. Tony Knowles has recommended a compromise plan to boost Interior moose populations that could include killing bears and wolves near the village of McGrath.

Knowles said a year ago he would not approve any predator control programs without further study, and in June he appointed the six-member task force to look at the issue around McGrath.

The plan, released Thursday, severely restricts hunting of moose, and it halves the number of moose the group expects the area to support.

The proposal also recommends the baiting of black bears to make them easier for hunters to kill and even the possibility of trapping and killing of bears by the state Department of Fish and Game. Bears and wolves prey on moose and caribou.

Residents around McGrath and in other parts of the state have asked the state to control the number of wolves to make more moose available for hunting. Opponents of predator control have argued that killing wolves is a simplistic approach to trying to maintain artificially high populations of moose and caribou for the benefit of human hunters.

Knowles and Fish and Game Commissioner Frank Rue will decide whether to implement the recommendations. The state Board of Game also would need to approve parts of the plan.

Some critics of past predator control efforts said they don't like the idea of implementing any plan to kill bears and wolves without more study.

Mike Fleagle of McGrath, a Game Board member and a longtime proponent of predator control, said McGrath residents would go along with the plan.

Leo Keeler, a task force member who has opposed predator control, also stood by the plan except for one point: a recommendation suggesting Fish and Game contract with a few local pilots to do land-and-shoot wolf hunting.

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