Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Man charged with assault of child

JUNEAU - A 25-year-old Juneau man appeared before a Superior Court judge Tuesday on a charge alleging he assaulted a 23-month-old boy last summer.

Peter D. Paulo Jr. was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of second-degree assault. The assault was alleged to have occurred on June 2, 2003, 16 days before the child's second birthday.

The charge alleges Paulo recklessly caused the child serious injury. If found guilty of the charge, Paulo could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutor Richard Svobodny showed the judge pictures of the injuries inflicted on the child. He said the child had injuries all over his body and had been diagnosed with shaken-baby syndrome.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins maintained bail at $10,000, the figure set by Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks when he issued an arrest warrant after the indictment was handed down. Alaska State Troopers reported serving the warrant at 1:30 p.m. Monday and lodging Paulo in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Collins appointed the Office of Public Advocacy to represent Paulo. She scheduled his trial for May 3.

Trident closing its Chignik plant

KODIAK - Seattle-based Trident Seafoods is closing its Chignik salmon-processing plant, leaving a five-village community with one processor for the 2004 salmon season.

In a letter to the Chignik Fishermen's United Village of Chignik, the company said it was closing the plant because it had not been able to buy enough fish during the last two years to make operating the plant profitable. Trident said it lost millions of dollars on the plant.

The company stressed its commitment to marketing and product promotion, and said it had been willing to accept the risks involved in operating during recent downturns in Chignik salmon runs.

But it said since the implementation of the cooperative fishery there, the company has not been able to get enough raw product.

Trident cited the co-op's refusal to guarantee the company 20 percent of its 2004 sockeye harvest for a price competitive with Norquest as the only reason for closing its plant.

Axel Kopen, president of the Chignik Seafood Processors Alliance, which manages the cooperative, said Tuesday that co-op fishermen have been in negotiations with Trident. First, they asked for 45 percent of the overall harvest of the Chignik run. Then, Trident demanded that the co-op guarantee them 20 percent of the co-op run, but price was not part of the talks, Kopen said.

Forest Oil downsizes Redoubt Shoal

ANCHORAGE - Forest Oil has re-evaluated Cook Inlet's Redoubt Shoal and reduced estimated proved reserves by 49 million barrels to just 8 million barrels.

Craig Clark, Forest Oil's chief executive, told analysts last week that the company is "very disappointed" in the reduction in proved reserves at Redoubt. He said Forest finished its detailed technical review and has results back from the independent third-party review.

Lower productivity in the mature Cook Inlet basin had become apparent earlier in 2003. Clark said lower productivity, combined with lower reserves and high drilling costs, forced the reduction in the estimate of recoverable oil.

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