Northwest Digest

Staff and Wire reports

Posted: Friday, February 04, 2005

Food program requires least expensive brands

ANCHORAGE - Clients of a supplemental food program for women and children will have to start buying the least expensive brands for some foods, Alaska health officials said Thursday.

The change in the federally funded Alaska Women, Infants and Children program is a result of rising food costs nationally, officials said.

Beginning next Monday, clients will have to buy the lowest priced brands available for each type of milk or cheese listed on the approved program list.

Some clients also might have reduced milk or juice food packages.

Cancer society seeks help for Daffodil Days

JUNEAU - The American Cancer Society is looking for volunteers to sell, deliver and wrap daffodil bouquets during its annual Daffodil Days campaign in Juneau, Anchorage, Eagle River, Matanuska-Susitna and Fairbanks.

Volunteers are needed to:

• serve as community and workplace sales representatives, taking orders and payments for daffodil bouquets from co-workers, friends and family, staring now through March 4.

• participate in the annual bouquet wrapping party on March 5.

• deliver flowers locally on March 7 and 8.

"The daffodil is the traditional first flower of spring and the American Cancer Society sees it as a symbol of hope that cancer will one day be eliminated," says Eva Loken, volunteer for the Daffodil Days event in Chugiak-Eagle River.

For more than a decade, the American Cancer Society has marked the beginning of spring with Daffodil Days. Daffodil Days is a five-week sales campaign, from Jan. 24 to Feb. 23, where volunteers across Alaska sell daffodil bouquets to raise money to support American Cancer Society research, advocacy initiatives, patient service programs and educational services.

Northwest-grown flowers will continue through Feb. 23, with delivery scheduled for March 7 and 8. Cost of each bouquet is $8, or $12 with the purchase of the royal blue acrylic vase.

Anyone interested in purchasing daffodils or becoming a volunteer can call Brooke Taylor toll-free at 1-800-478-9355, option 3.

Man's sexual abuse sentencing postponed

JUNEAU - A former Juneau resident who pleaded guilty in November of sexually abusing two preteen girls will have to wait until Monday to be sentenced.

Nelson Deschene, 36, appeared for sentencing before Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins Thursday afternoon. But Collins postponed the sentence to make sure Deschene knew what he was getting himself into with his plea.

Deschene faced 12 counts of sexual abuse of a minor - six in the first degree and six in the second degree - when he agreed to plead guilty to two of the second-degree charges.

Juneau District Attorney Patrick Gullufsen said the two sisters Deschene pleaded guilty to abusing were young and vulnerable when the acts were committed in 2002 and 2003. One was 8 or 9 and the other was 12.

Gullufsen said Deschene needed to be sentenced to consecutive prison terms for each offense because he took advantage of two victims.

"He needs to pay for that," Gullufsen said. He recommended four years to serve on each offense - eight years total.

The plea agreement did not specify a sentence, although it stated Deschene would be sentenced to serve at least two years in prison.

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