State Briefs

Posted: Friday, February 07, 2003

Eaglecrest reopens bunny hill

JUNEAU - Eaglecrest Ski Area will open its beginners' hill for free again this weekend. At the same time, its staff and board of directors are working out options for season-pass holders.

Eaglecrest is not considering giving up on the season, said Business Manager Gary Mendivil.

"Snow always happens," he said today.

The Platter Pull, or beginners' lift, and its adjoining hill will open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday with lessons at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. About 200 people showed up for a similar opening last weekend. The lodge cafeteria and rental and repair shop also will be open Saturday and Sunday.

The area opened for a few days around New Year's Day, then closed because of lack of snow. No snow is predicted in the National Weather Service's forecast for the next week.

Mendivil said the Eaglecrest board and staff have been discussing credits rather than refunds for season-ticket holders. No option, however, is off the table, he said.

The board is expected to make its decision at a meeting Tuesday night, he said.

Island Princess arrival delayed

JUNEAU - The cruise ship Island Princess will miss six sailings to Alaska this summer because of delays at a French shipyard.

The ship has been delayed at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in France, where it is under construction, according to Princess Cruises. As a result, the ship's inaugural Alaska cruise will be July 12 and it will make 10 sailings this summer instead of 16, said Kirby Day, shoreside operations director for Princess Cruises and Tours in Juneau.

The 2,000-passenger ship is scheduled to sail from Vancouver to Southeast Alaska and Seward.

The company plans to send six ships to Alaska this summer: the Island Princess, the Coral Princess, the Star Princess, the Sun Princess, the Dawn Princess and the smaller, 700-passenger Pacific Princess.

The new Diamond Princess, which was scheduled to sail in Alaska, won't be coming this summer after it was damaged in a fire at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries shipyard in Japan last fall.

Man jailed in illegal hunting case

FAIRBANKS - A West Virginia man who Alaska State Troopers charged with 17 hunting violations has agreed to a plea deal and must serve 39 days in jail.

Brad A. Short, 22, of Harpers Ferry, W. Va., pleaded no contest last month to seven of the 17 violations he was charged with in September in exchange for the dismissal of the other charges, according to court documents.

The violations stem from the illegal killing of three moose and two caribou in the Fairbanks area during the summer and fall of 2001.

Short was sentenced to 315 days in jail with 276 days suspended as well as five years of probation. He was given until Monday to travel from West Virginia to Alaska and turn himself in to authorities.

Crutchfield also ordered Short to pay $6,685 in restitution and forfeit several hunting rifles and animal parts. His privilege to hunt in Alaska has been suspended for life.

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