Alaska Digest

Posted: Monday, February 12, 2007

Man dies, three hurt in Angoon house fire

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ANCHORAGE - A fire at an Angoon home left a man dead and three others injured, Alaska State Troopers said Sunday.

Charles L. Nelson, 23, of Angoon died of smoke inhalation from the fire Saturday.

Jessie N. Jim, 23, of Angoon was listed in critical condition Sunday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she was taken for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns.

Two other Angoon residents suffered from smoke inhalation. They were identified as 18-year-old Michael J. Lane and 36-year-old Ernest K. Joseph, a volunteer fire fighter.

Both were treated at Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The cause of the fire is believed to be unattended cooking in the kitchen, troopers said.

Renter arrested after homeowner assault

JUNEAU - A Mendenhall Valley renter was arrested Saturday after being accused of assaulting a homeowner and falsely telling police that the homeowner threatened to shoot them.

When Juneau police responded at 3:40 a.m. to the 8400 block of Thunder Mountain Road, they found the renter outside the house and had to restrain him.

They determined that the homeowner had threatened the renter with a firearm to protect himself and make the renter leave. But the homeowner, 59, denied saying he would shoot the police.

The renter, 39, was arrested on charges of domestic violence assault, filing a false police report and interfering with an officer. All three offenses are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $10,000 fine. He was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Vending machines burgled at school

JUNEAU - Someone broke into Floyd Dryden Middle School at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and stole from three vending machines next to the gym entrance in the lobby, Juneau police said.

Damage was estimated at $500 to the vending machines, and $1,000 to the doors and windows of the school.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Juneau police at (907) 586-0600. Anonymous tips can be left at the Juneau Crime Line, (907) 586-4243.

Men survive crash, night in wilderness

ANCHORAGE - Two Alaska men are crediting their faith for surviving a plane crash, a quarter-mile slide down a mountain and a night in the wilderness.

The two church workers were found by searchers Friday morning, a day after their single-engine Aero Commander crashed into a snowy mountain.

Pilot Jim Bingman, 69, and passenger Gavin Thompson, 54, walked away from the crash and spent the night in a makeshift shelter more than a mile away. A helicopter rescue crew spotted them waving clothing and jumping up and down.

The plane went down above tree line on a mountain about 10 miles west of Manokotak, a village in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.

Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Air National Guard tried to reach the plane by zeroing in on its emergency locator beacon late Thursday but were turned back by stormy weather. The search resumed early Friday.

Village faces bridge vote a third time

ANCHORAGE - Residents of Nondalton will vote a third time on whether to build a bridge connecting their village to Iliamna, a proposal they've rejected twice.

The community of about 200 people is on the west shore of Six Mile Lake, between Lake Clark and Iliamna Lake.

Villagers last year at the city and tribal level rejected a proposed one-lane bridge that would provide a link over the Newhalen River to Iliamna.

The project calls for three large piers spaced about 100 feet apart in the water.

Officials in the Lake and Peninsula Borough have pushed for the bridge and are unhappy about the no votes. The next vote also will poll other towns strung around Iliamna Lake. Nondalton residents worry about being outweighed by six neighboring villages who are not as affected by the proposed bridge.

Physician sentenced in drug possession

ANCHORAGE - A Palmer doctor convicted in federal court of possession of a controlled substance was sentenced to three years probation.

Dr. Dennis Lynn Mickleson, 57, was accused of illegally ordering 1,000 pills of a prescription anti-anxiety medication.

He pleaded no contest Dec. 1 to a single misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance, the federal prosecutors said Friday.

Driver indicted in dragging death

FAIRBANKS - A grand jury has indicted a North Pole driver whose car apparently dragged a woman four blocks, killing her.

Kevin Garner, 25, was indicated on a manslaughter count in the death of Catherine Ahsoak, 53. Her body was found last weekend under a 2005 Honda Civic driven by Garner.

Police say Ahsoak may have been lying in the street when she was struck.

Fairbanks police said Garner's struck Ahsoak in the early morning hours Feb. 4 and dragged her body four blocks to a 20th Avenue home. He left the car apparently unaware it had hit the woman. A neighbor spotted Ahsoak under the car at daybreak and called 911.

Garner also was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to stop and render assistance following a traffic accident.

A $25,000 warrant was issued for Garner's arrest.

Ahsoak's cousin, Nate Ahsoak, said he was glad Garner was indicted. His cousin's death was an accident, he said, but Garner should have known he had hit someone.

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