Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, February 20, 2004

Kmart seeks to be dismissed as defendant

JUNEAU - Kmart Corp. is asking to be dropped from a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged he was assaulted by security staff outside the Lemon Creek store in 2002, about a year before it closed.

Juneau resident Stephen McKinney filed a lawsuit against the store and three employees last summer in Juneau Superior Court, alleging two Juneau employees left him with permanent physical and emotional injuries in March 2002. His attorney, Larry R. Woolford of Juneau, wrote that security employee Chad McMullen and his supervisor, Frank Brian Rowcroft, assaulted his client, who was coming to the aid of someone he saw being assaulted outside the store.

Rowcroft, although a co-defendant, was ordered to pay nearly $100,000 in restitution to the Michigan-based discount department store chain after a jury found him guilty of first-degree theft.

In a motion filed earlier this month by Anchorage attorney Steven Tervooren, Kmart denies responsibility for the alleged injuries. Kmart also argues that McKinney must receive authorization from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Illinois to pursue his claim against the corporation in another forum.

The Kmart motion asks for McKinney to pay court costs it has incurred in response to the suit.

Rowcroft and McMullen have requested jury trials. The other Alaska defendant was Rowcroft's Anchorage-based supervisor, Clay Sellers. He has not responded to the suit. Originally, the suit misidentified him as Clay Fellers.

'Our View of the World' to air on Alaska One

JUNEAU - Ten Juneau residents will share their view of the world as Alaskans and Americans on KTOO-TV.

"Juneau: Our View of the World" will air at 10:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, on Alaska One. The 30-minute program, produced by KTOO, is based on interviews of Juneau residents conducted in the summer of 2003 by former Juneau Empire reporter Julia O'Malley. The show was created from their responses and is performed by actors.

Part of the national By the People initiative, "Our View" is intended to get people talking about America's role in the world.

"By the People's mission, to encourage and sustain an informed public dialogue on international affairs, is one we embrace," said KTOO-TV Station Manager Jim Mahan in a release. "We're extremely pleased to have been chosen as one of 15 public television stations around the country to receive a grant to help bring this vital nationwide exchange of ideas to Juneau."

KTOO and Perseverance Theatre will stage theatrical performances of "Our View" this spring.

The station also will assist community groups in sponsoring local discussions on world events. For more information on taking part in a discussion, please call KTOO at 907-586-1670.

Shrine to host female cancer survivor retreat

JUNEAU - Maureen Longworth, a Juneau physician, will host a female cancer survivors retreat from March 12-14 at the Shrine of St. Therese.

"It's sort of a way to hook people up and bring them together, and also to create a sort of sacred space for people to have a healing experience as a group," said Longworth.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer can sign up for the free weekend, although space is limited.

Funding for the retreat comes from money raised at the annual Beat the Odds breast cancer run in Juneau. The Glacier Valley Rotary Club organizes the race and donates the money to cancer research, treatment and support organizations.

The two-night retreat will include guided meditation, talking circles, massage therapy, healing touch therapy and energy balance work, said Longworth, who practices holistic as well as allopathic, or western, medicine.

For more information or to sign up for the retreat, call Cancer Connection, the organization formerly known as the Southeast Alaska Cancer and Wellness Foundation. The number for Cancer Connection is 796-2273.

Bill would end tax on some Alaska flights

FAIRBANKS - The U.S. Senate's version of a federal transportation bill would end a $3 tax on some rural Alaska flights.

The bill also calls for ending a separate tax on passengers using regularly scheduled floatplane flights.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, obtained the tax-killing amendments last week as the Senate finished the six-year bill authorizing transportation spending around the nation. The House of Representatives has yet to finish its version. After the two versions are merged, the bill will need President Bush's signature to become law.

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