State and local briefly

Posted: Monday, February 21, 2000

Plane lands on not-so-frozen lake

ANCHORAGE - Four passengers and a pilot had to be rescued Sunday after their plane landed on Lake George and broke through the ice.

The single-engine Cessna 180, operated by Bush Air, had taken off from Merril Field for a flightseeing trip to the Lake George area, 25 miles southeast of Palmer. The accident occurred about 1 p.m., said Alaska National Guard spokesman Maj. Mike Haller.

``Apparently they were flying around flightseeing. They made a landing on what they thought was a solid icebed. They found the ice was soft and the aircraft plunged through the ice,'' Haller said.

Another aircraft passing over the area spotted the plane in the lake and contacted the FAA, which notified the Rescue Coordination Center.

When a helicopter crew with the the 210th Rescue Squadron of the Alaska Air National Guard arrived on the scene, the pilot and four passengers were sitting on the wings of the plane.

``They were cold and wet, but in otherwise good condition,'' Haller said.

The helicopter crew inflated a raft and brought the five to shore. They were loaded aboard the helicopter and taken to Alaska Regional Hospital.

Worker killed in port explosion

ANCHORAGE - A welder was killed in Friday's explosion at a jet fuel cleaning and recovery business has been identified.

Dale Stetler, 44, of Palmer was welding a vent line atop a large wastewater tank at Energy Recovery Services Inc. when the explosion occurred. Fire department spokeswoman Bridget Bushue said the tank must have contained a combustible product.

The explosion in the Ship Creek area of Anchorage ripped a large hole through the roof and sent steel support beams flying into the air.

Energy Recovery Services cleans contaminated jet fuel so it can be reused.

Man sentenced in kidnapping case

FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to two years behind bars for assaulting his long-time girlfriend last January.

Aaron Kozevnikoff, 34, had originally been charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and assault after he allegedly held his girlfriend captive for a month. He was accused of kicking her with steel-toed boots, strangling her with his forearm and threatening to kill her.

The state dismissed all but one count of felony assault when Kozevnikoff agreed to plead no contest. Kozevnikoff faces more charges for a July incident in which he allegedly jumped into his ex-girlfriend's vehicle, driving her and their children around for hours, drinking alcohol and threatening to kill her.

He has been charged with kidnapping, third-degree assault and fleeing from police in that case, which is still pending.

Lake to be sampled for contamination

KENAI - Chugach Electric Association plans to sample sediments from the bottom of Kenai Lake in coming months to look for possible PCB contamination from the Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Project.

Chugach asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to make a $6.1 million upgrade to the Cooper Lake powerhouse. FERC approved the request in October but asked Chugach to work with Fish and Wildlife and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game on plans to keep pollution from spilling into Kenai Lake during construction.

Recent tests found no evidence that the Cooper Lake Hydroelectric Project is currently releasing PCBs into Kenai Lake. However, they did detect PCBs inside the plant, in the grease used to lubricate the turbines.

Until 1989, Chugach had discharged grease and water that dripped from the turbines into Kenai Lake, said Burke Wick, power plant superintendent for Chugach Electric Association.

Wick said grease dripping from the turbines no longer goes in the lake. The drippings now drain to an oil-water separator installed in 1989.

Under a revised plan to contain contamination during the power plant upgrade Chugach will drain water from the powerhouse before work begins to avoid releasing contaminants to the lake.

Red king crab fishery closing soon

JUNEAU - The personal use red king crab fishery near Juneau will be closed by emergency order next week.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced the closure for Gastineau Channel, Stephens Passage and a portion of Lynn Canal will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Feb. 29.

In 1999, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted a regulation allocating 50 percent of the allowable red king crab harvest in Section 11-A to the summer personal use fishery, 10 percent to the winter personal use fishery, and 40 percent to the winter commercial fishery.

The winter personal use fishery began Oct. 1, with an allocation of 1,241 legal male red king crab. An in-season harvest survey by Fish and Game indicates that the harvest level will be reached this month.

Personal use fishing for red king crab can continue outside of Section 11-A through March 31. Golden (brown) king crab, Dungeness crab and Tanner crab may still be harvested in 11-A.

Permit holders must return their permits with completed harvest information by April 15, even if no crab were harvested.

Sun outages could disrupt service

JUNEAU - ``Sun outages'' could affect cable television, Internet and long-distance telephone service through March 6, according to GCI.

Brief disruptions are possible for satellite-based Internet and telephone systems between 11:04 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. each day until then. Each outage could last up to eight minutes.

Cable television could be disrupted from 9 a.m. to 12:01 p.m. each day from Sunday through Feb. 29. An eight-minute degradation of picture is possible.

Earth-based systems, such as GCI's fiber optic cable for Internet connections, won't be affected.

Sun outages are semi-annual interruptions that occur when the sun is located directly behind a satellite and in line with an antenna on the ground, creating noise energy greater than the communication signal level.

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