Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Reward offered in Ketchikan High theft

JUNEAU - Ketchikan High School is offering a $1,000 reward in response to the theft of uniforms, electronic equipment and other items from members of the Kayhi basketball team Friday.

Ketchikan Kings coach Doug Nausid told the Ketchikan Daily News the reward is being offered for information leading to arrest and conviction of the people responsible and the return of stolen goods. Some of his players had placed backpacks and gym bags in a Juneau-Douglas High School classroom Friday after arriving at the school by bus. They went back to the bus to get other equipment and returned to find several of the bags stolen.

Stolen items textbooks, clothing car keys and eye glasses. For Friday night's basketball game, some players ore regular shorts or practice jerseys or wore C-team players' uniforms, according to Nausid.

Juneau School Superintendent Peggy Cowan said Monday she was aware of the thefts. The high school is investigating the matter. Students found to be involved would face school discipline as well as criminal prosecution, she added.

"I think it was a really unfortunate incident. We want to be good hosts and welcoming to other teams."

Two of the Ketchikan students' belongings were found scattered around the school, according to Nausid. One jersey was found outside the school, attached to a statue of the JDHS Crimson Bear mascot.

House allows recorking of wine

JUNEAU - Restaurant customers could take home their opened bottle of wine under a bill that passed the Alaska House on Monday.

The measure, by restaurateur and Fairbanks Republican Rep. Jay Ramras, would require the bottle be fully recorked or sealed and packaged under rules set by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

Ramras said the bill is an effort to make the streets safer from drunk drivers. Consumers are reluctant to leave behind what they have paid for, he said.

"Human nature is such that we say 'You finish it,' 'I'll finish it,' 'Let's finish it,"' he said. "We consume the remaining contents and although I like to think it doesn't bring anyone over the legal limit, it certainly does increase the blood alcohol content of those people."

Ramras says 33 other states allow the recorking of wine.

But David Guttenberg, D-Fairbanks, said he would like to know if the measure has made a difference in other states.

"Maybe now people will buy a whole lot and say 'We can take it home' but instead of taking it home, they do drink it," he said. "I think that whole psychology of what happens at the dinner table goes both ways."

The bill passed 34-1. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bill is House Bill 382.

Two fire fatalities in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE - The city of Anchorage recorded its first fire fatalities of the year with two people killed in a house fire, officials said.

Christopher Ihde, 22, and Krystal Bridge, 19, died Sunday night.

The fire was reported shortly after 9 p.m., said Tom Kempton, Anchorage Fire Department spokesman. A rescue crew was first to arrive at the two-story single-family home east of the Seward Highway.

"All I can tell you right now is that during the initial search, victims were discovered in the residence and were brought out," Kempton said.

He said the structure was fully involved when firefighters arrived.

"They had fire blowing out of the lower section of it. They described it as mostly coming out of the lower portion of the structure - what is an attached garbage area on the west side of the structure," Kempton said.

Crews had the blaze under control within the hour.

The house did not appear to be a total loss, Kempton said. The home looked as though it had undergone recent remodeling, he said.

The deaths were Anchorage's first fire fatalities since James Stanley Bodnard died in February 2005. Bodnard, a guest at the Rodeway Inn in the Fairview neighborhood, died after accidentally starting a blaze while smoking in bed.

Troopers ID men presumed lost at sea

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man and another from Washington were the crewmen on board a vessel presumed lost at sea off Unalaska Island.

Scott Trible, 35, of Anchorage, and Frank Richard, 43, of Federal Way, Wash., were on board the 50-foot Northern Dawn out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska State Troopers said.

Trible and Richard were collecting empty pots from the Baridi tanner crab fishery.

The Coast Guard command center in Juneau took an electronic position-indicating radio beacon from the vessel at 5:31 a.m. Thursday. The beacon is triggered when it hits saltwater. The signal indicated the vessel was two miles off the Bering Sea side of Unalaska Island.

The command center issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and dispatched a C-130 aircraft from Kodiak, which arrived on the scene at 7:45 a.m.

A Good Samaritan fishing vessel, the Pinnacle, took part in the search.

The Coast Guard diverted the cutter Alex Haley and the helicopter it carries took part in the search.

Searchers found a life ring and the Northern Dawn's electronic position-indicating radio beacon. Searchers also spotted a small oily sheen in the water but could not locate the vessel or the men.

The search was suspended Friday night.

Unalaska Island about 800 miles southwest of Anchorage.

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