State Briefs

Posted: Monday, March 04, 2002

N.Y.C. police on hand for K-9 dedication

ANCHORAGE - New York Port Authority Police Officer David Lim was on hand Friday for the dedication of a dog named Sirius.

The renaming of the 2-year-old Belgian Malinois was to honor Lim's canine partner, who was also named Sirius and was killed Sept. 11 in the collapse of the World Trade Center. The dog's body was later recovered from the rubble and given full honors by the New York City Police Department.

Lim and his family attended a ceremony held at the National Guard Armory Building at Fort Richardson.

The Public Safety Employees Association's trooper chapter provided the money to purchase the dog, now called Trooper K-9 Sirius. Sirius and his human partner, trooper Lee Baker, will be stationed in Fairbanks following their training. Before heading back home, Lim was to head to Fairbanks where he was going to try mushing a dog team.

Canadian accused of pot smuggling

KETCHIKAN - A 46-year-old Canadian man tried to smuggle 42 pounds of marijuana into Alaska, but was nabbed on his boat near a remote Southeast Alaska island, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Peter J. Drewry of Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, was arraigned Friday in Ketchikan District Court on the charges. He was arrested Thursday after troopers boarded his boat near Duke Island, south of Metlakatla

Trooper Sgt. Kurt Ludwig said the drugs were not on the boat, but were nearby. Ludwig said the investigation was continuing, and there might be further charges.

Drewry is charged with fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and is being held on $100,000 bail.

Accused pipeline shooter to appeal

FAIRBANKS - The attorney for accused trans-Alaska oil pipeline shooter Daniel Lewis says he will appeal a federal conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Attorney Sue Ellen Tatter said the charge tends to be selectively levied and not applied uniformly.

"The problem with status laws like felon in possession is that they carry a great penalty and the government can choose which to enforce," she said. "That kind of law really fosters discriminating application."

A federal jury needed less than two hours Friday to find Lewis guilty. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 at sentencing May 6.

He is set to be tried in September on more extensive state charges in connection with the pipeline shooting.

Senate OKs law on concealed handguns

JUNEAU - A law requiring Alaska law enforcement officials to honor concealed handgun permits from all other states won final approval in the Senate on Friday.

The measure was passed after a failed attempt by Sen. Lyman Hoffman, a Bethel Democrat, to require those traveling to Alaska notify the state they are traveling armed.

Hoffman wanted to require out-of-state people who legally carry concealed weapons in Alaska to notify the state Department of Public Safety. The amendment failed 13-5.

The measure that first passed the Senate on Wednesday would require state law enforcement to honor concealed carry permits from other states regardless of whether those states have extended such a privilege to Alaska.

It would lower the threshold under current law, which requires other states to meet Alaska's standard for eligibility or to honor concealed handgun permits of Alaskans.

Knowles appoints state's first space and missile defense officer

ANCHORAGE - An Army National Guard colonel has been appointed Alaska's first assistant adjutant general for space and missile defense.

Gov. Tony Knowles said Col. Jim Welch will assist with directing the development of the missile defense program in Alaska and look for natural connections to commercial space operations and scientific developments within the University of Alaska.

The position was created last year in legislation sponsored by Knowles. "The primary responsibilities of the job are to ensure smooth planning, development, and subsequent operation of the national missile defense program in Alaska by the Alaska Army National Guard," said Phillip Oates, commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Welch will report to Oates. Welch now works as a team leader for British Petroleum at the Milne Point field.

Gas plant on target for April start

ANCHORAGE - A pilot plant in Nikiski for testing BPs technology to convert natural gas to liquid fuels is on track to start by April, a project manager said.

The $86 million plant will be used to test new technology BP has developed, including a compact reformer that's about a fortieth the size of a conventional unit. About $40 million of the total was spent in Alaska.

Testing at Nikiski could go on as long as five years, according to Steve Fortune, the project's engineering manager.

GTL engineering manager Steve Fortune said the technology designed around the unit is more efficient and more environmentally sound. About 100 to 120 workers are on site, Fortune said.

Plans call for eventually using a solid oxide fuel cell unit that will convert low-pressure natural gas directly into electricity through a chemical reaction similar to what is used in a battery. The fuel cell will produce direct current electricity and convert it to alternating current, the kind of electricity commonly found in household power outlets.

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