State and local briefly

Posted: Wednesday, March 08, 2000

GCI warns about calling-card scam

ANCHORAGE - Phone company GCI is warning Alaskans about a calling-card scam that's already duped some people.

The phone scam aims at getting people to reveal their calling-card number. If successful, the number is then used to make hundreds of dollars worth of international calls. The calls are being made primarily from the United States to countries in the Middle East and Africa.

GCI spokesman David Morris said the scam callers are men and women, and identify themselves as representatives of GCI or AT&T. They say someone has stolen the person's calling-card number and is using it to make fraudulent international calls. They then ask for the calling-card number as a way for the person to avoid paying for the calls.

People are warned to not give out their calling-card numbers to anyone. Morris says Anchorage residents have been targeted in particular, though scam calls have been received elsewhere in the state.

Begich leads mayoral fund-raising

ANCHORAGE - Former assembly member Mark Begich continues to raise more money than his seven opponents in the Anchorage mayor's race. But other leading candidates aren't giving up, hoping to emerge from the pack and face Begich in a possible May 2 runoff.

Spending reports filed this week with the Alaska Public Offices Commission show Begich has raised $294,936 so far, almost double the $163,004 raised by the next highest fund-raiser, assembly member George Wuerch.

The two top candidates will advance to a runoff if no one wins 50 percent of the vote next month. Some polls show Wuerch out front among conservative candidates, but by a small margin.

Former assembly member Bob Bell is next in the fund-raising competition, having raised $64,073. State legislators Pete Kott and Dave Donley fell further behind, having raised only $44,734 and $44,073, respectively. Both have said their responsibilities in Juneau keep them from raising more.

Ad man Jack Frost is taking a different approach. Of the $47,959 he raised so far, $20,000 is his own. He plans to pour more cash if necessary into radio, newspaper and possibly television ads.

Fairbanks man guilty in killing

FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks jury has convicted a 29-year-old man of manslaughter in the beating death of a taxi driver.

Monday's verdict against John Holloway, who was charged with two others in the death of Maurice Lee Smith, came after two days of jury deliberations.

Holloway also was found guilty of tampering with evidence but dodged first- and second-degree murder charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Holloway, Dale Depue Jr., 19, and Shawn Aldridge, 18, were implicated in the beating death of Smith, 32, who was reported missing in August 1998 after he failed to show up for work and family gatherings.

On Tuesday, Depue and Aldridge pleaded no contest as expected to reduced charges of manslaughter and second-degree murder, respectively. They had been promised the reduced charges for testifying against Holloway.

On the stand, Holloway said his memory of the night was blurred by alcohol, having drunk at least a fifth of vodka and a fifth of peppermint schnapps.

Teen expected to survive shootout

ANCHORAGE - A teen-ager who was wounded in a weekend shootout with officers is expected to survive, but he may end up blinded, Anchorage police said.

Lamar Facine was hospitalized after the gunfight in east Anchorage early Sunday morning. Police were called to the city's Muldoon neighborhood by a resident reporting that someone had been firing a rifle. A woman driving by in a van had been shot at, but was not injured.

When police arrived, Facine reportedly fired a shot and struck the patrol car. Two officers fired back.

Police said they don't know what touched off the shootings. The boy suffered gunshot wounds to the head and arm. Police said one of the wounds may have been self-inflicted.

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