State briefs

Posted: Friday, March 08, 2002

Hurley released from hospital

ANCHORAGE - The former archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage has been released from a San Francisco-area hospital.

Francis T. Hurley, 75, was released Thursday from the Seton Medical Center in Daly City, Calif., an archdiocese spokesman said.

Hurley was taken to the hospital Feb. 24 after fainting during a private Mass at his sister's home in San Francisco. The fainting spell was caused by two partially blocked arteries.

Hurley underwent surgery in which a metal sleeve was put in each artery to normalize blood flow, Brother Charles McBride said.

No injuries in plane crash

ANCHORAGE - Four people on board a Cessna 208 walked away with no injuries when the plane crashed early Thursday morning about 50 miles southeast of Barrow, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Cessna was substantially damaged. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. According to the FAA, the accident occurred after the baggage door opened on approach. A state records database lists the plane's owner as C & R Leasing LLC of Fairbanks.

Boy accused of molesting sister

ANCHORAGE - A boy, 14, is accused of molesting his 9-year-old sister in Alakanuk.

The boy was arrested Monday on a charge of sexual abuse of a minor in the fourth degree, Alaska State Troopers said.

Troopers said the incident took place Feb. 6 at a foster home where the children were staying. During the investigation the boy told troopers he himself had been sexually molested on Feb. 5 while the siblings' parents were out of town, troopers said. That claim is still under investigation.

The boy was taken to Bethel Youth Facility. The sister also told troopers that an older male sexually abused her while he was giving her a snowmachine ride in February, troopers said. They are still investigating that case and have no suspects.

Lawmakers scatter for break

JUNEAU - Most lawmakers headed out of town Thursday for an annual break, a tradition that started several years ago so a handful of legislators could attend meetings on energy policy in Washington, D.C.

This year eight of 60 lawmakers are attending meetings of the Energy Council. They are Anchorage Republican Rep. Joe Green, Valdez Republican Rep. John Harris, Fairbanks Republican Rep. Bud Fate, Angoon Democratic Rep. Albert Kookesh, Kotzebue Democratic Rep. Reggie Joule, Anchorage Republican Rep. Eldon Mulder, Anchorage Democratic Sen. Bettye Davis, and Palmer Republican Rep. Scott Ogan.

Other lawmakers returned to their home districts or headed to the Lower 48. At least three legislators, along with a number of staff members, are attending a lobbyist-organized trip to Las Vegas. The contingent includes Eagle River Republican Rep. Pete Kott, Kenai Republican Rep. Mike Chenault, and Anchorage Republican Sen. John Cowdery.

Legislators and staff pay for transportation, lodging, golf fees and other entertainment in Las Vegas, but lobbyists say they will pay for at least some drinks and food, including a reception Friday night.

Lawmakers return to work Wednesday.

Collision cause of whale death?

KODIAK - A Cuviers beaked whale found on a beach on the east side of Kodiak Island last weekend probably died after a collision with a boat, according to marine investigators.

Project coordinator Stacy Studebaker said researchers found a huge gash in the left side of the whale and a cut behind its pectoral flipper. The cut behind the flipper may have severed the muscle, rendering the flipper useless, making the whale unable to swim and possibly causing it to drown.

Chugach district accepts award

WASHINGTON - Representatives of the Chugach School District received a Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award on Thursday for outstanding educational achievements.

President George Bush presented the award to Superintendent Richard DeLorenzo at a White House ceremony. The award was the first for a school district.

The Chugach district office is in Anchorage. It serves 214 students in Whittier, Chenega Bay and Tatitlek, and at extension sites in Valdez, Anchorage and Fairbanks.

The district was recognized for delivering instruction in the workplace, community, home and school. The district uses a standards-based system and relies heavily on technology.

Judge closer to federal post

Washington - State Judge Ralph Beistline of Fairbanks is another step closer to being Alaska's next federal judge.

His nomination was unanimously approved Thursday by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. It now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

Beistline is expected to fill the vacancy left by H. Russel Holland's retirement last year.

Alaska Sens. Frank Murkowski and Ted Stevens welcomed the unanimous support shown by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Murkowski said Beistline, who was born in Fairbanks, has the ability to fully understand the complex issues the state faces.

"Judge Beistline, throughout his career, has built a reputation of providing reasoned and prudent legal judgments. It is a testament to his ability that he won such quick approval from the panel," Murkowski said.

Campaign schedules annual fly-in

JUNEAU - The Building Bridges Campaign for Mental Health has completed a draft agenda of its 9th annual Fly-in to Juneau, March 11-16.

On March 11, the Alaska Community Mental Health Directors will meet. Bridges' mentor training will be held in the Tongass Room of the Goldbelt Hotel. On March 12, from 1 to 5 p.m., the Bridges Campaign will convene at McPhetres Hall.

On March 13, from 7 to 9 a.m., a Legislative Breakfast Reception will be held in the Treadwell Room of the Baranof Hotel. At noon, a lunch will be served for consumers of mental health services at the Green Doors Club House of the Juneau Alliance for Mental Health. The rest of the day will be occupied with the campaign and with Capitol Hill visits.

On Friday, March 14, the Alaska Mental Health Board will conduct an open forum for Bridges from 6 to 8 p.m. at Green Doors. More sessions of the board will continue through Sunday. Building Bridges' Anchorage office can be reached at (907) 563-9880 or toll free at (866) 478-0880.

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