State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2003

Man charged with attempted murder after Lemon Creek shooting

JUNEAU - A 31-year-old Juneau man is being held without bail on attempted murder charges after a shooting Saturday in Lemon Creek.

Thomas Schauwecker is accused of shooting a 40-year-old Juneau man in the back at about 11 a.m. Saturday after an argument in a residence near Churchill Trailer Park, according to Juneau police.

The victim, who was not identified, was shot near the left shoulder. The bullet exited without striking any vital organs, and police reported that the man was treated and released from Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Police and rescue personnel received the call shortly after 11 a.m. Saturday and found the victim at his residence. A preliminary investigation indicated that the victim went to a friend's residence, where the argument with Schauwecker occurred. During the argument, Schauwecker pulled out a pistol and shot the victim.

Schauwecker was located on foot in the area about 20 minutes after the first call to police, and he was taken into custody. He was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on one count of first degree attempted murder.

Juneau police continue to investigate the incident.

Holiday noise on Assembly agenda

JUNEAU - At Monday's meeting, the Juneau Assembly will consider changes to the city's noise ordinance that would limit when construction companies can operate on holidays.

Under a proposed change, loud equipment could be used from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on holidays, the same limit that applies on weekends. As written, the ordinance doesn't recognize holidays, allowing equipment such as pile drivers, power shovels and pneumatic hammers to be used from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends.

The Assembly also will review local funding needed to purchase 148 acres of private property near the Herbert River. Local groups helped acquire a $553,000 federal grant for the purchase. A $254,000 local match is required to complete the purchase and the city has received $2,000 in donations, according to the agenda.

Man gets 25 years for raping student

ANCHORAGE - A man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for raping and choking a 19-year-old student at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Michael Arthur Stephan, 35, pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced Thursday in Superior Court. The attack occurred last September.

Judge Dan Hensley sentenced Stephan to nearly the maximum possible.

DNA evidence proved crucial in the case. When the assault occurred, another man was charged after being wrongly identified by witnesses as the attacker. That man was set free when police realized his DNA was not a match for the evidence taken after the attack. Police then ran the DNA evidence through a database and got a match.

Stephan's DNA was in the database from a 1997 assault conviction.

Avalanche danger in Hatcher Pass area deemed 'significant'

ANCHORAGE - The state Division of Parks warned people heading to the Hatcher Pass area near Anchorage of a significant avalanche hazard.

An avalanche from Marmot Mountain trapped and partially buried a van Wednesday. Both occupants, a woman and her adult son, escaped unhurt.

The avalanche covered about 100 feet of the road, trapping 22 vehicles above it, including a state Department of Transportation road grader. The road was closed from 3:30 until 6 p.m., according to Dennis Heikes, Mat-Su superintendent for Alaska State Parks. The chute on Marmot Mountain slides frequently, sending snow onto the road nearly every year.

For this weekend, avalanche danger was still extremely high, Heikes said.

The danger is due to unstable snow from a layer of ice crystals covered with about 6 feet of recent snow, and high winds loading leeward slopes with snow.

Young introduces bill to provide land for Native veterans

WASHINGTON - Congressman Don Young recently introduced a bill that would amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to provide land for Native veterans.

Young, an Alaska Republican, said the measure would affect about 2,800 Alaska Natives who served in the military during the Vietnam War and didn't get a chance to apply for a Native allotment.

The measure expands the military service dates for those eligible to the entire length of the war. As written, the Act only affects those who served from 1969 through 1971.

The bill would also replace existing use and occupancy requirements, Young said.

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