Northwest Digest

Posted: Monday, March 12, 2007

Police: Teen steals vehicle from driveway

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JUNEAU - An intoxicated 18-year-old man was accused of stealing a 2001 Toyota 4Runner on Sunday morning while it warmed up in the owner's driveway, Juneau police said.

The owner checked on the vehicle at 6:48 a.m. at a house in Mendenhall Valley and saw it was missing.

Police said they found William Hinchman driving it on Mendenhall Loop Road near Mint Way. Hinchman was arrested on charges of vehicle theft, DUI, driving without a valid license and underage drinking. He was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Household income to determine hunt

ANCHORAGE - Household income has become the new criteria for determining who can hunt the Nelchina caribou herd, according to a decision by the state Board of Game.

Under the new rules, a hunter from a household earning $51,640 or less will gain points toward a permit, while hunters from a household bringing in more could be disqualified, depending on how many people the household supports.

Game board members weren't available for comment.

The rules will go into effect for the permit application process in May.

Anchorage man says son should get life

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man wants to see his son spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of the teenager's stepmother.

Stephen Cotting said in a letter read on his behalf Friday during a sentencing hearing that 18-year-old Colin Cotting deserves a maximum sentence for the 2004 killing. Superior Court Judge John Suddock is expected to make a decision when the hearing resumes Monday.

Colin Cotting pleaded no contest in November to murder and sexual assault. He was accused of beating his stepmother, Carol Cotting, to death with a baseball bat, raping her and stuffing her body in a chest freezer when he was 16.

District Attorney KeriAnn Brady asked that the teen be sentenced to 107 years and that parole be restricted until after he serves 66 years.

Anchorage has lowest gas prices in nation

CAMARILLO, Calif. - Gasoline prices have gone up an average of 20 cents per gallon nationwide in the past two weeks.

The retail price of self-serve regular gas rose to $2.55 cents per gallon, according to the latest Lundberg Survey released Sunday.

Nationwide, the highest average price for regular gas was $3.10 per gallon in San Francisco. The lowest, at $2.22 per gallon, was in Anchorage.

As of Friday, a gallon of midgrade gasoline averaged about $2.66, and premium cost nearly $2.76, according to the survey of 7,000 gas stations across the country.

Aleutian geese make California comeback

ARCATA, Calif. - Once on the verge of extinction, Aleutian geese have made a healthy comeback - but some ranchers say the grass-eating birds have become so prolific they're destroying Northern California's valuable cow pastures.

Escaped foxes from Alaskan fur farms hunted them throughout the early 20th century. By the 1970s fewer than 1,000 Aleutian geese were left. They became protected under the 1971 U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Ecologists' efforts to reduce the fox population and rebuild the goose population were successful. The birds were removed from the endangered list in 2001. The population is now thought to exceed 100,000, growing as much as 20 percent a year.

Thoughtful hunting policies could reduce the Aleutian goose population to about 60,000 individuals - enough to keep breeding but minimize pasture destruction, said Dan Yparraguirre, a California Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist.

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