State Briefs

Posted: Friday, March 15, 2002

Lost snowmachiner rescued

ANCHORAGE - A 51-year-old Toksook Bay man was found safe after getting lost on a snowmachine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

Charles Moses was rescued Tuesday, a day after he was reported missing to Alaska State Troopers. He was not injured.

Moses was driving from Toksook Bay to Nunapitchuk. Search parties from those two villages left Tuesday morning, joined by a troopers airplane.

He apparently got lost after he became disoriented while driving at night, according to troopers.

State unemployment rate falls

ANCHORAGE - Alaska's unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent in February, state labor officials said.

That's a decrease of about two-tenths of a percentage point from January. However, the number was still higher than the nationwide rate of 6.1 percent.

The number of unemployed Alaskans decreased by 581 in February to 23,675 people. Not since 1990 has the state's number of unemployed people been so low in February.

Most areas of the state saw small decreases. But Anchorage's rate edged up slightly.

Caribou roadway hunting banned

FAIRBANKS - Archers no longer will be allowed to hunt caribou from the roadway along the Dalton Highway Corridor.

The state Board of Game voted 4-3 Thursday to prohibit all hunting within a quarter-mile of the road north of Fairbanks. The board cited growing concerns about road-hunting archers on the highway.

"I've heard a lot about people just jumping out of their cars and launching arrows," board Chairman Ben Grussendorf said. "I don't want people shooting from the road."

The corridor is a 250-mile swath of the Dalton Highway from the Yukon River to the Arctic Ocean. It sits in the middle of the Central Arctic Caribou Herd's range.

The area is a magnet for archers because rifles are prohibited on each side of the highway for five miles. Last year, archers reported taking 215 caribou in the corridor.

The board is meeting until Sunday in Fairbanks to consider changes to hunting and trapping regulations in the Interior.

Conservation projects get funds

ANCHORAGE - Fifteen conservation projects in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska will receive a total of about $200,000 in federal grants.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Region Coastal Program provides technical expertise and funds for partnerships that identify, restore and protect coastal areas in Cook Inlet and Southeast.

Program funds will allow the Southeast Alaska Land Trust to craft a conservation strategy for popular coastal habitats north of Juneau.

Yakutat will investigate the economic benefits of designation of a non-regulatory shorebird reserve on the Yakutat Forelands.

Unalaska regulates adult shows

UNALASKA - The Unalaska City Council has passed strict regulations that will require a new strip club to relocate.

The ordinances passed unanimously Tuesday cover how and where adult businesses can operate. They prohibit such establishments from operating within 300 feet of a church, school, youth-oriented business, playground or residential development.

One of the ordinances makes the location of the strip club Mermaid illegal. The business will have up to a year to relocate to an acceptable area.

A separate law regulates the business itself, including hours of operation, minimum distances between dancers and patrons, and how dancers may be tipped.

At a previous meeting, the council passed a prohibition on public nudity, which will require dancers to wear g-strings and pasties when they perform.

All of the regulations went into effect after Tuesday's meeting.

Rabies could spread south

DILLINGHAM - The rabies epidemic in northern Alaska may have spread south.

A fox from New Stuyahok and another from Koliganek sent recently to a state lab for rabies testing came up positive, said Ward Jones, a Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. injury prevention specialist.

No foxes have been picked up with suspected rabies in Dillingham, even though an aggressive fox was chasing children in a city subdivision a couple of weeks ago.

Rabies is always in the population, but when the population of foxes is high, as it is now, it can become an epidemic, Jones said.

As of last month, the state virology laboratory in Fairbanks had tested 166 animal carcasses from rural villages since Oct. 1. Of those, 66 tested positive for the disease.

So far 15 people, mostly in villages near Barrow, have been exposed to rabies. Treatment for exposed humans involves five doses of shots over four weeks, plus a shot of human rabies immune globulin.

The disease infects the central nervous system and eventually causes death.

Attorney to head Tanana Chiefs

FAIRBANKS - Buddy Brown, an attorney who grew up in the Koyukuk River village of Huslia, has been elected president of Tanana Chiefs Conference.

Brown, 32, recently worked as TCC's staff attorney. He was elected to the presidency Thursday during the conference's annual convention.

Seven people ran for the top spot of the nonprofit corporation, which has a $76 million annual budget. Brown defeated incumbent Steve Ginnis and TCC Vice President Donne Fleagle.

TCC is authorized by the leadership of its 42 communities to provide health and social services and other programs.

Seminar on employer security tax

JUNEAU - Employers' questions about quarterly filing of contribution and wage reports, taxability of wages, contribution rates or similar issues including state and federal legal requirements will be answered at a seminar from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, March 19.

Bruce Garrison of the Department of Labor will explain the employer security tax. The seminar will be held at the Juneau Job Center, 10002 Glacier Highway, in the Mountain View conference room.

For details, call Michael Hutcherson at 465-2958.

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