House delays budget vote
JUNEAU - The scheduled final debate and first floor vote on the House version of a state operating budget for the 2001 fiscal year was canceled Thursday.
The delay followed a bipartisan agreement brokered between the GOP-led majority and minority Democrats to put off debate so members could attend a retirement dinner for longtime lawmaker Sen. Al Adams, a Kotzebue Democrat.
``We have an evening activity honoring Sen. Adams that's scheduled,'' said Speaker of the House Brian Porter, an Anchorage Republican.
The budget was on the House calender for today's floor session.
Anchorage man faces child porn charge
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been indicted on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography, along with charges related to marijuana growing and selling, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Mark Williams, 53, was indicted Tuesday on the charges, according to prosecutors. The charges came after a raid on his home by Anchorage police on Feb. 29. Officers found marijuana plants, two firearms and a computer with images of child pornography that Williams was distributing to others, according to prosecutors.
Williams faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000 on a charge of establishing a marijuana manufacturing operation. He also faces substantial prison time and fines on the charges of distribution and possession of child pornography and on a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
It was the first Alaska case handled by the U.S. attorney's office charging someone with distribution of child pornography, according to prosecutors.
Barge incident kills man
ANCHORAGE - A Chignik Lagoon man died Thursday of injuries suffered when he was crushed between a barge being moored and the Chignik city dock, according to Alaska State Troopers. Marius P. Pederson, 48, died about 12:30 p.m., troopers said.
The barge was being used to ferry Department of Transportation workers out into Chignik Bay, on the Alaska Peninsula, so they could inspect mountains around the city for signs of impending avalanches.
An avalanche last week closed the road to Chignik and DOT workers were preparing to begin clearing it, but wanted to see if there were any other possible avalanches that needed to come down first, according to troopers.
Several other residents were at the scene when the accident occurred, and local aid workers administered CPR until a visiting doctor arrived and pronounced Pederson dead.
While the death was apparently accidental, Alaska State Troopers from King Salmon plan to travel to Chignik as soon as weather permits to complete their investigation.