State Briefs

Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2002

Steamship Wharf hearing scheduled

JUNEAU - Juneau Assembly members will accept testimony about proposed changes for the Steamship Wharf-Marine Park area at a meeting April 8.

The city is working on plans to add bus staging, a pedestrian plaza and green space to the Marine Park-Steamship Wharf area. About 75 people stopped by an open house about the project on Wednesday. Information about the project will be posted on the city's Web site by this weekend, according to city Engineering Director John Stone.

An Assembly committee work session about the project is at noon April 1 in Assembly chambers. The Juneau Assembly will accept public testimony about the changes at 5 p.m. April 8 in Assembly chambers.

People can send written comments about the project to the city manager's office at 155 S. Seward Street, Juneau, AK 99801.

Chena River ice road closed

FAIRBANKS - One of Fairbanks' surest signs of spring probably won't occur this year.

The state Department of Transportation has blocked entrances to the Chena River ice road to prevent cars from going through the ice.

The ice road crosses the Chena River from Chena Small Tracts Road to Pike's Landing Road in front of the Princess Hotel. Motorists use the road to cross the river in winter.

A vehicle going through the Chena River ice road is almost an annual event in Fairbanks, and is considered one of the first signs of spring.

People can still drive onto the river using the boat ramp at Pike's Landing Restaurant and Sports Lounge, but they won't be able to exit at Chena Small Tracts Road or Pike's Landing Road. The Department of Transportation has put large piles of snow at both access points.

Armed man robs Fairbanks bank

FAIRBANKS - An armed man robbed the First National Bank Alaska on Tuesday and then fled in a vehicle, Fairbanks police said.

The man entered the bank at about 5:35 p.m. He walked up to a teller and demanded cash.

Police Lt. Dusty Johnson said the robber had a handgun, but did not brandish it or point it at anyone. The teller emptied her till, and the man fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

Police said a red Ford Bronco with a tan stripe was spotted in the area and may be connected to the crime.

Johnson said he suspected there was at least one accomplice involved in the robbery. Two people were seen in the Bronco.

First gray whales spotted near Seward

ANCHORAGE - A tour vessel has reported the first confirmed gray whale sighting in Alaska waters so far this season.

A cow and her calf were spotted south of Barwell Island off Cape Resurrection on Saturday by the crew of the tour vessel Alaskan Explorer.

The gray whales of the eastern North Pacific Ocean began their 5,000-mile spring commute from Mexico to the Chukchi Sea about a month ago.

An estimated 26,000 gray whales are expected to swim from the warm lagoons of the Baja California coast, where mating and calving take place, to their summer-fall feeding grounds in the Arctic seas, said Leslie Hines, an education coordinator with the Kenai Fjords tour company in Seward. The whales begin their return trip in October and are gone from the Arctic by late December.



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