State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003

Seward's Day schedules

Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend office: open

All other state offices: closed

Legislature: in session

Federal offices: open

Libraries: Mendenhall open; Douglas, Downtown closed

Banks: open, except for Key Bank

Eaglecrest: open, no bus service, tubing hill closed

Treadwell Ice Area: open

Augustus Brown Swimming Pool: open

Zach Gordon Youth Center: closed

Bus service: unchanged

Fuel spills outside private home

JUNEAU - Police and fire officials had to clean up a diesel fuel spill at a private residence at 4452 Woodduck Avenue Friday evening. Officials said the stand supporting a 275-gallon fuel storage tank collapsed, causing the tank to fall and fuel to leak out into the yard and the street.

Fire officials said about 220 gallons of fuel leaked out. Firefighters shut the tank's valve. No one was hurt.

Police said in a statement the resident of the home had just had the fuel tank refilled on Friday when the stand collapsed.

Boat in Harris Harbor catches fire

JUNEAU - A fishing boat in Harris Harbor caught fire early Saturday, but the flames were extinguished by a bystander. No one was injured.

Officials said the fire began on the back deck of the boat and caused about $1,500 in damage. The fire marshal is investigating for arson. No other details were available.

Creditors line up for shot at dividends

JUNEAU - For creditors in Alaska, 8 a.m. Tuesday is a crucial moment.

That's when the state will allow filings for this year's Permanent Fund dividend checks to be garnished for debt. Collection agencies want first shot at the money because sometimes they're competing for a piece of the same dividend check.

Representatives from at least two collection agencies have been seen camping out in front of the State Office Building to be first in line.

"It's a lot like waiting in line for an Ozzy Osbourne ticket," Harry Robinson, Juneau branch manager for Northern Credit Services, told the Anchorage Daily News.

Last year nearly 67,000 dividend checks were garnished for $41 million.

Government agencies such as state child support enforcement and the Internal Revenue Service have first shot. Then the private collection agencies divide up what's left on a first-come, first-served basis.

There's only so much money to go around. Last year the private agencies collected less than $10 million of the roughly $130 million in dividend garnishments they had court orders for, according to state officials.

The race for funds takes place at the state office buildings in Juneau, Anchorage and Fairbanks.

National company buys Aero Services

KETCHIKAN - A national company has purchased Juneau-based Aero Services, Inc., which offers aircraft refueling and cargo handling.

Aero Services owner and founder Dick Roundtree made the announcement at a Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday.

Roundtree opened Aero in 1987 in Juneau and has since expanded the company's operations to Ketchikan, Sitka and Gustavus.

Texas-based company Trajen, Inc., purchased Aero last week, said Trajen financial consultant Joseph Voss.

"It's a great community. We're very happy to be here," Voss told the luncheon crowd. "We invested because we think there is a lot of value here."

Aero Services will continue to be operated under the Aero name.

Board working to pick education commissioner

JUNEAU - The state Board of Education and Early Development has outlined a process for picking a new education commissioner that will last until at least May.

The board's schedule calls for taking applications for the job until April 18 and interviewing finalists May 9.

In a news release, Board Chairman Richard Mauer said the board wants to close the achievement gap between Native and non-Native students and successfully implement the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The new commissioner will need to help Alaska meet those goals, Mauer said.

Candidates need at least a master's degree in education and five years experience in the field, including three as an administrator.

Final approval for the commissioner comes from Gov. Frank Murkowski.

Shirley Holloway, who was education commissioner under Democrat Gov. Tony Knowles, retired in February.

Murkowski, a Republican, appointed her to the state Education Board, so she will help pick her successor.

Three indicted in Palmer man's death

ANCHORAGE - Three Wasilla residents have been indicted on murder and other charges in the January death of a Palmer man, Alaska State Troopers said.

A grand jury in Palmer returned the indictments Wednesday against Alex Eric Headrick, 35, Erica Lynn Perry, 23, and Michael Allen Linn, 26. They are charged with first- and second-degree murder, tampering with physical evidence, theft, hindering prosecution, robbery and burglary.

Sean Michael McIntire, 41, was found dead on Jan. 23 in the bedroom of his home near mile 37 of the Glenn Highway. He apparently died two days before his body was found by a friend, troopers said.

Troopers said McIntire had been struck in the head during a robbery. Among items stolen were prescription drugs, two shotguns, collector knives, a sword and compact discs.

The suspects were all in custody Friday.

Police arrest teens suspected in shooting

ANCHORAGE - Police arrested three teenage boys suspected of firing a gun into an Anchorage home.

The 15-year-old boys were arrested early Thursday after the shooting in the city's Muldoon neighborhood. No one was injured in the shooting.

Police said the teens went to the home late Wednesday night to confront another boy who had fought with one of their friends earlier.

The boy inside the home refused to come out. One of the 15-year-olds pulled out a semiautomatic pistol and fired it at least four times into the balcony area of the home, police said.

Officers found the three juveniles at one of the boys' homes early Thursday, police said.



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