Northwest Digest

Posted: Friday, April 14, 2006

Man arrested for Lemon Creek stabbing

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JUNEAU - Police responded to a call at 10:07 p.m. Wednesday in the Lemon Creek area regarding a 35-year-old man who had allegedly been stabbed in the leg by his friend's estranged boyfriend.

A 32-year-old woman told police that 35-year-old Erick Ramirez Garcia left in a black Mercedes Benz after the altercation. Officers conducted a traffic stop on the Mercedes on Egan Drive a short time later and arrested the suspect without incident.

Garcia was charged with assault in the third degree, a class C felony, and was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Garcia could face 5 years in prison and a $50,000 fine for the felony charge if convicted.

The victim was treated and released from Bartlett Regional Hospital.

Alleged drunken driver hits school

A 25-year-old man was arrested on multiple charges after leading police on a high-speed chase from downtown to Douglas before crashing into the Juneau Montessori School in the early morning hours Thursday.

Leonard Altenburg was arrested on charges of felony failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, drunken driving, fourth-degree weapons misconduct, and criminal mischief.

Police attempted to stop the 1991 Honda Altenburg was driving in the downtown area at about 2:28 a.m. before heading toward the Douglas Bridge. According to police, Altenburg accelerated to a high rate of speed heading south on Douglas. The Honda was totaled after Altenburg attempted to make a turn from Third Street in Douglas onto St. Ann's Avenue and crashed into the school.

Altenburg was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital before police lodged him in Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Army releases name of killed soldier

FORT WAINWRIGHT - Army officials on Thursday identified the Fort Wainwright soldier killed in Iraq this week as Cpl. Kenneth Hess.

Hess, 26, of Asheville, N.C., was killed and two others from Fort Wainwright were injured Tuesday when a suicide bomber detonated a bomb. The specialist was posthumously promoted to corporal, Army spokesman Maj. Kirk Gohlke said.

The identities of the two wounded soldiers have not been released.

Hess's death is the second in Iraq involving a Fort Wainwright soldier in less than a week.

Spc. Shawn R. Creighton, 21, of Windsor, N.C., was killed Saturday when a roadside bomb detonated near his Stryker vehicle.

Both incidents occurred in Rawah, Iraq.

Creighton and Hess, as well as the two injured soldiers, were assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team.

UAA official gets post in Maryland

MCHENRY, Md. - Paul R. Dauphinais, director of a University of Alaska branch campus in Palmer, Alaska, will be the next president of Garrett College, the community college in Garrett County, Garrett College President Stephen Herman said Thursday.

Dauphinais will arrive in early June to succeed Herman, who is retiring after 20 years of service.

Dauphinais' last position was director of Matanuska-Susitna College, a campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage in Palmer.

California to raise farmers' electric rates

SAN FRANCISCO - State utility regulators voted Thursday to phase out electricity subsidies for California farmers along the Klamath River, a move fishermen and environmentalists hope will help save struggling salmon.

The five-member Public Utility Commission voted unanimously to raise electricity rates over the next four years for farmers who pump irrigation water out of the Upper Klamath Lake, the reservoir that feeds the river.

The commission's vote follows the Oregon Public Utility Commission's decision on Wednesday to implement a state law spreading the rate increase for farmers on the Oregon side of the river over the next seven years.

By making irrigation more expensive, fishermen and conservationists hope farmers will use less water, leading to higher flows. In recent years, low flows have resulted in dwindling stocks of chinook salmon.

Kidnap victim recalls joy at rescue

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The son of a millionaire, held captive by kidnappers for more than a week, spoke Thursday for the first time since his dramatic rescue, recalling his joy at seeing police officers break into a suburban house to free him.

"They busted through the door, and I was pretty excited to see the police," Graham McMynn, 23, told a packed news conference. "I mean, that was the best."

McMynn said he wasn't able to provide details about his ordeal, but added, "I was kidnapped. So it wasn't very fun."

He and his parents, Joanne and Bob McMynn, repeatedly thanked Vancouver police, but the University of British Columbia student acknowledged he had feared the worst at one point.

Police have filed kidnapping charges against six people arrested in simultaneous raids in the Vancouver area and on Vancouver Island.

McMynn was abducted April 4 by several armed men who boxed in his car on a road near his family's home in southwest Vancouver. His terrified girlfriend was left screaming on the street after the kidnappers snatched her cell phone.

She memorized one vehicle's license plate number, which gave police a crucial tip at the start of their investigation.

Inspector Dean Robinson said officers in the Vancouver command center were elated Wednesday when they heard the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had smashed down a door in a Surrey, B.C., home and rescued McMynn.

Police have said McMynn was targeted because of his family's money. Bob McMynn's company owns a fleet of buses across North America.

Those charged in the kidnapping are: Anh The Nguyen, 20, Tuan Nguyen, 21, Van Van Vu, 19, Joshua Ponicappo, 22, Jose Hernandez, 20, and Sam Taun Vu, 21. All are from the Vancouver area.

Canada tests for mad cow at dairy

TORONTO - Federal officials Thursday tested a British Columbia dairy cow suspected of contracting mad cow disease, potentially bad news for Canadian cattle ranchers still recovering from a two-year ban on their beef in the United States.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it was trying to confirm whether it is a new case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

In humans, eating meat products contaminated with BSE has been linked to more than 150 deaths, mostly in Britain, from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a rare and fatal nerve disease.

The cow was identified on a Fraser Valley farm through the national BSE surveillance program. It would be the fifth case in Canada since May 2003, when the U.S. border was closed to Canadian beef after the sick cows were detected in Canada.

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