Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, April 15, 2007

Three Alaska-based paratroopers killed

ANCHORAGE - Three Fort Richardson paratroopers were killed in two bombings in south Baghdad on Thursday. All were assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

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The Army has not named the paratroopers, but the mother of one identified her son as Spc. Cody Putman, a member of the 40th Cavalry Regiment, according to The Associated Press. Putman, 22, was originally from Monticello, Ind.

One of the paratroopers died when his patrol was struck by a roadside bomb, according to a statement from Fort Richardson. Another paratrooper was seriously injured in that incident.

Two paratroopers were killed when a car bomb exploded and caused several buildings to collapse, the Fort Richardson statement said. It was not immediately clear which incident took Putman's life.

Five paratroopers were seriously injured in the vehicle bombing, and two were listed as not seriously injured. All the injured soldiers were evacuated to the 28th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq.

Putmans mother, Pam Mow, said he had been home on leave two weeks ago. He was married and leaves a 3-year-old daughter.

Counting Thursday's deaths, five Fort Richardson paratroopers have been killed in Iraq this week. Thirty-one 4th Brigade soldiers have died since deployment in October 2006.

Group shifts focus to renewable energy

WASILLA - Members of the Matanuska Electric Association met to discuss how to bring about an end to the co-op's plan for a coal-fired generation plant.

The group wants to shift the focus on researching and promoting renewable energy alternatives to the 100 megawatt coal plant the utility has planned to open in 2015.

About 50 people gathered for the meeting Thursday.

"It was a good turnout," said Bill Erickson, a meeting organizer. "We started a coalition of small groups and they'll build and coalesce and make something solid."

Erickson is spearheading a campaign to gather signatures to force MEA to allow his group to present its alternatives to coal at a special meeting before the MEA board of directors.

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