State Briefs

Posted: Friday, April 19, 2002

Troopers find meth lab evidence

PALMER - A Wasilla woman was arrested after materials used to manufacture methamphetamine were found in two cars and a shed behind her home, Alaska State Troopers said Thursday.

Laurie Redington, 32, was charged with three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Redington was arrested and booked at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility on three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance. Bail was set at $50,000.

Redington, who is the granddaughter of Joe Redington, credited with establishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, was serving the last few weeks of her probation following a 1998 drug conviction. Her parole officer stopped at the home and tipped off troopers after suspecting drug activity.

Troopers look into Palmer shooting

ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers are investigating a shooting at a Palmer home that injured a 47-year-old man.

Troopers went to the home Sunday evening after receiving a call for an ambulance for a gunshot wound. Gregory S. Dufford was taken to Valley Hospital.

Trooper David Willson said Dustin Williams, 26, of Palmer was at Dufford's home when the incident occurred. Williams told troopers that he, Dufford and another friend had been drinking alcohol and playing with a handgun when it went off, striking Dufford in the face, Willson said.

The case is still under investigation, and no citations have been issued, Willson said. The case will be forwarded to the district attorney's office for review.

Williams was arrested on a separate outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court. He was taken to Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility in Palmer.

Fairbanks voters to consider fuel tax

FAIRBANKS - Residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough will vote on whether to impose a fuel transfer tax to reduce property taxes.

The borough clerk on Wednesday certified the signatures needed to bring the issue to a vote. A special election is set for June 25.

A citizens group called A Bright Future for Fairbanks says a fuel transfer tax would bring in $24 million - enough to reduce property taxes by 40 percent. The borough's tax structure has property owners bearing most of the borough's tax burden.

Williams Alaska and the Alaska Oil Marketers Association oppose the measure. They say it's unfair to target one industry. They also say state law prohibits a tax on many kinds of fuel, including jet fuel and heating oil.

Advocates of the tax dispute that. They expect most of the proceeds from the new tax will come from jet fuel Williams Alaska sells in Anchorage.

Williams Alaska is one of two North Pole refineries. Petro Star Inc. also operates a refinery. A spokesman for Petro Star could not be reached.

Watchdog for elderly hired

ANCHORAGE - The state has hired Ronald Cowan as the state's new long-term care ombudsman.

The ombudsman investigates and mediates complaints about the care of elderly Alaskans in nursing homes and assisted-living homes.

Cowan, 46, has worked in Alaska and in Washington state, supervising the licensing of health care facilities. He also has worked as a therapist and social worker.

"My agenda is to try to be seen as not only an advocate for the elderly but also as a resource for the providers" of health care, Cowan said. The state has had difficulty filling the ombudsman position in recent years. Cowan is the fourth person to hold the job since 1999. He will make about $63,000 annually.

Compiled from wire service reports.

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