House drops license requirement
JUNEAU - Social Security numbers would no longer be required for purchase of sport fishing and hunting licenses under a bill approved Friday by the House.
House Bill 311 would repeal a law the Legislature approved two years ago under threat of losing federal money. Congress required states to provide Social Security numbers on recreational licenses to help track parents who do not pay child support.
Sponsor Rep. John Coghill, a North Pole Republican, said he filed the bill in response to repeated requests from constituents who resent the invasion of their privacy. Coghill noted testimony by Child Support Enforcement Division Director Barbara Miklos, who acknowledged that her agency does not use information from fishing and hunting licenses to track down deadbeat parents.
``Not one has been used to find any parent in arrears,'' Coghill said.
Opponents said the opportunity to flout federal requirements was not worth the risk of losing $77 million. According to the Department of Revenue, Alaska could lose $14 million in federal funding for the child support enforcement program and $63 million in temporary assistance for needy families, a program that provides public assistance to low income families with children.
``Other states have received warnings,'' said Rep. Beth Kerttula, a Juneau Democrat. ``What's to say we won't be the state that gets nailed?''
HB 311 was approved 28-10 but could come up for another vote today.
Man killed in Anchorage accident
ANCHORAGE - Police have identified a man killed early Sunday morning in a rollover accident as 46-year-old Johnnie Bostick of Anchorage.
Investigators say Bostick was driving westbound on Fifth Avenue in Anchorage shortly before 7:30 a.m. when he lost control of his pickup truck and it flipped. Bostick was ejected about 60 feet from the vehicle and killed.
A witness told police the truck flipped several times and struck three light poles in front of a car dealership. Seven cars on the lot were damaged in the accident.
Bostick was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police say alcohol and drugs are suspected as a contributing cause in the accident.
Former prison nurse arrested in pot bust
PALMER - A former nurse in the state Department of Corrections was arrested last week after Alaska State Troopers say they found a large marijuana growing operation in her home.
Seventy marijuana plants, scales and packaging materials were discovered when troopers searched the home of Vicki J. Amodei, 43, troopers said.
Amodei, who has no previous criminal record, told investigators she knew the plants were in her house but that they belonged to other people, court documents said.
Amodei worked at Hiland Mountain Correctional Facility from January until March.