State and local briefly

Posted: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

Troopers continue underwater search

JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers are continuing their search for the body of Travis Mason, 16, who fell from a personal watercraft when it capsized just before midnight Friday in the waters off the Mendenhall Peninsula.

The search is concentrating on an area near Spuhn Island where trained dogs twice detected human scent. On Tuesday, divers used an underwater camera in an area where the depth is 25 to 40 feet.

Today's search was to begin around noon and include another check of the Spuhn Island shoreline, said Greg Wilkinson, trooper spokesman in Anchorage.

Troopers have also consulted a marine expert in Anchorage, who is piecing together a tide trajectory of the area. ``This may give us more information about where this young man's body has gone,'' Wilkinson said.

Filleted salmon limits set

JUNEAU - Anglers returning to any port connected to the Juneau road system are prohibited from filleting, mutilating or heading sport-caught king and coho salmon until the fish have been brought to shore and offloaded, unless the fish have been consumed or preserved onboard.

The regulation is intended to maximize fishery information through the angler interview program. Reduced numbers of tagged kings and cohos hurt the ability of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to assess the size of stocks for management purposes. The program doesn't affect shore fishermen, the department's Mark Schwan said.

More information is available by calling the Fish and Game office in Douglas at 465-4320.

State Farm raising auto insurance rates

ANCHORAGE - State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. says it will boost its rates in Alaska by an average of 1.4 percent in mid-May.

State Farm said the overall premium changes will vary depending upon coverage, vehicle type, where the owners live, who drives the vehicle and how much it's driven.

State Farm said this was its first auto rate increase in Alaska since 1996. The company claims to insure about 25 percent of all Alaska vehicles.

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