Posted: Monday, April 30, 2001

Power outage damages equipment

JUNEAU - Downtown Juneau went black for nearly an hour Saturday about 7 p.m. Power was out in the Mendenhall Valley for almost two hours and other areas also were affected. The Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. is still sorting out the knot of causes.

"It started with the Annex Creek power line," said David Stone, vice president and director of consumer affairs for AEL&P. "A guy wire which holds the pole at an angle failed. The pole snapped, and then another pole snapped. Crews made temporary repairs, and when they went back to connect it up, another pole failed."

The combination of ingredients resulted in a dead fault that went all the way back to the Snettisham Hydroelectric Project, damaging some equipment. "For a while there we were totally in the dark and had to manually close feeder breakers" at the Thane substation, Stone said.

As of this morning, one generator at Snettisham was in service. A second was down for annual maintenance. And a third had a problem with its governor, "perhaps a computer card that needs to be replaced," Stone said. Power is being produced using diesel generators, but he believes Juneau will be back on hydroelectric power by the close of the day.

Stone could not give an estimate of the value of the damaged equipment. No injuries were reported as a result of the outage. However, Capital City Fire & Rescue was called about 7:22 to extricate a woman who had been stranded in an elevator in the Goldbelt Hotel.

House OKs breast and cervical cancer bill

JUNEAU - Some women who lack health insurance could receive treatment for breast or cervical cancer under a bill that passed the House on Sunday.

House Bill 65 would take advantage of a change in federal law that lets states provide treatment through Medicaid for women whose breast or cervical cancer is detected through a federally funded screening program for low-income women.

Women whose income is less than 250 percent of the poverty level would be able to receive treatment as long as their cancer was detected through the federal screening program, and they don't have insurance. That means a single woman earning $26,075 would qualify without having to spend down her assets.

The state estimates it would treat about 42 women a year using a $413,000 federal grant, which requires a state match of $175,000.

The measure passed the House 35-0. An identical bill is in the Senate Health Education and Social Services Committee.

Big Anchorage fire caused by cigarette

ANCHORAGE - A fire that tore through 18 apartments in south Anchorage, displacing 42 residents and causing an estimated $400,000 in damage, was caused by a cigarette.

No residents were injured in Friday's blaze, but a firefighter suffered a broken nose.

The fire was caused by a cigarette that had been snuffed out in a planter on a second floor balcony, said Cleo Hill, a spokeswoman with the Anchorage Fire Department. The tenants confirmed they were smoking on Friday and put out their cigarettes in the planter.

The 36-unit building is divided by a fire wall in the center, so firefighters were able to contain the blaze to the eastern 18 units.

Dog still missing after trailer fire

JUNEAU - Muffin, the dog that has been missing since a trailer fire Wednesday afternoon, has not reappeared.

Jennie and Donald Carpenter, Muffin's owners, still are hoping their pet can be found. Muffin is a yorkie-poodle mix, tan with a long tail, wearing a purple collar with a license.

Meanwhile, the Carpenters are having experts look at their trailer to see if it can be repaired. "My landlord (at Glacier View Trailer Court) is trying to find me another trailer" in the meantime, Jennie Carpenter, 73, said this morning.

News of Muffin should be phoned to 364-3006.

Big Bad Wolf will have his day in court

JUNEAU - In Tuesday's celebration of Law Day, the Juneau court system will stage the mock trial of the Big Bad Wolf vs. the Three Little Pigs - in costume.

The trial will be performed twice, once from 10:30 a.m. to noon with court staff, and again from 1:30 to 3 p.m. with students from Juneau Community Charter School. "We think it is a wonderful opportunity for the public and students to learn more about the judicial system," said Neil Nesheim, area court administrator.

Appellate arguments also will be presented at 8, 9:40 and 11 a.m. by Juneau-Douglas High School. The court action will be at the Dimond Courthouse at Fourth and Main streets downtown.

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