State and local briefly

Posted: Thursday, May 04, 2000

Boating safety bill passes

JUNEAU -- A boating safety bill Juneau Republican Rep. Bill Hudson sponsored was among the final pieces of legislation passed Wednesday night before the Legislature adjourned.

House Bill 108 would require all motorized recreational boats, plus kayaks and canoes longer than 10 feet, to be registered with the state and carry safety equipment. Children younger than 13 would be required to wear life jackets under the bill.

Other than the nonmotorized boats section, the requirements are already part of federal law. The primary purpose of the legislation is for the state to take over the federal program, thus becoming eligible for another $600,000 in federal funding.

That is money that can primarily be used for education in boating safety, Hudson said.

The measure has a five-year sunset clause, which means its provisions will expire in five years unless the Legislature then acts to extend them.

Search resumes for missing hunter

JUNEAU -- The search for missing Juneau hunter Robert ``Robbie'' Williams Jr. will resume briefly next month near Hoonah.

``The family went over there (to the Whitestone Harbor area near Hoonah) last weekend and did not come up with anything,'' said Sgt. Will Ellis of the Alaska State Troopers' detachment in Juneau. ``We are in the process of trying to put together a training exercise for the Civil Air Patrol cadets, and will do the exercise there,'' Ellis said.

Ellis has set a tentative date of June 3-4 for the exercise, a search and recovery operation seeking Williams' remains. ``We will set up an incident command post and maybe use some trained dogs,'' Ellis said.

The cadets are a junior branch of the active Civil Air Patrol. Ellis will use about eight cadets, ages 15 to 19, for the search effort.

Lightly dressed and carrying a rifle, Robbie Williams, 21, went deer hunting with three Hoonah men. He did not return to a rendezvous scheduled for the afternoon of Dec. 15. Relatives, professionals, trained dogs and helicopters searched for him for about 10 days. Storms, snowfall and deep, water-filled sinkholes made the original search difficult.

Smoke means fire -- practice, that is

JUNEAU -- Where there's smoke, there may be fire training.

Live fire training began Wednesday at the Hagevig Regional Fire Training Center and will continue through May 30, according to Chief Mike Fenster of Capital City Fire and Rescue.

The training center is located in grassland on Sherwood Lane near the Alaska State Troopers office in the Mendenhall Valley. Residents should expect live fire training at the center on May 6-7 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; May 11 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; May 13, 20 and 28, from 8 a.m. to noon; and May 30 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Also during May, airport rescue firefighters from the Glacier District will conduct hot drill training with airport fire apparatus. Total burn times for will be 35 to 40 minutes. Due to the emergency nature of their duties, Glacier personnel must fit this training into their schedule as it allows -- so they cannot provide the public with definite dates or times of their hot drills in advance.

For details, call the fire chief, 586-5322.

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