State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, May 14, 2002

Flooding hits Red Devil, Aniak; water recedes in Salcha

ANCHORAGE - Two villages on the upper Kuskokwim River in Western Alaska have been partially evacuated because of flooding. Meanwhile, high water receded Monday in Salcha, south of Fairbanks.

Nineteen of the 48 residents of Red Devil, 250 miles west of Anchorage, were airlifted to nearby villages in a National Guard helicopter Sunday.

Emergency personnel moved about 10 people who live in a low part of Aniak on Monday, said Jim Mackin of the state Division of Emergency Services. Aniak is about 317 miles west of Anchorage.

Some homes in Red Devil were waterlogged, though damage was mainly from soaking, Mackin said.

Authorities are monitoring ice conditions on the Kuskokwim and Yukon rivers.

Flooding occurs nearly every spring in Alaska as rising temperatures cause ice on the state's big rivers to gradually break up and float downstream. When the ice jams up, water backs up behind it and flooding results, either behind the jam or downstream when the ice suddenly lets go.

State and federal agencies issued flood watches Monday for Aniak, Akiak and Kwethluk.

At Salcha, high water started to recede after a half-mile-wide ice jam on the Tanana River broke Sunday night. Flood water had touched 50 to 100 homes on about 15 square miles.

Co. recalls some cantaloupes

ANCHORAGE - The Susie brand cantaloupe recalled over the weekend by a McAllen, Texas, importer likely was distributed in Alaska, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday.

The I. Kunik Co. said Saturday it was issuing a voluntary nationwide recall of the cantaloupe because it has been associated with outbreaks of illness in the United States and Canada.

The company said the organism Salmonella poona has infected dozens of people and can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and others with weakened immune systems.

Healthy people infected with the organism often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

No illnesses linked to the cantaloupe have been reported in Alaska, said Janice Adair, director of environmental health.

Flare gun sets trailer on fire

ANCHORAGE - A man burst into his ex-wife's trailer home Monday morning with a flare gun, firing two shots that struck her fiance and set the residence ablaze, police said.

Douglas Goldsmith, 49, was pulled out of the burning trailer more than two hours later by the Anchorage Police Department's Crisis Intervention Response Team. He had crawled underneath a bunk bed in an addition as the fire burned in the main part of the residence.

Marlon Cloud, 40, said he was in bed about 11:30 a.m. with his fiancee, Sandra Mosquito, 39. Their son Jamie, 12, was asleep on the floor.

"I heard the front door get kicked in, so I stand up," Cloud said. "He shot me, and the fire started."

Cloud, after being shot a second time, ran out the front door, followed by his fiancee and son.

Police said Goldsmith will face criminal charges when he is released from Providence Alaska Medical Center. Cloud suffered burns to his chest and back from the flares but was not hospitalized.

Officials estimated damage to the trailer at $100,000.

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