Alaska Digest

staff and Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2004

Juneau doctor recovering from heart attack

JUNEAU - Dr. Henry I. Akiyama, who experienced what he described as a "serious" heart attack in his Juneau office Monday, said he was resting comfortably Wednesday in a Seattle hospital.

Akiyama was transferred Wednesday from the cardiac care unit at Virginia Mason Medical Clinic to its cardiac telemetry unit for observation.

He said he received immediate medical attention from Dr. Nate Haddock, his office staff and Capital City Fire & Rescue personnel, who took him to Bartlett Regional Medical Center.

Akiyama said Dr. Todd Huttenlocher and hospital medical staff stabilized him before he was flown to Seattle by Airlift NW.

Tuesday, Dr. Gordon Kritzer, his cardiologist at Virginia Mason, inserted a stent to unblock a coronary artery vessel. Akiyama said the procedure was successful and he continued his recovery without further complication.

Akiyama said he was thankful for those who provided him with excellent medical care. He also said he wanted "to thank the people and the community of Juneau for all of their support and encouragement."

He said he hopes to be discharged soon and return to Juneau.

BB gun assault, robbery alleged of boys 12, 13

JUNEAU - Police said Tuesday they anticipate felony charges against two boys, 12 and 13, amid allegations that the youths shot two girls with a BB gun and demanded money from them last week.

Neither of the girls, also 12 and 13, was injured or required medical treatment in the May 12 incident, according to police. One was shot in the leg and one was shot in the foot. Neither of the fired projectiles penetrated the skin.

On May 12, police responded to the Lemon Creek residence of one of the victims and interviewed both of the girls. The girls said they were on a Lemon Creek-area trail when the boys, whom they knew, confronted them.

The girls said the boys pointed a black pistol, later determined to be a BB gun, at them, police reported. They also said the boys demanded money from them before allowing them to leave the area. The girls, however, did not surrender any money, police reported.

Police said the case remains under investigation while the department is looking to refer charges of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault to the Johnson Youth Center and Juneau District Attorney's Office against both boys.

Man pleads no contest in 2002 killing

ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old Anchorage man has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder charges in the 2002 death of Rachel Peace.

Peter Andrews was sentenced Tuesday to 99 years in prison for strangling the 18-year-old to death.

As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped charges of theft, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. Andrews will be eligible for parole after serving a third of his sentence.

Before the sentence was handed down, Andrews told Judge Larry Card he was sorry "for what has happened."

He told the judge he was being given medication for schizophrenia and spoke bitterly about his accomplices in crime who walked away with token sentences.

Prosecutor Steve Wallace called the sentence "an effective way to ensure the conviction and sentence. ... We believe we can rely on the good discretion of the Alaska Parole Board," he said.

12 apply for Permanent Fund director position

ANCHORAGE - Twelve people have applied to replace Bob Storer as executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp.

The Permanent Fund is the state's oil-wealth savings and investment account. Managers are based in Juneau and oversee the approximately $27 billion fund.

Storer plans to retire this summer.

Spokeswoman Laura Achee said the executive director's job currently pays about $157,000 a year, but the pay of the new chief will depend on experience, she said.

The fund's six-member board of trustees plans to review the applicants at a May 26 meeting and make a decision in early June, Achee said.

Four Alaskans are among the applicants: former state comptroller and deputy revenue commissioner Brian Andrews; retired KeyBank of Alaska president Mike Burns; Alaska Housing Finance Corporation chief executive Dan Fauske; and Alaska Communications Systems executive Kevin Hemenway.

The other eight applicants are Thomas Hamlin of Michigan, Raymond Hodgdon and David Miles of Illinois, Vache Mahseredjian of California, Allen McCray of Nebraska, Aaron Shackelford of North Carolina, Elliott Wimberly of Louisiana, and William Yang of Texas.

Subsistence fishing in Copper River delayed

FAIRBANKS - Amid villagers' complaints that salmon levels are low, federal fisheries biologists have closed subsistence fishing in the upper Copper River until June 1.

Residents in the villages of Chistochina, Mentasta and Slana say they haven't caught enough salmon the past two years.

As a result of the subsistence closure, all sport fishing in the main stem of the Copper River has also been closed until June 1.

The season was scheduled to open Saturday.

"(The villagers') goal is to get more fish upstream," said fisheries biologist Eric Veach with Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve in Copper Center. "This seems like a reasonable solution to go forward with."

One state fisheries biologist said the closure was a "piecemeal solution" to a bigger problem, and another said there was no way to measure the effect that a closure would have.

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