Alaska Digest

staff and Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, June 03, 2004

Man allegedly puts up fight during arrest

JUNEAU - A 29-year-old man was arrested early Wednesday after police responded to Auke Recreational Campgrounds for a report of two men fighting with broken beer bottles. He could face charges for things he allegedly did after his arrest.

When officers arrived at the scene after the 12:35 a.m. report, they found the altercation did not involve weapons. But they found reason to arrest a man on a charge of domestic violence assault after officers interviewed witnesses at the scene. Police added a charge of resisting arrest after the man physically resisted officers.

On his way to being lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center, the man attempted to break out the patrol car windows with his feet, police said. They said he also struggled with officers and correctional staff at the jail.

Police reported that charges of interfering with an officer and attempted criminal damage for damage to the patrol car are forthcoming.

TransCanada submits pipeline application

JUNEAU - A Canadian company has formally applied to negotiate with the state of Alaska to build a pipeline to ship natural gas from Alaska's North Slope to the Lower 48.

The application from TransCanada, a Calgary-based pipeline company, was expected.

The company and the state signed an agreement in April that called for the government to begin processing right of way applications from TransCanada and for the company to submit an application under the state's Stranded Gas Development Act.

That act allows the state to negotiate tax and other fiscal terms associated with a pipeline project. It is intended to give companies certainty about what their state and local tax burden would be if they built a pipeline.

"Clearly, this is good news for the natural gas pipeline, which remains our highest priority for natural resource and economic development," Governor Frank Murkowski said in a written statement Wednesday.

Travel operator pleads not guilty to 21 charges

ANCHORAGE - The owner of a bankrupt Anchorage tour company has been arraigned on federal criminal charges of wire and credit card fraud.

Jennifer Christensen, 32, pleaded not guilty to a 21-count indictment. She appeared in U.S. District Court in Anchorage on Tuesday with her lawyer and her pastor.

Christensen advertised her business, Ask Alaska Travel & Tours, as the largest custom-tour planner in the state. She closed it last summer under a mountain of debt. Scores of visitors and tour companies later complained to the state attorney general that she misused credit cards and didn't provide services that had been paid for in advance.

Last month, Christensen settled two state civil lawsuits for consumer fraud and unfair and deceptive trade practices. Christensen paid $48,000 in restitution to travelers and tourist-related businesses. She also recently settled her company's bankruptcy case.

The federal indictment stems from a criminal investigation by the Anchorage police and the FBI.

Parents arrested in death of 11-month-old

ANCHORAGE - The parents of an 11-month-old Unalakleet girl who died last fall have been charged with murder.

Christina Johnson was intentionally starved and abused by her mother, said Nome district attorney John Vacek. The child weighed less than 8 pounds when she died in November, he said.

Heather Takak, 22, of Unalakleet was indicted last week by a grand jury in Nome on a count of first-degree murder, according to Alaska State Troopers. She was arrested earlier in the week while attending class at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Frank Johnson, 25, was arrested Friday on a charge of second-degree murder.

Takak was being held at the Anchorage jail, and Johnson at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center in Nome. Both were being held in lieu of $50,000 bond.

"It doesn't make sense," Vacek said.

"She's the one that later admitted to the investigating trooper that she had intentionally dropped the child twice before she died," Vacek said.

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