Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Post office, other federal offices to close Friday

There will be no regular mail service Friday, as post offices nationwide close to mark the national day of mourning for former President Ronald Reagan.

Reagan died Saturday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93. He left office in January 1988 after serving two terms.

President Bush, whose father was Reagan's vice president and successor in the White House, issued an executive order closing most federal offices Friday to mark the national day of mourning.

The executive order closes all federal offices except those that are vital to national security or provide essential services.

In Juneau, the Coast Guard will continue to operate as they do on weekends, although offices in the downtown Federal Building will be closed. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitors Center is scheduled to remain open.

State and local government offices were scheduled to remain open on Friday, staff in the offices for the governor and city manager reported Monday.

Juneau Postmaster Kent Eriksen said Monday he received notice from the United States Post Office to fly the flag at half staff for 30 days in Reagan's memory.

Police bust underage drinking party

Police cited 10 teens on underage drinking violations and arrested a 20-year-old man on misdemeanor charges of underage drinking and interfering with police, after serving a warrant on a Fritz Cove Road residence early Monday.

Officers responded to a report of a loud party at 1:30 a.m. and found about eight young people outside the residence, they reported. Several were drinking alcohol. Two who were contacted fled into the residence against officers' commands.

After acquiring a search warrant from Juneau Superior Court, officers entered the residence at about 3:30 a.m., finding some people sleeping and five hiding in various places, including the attic and closets.

Police issued underage drinking citations to one 17-year-old boy, two 18-year-old men, two 18-year-old women and five 19-year-old men. The man facing misdemeanor charges is 20.

The case remains under investigation and charges could be filed charging people with furnishing alcohol to minors, police reported.

Catamarans fill in for grounded ferry

Catamarans are filling in for the grounded state ferry LeConte at six Southeast Alaska communities.

The state is leasing the vessels to provide transportation between Sitka, Angoon, Tenakee, Hoonah, Pelican and Juneau while the LeConte is being repaired.

The catamarans, to run during daylight hours only, belong to an affiliate of Allen Marine Inc. of Sitka.

The ferry schedule is quite different than if the LeConte were in service. The smaller vessels travel faster and are not operating at night, said Jamey Cagle, vice president of Alaska Catamaran. The catamarans also carry fewer people.

Initially, Alaska Catamaran is deploying a 65-foot catamaran, he said. While it is officially a 100-passenger vessel, "We recommended they limit their loads to 80 people," he said. "Up to this point, they haven't carried anywhere near that capacity."

Docking will be different with the catamarans. Cagle said. In Sitka, crews will use the New Thompsen Harbor; in Angoon, the float plane dock in the inner harbor; at Tenakee, a float plane dock and occasionally the city dock; at Hoonah, the transient float in the city harbor; at Pelican, the city harbor; and the Auk Bay dock for Juneau.

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