Alaska Digest

Posted: Monday, June 11, 2007

Bear cub spotted in tree near high school

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JUNEAU - Juneau police received at least four complaints about bears during the weekend, including three about a bear cub that was found in a tree a few blocks from Juneau-Douglas High School.

No injuries or aggressive behavior were reported. Calls about the cub started at 3:48 p.m. Saturday, when it was spotted in a tree on Behrends Avenue.

A few hours later, a bear cub was seen a few blocks away on 12th Street. At 10:22 p.m., a mama bear and a bear cub in a tree were reported nearby on Irwin Street.

Berth III cruise ship dock nearly done

KETCHIKAN - The City of Ketchikan's new Berth III should be ready to accommodate its first cruise ship today.

City Manager Karl Amylon said the new lightering float connected to Berth III will open for use at the same time.

"We're pleased with the progress that has been made," Amylon said Thursday. "We think we have a very good project from American Civil Contractors."

The completion of Berth III was delayed from the original May 15 target date because of difficult conditions where the large pilings that support the berth's floating dock and dolphins were drilled into the seafloor.

"We're glad to be done drilling the big pilings," said Jason Davis, project manager with American Civil Constructors-Hurlen Construction. "We had a lot of challenges ... with subsurface conditions."

Now that the big piling work is done, they're focusing on installing the tendering floats and gangway, according to Davis.

The city and cruise industry have been operating with a revised docking schedule during the past few weeks.

With Berth III unavailable, there have been days when two cruise ships have had to anchor in Tongass Narrows and transfer passengers to and from shore with lightering boats.

Kohring to announce his plans June 19

JUNEAU - An indicted member of the Alaska House said Thursday he may resign, but is reserving any announcement on his future until he can address voters in his home district.

State Rep. Vic Kohring said he has informed Gov. Sarah Palin that he may resign, and the Wasilla Republican will meet with House Speaker John Harris next Tuesday to discuss his options.

Those include "an agreeable transfer of responsibilities should I decide to resign," he said in a prepared statement.

Kohring said he will announce any decision at the Greater Wasilla Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon on June 19, one week before the Legislature will hold a special session in Anchorage to review funding for the state's SeniorCare program.

Fort Lewis welcomes new commander

FORT LEWIS - Fort Lewis welcomes its 62nd commander next week when Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. assumes command of I Corps and this Army post south of Tacoma.

Jacoby is taking over from Brig. Gen. William Troy, who has been acting commander since April, when Lt. Gen. James Dubik relinquished command to help train Iraqi troops.

Jacoby most recently served as commanding general of U.S. Army Alaska. He oversaw recent buildups at Fort Richardson near Anchorage and Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks.

A ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. today at Fort Lewis.

Fairbanks entities earn exporters honors

FAIRBANKS - Two Fairbanks entities that have clients around the world but share a floor in the same downtown office building were honored as Exporters of the Year by Gov. Sarah Palin.

Palin honored Usibelli Coal Mine for its work shipping coal to South Korea and Chile, and honored the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau for its work coordinating direct charter flights between Fairbanks and Japan.

Usibelli and FCVB offer very different services to very different clients, but both have offices on the on the second floor of the Key Bank building on First Avenue.

Usibelli Coal Mine produces 1.5 million tons of coal each year and exports about 40 percent of that, according to Bill Brophy with the mine.

The Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau has worked with the Fairbanks International Airport for the past three years to coordinate direct charter flights from Japan.

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