State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, June 15, 2003

Gas station to open soon

JUNEAU - The Mendenhall Valley Safeway grocery store plans to open a gas station in the store's parking lot on Wednesday.

The station will have four pumps, including one diesel pump, and will allow customers to pay at the pump or in a small walk-in pay area, said store manager Leanne Ng.

The station will employ six to eight people, and will be manned from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The pay-at-the-pump option will be available 24 hours a day.

Customers will be able to use their Safeway Club cards to get a three-cent discount on every gallon.

Construction began April 7.

Fishermen rescued by cruise ship

ANCHORAGE - Three Canadian fishermen were rescued by a cruise ship after the boat they were on sank Friday morning just south of Alaska waters, Canadian officials said.

The fishing vessel Silver Bounty sent out a distress call at 4:55 a.m. Friday, said Mark Proulx, maritime coordinator for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Victoria, British Columbia.

The Silver Bounty crew had tried to use the boat's life raft, but strong winds blew it away, said Proulx, who reported the wind was blowing at about 45 mph.

The crew abandoned the sinking vessel and used driftwood to stay afloat, Proulx said. He didn't identify the crew members.

The Radiance of the Seas cruise ship arrived at 6:26 a.m. at the part of Hecate Strait where the crew was stranded, said Don Habeger, Royal Caribbean Cruises' director for industry relations in Alaska.

The strait begins about 90 miles south of the Alaska border.

Man fined for bear hunting violations

ANCHORAGE - A Washington state man has been fined more than $5,000 and ordered to pay nearly $2,000 more in restitution for violating Alaska's bear hunting laws.

Michael P. Duby, 29, of Seatac, Wash., pleaded no contest Thursday to charges of taking a brown bear in a closed area, hunting for brown bear without a guide, unsworn falsification, unlawful possession of a black bear, and false statements on three license applications.

Duby also forfeited his rifle and the bear hides. His hunting privileges were suspended for three years.

On May 25, Duby killed a brown bear in a closed area on Admiralty Island. An investigation by Fish and Wildlife Protection troopers showed that Duby was not a resident but he had purchased a resident tag and a resident hunting license.

Duby had taken a black bear in 1999 under a false resident license.

Governor signs crime bills

JUNEAU - Repeat sex offenders will do more time in prison and more criminals will have to give DNA samples under bills signed into law Friday by Gov. Frank Murkowski.

The governor also signed bills allowing driver's licenses to be revoked after fatal accidents and changing Alaska's stalking laws to close a loophole.

House Bill 49, sponsored by Rep. Tom Anderson, an Anchorage Republican, expands the list of criminals who must provide DNA samples for the state database.

The requirement applies to all felons, anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor crime against a person, such as assault, and anyone convicted of a misdemeanor sex offense.

The rule applies retroactively to anyone currently in prison or on parole for those crimes, and to anyone required to register as a sex offender. It also applies to some of the most serious juvenile offenders.

Senate Bill 85 imposes stricter sentences on people convicted more than once of sex crimes, and adds repeat sex offenders to the list of criminals not eligible to earn time off their sentences for good behavior.

Sen. Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat, sponsored the bill.

A bill by Reps. Harry Crawford, an Anchorage Democrat, and Cheryll Heinze, an Anchorage Republican, closes a loophole in Alaska's anti-stalking laws.

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