Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, June 15, 2007

Remaining election ballots to be counted today at City Hall

JUNEAU - The Absentee and Question Ballot Review Board has completed its work, and remaining ballots for Tuesday's special election on bonds for the new high school will be counted at 10 a.m. today in City Hall Conference Room 224.

Sound off on the important issues at

Unofficial Results will be posted online following the count, at

The Canvass Review Board will meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 19, in City Hall Conference Room 224 to review and certify the election results.

For more information, call City Municipal Clerk Laurie Sica at 586-0216.

Two-time cancer survivor to speak in Juneau next week

JUNEAU - Ronnie Kaye, two-time breast cancer survivor, psychotherapist and author, will visit Juneau next week and speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Centennial Hall.

Kaye's talk, "Understanding Issues and Feelings Associated with Cancer," is open to the public and free of charge. Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation and friends are sponsoring the presentation.

All cancer survivors, their families and friends wishing to meet with Kaye in small groups during her visit should e-mail Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation at or call Jamie and Mary Beth Parsons at 789-9201. Kaye will be available all day Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday morning.

The same offer is extended to all Juneau health care professionals.

For more than 20 years, Kaye has led support groups and workshops for breast cancer patients and their families. She has received the American Cancer Society's "Quality of Life" Award in honor of her efforts on behalf of cancer patients. She has lectured internationally and been featured on numerous radio and TV programs. She teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine, about the human dimension of doctoring and has been awarded a Certificate of Distinction in Medical Education.

Her book, "Spinning Straw into Gold," begins with breast cancer diagnosis and guides women through the steps to emotional recovery, showing how to use crisis as a springboard to personal growth.

Wasilla man gets 40 years for role in beating death

PALMER - A Wasilla man convicted of beating another man to death with a flashlight and rifle butt was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Alex Headrick, 39, received the maximum allowed under a plea agreement.

Prosecutor Richard Payne made his case Wednesday seeking the maximum sentence for Headrick, who earlier pleaded no contest to the second-degree murder of Sean McIntire in 2003. He will serve with restricted parole eligibility.

At the time of the murder Headrick was still on probation for raping a pregnant woman, Payne said.

Prosecutors seek trial delay to find witness to killing

FAIRBANKS - The trial of a man accused in a notorious Fairbanks killing may be delayed as prosecutors seek a key witness.

Marvin Wright, 38, is charged in the 1995 death of Trisha Warren, 19, a mother of two who was working at a convenience store when she was killed.

Wright's trial was scheduled to begin this week. Prosecutors, however, asked for a delay until they locate the missing witness.

It's unclear whether the trial can start without the witness, prosecutor Corinne Vorenkamp said in court.

Superior Court Judge Mark Wood issued a material witness warrant and authorities are looking for the witness, who they said has ties to the Yukon River community of Circle.

The delay could last days or months, snarling a trial that was expected to draw about 50 people from across the country to testify.

Warren was shot during a robbery 10 days after she took a job as a clerk at the Tesoro 7-Eleven Discount Truck Stop in South Fairbanks. Her family said she took the job to help pay bills and worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift because it added an extra 50 cents per hour to her wage of $6.50.

An Alaska State Trooper who stopped at the store to buy a newspaper at 4:09 and found Warren's body. She had been shot in the head.

The convenience store had no surveillance equipment. The case remained without an arrest for 10 years until a new investigator took it over.

Bush communities still dangerously vulnerable to fire

PALMER - Nearly a year after a massive fire destroyed 35 structures over a 15-acre swath of the western Alaska community of Hooper Bay, firefighting capabilities in Bush Alaska continue to leave residents dangerously vulnerable.

In 21st-century rural Alaska, many households still don't have running water; people use so-called "honey buckets" - plastic five-gallon buckets - instead of toilets. With limited supplies of running water, many communities continue to rely on bucket brigades to protect their homes and villages when disaster strikes.

The subsistence lifestyle of many villagers often means that few men, who traditionally fight fires, are around when the salmon are running or the caribou are grazing. Young villagers, looking for jobs, often leave to get an education. The communities - many of which are only accessible by boat or airplane - often can't fill vacancies in a volunteer fire department that may only consist of four or five people.

Alaska authorities call off search for missing Oak Park woman

CHICAGO - Family members of an Oak Park woman who went missing in Alaska more than two weeks ago said they plan to continue their search for her, even though Alaska authorities called off search efforts earlier this week.

Kathy Garrigan, 24, of Oak Park, and Travis Alexander, 19, of Fort Yukon, Alaska, went missing after a Memorial Day weekend camping excursion with their co-worker Liza Lomando, 20, of East Meadow, N.Y.

Lomando's body was pulled from Lake Harding in Fairbanks, Alaska, on May 29.

Authorities found no evidence of foul play, and the incident has been ruled a drowning, according to Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

The three AmeriCorps volunteers had driven from Nenana, Alaska, to a campground on the lake.

Authorities, who relied on sonar equipment, divers and helicopters, located a digital camera the day after Lomando's body was found that showed the three campers drinking from a whiskey bottle while in the canoe.

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