Alaska Digest

staff and Wire reports

Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2004

Injured child looking at up to 5 days in hospital

JUNEAU - A 9-year-old Douglas Island boy, injured while riding his bike into a moving vehicle Monday afternoon, will have to spend about four or five days in an Anchorage hospital, his father said Wednesday.

Patrick DeMent Jr. suffered a laceration to his chin, abrasions and contusions, bruising to his legs and a punctured upper left lung, his father Patrick DeMent Sr. said.

"He's a hurting boy," his father said. But he added that there were no broken bones. "They still have him in a neck brace."

Patrick Jr. had recently finished the third grade at Gastineau Elementary School. Police reported that the accident happened shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday.

His father said he came down a steep curve near home, the Cedar Park Apartments on Foster Avenue. He ran into the side of a moving vehicle, which police identified as a 2000 GMC Jimmy.

DeMent estimated there was about $2,000 damage to the vehicle, while the bike was totaled.

He said his son, who is normally quite active, will have to rest when he gets out of the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

"He's going to be OK," DeMent said.

He thanked the Capital City Fire & Rescue emergency medical staff that responded in an ambulance, as well as the people of Juneau for their kind wishes.

Mendenhall Lake campground closed

JUNEAU - Because of road surfacing construction, the Mendenhall Lake Campground will remain closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The work will be ongoing for another month.

According to district ranger Pete Griffin, the existing road material will be mixed with cement and laid back down to form a concrete slab across the width of the roadway. Once poured, the material takes 48 hours to dry.

"Walking on the uncured surface will damage your shoes and clothes and leave footprint impressions that must be smoothed out prior to final surfacing," Griffin said. "These repairs will increase the cost of the project and result in a lower quality road surface."

Leman: Voter initiative won't go on ballot

JUNEAU - Lt. Gov. Loren Leman has decided an initiative dealing with how U.S. senators are elected in Alaska won't go on the fall election ballot.

Leman said a law passed by the Legislature this year is close enough to the initiative that the question no longer needs to go before voters.

Both the law and the initiative require U.S. Senate vacancies to be filled by a special election, rather than by gubernatorial appointment.

The difference is the law still lets the governor make temporary appointments to fill the office until the required special election can take place in 60-90 days. The initiative did not allow any appointment by the governor, even a temporary one.

Sponsors of the initiative have said they disagree with Leman's interpretation, but it was not clear late Wednesday whether they intend to challenge his decision.

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