State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Ketchikan kids hook barn-door halibut off Knudson Cove dock

KETCHIKAN - A pair of 11-year-olds who have been fishing partners "for years" landed a 162-pound halibut off the Knudson Cove Marine dock.

The battle between Zachary Hamilton, Gregory Johnson and the flatfish took more than two hours and drew a crowd of helpers and onlookers on June 8.

Marina workers say they cannot recall anyone landing a larger fish while fishing from that dock.

Greg was tending the poles when the fish hit.

"I pretty much knew it was a halibut because it had the pole halfway in the water," Greg said. "I dove for the pole."

The fish had struck a half-cut herring attached to a 40-pound-test salmon leader with a 6-ounce weight. The line itself was 30 pound test, frayed by a broken eyelet on the pole.

"Gregory started reeling it in," Zach said. "Then he gave it back to me, and then we started giving it back and forth."

After the fish took off on a run, the boys moved onto a boat at the end of the dock to prevent the line from getting tangled. A crowd gathered.

"It fought quite a bit," Zach said. "Even when it wasn't fighting, it was hard to pull up because it was so heavy."

As the struggle neared its end, a charter skipper harpooned the halibut and tied a buoy onto it. Another charter skipper then shot it, and the fight was over.

New rule could levy fines against residents with bears in garbage

ANCHORAGE - A new state regulation could lead to fines for Alaskans who allow bears to find their garbage.

The state has long prohibited the intentional feeding of wildlife, but the regulation that takes effect July 1 will mean fines of $50 for people who feed bears unintentionally.

Wildlife managers say the aim is to educate residents to handle their garbage responsibly by using tougher, bear-proof trash bins. The regulation was approved in January by the Alaska Board of Game.

Officials with the state Department of Fish and Game say they don't expect to write tickets immediately after the law takes effect.

State conducting land lottery

ANCHORAGE - Remote recreational cabin sites in southcentral and northern Alaska are available through a lottery offered by the state Department of Natural Resources.

The parcels require some kind of backcountry travel, such as by plane, boat, ATV or by foot.

Anyone interested in staking claim to a site can enter a lottery for $25. If they win, they receive staking authorization to five to 20 acres.

The program requires participants to pay a deposit to the state to complete all surveys and appraisals during an initial three-year lease. Lessees can expect to pay between $3,000 and $8,000 within the first three years to cover survey and appraisal costs.

A portion of the deposit costs will be applied to the purchase price. During the initial three-year lease period, the land can be used only for recreation. The restriction is lifted when the land is purchased.

Applications must be submitted by July 31.

Ft. Wainwright soldier gets nine months for writing bad checks

FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright soldier has landed a prison sentence for writing more than $32,000 in bad checks.

Scott Herren, 20, was sentenced Friday to nine months in prison and ordered to pay a share of restitution of more than $28,000 for conspiring to write the checks out of an account that had a $47 balance.

The check-writing spree took place over several months.

Herren, who already has served six months, is expected to be discharged from the military as soon as he completes his sentence.

Herren and his 20-year-old then-girlfriend Emily Hudson were arrested in December and indicted on multiple felony counts of second-degree theft and of writing bad checks.

The pair was accused of opening the bank account in September with $47 and without making any deposits using the account to make tens of thousands of dollars of purchases at local businesses.

In a plea deal in February, Herren pleaded no contest to one count of each felony with the rest of the counts dismissed. Hudson reached an identical deal in early March. Her sentencing is set for August.

Comment on public sex triggers attack on Anchorage man

ANCHORAGE - A man was arrested for allegedly attacking a passerby who commented on the man and a woman having sex in an Anchorage alley.

Joseph Sivertsen, 36, got upset when the victim asked if the couple was having fun, police said. Sivertsen reportedly chased 41-year-old Jerome King with a piece of pipe, striking him multiple times in the head late last week. King was treated at Alaska Native Medical Center and released.

Sivertsen was arrested on a second-degree assault charge and taken to Anchorage Jail, where he was being held on $20,000 dollars bail.

The two men did not know each other, police said.

Compiled from wire service reports.

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