State Briefs

Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2003

Man, 89, assaulted by robber with pellet gun

ANCHORAGE - An 89-year-old man was shot in the chest with a pellet gun and pistol-whipped Sunday evening while trying to fight off an intruder who burst into his Fairview neighborhood home, Anchorage police said.

Tony Bordenelli survived his injuries.

He and his wife, Patty, have a 7-month-old girl. Patty said she had to hide in a bedroom closet with the baby during the attack.

On Sunday, it got hot inside their house, so the couple propped the front door open. Shortly before 6:30 p.m., a light-skinned man with short black hair, a black mustache and black-rimmed glasses burst through the front door demanding money, Bordenelli said. The attacker rushed Bordenelli and pushed him into a bathroom and onto the floor. Patty grabbed the baby, hid in a closet and called 911.

As the intruder straddled him, Bordenelli said, he kicked the man between the legs.

"That's when he shot me," Bordenelli told the Anchorage Daily News, showing a bandage on his upper chest.

When Bordenelli tried to get up, the attacker hit him in the left temple with the butt of the pellet gun.

The man stole $650 out of Bordenelli's pants pocket, which he had just withdrawn from the bank to pay bills. He took Bordenelli's wallet, which held credit cards, three silver dollars, a few old 50-cent pieces and an "old-time $1 silver certificate," Bordenelli said.

The robber fled before police arrived. Witnesses saw the intruder get in to a newer two-door maroon sedan, similar to a Ford Taurus, with a woman driver.

A former boxer who also set a world record in 1969 for bowling continuously for 3 1/2 days, according to a newspaper clipping framed on his wall, Bordenelli said nothing like the robbery had happened to him in the 30 years he's lived in Fairview.

"If I saw him coming in, it would have been a different story," he said

Kenai's former Kmart goes Home Depot

KENAI - Home Depot U.S.A. has finalized a deal with Kmart Corp. to take over the lease of the building that once housed Big Kmart in Kenai.

"We never had any doubts that we wanted to be there. Now, at some point (the building) has to stop looking like a Kmart and start looking like a Home Depot," Home Depot spokesman John Simley said Wednesday.

Following Big Kmart's closing in March, the building was placed under the jurisdiction of the federal bankruptcy court in Chicago. In April, the court granted Home Depot permission to assume the lease. The company took a 30-day lease on May 5, followed by a subsequent extension, to inspect the location and determine what changes would be in order.

"We will have to do a building permit," Simley said. "There will be substantial work on the building. If all goes well, we can get the bulk of it done during fair-weather months."

The city of Kenai lost annual sales tax revenue of about $800,000 when Big Kmart closed.

"I think this bodes very well for the community," Kenai Mayor John Williams said of the new lease arrangement. "It'll definitely be a help for the city."

As of June 9, the home repair and supply retailer had not decided whether to take over the vacant Super Kmart store in Juneau, said Simley. The Empire was unable to reach a company representative Wednesday evening for further comment.

Flags at half-staff for former Rep. Borer

JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski ordered Wednesday that state flags be flown at half-staff in memory of Richard R. "Dick" Borer, 76, who died Tuesday in Cordova. Borer served in the Alaska House of Representatives from 1967-71.

Borer was born in Forsyth, Mont., on Sept. 10, 1926, and after serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942-46, worked as a bank employee in Minnesota and Seattle before moving to Alaska. In 1952, he purchased First Bank of Cordova, which later became National Bank of Alaska. Borer also owned an insurance agency in Cordova and owned and operated the Reluctant Fisherman Inn, a restaurant, bar and motel. He was married twice and had seven children.

Flags will remain at half-staff until June 23.

Homer trail accidentally vetoed by governor

JUNEAU - Funding for a ski and hiking trail near Homer should not have been included in the governor's budget vetoes, administration Chief of Staff Jim Clark said Wednesday.

"The purchase of the Katchemak Heritage Land Trust parcel was identified with the ... purchase on Afognak Island, which should not have happened," Clark said. "It was then inadvertently included with the list of line-item vetoes."

Clark said he will work with the Legislature to recoup the funds through the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee's revised program legislative process, which approves program revisions and receives and expends funds.

Murkowski opposed the Afognak Island purchase because it involved buying private land with public money in order to shield the land from resource development.

The $450,000, 160-acre Katchemak purchase is also a case of purchasing private land with public money. The parcel is located just outside Homer. The city wants to add the land to its skiing and hiking trail system.

"Understanding the interest of the people of the Homer area to add this parcel to their trail system, I believe we can find a way to receive the funds and make it happen," Gov. Frank Murkowski said.

Leman names faith-based services panel

FAIRBANKS - Lt. Gov. Loren Leman on Tuesday established an 18-member panel aimed at buoying community and faith-based organizations' role in local social services.

Leman announced the group, dubbed the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Task Force, at a meeting of the group Churches of Anchorage.

The task force is part of President Bush's larger, nationwide effort to help faith-based social service agencies. The group's first meeting and its specific goals are not set.

"What is it? What are we going to do?" said Carl Ekstrom, a freelance researcher from Delta Junction named to the panel. "I think our function is to answer a lot of those questions. We'll share. We'll exchange ideas. I think that's what a task force does. It researches."

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