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AlaskaDigest

Wire reports

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2005

Man charged with murder at fish camp

FAIRBANKS - State prosecutors have charged a 28-year-old man with second-degree murder in the death of a teenager at a fish camp near Tanana.

Carl Erhart is charged in the death of Lawrence Kennedy, 18.

Tanana police called Alaska State Troopers on Saturday to report the death at the camp 30 miles from Tanana.

Erhart shot Kennedy inside a cabin at the camp, investigators said. Erhart and a witness tried to provide first aid and then transport Kennedy to Tanana by boat. Kennedy died on the way.

Erhart is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Tanana is two miles west of the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon rivers 130 miles west of Fairbanks.

Police, United Way team up in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks Police Department and community organizations including United Way of the Tanana Valley are taking steps to launch a program aimed at preventing crime and restoring a mid-city neighborhood.

The organizations are doing preparation work to join Operation Weed and Seed, a U.S. Department of Justice program with a two-pronged approach to crime control and prevention.

Law enforcement "weeds out" criminals from designated areas while community agencies provide "seeding" that brings prevention, intervention, treatment and neighborhood revitalization services.

To obtain program money, the agencies must do preparation work, and Fairbanks officials are conducting an assessment of the designated area's needs. The boundaries of the neighborhood include Lathrop High School, Ryan Middle School, movie theater Regal Cinemas, Noel Wien Library and Fairview Manor apartments.

Fairbanks Police Chief Dan Hoffman said the program epitomizes the concept of community policing, an often-used phrase. The Weed and Seed program is different because it combines forces to address symptoms and their underlying problems, he said.

"We (police) deal with a lot of symptoms. We don't deal with a lot of problems," Hoffman said. "True community policing is what this Weed and Seed program is doing."

First-year programs can be funded up to $200,000. Half must be used for law enforcement.

League of cities considers ANWR

ANCHORAGE - The National League of Cities may take a stand on the debate over oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

A committee of city officials was in Alaska last week to gather information. The group included mayors and city council members representing cities from Paducah, Ky., to Sheridan, Wyo., serving on the league's Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

The group spent Thursday at the North Slope, touring production facilities at Kuparak. On Friday, they heard pro- and anti-development debate on the issue. Their meeting in Anch- orage concluded Saturday.

Some Anchorage elected officials hope to persuade the committee to support ANWR drilling, though some committee members remained skeptical.

Dena Mossar, a city council member from Palo Alto, Calif., said the trip was informative and she has a new respect for the care taken by Alaska oil workers. However, she does not believe exploration in ANWR is the answer to the country's energy needs.

Americans can "choose or not choose to open ANWR, but that does not solve our greed for oil," Mossar said.

Mary Hamann-Roland, mayor of Apple Valley, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb, said suburbs need to take charge of conservation with better public transportation and less reliance on cars with poor mileage and sport utility vehicles. She too found it comforting that the oil companies were taking good care of the environment on the North Slope, she said.



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