Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, June 21, 2007

Police: Man stabbed in liver while drinking

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JUNEAU - A man was stabbed once in the belly early Wednesday morning in the 8400 block of Nugget Drive, according to police reports.

Sgt. David Campbell said doctors at Bartlett Regional Hospital notified the department of the stabbing victim shortly after 4 a.m.

"The surgeon said his liver was punctured and that he would have died had he not gone to the hospital," Campbell said.

Police have not released the name of the victim.

Interviews were conducted with three people at a home on Nugget Drive where police say the stabbing occurred.

Campbell said that all involved had been drinking. The three people denied any knowledge of the stabbing, the officer said.

A team of officers returned later with a search warrant. Campbell could not say what police were looking for.

No arrests were made as of press time.

"There's still some investigation to do," Campbell said.

Campbell said the victim was able to speak with police while recovering from the emergency surgery.

City unveils art for convention center

ANCHORAGE - The new $107 million Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center will be adorned with more than a half-million dollars in art work.

Two designs were unveiled this week at City Hall. The art commission, at $685,000, is likely the largest in city history. One work is a 50-foot-tall installation by an East Coast artistic duo. The other is a stained glass mural by an Alaska Native artist from Fairbanks.

"Both of these pieces do a huge service, not only to the city but to us as Dena'ina people," said Aaron Leggett, an Alaska Native Heritage Center employee who was on the art selection committee. "From now on, I think we'll have a much more recognizable presence in the municipality, which I think serves to strengthen our city."

A city ordinance requires that 1 percent of construction costs for new public buildings and major additions be set aside to purchase art designed for the space.

Jocelyn Young, the city's curator of public art, believes this is the priciest commission since the program was started in 1978. The selection committee, appointed by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, included representatives from the artistic, architecture and business communities.

It took the art selection committee more than a year to whittle down the field of 128 applicants, about half of whom were Alaska artists.

The committee chose a 50-foot-tall hollow tube created by fine cables suspending 300 translucent resin animals, all patterned after species native to Southcentral Alaska. "Constellation," to be built by Massachusetts artists Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter, will float in front of a glass wall in the civic center's 100-foot-high lobby. It cost $350,000.

Two people injured in dune buggy crash

PALMER - Two people were seriously injured when the accelerator on the dune buggy they were riding in became stuck and the homemade car hit a tree.

Cameron MacDonald, 21, of Palmer was driving the dune buggy westbound on Icy Lane Wednesday afternoon when the accelerator became stuck. MacDonald damaged the dune buggy's brakes attempting to stop. The dune buggy then hit a tree where the road made a right hand turn at the intersection of Icy Lane and Wendy Court.

"Pretty much, this was their test flight," trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters said Thursday. "At the speed they were traveling ... it couldn't handle the turn they were making."

The dune buggy, which had been built by a neighbor, had a roll cage, no doors and large tires, Peters said. Seat belt restraints had not been installed. MacDonald and the passengers also were not wearing helmets. Both were taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

MacDonald was issued a number of citations, including failure to register a vehicle and failure to carry proof of insurance. She also was issued a summons for driving without a valid license.

"This was not a street-legal vehicle," Peters said.

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