State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Injured eagle still in serious condition

JUNEAU - The adult male eagle that was struck by a mini van at 2:45 a.m. Saturday near the Egan Drive retaining wall is still in serious condition at the home of a Juneau Raptor Center volunteer.

"His condition has not really changed very much at all," said Janet Capito, a volunteer with the Juneau Raptor Center and vice president of the center board. "We haven't gotten him X-rayed. He's still in bad condition. He did stand up for a short time this morning. When I checked him this afternoon, he was down flat."

The driver of the van was driving at the legal speed and couldn't avoid the eagle, police said. The bird was in the road and slid approximately 50 feet after being hit.

"We're keeping him dry and fed and warm," Capito said. "We're giving him lots of fluids and medication to help reduce any swelling that would occur or has probably occurred in his brain. It's just like what you would do with a person with a head injury."

USDA donates 130 tons of salmon to Cambodia

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will donate 130 tons of canned salmon for use in Cambodia to the Salesian Missions, a private volunteer organization, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska announced Monday.

"This is great news from the USDA for our fishermen heading into the summer fishing season," Murkowski said in a prepared statement. "Given the outlook for a banner summer fishing season, this purchase will help to clear out some of the stock we currently have on hand."

The donation will be made under USDA's Food for Progress program, administered by the Foreign Agricultural Service.

"This purchase of canned salmon is significant because it is the first sale for overseas use in several years," said Murkowski. "I encourage the Alaska industries to pay more attention to the whole community of private volunteer organizations. I believe they could become a significant market if they were better informed about the benefits of canned salmon."

This year, USDA expects to donate around 374,000 tons of U.S. commodities to 22 countries under Food for Progress. Along with 130 tons of salmon, the USDA will also donate 930 metric tons of rice, 390 tons of textured soy protein, and 620 tons of soybean oil.

Dalton Highway reopens after fire moves

ANCHORAGE - The Dalton Highway was reopened early Monday morning after a wildfire flare-up closed 16 miles of the road Sunday afternoon.

The highway was closed from Mile 12 north of Livengood to Mile 28 south of the Yukon River Bridge after the fire made a major run south Sunday afternoon, officials said.

Heavy smoke and flames made the road dangerous.

The fire, dubbed the Erickson Creek Fire, was burning on both sides of the highway, said Maggie Rogers of the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center. The fire was moving southeast Monday.

The blaze grew 10,000 acres to reach 30,000 acres by Monday morning, Rogers said.

The fire, started by lighting June 17, is in a limited suppression area and is being monitored but not suppressed, officials said.

Another fire near Delta Junction continued burning south Monday toward cabins on the lower Goodpaster River.

Six crews have been assigned to the fire, also caused by lighting, which began June 14 about 25 miles northeast of Delta Junction.

Quake rocks ocean south of Aleutians

ANCHORAGE - A strong earthquake shook the ocean floor 65 miles southeast of Buldir Island in the Aleutian Chain early Monday morning.

The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for part of the Aleutians and a tsunami watch all the way to Kodiak Island but canceled them after a gauge in Adak indicated no tsunami was generated.

Buldir Island is about 115 miles east of the last island in the archipelago, Attu.

Unidentified man found dead in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - The body of a man was found Sunday in South Fairbanks and police say the cause of death is suspicious.

Police did not release a cause of death but said the man did not die of natural causes.

The body was found in a wooded area off the Richardson Highway near the 23rd Avenue exit, an area known as the "big bend." Transients often live in the area, police said.

Detective Randy Coffey said the man was 35-45 years told. The man has not been identified.

Troopers investigate fire at Palmer school

ANCHORAGE - Arsonists started fires at two schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough over the weekend, including one that caused an estimated $125,000 damage.

Alaska State Troopers said someone broke into Pioneer Peak Elementary School in Palmer just after midnight Sunday and set fire to a portable classroom.

In all, vandals broke into three portable classrooms, troopers said.

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