Posted: Monday, June 25, 2001

University tolerance extends to beavers

ANCHORAGE - University of Alaska Anchorage groundskeepers were wading in Chester Creek on Friday, repeating a weekly ritual: partially dismantling a beaver dam by hand.

The crew has been working this summer to keep this beaver pond, next to campus housing, from flooding a nearby parking lot and bike trail.

The beavers first dammed the section of Chester Creek last June. The university quickly dismantled the dam, but the beavers rebuilt it. This happened several times, until the university decided to adapt to the beavers.

After obtaining a permit from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, work crews raised a high-voltage electrical box in the pond to keep it from being flooded.

Concrete falls from courthouse

JUNEAU - Several pieces of concrete soffit fell from the side of the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau on Sunday morning, according to the state Department of Administration.

The about 2-by-6-foot soffit pieces fell on the side of the building in the narrow passageway that separates it from the state Department of Community and Economic Development building. No one was hurt and since then, barriers have been erected along that wall "so that people would be out of the way in case anything else falls," said Larry White, facility manager for the Department of Administration.

Chances are that moisture has been infiltrating the surface of the concrete, which has a stucco-like application on this building, White said. "I have taken a look at it, and we are in the process of assessing damage and whether or not there is any recent cause for the damage," he said.

Assessing the damage will take a week. Repairing it, depending on whether it is caused by moisture coming from the small plaza deck at the top of the outside stairs in this area, might take three to six weeks. The deck may have drainage problems, White said.

The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, which used to be responsible for maintaining the courthouse, noticed cracking and sagging in this area of the 1975 building, he said.

Woman pleads innocent to forgery

JUNEAU - A Juneau woman pleaded innocent Friday in Superior Court to five counts of forging checks from her employer, and to related charges of theft and tampering with evidence.

Authorities have accused Rochelle M. Cordova, 32, of forging the signature of former Mayor Dennis Egan, president and general manager of Alaska-Juneau Communications, on five checks totaling $4,712 between April 16 and May 22.

Alaska-Juneau Communications, which owns radio stations KINY and KSUP, had employed Cordova for nine years, most recently as office manager, Egan said.

Assistant District Attorney David Brower, in a criminal complaint filed in court, said Cordova had deposited three of the businesses' checks in her personal bank account, and had endorsed all five checks.

A trial for Cordova, who has been released to a third-party custodian, is set for Oct. 8.

Ketchikan may ban car cell phones

KETCHIKAN - The Ketchikan City Council wants to outlaw cell phone use by drivers.

The council approved a motion for the ban last week. However, the measure would only become law if the council approves a similar ordinance later this year.

"I can see no reason to use a cell phone while driving, especially in Ketchikan where you can pull over anywhere and use the phone," said Council Member Tom Coyne.

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