Briefly

Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2001

Trooper dies in plane crash

ANCHORAGE - A state Fish and Wildlife Protection officer died when his single-engine Piper Cub went down near Lake Illiamna on Monday night.

James A. Moen, 49, of McGrath, was on a routine sport fishing patrol when the float-equipped plane went down about 65 miles southwest of the lake, said trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

The wreckage was discovered just after 9 p.m. by another trooper pilot who landed about a half-mile away and hiked to the site. Troopers planned to return today to recover the body. A cause for the crash was not known. The National Transportation Safety Board was en route to investigate.

Moen was a 17-year veteran of the troopers' Division of Fish and Wildlife Protection, having served in Petersburg and Soldotna before transferring to McGrath. He was also an experienced pilot, with more than 4,000 flight hours as a state and military pilot, Wilkinson said.

Moen is survived by his wife, Anne, and four children.

Man sentenced for assaults

ANCHORAGE - A man convicted of sexually assaulting a child and a woman last year was sentenced Monday to 37 years in prison.

"He preys on the most vulnerable victims he can find," Superior Court Judge Dan Hensley said as he sent Gilbert T. Edmonds, 54, away until he is an old man.

Edmonds served about 10 years on a 1987 child sexual assault conviction, Hensley said, "and that didn't get his attention. ... Unfortunately, history shows Mr. Edmonds has no reasonable prospects of rehabilitation."

Edmonds was out on bail last summer awaiting trial on another charge of child sexual abuse when he kidnapped an 11-year-old girl off the street, drove her to a secluded area, and raped her, according to the charges. He physically forced the child into his truck after she told him she did not take rides from strangers, the charges said.

About two weeks later, on July 15, he offered a ride to a 37-year-old developmentally disabled woman on her way home from work and raped her. She got a license number that allowed police to identify Edmonds as a suspect, the charges said.

Edmonds pleaded no contest in February to five felony counts related to the two assaults.

State stops fines against bridge builder

JUNEAU - The state has stopped assessing daily fines against an Anchorage contractor nine months behind schedule in building a pedestrian bridge across the Mendenhall River.

The state Department of Transportation began fining Swalling Construction $1,000 a day in August after the contractor missed the deadline to complete the bridge. However, DOT stopped the fines earlier this month after the company all but finished the project, said DOT's Soc Kreuzenstein, noting some minor work still remains.

The fines total about $175,000, which the state plans to withhold from Swalling's $1.5 million contract, he said. The state did not assess the fines in winter because temperatures kept crews from working.

Swalling has filed an administrative claim to recover the money lost to fines, Kreuzenstein said. Company owner Mike Swalling in May accounted for the nine-month delay by blaming the state. Swalling said DOT took two months to award the contract, triggering other delays. If the two sides cannot reach agreement, the matter could go to court, Kreuzenstein said.

The metal-and-concrete bridge spans the river at the lower end of Kaxhdighoowu Heen Dei, or Clear Water Creek Trail, by the Brotherhood Bridge. The project is part of a plan to connect trail systems on the west side of the river to Dimond Park, the site of a proposed new high school and Riverbend Elementary School.

Most of the project was financed with federal dollars.

Earthquake rocks Yukon Territory

PALMER - An earthquake shook the ground about 40 miles northwest of Burwash Landing in the Yukon Territory this morning.

The West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer gave a preliminary magnitude of 5.8 for the quake, which was felt 125 miles away in Yakutat. The center recorded the quake at 6:05 a.m.

Burwash Landing, population about 84, is on Kluane Lake.

Officials search for missing nurse

ANCHORAGE - An itinerant nurse who failed to show up for a job in Bethel is the subject of a search near Anchorage.

Alaska State Troopers say Thomas A. Nuzzi, 52, may not have returned from a hiking trip. A car belonging to Nuzzi was found in the parking lot of Alpenglow, a downhill ski area in the hills northwest of Anchorage. Ski area officials said the truck has been there since at least June 18. Alaska State Troopers, Anchorage police and Chugach State Park officials launched a search Monday.

Troopers said Nuzzi was expected in Bethel a week ago for a job. When he had not arrived by Thursday, his employer, HealthCorp Associates in Anchorage, filed a missing person report. Nuzzi is considered an experienced hiker and is known for striking out on his own.

Man drowns in Kenai Peninsula lake

ANCHORAGE - A New Hampshire man is dead after he accidentally tipped over his fishing inner tube in a Kenai Peninsula lake and drowned, according to Alaska State Troopers.

George Schacht, 65, of Temple, N.H., was pulled from the waters of Engineer Lake near Skilak Lake by relatives and bystanders after someone noticed his head was under the water. It wasn't clear how long he was submerged. CPR was started when Schacht was brought to shore, but he could not be revived. No foul play is suspected.

Fisherman dies after boat runs aground

ANCHORAGE - A 25-year-old Cordova fisherman was found dead in his boat with a head injury Monday, Alaska State Troopers said.

It appears David Glasen fell asleep Sunday night and was killed when his boat hit the rocks on a remote island in Prince William Sound, troopers said.

Glasen's vessel, the 27-foot bowpicker Kenda Rose, was spotted on the rocks at Axel Lind Island, not far from Esther Island east of Valdez Arm. A trooper from responded and found Glasen dead.

An initial investigation indicated Glasen may have fallen asleep late Sunday night and died of head injuries when his boat hit the rocks.

Officer accused of sex crimes quits

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage police officer accused of sexual abuse of a teen-age girl has quit his job, according to the police department. William Goldberg submitted a letter of resignation Monday and it was accepted, the department reported.

Goldberg, 31, had been scheduled for a pretermination hearing this week. He was suspended with pay April 24.

Goldberg is charged with having sexual relations with the girl in 1997 and 1998. She was 15 and 16 years old at the time. Goldberg faces seven counts of sexually abusing a minor, all felonies.



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