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Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bad timing for car-theft suspect

JUNEAU - A detective in an unmarked police car was nearby when a woman reported seeing someone drive off with her vehicle Friday afternoon at the Nugget Mall.

The detective followed the vehicle to a parking lot at the University of Alaska Southeast. Police arrested Juneau resident Alan Eisele, 29, and charged him with first-degree vehicle theft, a felony.

Police found objects in the vehicle that didn't belong to the owner, they said. Meanwhile, a caller reported items taken from another vehicle at the Nugget Mall. Police further charged Eisele with second-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor, for the alleged rifling.

The vehicle was returned to its owner, and Eisele was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

AEL&P to test sirens

JUNEAU - Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. will test the Salmon Creek emergency evacuation sirens at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 29.

The tests allow technicians to ensure that the sirens are loud enough, company officials said.

Fairbanks firefighters let home burn down

FAIRBANKS - Volunteers firefighters did not intervene when a $300,000 home burned east of Fairbanks because it was located outside a fire service area.

Members of the North Star Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire on Thursday off 7 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road but only to back up Alaska Division of Forestry firefighters on hand to make sure the house fire did not ignite nearby forest lands.

The home is in a Fairbanks North Star Borough neighborhood that does not belong to a fire service area, said Jerry Hanson, the department's deputy chief. His volunteers are not permitted by policy to fight fires outside their own district.

"It's a difficult situation for a structural department to be in, but we have to follow guidelines," Hanson said.

No one was hurt and the family, headed by Jeff and Deanna Langberg, has insurance and relatives in town, Hanson said. The total loss, including the family's belongings, is estimated at $500,000, Hanson said.

Before the fire spread to the house, estimated at more than 2,000 square feet, neighbors helped retrieve pictures, papers, two freezers, a stove and clothing, Hanson said.

Glacier Bay seeks kayaking guides

JUNEAU - Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is soliciting proposals for guided sea kayaking services.

One prospectus solicits proposals for guided day tours out of Bartlett Cove, and the other is for overnight trips.

Up to one concession contract will be awarded for the day trip services, and up to two contracts for the overnight services.

All contracts will be for about 10 years starting in 2006.

For more information, see www.nps.gov/glba/pphtml/news.html.

Former head of nonprofit sentenced for embezzlement

FAIRBANKS - The former head of two nonprofit agencies was sentenced to nine months in prison for embezzling grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency.

A federal judge on Friday also ordered Johnny Lee Napier to pay $104,000 in restitution.

Judge James Fitzgerald said Napier deceived the government when he took money from three grants for his personal use between 1999 and 2002.

Napier pleaded guilty in March to embezzling $50,000 while he worked at Minority Education and Entrepreneurship Training Inc.

The government agreed to drop two charges that Napier embezzled an additional $60,000 while employed at Fairbanks Family Alternative and Minority Education and Entrepreneurship Training Inc.

Napier's attorney requested he be given a six-month sentence at Fairbanks' North Star Community Correction Center and to pay no more than $50,000 in restitution.

However, Fitzgerald ordered him to serve his sentence at a federal prison.

The missing money came from grants to pay for employment training and certification in asbestos and lead removal.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Cooper said Napier used part of the money to pay for church tithes, political contributions, a holiday time share, state and federal taxes, rent and other personal expenses for him and his wife, Lavada.

Napier denied that.

Eight bears killed in Anchorage so far this summer

ANCHORAGE - Eight nuisance black bears have been killed and another sent north for study and eventual destruction in Fairbanks despite a campaign in Anchorage to keep garbage and birdseed away from attracting the animals.

Authorities are cracking down on scofflaws. So far this summer, 17 people have been handed a $110 state citation for negligent feeding of bears. Four dozen others may soon receive a city ticket for leaving garbage out before midnight, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

"We've essentially received hundreds of calls," said assistant state biologist Jessy Coltrane. "A couple weeks ago, I was logging 30 calls per day. It's the same problem we've had every single year: It's the trash."

An estimated 50 to 60 black bears live in the Anchorage Bowl. A single bear working a Muldoon street can hit 40 trash cans in an hour and generate 30 calls, Coltrane said.



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