Northwest Digest

Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crewman is accused of passing bad checks

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JUNEAU - A Florida man accused of stealing almost $36,000 in watches from Southeast Alaska stores this month was arrested after Juneau police searched the cruise ship where he works.

Eric Falcon, 22, was arrested on a charge of first-degree theft after a search warrant was executed on Sunday. He was lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center without bail.

Police received their first report about a theft from a Juneau store on June 17. A man had purchased a watch worth $11,905 with a bad check. The same day, a Ketchikan branch of the store reported the purchase of a $6,240 watch on a bad check.

On Saturday, Juneau police were told a man had bought three more watches worth $18,780 from a store in Juneau.

"He knew the checking account was closed, and he continued to write checks after it was closed," Juneau police Sgt. Dave Campbell said.

On Sunday, police searched his room on the cruise ship and recovered three watches. Police declined to name the cruise ship company that employs Falcon.

Fishing boat collides with cruise ship

ANCHORAGE - A collision between a Seattle-based fishing vessel and a cruise ship in Southeast Alaska early Monday is under investigation, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

The Adirondack, a 58-foot salmon boat, was dead in the water after the crash disabled its steering system, said Petty Officer Sara Francis.

No injuries have been reported, and the 257-foot cruise ship Spirit of Yorktown reported no damage, Francis said.

Another fishing vessel - the Guardian - arrived on the scene and towed the Adirondack to Sitka, where Coast Guard officials inspected it, she said.

"We certainly got hit, and it sustained pretty extensive damage," said Adirondack owner and operator Alan Jacklet, 43. "There was no breach to the hull, so we were very fortunate."

The crash occurred around 1 a.m. Monday in calm seas and light winds in Southeast Alaska's Chatham Strait, on the southeastern end of Catherine Island, about 15 miles south of Angoon, Francis said.

The skies were overcast at the time of the collision, making the area dark, she said.

Family honors man's rescuers in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - A celebration of heroism was held at Mary Morris' south Fairbanks home Sunday.

Her family and friends were there, as were two of the three being honored - Air Force Staff Sgt. Bryan Fletcher and Senior Airman John Rogers, who last week saved Morris' son, 35-year-old Joseph Mead, from drowning in a lake just southwest of Fairbanks.

"I was so thankful to God he put these people at the right place at the right time," Morris said at the afternoon luncheon and ceremony. "I just wanted to recognize them, and I'm just so very, very thankful."

Cousins traveled from Healy Lake to perform Athabascan songs honoring the two men, who along with Senior Airman Elicia Greer pulled an unconscious Mead from the lake near Fairbanks International Airport and revived him on June 16.

The three had been biking and four-wheeling near the lake when they witnessed Mead, who had been partying along the lakeside that night, drowning.

Icebreaker Healy returns to Seattle

SEATTLE - The Coast Guard icebreaker Healy has returned to Seattle after a three-month deployment to the Bering Sea on a scientific mission.

The crew and scientists aboard the 420-foot cutter took samples and mapped nearly 10,000 miles of sea floor.

The Healy is scheduled to depart in August for another mission to map the Arctic's floor and measure water temperature and currents.

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