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Posted: Thursday, July 06, 2000

Auke Bay fishing closure planned

JUNEAU - A small saltwater shoreline area of Auke Bay will be closed to all sportfishing from Friday through Sept. 15.

The closed area, just off the mouth of Auke Creek, is inside of a boundary line extending from the Auke Bay Laboratory's boat dock south to the nearest of two white buoys at the lab's saltwater intake pipe, then continuing to an identical second buoy and a state regulatory marker on the Fritz Cove shoreline.

The closure is needed to protect adult sockeye salmon returning to the Auke Lake system. The return is projected to be only 1,300 fish, far short of the goal of 5,000 fish, the state Department of Fish and Game said.

Injured GCI worker out of hospital

JUNEAU - A GCI employee who fell from an electrical pole June 26 in Ketchikan is back home in Juneau this week sporting what he calls ``new hardware.''

Greg Farmer, 41, of Juneau, was in Ketchikan helping GCI employees there with a construction project when he fell about 15 feet to the ground, breaking a vertebra. Because of the seriousness of the injury, Farmer was medevaced directly from Ketchikan to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was put in a cast that night, and later underwent spine fusion surgery, said Larry Zalin, spokesman for Harborview. ``He went home July 3,'' Zalin said.

Farmer, a maintenance technician for GCI for four years, has worked out of the same Juneau office for 15 years. ``I'm feeling slow and tired,'' Farmer said this morning.

For the next three weeks, he will wear a back brace, which he says makes him look like a turtle. ``So there are a lot of vague things and unknowns. Time will tell,'' he said.

``But I was very fortunate on what was crushed, because it could have been a lot worse,'' he added.

Williams Alaska buys stake in oil pipeline

TULSA, Okla. - Williams Alaska Petroleum has completed its purchase of a 3.1 percent stake in the trans-Alaska oil pipeline from Mobile Alaska Pipeline Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Company officials said the ownership position would add to the company's existing presence in Alaska and would boost earnings.

``Further, we believe that it strategically positions us to participate in the transportation of future hydrocarbons developed on the North Slope,'' said Ralph Hill, senior vice president and general manager of petroleum services, exploration and production.

Williams owns a large refinery in North Pole and a network of 28 gas station-convenience stores, a distribution terminal at the Port of Anchorage and an interest in an air cargo transfer facility at Anchorage International Airport. The company is also the state's largest supplier of jet fuel.

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