Explosion injures three in Juneau home
JUNEAU - Richard See, 20, of Juneau, sustained shrapnel injuries to the neck and upper torso Sunday night after allegedly building an explosive device that detonated at a home on Dogwood Lane in the Mendenhall Valley.
See was medevaced from Bartlett Regional Hospital to an Anchorage hospital for treatment of injuries caused by pipe shrapnel that went through his neck, possibly injuring his jugular vein in two places, according to Juneau police.
Adrienne Hosiner, 18, and Justin McBride, 19, both of Juneau, also sustained minor injuries from the explosion. A 16-year-old boy also present at the home was uninjured in the incident.
Calls to three Anchorage hospitals - Alaska Regional Hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center, and Alaska Native Medical Center - revealed no further information about See's condition. New medical privacy laws restrict information that can be released about patients.
A police investigation revealed that the explosive device was based on a "Confetti Popper" design, which usually consists of a cardboard type of material packed with confetti.
No charges were filed in the incident, but the District Attorney's office was notified and a report is pending.
Tongass gets new forest supervisor
JUNEAU - The Tongass National Forest has a new forest supervisor and a new deputy forest supervisor, the Forest Service announced Monday.
Forest Cole, Alaska Region director of forest management, was selected to replace forest supervisor Tom Puchlerz, said Alaska regional forester Denny Bschor. Cole has spent 23 years of his career working on the Tongass.
"I welcome the challenge," Cole said, "and I'm happy to be back on the Tongass again."
He and his wife, Shirley, plan to make Ketchikan their home.
Puchlerz recently accepted a job with the Forest Service's Northern Region in Montana.
Olleke Rappe-Daniels, the deputy director of the Forest Service's Northern Region Public and Governmental Affairs staff, was chosen to be the deputy forest supervisor. Rappe-Daniels has spent 27 years in the Northern Region working on various assignments, including fire, recreation and appeals and litigation.
Both will assume their duties late in August.
Woman's body pulled from Cook Inlet
ANCHORAGE - A body of a woman was recovered Thursday by a fishing vessel in Cook Inlet off Anchor Point.
Alaska State Troopers said the body was that of an older woman. An autopsy is planned. The woman has not been positively identified.
Three people on a small airplane have been missing in the area since June 25.
A Cessna 180 flying from Hallo Bay to Homer never arrived. On board were pilot Bert Novak of Palmer and passengers James and Pam Hawthorne of Lake Worth, Fla.
Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said the body was recovered by the Corona Kay, which was performing salmon counts for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The body was recovered in a gill net and showed no signs of foul play.
Troopers indicated the body looked as if it had been in the water for about two weeks.
Thieves target laptop computers
ANCHORAGE - Somebody with an eye for laptop computers is walking into businesses during the day or breaking into them at night and walking off with the portable machines, according to Anchorage police.
At least seven laptops have been stolen from offices primarily in the downtown business core and in Midtown between June 24 and June 27, police said last week.
Five other downtown businesses were burglarized in the same period but nothing was taken, said police spokeswoman Anita Shell.
"Those could be by the same burglar who was looking for laptops" but instead did not find any, Shell said.
The victimized companies include advertising agencies, a travel trade association and a nonprofit scholarship foundation.
"There's a plethora of different data on those computers," Shell said. "I think simply they're stealing them to get rid of them to get money."
Three downtown businesses that lost computers are in ground-floor offices. In one incident, someone walked into an office in the middle of the day, picked up a laptop and walked off with it, Shell said.
The other offices were broken into after business hours. The burglar usually went in through the main door by crashing through it or jimmying it open, according to Shell.
Laptops accounted for 54 percent of May's retail sales of personal computers, according to a survey by a New York market research company, the NPD Group.
They're also the most commonly stolen computers, Shell said. Usually, however, laptops are ripped off from vehicles as a crime of opportunity.
"Why they're just targeting laptops and nothing else - I wonder if this is Internet sales," she said.
Trooper car smashed during traffic stop
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska State Trooper car was smashed Friday as an officer was conducting a traffic stop near Mile 12 Seward Highway.
Trooper Victor Aye was standing outside his patrol vehicle when a northbound 1985 Camaro clipped the right front panel of the trooper car.
Troopers said the driver, John Wallace, 48, of Anchorage, was attempting to merge from a two-lane section of the road into a one-lane section.
An unidentified vehicle behind Wallace then either braked or made an evasive move, causing a third vehicle, a 1990 Chevrolet sedan, to swerve right.
The sedan, driven by Bonnie J. Trummell, 24, of Anchorage, smashed into the patrol car from behind. The trooper car was pushed forward, narrowly missing Trooper Aye.
Wallace was charged with driving while intoxicated.