AlaskaDigest

Posted: Friday, July 08, 2005

Auke Creek mouth closes to snagging

JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game will close a small saltwater area of Auke Bay, immediately off the mouth of Auke Creek, to snagging from 12:01 a.m. Saturday through next Wednesday.

Fish unintentionally hooked somewhere besides the mouth must be released immediately. The regulation is needed to protect adult sockeye salmon returning to Auke Bay and Auke Lake.

Many anglers trying to snag hatchery-released king salmon are snagging sockeyes, according to Fish and Game's sport-fish division.

The use of weighted hooks and lures and large treble hooks also is prohibited.

The regulations are in effect inside a boundary line extending from the Auke Bay Laboratory's boat dock south to the nearest of the two orange floating markers that indicate the location of the University of Alaska's saltwater intake pipe, then extending to the second of the two orange markers and finally to a Fish and Game regulation sign on the Fritz Cove Road shoreline just south of the mouth of Auke Creek.

Suspected vehicle burglar arrested

JUNEAU - Police are asking people who believe they have items missing from their vehicles to contact officers after an incident Thursday morning in which a 20-year-old man was arrested in the Lemon Creek area.

Officers investigating reports of vehicle burglaries after 2 a.m. Thursday charged the man with criminal trespass, providing false information to officers and underage drinking. According to police reports, they concluded he had entered a vehicle without the owner's permission.

Vehicle burglaries have been reported in other Juneau neighborhoods in recent days.

Drug conspirator sentenced to 11 years

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man convicted of a conspiracy involving distribution of illegal drugs in Juneau and other Alaska communities has been sentenced in federal court.

Jason Scott Barton, 34, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in federal prison for his involvement in a conspiracy involving cocaine distribution and money laundering.

According to the indictment, from July 2000 through Nov. 18, 2003, conspirators distributed controlled substance, primarily cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and ecstasy in Juneau, Anchorage, Ketchikan, Craig and Klawock. The narcotics were obtained from California.

Conspirators reportedly had deposits totaling more than $500,000 in their bank accounts.

The drugs were brought into Alaska often in modified men's underwear, according to the indictment. Couriers used the Alaska Marine Highway System and commercial airlines. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Barton was sentenced on June 22. Earlier in the week, Idelfonso Green Lopez, 31, and Miguel A. Chavez, 22, both of California, were sentenced to more than 12 years for their part in the conspiracy. Prior to that, Abel Chavez, 28, of California, and Jose DeJesus Mercado Reyes, 43, of Mexico, were sentenced to more than 15 years in the case.

Airplane damaged at dock while taxiing

EXCURSION INLET - A Wings of Alaska floatplane sustained minor damage in an incident Sunday at the dock, according to an official for the National Transportation Safety Board in Anchorage.

Air Safety Investigator Larry Lewis said Thursday the Cessna 207 needed only to replace a part at a wing tip after the wing hit a structure at the dock while taxiing after landing in the community on the west coast of Lynn Canal about 38 miles northwest of Juneau.

Lewis said the plane was issued a permit to fly back to Juneau for the needed repairs

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The plane was carrying a pilot and four passengers.

Cook Inlet offshore lease sale postponed

KENAI - A lease sale for natural gas prospects in the Cook Inlet offshore area has been postponed because of a lack of interest, according to the U.S. Minerals Management Service.

The lease sale was planned for next May but now will be held sometime in 2007, the service announced this week.

"We will evaluate early next year whether we will restart planning for a sale in 2007," said John Goll, MMS Alaska Outer Continental Shelf regional director. "If conditions change, we could proceed. The Cook Inlet region faces future shortages in natural gas supplies, and we want to be ready to respond if companies decide to renew exploration offshore."



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