Briefly

Posted: Friday, July 13, 2001

Man accused of buying alcohol for teens

ANCHORAGE - A 30-year-old man was arrested Thursday for allegedly buying alcohol for teen-agers involved in Monday's fatal traffic collision with Anchorage police officer Justin T. Wollam, Anchorage police said.

Ronald Frank was arrested on seven counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of reckless endangerment.

The early morning crash occurred when Robert M. Esper, 19, drove a Chevrolet Blazer across the median on the Glenn Highway near Fort Richardson. Killed were Wollam, 28, Esper, and two passengers, Heidi Weilbacher, 14, and Makayla Lewis, 16. A third passenger, Savanah Fielding, was critically injured.

Gov. Tony Knowles ordered state flags lowered to half-staff today in memory of Wollam.

Wollam is survived by his wife, Kristy, and 4-year old daughter Kristin. A memorial service was scheduled for 2 p.m. today at the Anchorage Baptist Temple.

Ship investigators wrap up hearings

ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard panel investigating the sinking of the Arctic Rose wrapped up four days of hearings in Anchorage on Thursday and will likely reconvene in Seattle in August to take more testimony.

The marine board of investigation is trying to learn how and why the Arctic Rose sank suddenly in the Bering Sea on April 2, killing all 15 men on board. The sinking was the worst commercial fishing disaster in Alaska waters in nearly two decades.

Investigators will use sonar in an effort to locate and examine the vessel next week. The Arctic Rose is believed to be resting on the ocean floor in 450 feet of water, about 775 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Air-rage twin pleads to misdemeanor

ANCHORAGE - One of the twin sisters accused of getting drunk and causing a disruption that forced a United Airlines plane bound for China to be diverted to Anchorage pleaded guilty Thursday.

As part of a plea agreement, Crystal Mikula, 22, of Buckley, Mich., pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault for putting her hands around the neck of a flight attendant who was trying to restrain her twin sister, Cynthia Mikula.

The government dropped a felony charge of interfering with a flight crew - a charge that could have brought 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. She faces a maximum six-month jail sentence and $5,000 fine.

The identical twins were arrested April 19 after causing a disturbance in which witnesses said the young women got drunk, began swearing at each other, smoked aboard the plane and assaulted members of the flight crew.



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