Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2001

Riverside Drive meeting tonight

JUNEAU - The city is hosting a public meeting tonight about traffic problems and potential solutions on Riverside Drive.

The city is working on a Riverside Drive Corridor Transportation Plan that will drive funding decisions over the next decade, City Engineering Director John Stone said.

The plan should help address concerns about drivers who speed through the north end of Riverside Drive and nearby neighborhoods. Additionally, a number of changes are planned in the Dimond Park area - including a new high school - that have prompted a look a traffic patterns and safety, Stone said.

Tonight's discussion will include a presentation from consultants who have been studying traffic on the road. The city also wants to hear from residents about problems and possible solutions, Stone said.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the Mendenhall Valley library conference room in the Mendenhall Center.

Stranded Ohio hikers rescued again

JUNEAU - The Coast Guard and mountain rescuers from Sitka were working today to rescue 23 Ohio hikers stranded on Baranof Island. Some of the hikers were also rescued July 16, 1999, from a nearby location.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka rescue helicopter crew transported a Sitka Mountain Rescue team to Mount Bassie at 7:05 this morning. The rescuers found and escorted seven of the hikers down the mountain to the rescue aircraft. The helicopter crew transported the hikers to Sitka where they received medical treatment at a Sitka Community Hospital for minor ailments.

The 23 hikers, led by Paul Miller of Ohio, are members of a church group. They became stranded on the mountain and radioed for help Wednesday morning after dense fog disrupted their hike and impeded their safety, the Coast Guard said. Miller told the Coast Guard five or six hikers, ranging in age from 13 to 59, became panic stricken. He also estimated the group had only one day of food left.

Wednesday's 100-yard visibility and dense fog prevented rescuers from reaching the hikers until this morning when weather conditions improved.

The Sitka Mountain Rescue team planned to escort the remaining hikers down Mount Bassie to Baranof Warm Springs, an estimated seven-hour trek.

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