Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Planning commission OKs dock addition

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JUNEAU - The Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for Bayhouse Properties LLC to develop a 250-foot addition to the Statter Harbor Dock in Auke Bay.

The proposed dock would be primarily used for loading and unloading passengers onto sightseeing vessels. Additional uses include a space for direct retail sales from fishing vessels to the public and off-season moorage for local boat owners.

Under the conditions of the permit, Bayhouse Properties has agreed to finance the replacement of the "old, steep" city-owned gangway immediately south of the Harbormaster Building with a 100-foot Americans with Disabilities Act-approved covered gangway.

The conditional use permit also includes the construction of 4,800 square foot staging area constructed on private property to accommodate tour buses.

Murder trial starts in missing woman case

ANCHORAGE - Opening statements are scheduled this week in the murder trial of Michael Lawson, accused of killing a Talkeetna woman shortly after she moved to Anchorage in 2003 to attend college.

Lawson, 49, is charged with murder, kidnapping, evidence tampering, arson and misconduct involving a weapon in the death of Bethany Correira, 21.

However, the state is entering the trial without its star witness, Lawson's brother Robert, who committed suicide in March 2006.

Police say that on May 3, 2003, Michael Lawson raped, shot and killed Correira and then called his older brother, Robert, for help. Robert Lawson had claimed he helped dump the body at a gravel pit near Talkeetna.

U.S. Army identifies soldier killed in Iraq

FORT RICHARDSON - A 21-year-old Fort Richardson paratrooper from California has been identified as the latest Fort Richardson casualty in Iraq, an Army spokesman said Tuesday.

Sgt. Shawn G. Adams of Dixon, Calif., died Sunday when a roadside bomb detonated near his vehicle near Owaset, U.S. Army Alaska Capt. Richard Hyde said.

Adams was an infantryman who joined the Army in August 2004 and was assigned to Fort Richardson in April 2005.

Two other paratroopers were injured in the incident, one seriously. They were taken to a military hospital in Iraq.

BP profit rises 1.5% on one-time gains

LONDON - BP reported a 1.5 percent increase in second quarter profit on Tuesday, boosted by proceeds from the sale of its last British refinery and a pipeline in the United States.

But its earnings excluding those gains and other unusual items fell 12.5 percent from a year ago. Production declines and refinery outages also hurt the results, BP said.

BP, delivering its first results since Tony Hayward succeeded John Browne as chief executive on May 1, posted a net profit of $7.38 billion for the quarter, up from $7.27 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue was marginally lower at $73.1 billion compared with $73.2 billion a year ago.

The rise in net profit was overshadowed by a 1 percent drop in BP's closely watched replacement cost profit, which measures the amount it would cost to replace assets at current prices - viewed by many analysts as the best measure of an oil company's underlying performance.

Juneau chef joins national cook-off

NEW ORLEANS - Chef Stefani Marnon, of Juneau, will represent Alaska in the 2007 Great American Seafood Cook-Off on Aug. 4 and 5 in New Orleans.

On Aug. 4, all participating chefs will be invited to create elaborate dishes using domestic seafood. In many cases, the chefs will prepare dishes that feature seafood native to their state.

On Aug. 5, the top finishers will be create dishes that home chefs can easily replicate. They'll be judged on taste, creativity and ease of preparation.

EDA seeks support for reauthorization

JUNEAU - The Business and Economic Department of Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska is asking for public input on the reauthorization of Economic Development Administration programs.

These programs, such as the Public Works and Economic Development Program, the Local Technical Assistance Program and the Planning Program, were last authorized on Oct. 27, 2004, by President Bush. EDA programs are set to expire after fiscal year 2008.

Reauthorization of economic development assistance programs is needed to continue funding of projects throughout Southeast Alaska and the United States.

The EDA is asking that people of Southeast tribes and communities who have projects and programs funded by EDA and its programs submit their comments, including success stories made possible by EDA support and funding.

E-mail letters can be sent directly to Letters should be copied in to as well.

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