State Briefs

Posted: Monday, July 28, 2003

Hoonah man says Agent Orange buried in Tok

FAIRBANKS - The former employee of a contractor hired by the Army told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that he helped bury Agent Orange in Tok 30 years ago.

John Erickson said he wondered at the time if he was doing the right thing given the health concerns raised by the use of Agent Orange as a defoliant during the Vietnam War.

But Erickson said the Army command at Fort Greely gave orders to the contractor to dig a big hole and bury the six, 55-gallon barrels.

Erickson said he's contacted government officials to tell them what he had done. Those officials have found his story credible and are planning what to do next.

The problem with Agent Orange is that a manufacturing flaw created a deadly byproduct called dioxin. The Veterans Administration believes dioxin to be the source of cancers and Type II diabetes in Vietnam veterans and birth defects in their children.

Wainwright soldiers charged with assault

FAIRBANKS - A Fort Wainwright soldier was in critical condition Sunday at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after allegedly being beaten by two other soldiers.

Michael P. Annunziato, 26, of Fairbanks, and Jason M. Galvin, 23, of Fort Wainwright, were charged with attacking Monty Roy Haney, 34.

Police said the attack occurred early Saturday in the parking lot of the Reflections nightclub, where Haney was punched and kicked repeatedly.

Eyewitnesses saw two men approach Haney in the parking lot at about 2 a.m. and, without any words being exchanged, begin to punch him in the head, according to a criminal complaint.

They told police Haney fell to the ground, after which the two men continued to kick and punch him in the head and abdomen numerous times.

Campers missing for days found safe

ANCHORAGE - Two men have been found safe after they were missing several days in a Copper River excursion.

Russell Goodin, 45, of Valdez and Robin Dietsch, 23, of North Carolina were located Friday walking along the river, Alaska State Troopers said.

The pair had become separated from their raft. On Monday, a trooper from the Glennallen post discovered the men's abandoned camp on a sandbar on the river eight miles south of Chitina.

The trooper found their rented U-Haul van five miles away, a vehicle that had been scheduled for return July 19, troopers said.

Ships may have to be equipped with anti-collision device

ANCHORAGE - Certain ships may have to be equipped with anti-collision technology that the federal government believe may be useful in thwarting terrorism.

Under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, ships should be identifiable from a distance. The rule will eventually require the device to be installed on all ships of a certain size.

The equipment, called an automated identification system, will cost about $9,000. The device has a transponder similar to those on airplanes.

High school drug policy spurs lawsuit

FAIRBANKS - A North Pole High School student and his father are suing school staff and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District Board over a drug-testing policy they say violates U.S. Constitutional rights.

The school gave Anthony Frey an ultimatum the last day of school in May: Take a drug test or face a 90-day expulsion.

In the suit filed Thursday in Fairbanks state court, attorneys for Frey and his father Martin Frey allege that school staff ordered Anthony to submit to a nurse's eye exam after he displayed red eyes on the last day of school.

The results of the test, called a "rapid eye exam," resulted in vice principal Ted Scoles ordering Anthony, a freshman at the time, to provide within 24 hours a urine sample that would be tested for drugs.

Anthony was expelled for the first 90 days of the upcoming school year after his father refused to have his son provide the sample, the suit states.

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