State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Woman charged with DWI after accident

JUNEAU - A 28-year-old woman was arrested on a charge of drunken driving Saturday night after an accident that reportedly sounded like an explosion to some near the Mendenhall Loop Road and Stephen Richards Memorial Drive scene.

Deanna Starr, driving a 1994 Chevrolet S-10 pickup toward the glacier on Mendenhall Loop, failed to stop for a red light at about 7 p.m., according to the Juneau Police investigation. Additional charges are pending beyond driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol concentration exceeding 0.08 percent, police reported.

Police determined that a 2000 Honda Civic operated by a 53-year-old local man was making a left turn from Stephen Richards onto Mendenhall Loop when the car was sideswiped by Starr's pickup.

The pickup veered toward the bike path where it struck and sheered off a light pole before striking a bulkhead at the driveway. The vehicle went airborne for about 15 feet and stopped on the bike path.

The driver of the Honda and a 49-year-old male passenger were uninjured. Capital City Fire and Rescue personnel extricated a 34-year-old woman from Starr's vehicle. She was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital where she was diagnosed with multiple fractures to one leg.

Damage to the pickup was estimated at $5,000. Damage to the Honda was estimated at $4,000. The intersection was the scene of a fatal accident last Tuesday.

Agencies lay out course on Kensington

JUNEAU - State and federal agencies involved in analyzing the proposed Kensington mine have outlined a schedule for permitting the project.

State and federal agencies signed a "memorandum of understanding" to help complete the environmental approvals for the mine, according to an announcement Monday.

It was signed by the state Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp., which plans to operate the gold mine in Southeast Alaska near Juneau, anticipates receiving all necessary permits for the project by January 2004, the company said.

The agreement outlines the roles that each agency will play in the project but does not set out a deadline for completing the work.

A draft environmental impact statement is expected to be completed in October and the mine could be operating as early as mid-2005, said Steve Hohensee, Forest Service project manager.

The Kensington mine is located about 45 miles north of Juneau. It contains an estimated 1.8 million ounces of gold reserves. The mine project is estimated to cost about $510 million and produce about 175,000 ounces of gold annually, the company said.

Missile officials wait for extra money

WASHINGTON - Sen. Ted Stevens' proposed $200 million increase in spending for ground-based missile interceptors would provide money beyond what President Bush's budget projected was necessary to have 16 interceptor silos at Fort Greely by the end of 2005.

A Missile Defense Agency spokesman, in response to questions from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, said the agency already had programmed enough money into its budget requests to cover the 16 silos.

The spokesman also reiterated that the military is unsure about how it would spend the $200 million if it survives a House-Senate conference committee on the Defense Department spending bill for next year.

Currently, the money is only in the Senate version of the bill.

"From the 'one-sentence' description provided by the committee, it is very difficult to ascertain just what the intent of the Congress is for these funds," MDA spokesman Chris Taylor said last week. "We expect that the conference report may provide further clarification."

Northwest doing brisk business in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE - Northwest Airlines Cargo Inc. is doing a brisk business at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, and doesn't anticipate slowing down anytime soon.

In fiscal 2002, Northwest accounted for 7 percent of the airport's total revenues, or $3.7 million, according to the Alaska Journal of Commerce.

"Logistically, with our type of aircraft, this is the right place for us because of the range of the aircraft," said Dean Weber, general manager of Northwest's cargo operations in Anchorage.

"Flying into Anchorage allows us to have a greater payload. And it's a good fit for us economically with the Anchorage community looking for long-term residents. The airport and the community have been behind us. I think that's why we like it here. It fits."

Northwest has about 500 employees in Anchorage. The city is a hub for its Pacific cargo operation.

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