Teenager charged with sexual abuse
JUNEAU - An 18-year-old Juneau man was being held Thursday on $20,000 bail, accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl.
Police reported they arrested Charles David Williams after an officer found him in a car at a Mendenhall Valley school parking lot with the girl at 1:01 a.m. Thursday. Officers lodged him in the Lemon Creek Correctional Center, charging him with four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Each second-degree charge could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree sexual abuse of a minor is five years.
Police took the car into evidence and released the girl to her parents.
In addition to setting bail at $20,000 Thursday afternoon, Juneau District Court Judge Keith Levy appointed the public defender's office to represent Williams.
Levy also said that if Williams posts bail, he can have no contact with the victim and must not associate with anyone under 16. He also ordered that Williams would have to be home between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
SE flight to AFN convention sought
JUNEAU - Alaska Airlines could set up a direct flight between Juneau and Fairbanks for the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in October, according to a Fairbanks convention official.
Currently there are no flights between the state capital and Fairbanks, which expects 3,500 visitors when it hosts the AFN convention Oct. 17-22, Jennifer Jolis, Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau's meetings and conventions manager, said this week while in Juneau.
Alaska Airlines has said it would take 130 passengers on a special Fairbanks run, she said. Interested travelers can contact the Fairbanks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jolis said.
While her organization doesn't charter airlines, she has explored what Alaska Airlines can provide to make it easier for Southeast Alaskans to get to the convention, she said.
People can get more information on the convention, Fairbanks, lodging and car rental companies, go to http://www.explorefairbanks.com/afn or by calling the convention and visitors bureau toll-free at (877) 551-1728, ext. 235.
The sooner people book their lodging, the better their choices will be, Jolis said. "We have been getting reservations since practically March."
Flags lowered for former lawmaker
JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski ordered states to half-staff Thursday in honor of former state Rep. Drew Scalzi of Homer, who died July 21.
Scalzi was a commercial fisherman who moved to Alaska in 1975 and served in the Legislature in 2001 and 2002. He also served on the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly and the International Pacific Halibut Commission and the Alaska Coastal Policy Council.
Scalzi was 53.
State flags will remain at half-staff until Aug. 5.
Ceremony held for brigade headed to Iraq
FAIRBANKS - A ceremony was held Thursday at the Fort Wainwright Army Post to bid farewell to the 3,800 soldiers of the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team who will begin leaving this weekend for a yearlong tour of Iraq.
For some, the ceremony was a turning point after 18 months of preparation and worry. In 12 months, the brigade should begin returning to family and friends.
"We don't have to talk about him leaving anymore," Jacqueline Moore said of her husband, a staff sergeant with the brigade. "Now we can talk about him coming home."
Moore was among 2,000 to 3,000 family, friends, dignitaries, community leaders and members of the public who ringed the brigade as its members stood in formation for the ceremony. In all, more than 6,000 people were on hand to mark Alaska's largest deployment since the Vietnam War.