Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2005

Man charged with molesting child

JUNEAU - An 8-year-old alleged sexual abuse victim may have been sexually abused when she was as young as 6, according to a state prosecutor.

Gregory Kozeroff, 27, appeared Friday in Juneau District Court on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. Police arrested him after receiving a report Thursday afternoon from the state Office of Child Services and lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Alaska Senior Attorney Rick Svobodny told Levy the alleged victim talked about a pattern of behavior that goes back two years.

District Judge Keith Levy set Kozeroff's bail at $20,000 and said the court would need to approve someone to watch him to make sure he abided by his conditions of release.

He told Kozeroff the charge carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison, and if he were convicted as a first-offender, he would be facing a sentence of eight to 12 years.

Drunken man charged with assaulting officer

JUNEAU - A 39-year-old Juneau man allegedly assaulted a police officer and had to be restrained with an electronic stun device early Saturday after being told he was too highly intoxicated to enter a downtown bar, according to police.

The man was charged with assaulting a police officer and being a drunken person in a business selling alcohol, as well as resisting arrest, criminal mischief and fourth-degree assault. All the charges were misdemeanors.

Police lodged him at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Officers reported they initial talked to him at about 12:20 a.m. after receiving a report that a man and woman were fighting on Front and Seward Streets. The two denied fighting and showed no signs of struggle, but officers told the man he was too drunk to legally go anywhere where alcohol was served.

Police reported the man walked away and immediately entered a bar. They followed him inside and escorted him out, when trying to put handcuffs on him, he allegedly swung the handcuffed hand around, and the loose handcuff struck an officer in the forehead.

After continuing to struggle and refusing to be handcuffed, police shot him with an electronic stun device, police said.

The man was taken to the state prison and the officer was treated for a deep cut on his head, according to the report.

Wildfires near Eagle could merge

EAGLE, Alaska - Two wildfires spanning thousands of acres near Eagle are poised to merge, fire officials said.

The Boundary Creek fire south of Eagle and the Mission Creek fire west of the small town were separated Saturday by less than five miles, fire information officials said.

Strong north winds have caused both fires to spread about ten miles each in the last two days.

The blazes are threatening a scattered handful of about five homes near the Taylor Highway at Liberty and O'Brien Creek, said fire information officer Ted Pettis.

Fire crews are clearing brush around the houses and trees and putting up pumps and sprinkler systems in efforts to save the structures, Pettis said.

Fire officials said in a worst-case scenario, the merged fires could start moving toward Eagle.

"It would create another fire front that if the winds shifted around to come from the south, would threaten Eagle," Pettis said.

South winds have not been common in the area where the fires are burning, Pettis said. Still, fire crews are prepared for changes in the temperament of the blazes, he said.

Noll named Commerce head

JUNEAU - Bill Noll, Gov. Frank Murkowski's communications director, has been appointed to replace Edgar Blatchford as commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

Noll, 66, said Murkowski offered him the job on Wednesday and asked him to start immediately by sitting in on negotiations with the three major North Slope oil producers for fiscal terms to build a gas pipeline.

Noll has been the governor's communications director since April. Before that, he was a deputy commissioner for the Commerce department. That experience, Murkowski said in a prepared statement, should "ensure continuity for the programs and services provided by Commerce."

Noll said he was not interested in changing the department's direction, and he wants to continue to emphasize economic development through natural resource extraction and by increasing job opportunities.

The communications director position will go unfilled, said Murkowski spokeswoman Becky Hultberg. Noll's former duties will be split between deputy communications director McHugh Pierre and budget director Cheryl Frasca, she said. Since taking office, Murkowski has had four communications directors.

State increases pink salmon limits

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game increased bag and possession limits for Southeast Alaska sport fishing, effective through Oct. 31.

The new limits, which went into effect Friday, are 12 pink salmon per day and 24 in possession. The limits apply to all fresh and salt waters in the region, except in streams closed to sport fishing for salmon.

The previous limits were six fish per day and 12 in possession.

Anglers should check the 2005 sport fishing regulations or call a Fish and Game office before fishing in freshwater areas.

Fish and Game has projected a strong pink salmon run in Southeast Alaska this year that will likely exceed the department's biological escapement goals.

The Alaska Board of Fisheries authorizes Fish and Game to increase bag and possession limits by emergency order when total escapement is predicted to exceed the department's goals.

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