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State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, August 06, 2002

Continental jet makes emergency landing in Juneau

JUNEAU - A Continental Airlines jet made an emergency landing in Juneau on Monday afternoon.

The Boeing 757 was on its way from Houston to Anchorage when an indicator light alerted the captain to an anomaly in the fuel levels, said Rahsaan Johnson, a Continental Airlines spokesman in Houston.

"The airplane has a number of fuel tanks and the captain was, in a nutshell, getting fuel readings that showed that the fuel was not flowing between the tanks as he thought it should have been," Johnson said this morning. "Obviously when you're talking about concerns about whether you've got enough fuel to reach your destination, you as the captain are going to act on the side of caution."

The Continental jet landed in Juneau at 2:15 p.m., where maintenance personnel checked the plane and found no problems, Johnson said. The jet took off again at 6:07 p.m. and made it to Anchorage three hours and 40 minutes late.

The 177 passengers and crew on flight 1507 did not appear bothered by the unscheduled stop, said Juneau air traffic manager Steve Turner.

"They all look pretty pleased," said Turner, who watched them unload onto the tarmac. "They were all looking around, taking pictures of each other like they sure weren't expecting to be in Juneau."

A jet makes an unscheduled stop in Juneau about once a year, Turner said.

"Certainly when you see somebody besides Alaska Airlines it's unusual, and this one is bigger than theirs," said Juneau Airport Manager Al Heese. "We're thankful that we have good weather so everybody who flies Continental gets to see Juneau at its best."

Heese doesn't think Continental will become a regular visitor to Juneau.

"I just talked to the pilot and he said we'd have to take down a hill at the end of the runway," he said.

Treadwell Mine Trail may be expanded

JUNEAU - The city's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee this evening will consider a plan to add two spurs to the Treadwell Mine Historic Trail system near Sandy Beach in Douglas.

The system of trails through the former town of Treadwell and nearby mine areas has grown and been widened in recent years, in part for use as a track for student runners.

The Juneau-Douglas High School Cross Country Program wants to build two new trail segments to improve the running course, according to city Parks Supervisor Bob Grochow.

"The work would be undertaken by students and parents with assistance from Trail Mix and would conform to construction standards provided by Parks and Recreation," he said in a memo.

One segment would follow the shoreline while the other would provide a new connection between the upper and lower trails at less steep of a grade than the current trail.

The committee will hear the plan at a meeting beginning at 6 tonight in Juneau Assembly Chambers in City Hall.

Police await blood test results in van accident case

JUNEAU - Police are waiting for blood test results for the driver in the July vehicle accident that sent five teen-agers and young adults to Bartlett Regional Hospital, police Capt. Tom Porter said Monday. No one was seriously injured in the accident.

The results of the search warrant and blood test could take between three weeks to six months to complete, Porter said.

Police said they want to obtain the blood alcohol level of the 30-year-old male driver of a Dodge van the night he drove the van off the road, striking a tree near mile 36.5 Glacier Highway on July 20.

The van carried the driver, whose name is not being released pending possible charges, and six to nine passengers ages 16 to 20. Police said the van was heading from a party near Glacier Highway.

Police, believing alcohol may have been a factor in the accident, last week subpoenaed the man's medical records generated the night of the accident. Blood was taken while the man was a patient as a matter of hospital procedure.

Haines man drowns in gravel pit pond

HAINES - The body of a 20-year-old Haines man was released to his family Monday after it was recovered from a gravel pit pond near Haines Highway on Sunday. The man drowned in the pond while swimming that evening.

Matthew Bell was with a friend and the friend's child around 6:45 p.m. in the pits near mile 26 of the Haines Highway, said Greg Wilkinson, spokesman for the Alaska State Troopers.

The name of the friend is not being released and his age is unknown, Wilkinson said. The name, age and gender of the child also were unknown, he said.

Wilkinson said at some point after Bell and his friend arrived at the pit, the friend went to a more shallow pool nearby so the child could play. When the friend returned about half an hour later, he saw Bell's clothes near Bell's vehicle, but no sign of his friend.

Searchers recovered Bell's body around 7:15 p.m. Rescuers performed CPR at the scene and transported him to the Haines Clinic. At 11 p.m. he remained unresponsive, Wilkinson said, and was pronounced dead.

Wilkinson said alcohol does not appear to be a factor and foul play is not suspected.



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