Alaska Briefs

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2003

Girls hospitalized after car rolls over

JUNEAU - Two 16-year-old girls were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital Saturday night after a single vehicle rollover accident near mile 23 of the Veterans Memorial Highway.

The driver of the car was cited for negligent driving and the vehicle, a 2001 Geo Prizm, was impounded.

Based on witness accounts and roadway information, the Prizm was traveling inbound on the highway at a high rate of speed just after 7 p.m. The driver lost control of the car as it rounded a corner and swerved off the road and into a ditch. The front end of the car dug into the ditch, propelling the car upside down.

The driver and the passenger were able to escape from the vehicle without assistance. The car was totaled.

Californians on board plane that crashed

ANCHORAGE - The three people who died in a plane crash near Skagway were all from California, Alaska State Troopers said.

The pilot of the single-engine aircraft was identified as Donald Johnson, 68, of Grass Valley. The two passengers were Lawrence Solin, 45, of Sacramento and James Morton Jr., 70, of Grass Valley.

The plane crashed and burned Friday evening off Nine Mile Dyea Road.

All identifying markings on the aircraft were destroyed.

A witness told Skagway police the plane took off and may have turned too soon toward a ridge line. The witness said the airplane engine appeared to stall as the plane tried to climb.

Police called troopers shortly after 5 p.m. Friday and a Juneau trooper arrived at about 9:30 p.m.

No known flight plan was filed for any planes matching the few descriptors available, according to troopers.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Alaska ferry sold online to highest bidderP>

ANCHORAGE - An Alaska state ferry was sold on eBay Sunday to the highest bidder.

The online auction ended Sunday afternoon with a winning bid of $389,500 for the 1,500-ton E.L. Bartlett. The 193-foot vessel was built in 1968 and can carry 29 cars and 236 passengers.

The buyer goes by the username of Salmon Man 1953. The buyer doesn't appear to have any previous purchases on eBay and bid on the ship in the last 10 minutes of the auction.

Nikiski woman lands $50,000 silver salmon

ANCHORAGE - A Nikiski woman is $50,000 richer after landing a tagged silver salmon over the weekend during the annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

Vicky Williams was fishing with her son and grandchildren Saturday afternoon when she caught the fish wearing the coveted tag near the cruise ship terminal.

As her son reached out with a net to bring the silver into his boat, Williams yelled.

"I said, 'Oh, it's a tag, it's a tag. Don't drop it!'" she recalled.

Williams said she'll split her winnings with her son and his family. She also planned to give some to her church.

The derby runs through Aug. 23.

Liquor industry group sues over ballot question

FAIRBANKS - A liquor industry association is suing the Fairbanks North Star Borough to keep a local 5 percent alcohol tax proposal off the Oct. 7 municipal ballot.

The Interior Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association filed the lawsuit Friday, saying there are too many unknowns about how the borough would administer the tax.

On July 31, the Borough Assembly approved in a 9-1 vote the ballot question: Shall the Fairbanks North Star Borough levy an areawide 5 percent tax on the retail sale of alcohol with limited exemptions for alcohol sales taxed by the city of Fairbanks and city of North Pole?

Assembly members Bonnie Williams, Cynthia Henry and Victoria Foote, the three behind the ballot question, are asking for the tax to level competition between alcohol beverage sellers and to diversify the tax base. Some on the assembly see it as an avenue of funding for local efforts combating alcohol abuse.

State basks in more sizzling temperatures

ANCHORAGE - High temperatures continued to broil Southcentral and Western Alaska over the weekend, the National Weather Service said.

On Saturday, Big Lake reached a high of 91 degrees and Bethel peaked at 86 in Bethel, according to the weather service.

It was 82 in Anchorage, a record high for the date. Until Saturday, the hottest Aug. 9 was 77 in 1993. Saturday's reading marked the city's 10th record daily high this year.

Anchorage's temperature tied records in four other years as the highest August reading ever.

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