State Briefs

Posted: Friday, August 16, 2002

Hood, Sanford file for Assembly

JUNEAU - The city clerk's office has certified Juneau Assembly candidate petitions for Dixie Hood and Merrill Sanford for the Oct. 1 city election.

Sanford, a Juneau Planning Commission member and former fire department official, filed for the District 1 Assembly seat. He will run against Assembly incumbent Frankie Pillifant, who filed for re-election earlier this week.

Hood, a psychotherapist and mediator, filed for the District 2 Assembly seat. Assembly incumbent Don Etheridge and Juneau School Board member Stan Ridgeway also have indicated they will run for the District 2 seat.

Assembly incumbent Marc Wheeler has filed for re-election to the areawide seat. Assembly candidates file for a seat based on where they live, but residents vote in all of the races.

Sanford and Hood had said previously they would run. Businessman Chuck Collins also has said he plans to run, but hadn't indicated which seat he will seek.

No one has filed for two open Juneau School Board seats. Incumbents Carolyn Spalding and Deana Darnall have said they won't run for re-election.

Filing closes at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22. Nominating petitions are available from the city clerk's office or online at

Storm floods Chilkoot Trail

JUNEAU - The effects of a rainstorm that pummeled northern Southeast Alaska on Monday are still visible on the Chilkoot Trail near Skagway.

Although the Chilkoot Trail is open, the Sheep Camp campground is closed because of flooding from the Taiya River, according to Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Superintendent Bruce Noble.

"The Taiya River has jumped out of its channel by the National Park Service campground at Sheep Camp," he said. "It looks like almost a permanent situation, like the river has cut a permanent channel."

The campground is about 12 miles up the trail and the trail is flooded in that area but passable, Noble said. Hikers are advised to camp at other locations along the trail, he said. About 3,000 people hike the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail a year.

The park is evaluating options for the Sheep Camp campground.

"We could temporarily block off the channel that's been cut and force the water back into the previous river channel," he said. "The other option, longer term, is whether we need to find a whole new location for the campground."

State jobless rate up in July

JUNEAU - Unemployment in Alaska rose to 5.7 percent in July, up from 5.3 percent for the same time last year, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The August jobless rate was 6.3 percent. Alaska's unemployment rate remains above the national average.

The number of unemployed Alaskans grew by 1,955, to 19,674 people.

Anchorage's month-to-month unemployment rate fell less than a percentage point in July to 4.3 percent. Fairbanks dropped to 4.8, and Juneau to 4.4 percent, the state reported.

But construction in Alaska continues to show impressive growth and the service and trade industries also continue to add jobs, the department said. Mining and manufacturing jobs are down over the year.

Compiled from staff and wire service reports.

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