Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, August 20, 2004

Claims of sex instead of pay lead to jail

JUNEAU - A 26-year-old Juneau man, accused of having sexual intercourse with a 16-year-year old girl he hired in a restaurant instead of paying her wages, has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sexual abuse of a minor.

Rudimar B. Pasion first paid the girl with a personal check when she worked at the restaurant in 2002, the girl's mother told police late in 2003, according to Juneau court records. Later, whenever the girl asked to be paid, Pasion had sex with her instead, the document alleged.

Juneau District Judge Peter B. Froehlich imposed 180 days in jail with 120 days suspended and placed Pasion on probation for two years. He ordered Pasion to maintain sex-offender registration for the next 15 years and write a letter of apology to the victim.

Prosecutors dismissed charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and furnishing alcohol to a minor. Charging documents alleged Pasion also provided the girl with alcohol and marijuana.

The documents alleged Pasion had sex with the girl seven or eight times from July to September in 2002.

N. Slope technicians picket BP headquarters

ANCHORAGE - A handful of oil field technicians have left their North Slope jobs to picket BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. headquarters in Anchorage.

The eight technicians, who run the computer systems that keep the oil flowing, are pushing to be included in a contract that covers other union members.

Last year, they joined a union that represents more than 220 roughnecks, tool pushers and other BP North Slope workers.

They decided to go on strike after BP refused to let them join the contract that covers the other union members and wouldn't negotiate a similar contract, said Randy Knowles, president of Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical & Energy (PACE) Workers International Local 8-369.

BP spokesman Andrew Van Chau said BP has replaced the striking workers and oil production has not been affected.

He said the company is willing to return to the bargaining table, but the computer technicians' work is different from other employees under the PACE contract.

The contract they want to join covers employees who work on the west side of the North Slope, Van Chau said. The technicians work on the east and west side.

Whale excavation completed on Kodiak

KODIAK - Volunteers have finished exhuming a gray whale skeleton on a Kodiak Island beach, four years after the 38-foot long whale washed ashore.

The lower backbone came up Tuesday, and the thoracic and cervical sections followed on Wednesday, along with the ribs and skull. Each bone was individually tagged and packed in fish totes.

The skull, estimated to weigh more than 400 pounds, was wrapped in cloth and placed inside a plywood crate before being moved.

The skeleton is to be displayed at a proposed Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge visitors center.

When the carcass washed ashore more than four years ago, retired science teacher Stacy Studebaker organized preservation of the skeleton. The flesh of the whale was allowed to decompose, and a test pit was dug earlier this year to determine whether the bones were ready for exhumation.

The actual excavation happened this week. Good weather helped the dig, but workers had to contend with the smell of tons of rotted whale flesh.

"It wasn't as bad as I expected," said Ken Hansen, a fisheries enforcement agent with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "We all gagged a few times."

Research ship reactivated after $18 million facelift

KETCHIKAN - An oceanic research vessel will again be charting Alaska waters after a 15-year hiatus and an $18.3 million dollar renovation.

The revamped 231-foot Fairweather is being billed as one of the most advanced hydrographic survey vessels in the world. The 37-year-old research vessel, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will be home-ported in Ketchikan.

The vessel was reactivated by Congress because of the large backlog of charting work in Alaska.

The Fairweather was used mainly in Alaska until 1988, when it was deactivated due to a lack of funding. The ship has been at the NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific facility in Lake Union, Wash., for the past 15 years.

Man takes passengers on wild ride in Fairbanks

FAIRBANKS - A 19-year-old man commandeered a stranger's car and took a woman and three children on a wild ride through Fairbanks before he was finally arrested outside his home, police said.

Steven T. Bailey sped through numerous stoplights and into oncoming traffic, repeatedly losing control of the vehicle and veering into ditches - without hurting anyone, according to police and witnesses.

Danielle Eidenmiller initially thought the man climbing into the parked 1998 Chevy Cavalier Tuesday evening had mistakenly gotten into the wrong car. Eidenmiller was waiting in the car for a friend who was picking up a prescription at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

"I said, 'Can I help you?' He looked at me and said, 'Truck zone,"' Eidenmiller said.

Thus began the frenzied trip through town.

"I don't know how we didn't hit another car," Eidenmiller said.

The Cavalier was undamaged and the two younger children never awoke from their naps during the incident, according to Eidenmiller and authorities.

Bailey is charged with third-degree assault, first-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and first-degree vehicle theft.

His friends told police that he had been mentally unstable for days.

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