Posted: Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Centennial Hall hosts 3 men's health forums

JUNEAU - JRC-The Alaska Club will sponsor three free men's health forums today through Thursday at Centennial Hall, in conjunction with Saturday morning's Prostate Cancer Run at Mendenhall River Elementary School.

All three forums are free, open to anyone and run from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

Matt Felix, the executive director for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence in Juneau, will host "Sin Night" this evening. His 45-minute lecture will cover tobacco, drug and alcohol issues related to abuse and addiction.

Wednesday, John Wray of Bartlett Regional Hospital will host "The Couch Potato Peeled," a discussion about losing weight the healthy way.

Thursday, Dr. Michael Singsaas, a local urologist, will host "What Your Mother Never Told You About Prostate Cancer," a talk about prostate cancer and early detection. Singsaas and his staff also will have a signup sheet for free prostate screening examinations in September.

Each night there will be a grand prize drawing for a free one-year membership to JRC-The Alaska Club. For more information, contact John McConnochie at 789-2181 or Peggy Ann McConnochie at 586-3540.

"We felt there was a need for this, and we're going to see what kind of response there is," John McConnochie said.

The Prostate Cancer Run, a 5K run or a two-mile walk, starts at 8 a.m. Saturday behind Mendenhall River Elementary School. You can pre-register this week at JRC and Foggy Mountain Shop or beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday at the race site.

Teen arrested on auto-theft charge

JUNEAU - Police arrested a 15-year-old boy late Sunday on a first-degree vehicle theft charge after he allegedly tried to elude officers.

The boy was driving a 1995 Ford minivan at 11:43 p.m., when an officer reported it passed him on Egan Drive at a high rate of speed. The officer unsuccessfully attempted to stop the vehicle as it approached Mendenhall Loop Road.

Police reported that the driver turned onto Mendenhall Loop Road and turned off the lights. It turned into Kodzoff trailer park, where it came to a stop.

When the officer found the vehicle, they found that a 15-year-old boy was driving, and two other boys, ages 14 and 15 were passengers. Police reported that all knew the vehicle had been taken without the owner's permission.

The driver was lodged at the Johnson Youth Center. In addition to theft, the driver was charged with failing to stop at the direction of a peace officer and two counts of reckless endangerment, all felonies. He also faces misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and driving without a license.

The passengers were returned to their parents. Charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief are pending against them, police reported.

Police returned the minivan to its owner.

Woman sentenced in animal cruelty case

KENAI - A Sterling woman who pleaded guilty in an animal cruelty case involving dozens of underfed dogs will have to pay a $5,000 fine and restitution for the cost of caring for dogs rescued from her property.

Carolyn Boughton, 58, also must not own any animals - other than her 13-year-old miniature schnauzer - during her five-year probation.

The case arose when Alaska State Troopers investigated a complaint that Boughton was housing numerous Bouviers and Kerry blue terriers in a bus and trailer in Sterling without food or water.

When troopers went to the property in November 2001, they found six dead dogs, including four Bouviers and two terriers, one terrier that had to be euthanized because of its weak condition and one that needed to have an eye removed due to severe infection.

Another 65 dogs were found suffering from malnutrition and extreme dehydration.

Sixty-six dogs were rescued by the Alaska Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and placed in adoptive homes.

At the sentencing Friday in Kenai District Court, Magistrate David S. Landry said, "There's no question, Miss Boughton, that your heart might have been in a good place, but the worst thing that could have happened to these dogs was coming into your care."

Fish processor fire forces evacuation of crew

ANCHORAGE - A generator fire early Monday forced the evacuation of 146 crew members of a fish processor in Prince William Sound, the Coast Guard said.

The 314-foot Alaska Packer was anchored near Naked Island when the fire broke out about 1:30 a.m., according to the Coast Guard.

While the ship's fire team fought the blaze, the master of the vessel issued a distress call.

Coast Guard helicopter crews from Cordova and Kodiak were dispatched to help evacuate the crew to several fishing vessels that responded to the distress call.

By 2:12 a.m., firefighters put out the fire, which caused less damage than expected, the Coast Guard said.

The crew was later returned to the ship. No one was hurt.

State netting project eliminates 500 pike

KENAI - A state project to control northern pike on the Kenai Peninsula has killed more than 500 of the fish, which the state Department of Fish and Game says threaten native salmon and trout.

But some area residents worry the agency's netting project could endanger waterfowl.

"Pike present a clear and imminent danger to the salmon and trout resources of the Kenai Peninsula," Fish and Game area manager Mark Gamblin said at a recent meeting on the project.

Pike have been in peninsula waters for at least 30 years. It's believed they were introduced by anglers eager to catch the notoriously feisty fish.

But the predatory pike also are voracious eaters, and once introduced, they will eat all other species in a lake. It's believed pike now inhabit at least 14 peninsula lakes, as well as the Moose River.

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