Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2004

Teen ordered to serve 6 months for stolen car

JUNEAU - A 19-year-old man was ordered to pay $16,800 in restitution and serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to stealing a car in May.

Alexander Bearden was arrested in the early hours of May 20 after escaping a rollover accident in a 2002 Subaru Legacy, police reported. Officers found the vehicle substantially damaged shortly before 4 a.m. near inbound Egan and Yandukin drives.

Their investigation concluded that the damaged Subaru had been stolen from a residence in Bearden's Mendenhall Valley neighborhood. Officers also reported that the car hit a light pole at a high rate of speed.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins imposed 18 months in jail with 12 months suspended. She ordered Bearden pay restitution to State Farm insurance, which had insured the car.

She also placed him on probation for five years.

As a condition of probation, he will be required to make an effort to maintain steady employment and participate in an educational or vocational training program approved by his probation officer.

DEC, Capital City lift open burning ban

JUNEAU - After consulting with the Department of Environmental Conservation, Capital City Fire and Rescue has lifted the open burning ban for the Juneau area. The air quality has improved over the Juneau area with a low pressure system moving in.

Open burning may resume with a burn permit. Permits are available at the Juneau and Glacier stations.

If the air quality conditions deteriorate, the ban may be reinstated. The lifted ban does not include permits issued by Department of Environmental Conservation.

Feds continue inquiry into humpback death

JUNEAU - Federal investigators continue to investigate the cause of death of a juvenile humpback whale that washed up on Douglas Island Aug. 15.

According to an necropsy report released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the endangered whale's bruises and lacerations did not resemble "typical propeller cuts or shark attack." The whale suffered a fractured shoulder and surrounding hemorrhaging.

A NOAA spokeswoman said the disemboweled whale remains moored on a beach south of Lucky Me and there are no plans to move it at this time.

NOAA officials would not speculate on when their investigation will conclude.

Greens Creek wins metal mine award for safety

JUNEAU - The Kennecott Greens Creek Mine, on Admiralty Island near Juneau, won a first place national award among underground metal mines for its 2003 safety record.

The annual Sentinels of Safety award is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration and the National Mining Association.

"The team at Greens Creek is honored to receive this prestigious national award, however it is the efforts put forth by every employee that placed Greens Creek in the running for the award," said Greens Creek General Manager Rich Heig in a prepared statement.

Mining companies were recognized for the greatest number of employee work-hours in 2003 without an injury that resulted in lost workdays or restricted work assignments. To qualify for the program, a mining operation had to compile at least 30,000 employee work-hours during the year without a lost-time injury.

The Greens Creek mine completed 468,351 employee work-hours without a lost-time injury and a total of 614,660 employee work-hours without a lost time injury in 2003.

"To achieve the goals of a safe, healthier work place we provide each employee with training, safety and health education, and other relevant information," said Greg Majeran, Greens Creek's safety supervisor, in a prepared statement. "The key to this success has been the willingness of each Greens Creek Mine employee to take personal responsibility to prevent accidents and follow safe operating practices."

The Sentinels award is the oldest established award for occupational safety. The first award was announced by former President Herbert Hoover, a mining engineer, when he was Secretary of Commerce in 1925.

The Greens Creek mine employs 260 and produces metal concentrates containing silver, zinc, gold and lead.

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