Posted: Friday, September 08, 2000

Affordable housing fair is Saturday

JUNEAU - This weekend's Juneau Affordable Housing Fair will provide information on a variety of programs that help low- and moderate-income people become homeowners. The third annual fair will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Nugget Mall.

The event includes lenders, non-profit and for-profit housing developers, realtors, title agencies and a credit agency.

The fair is being put together by the Juneau Affordable Housing partnership, a local non-profit organization interested in helping low-income and first-time home buyers.

"For many Juneau residents, especially low-income people, there may appear to be a huge barrier between them and home ownership," said Tamara Rowcroft, chairwoman of the Juneau Affordable Housing Partnership.

"We hope this fair will help answer questions about the intimidating process of buying a home. Those attending will be able to meet lenders, realtors and all those involved in the buying process," she said.

The first 100 people at the fair will receive free credit report. This first step toward home ownership helps prospective home-buyers find out whether their current credit would permit them to purchase a house. Counselors also will be available to talk about improving credit.

Nonprofit groups at the fair include Habitat for Humanity, the Juneau Housing Trust and Housing First.

Title insurance agencies will provide information on the services they provide. Lenders and the Alaska Housing Finance Corp. will offer information on their lending programs.

Petersburg man dies in vehicle crash

PETERSBURG - A Petersburg man died early today in a vehicle accident, authorities said.

Robert McDonald, 20, was ejected from the vehicle in an accident on the Mitkof Highway, Petersburg Police said.

Three other people, all from Petersburg, were taken to the local hospital with injuries.

Authorities say one of the surviving victims rode a skateboard about 16 miles to the nearest phone to call in the accident while another applied first aid to the third, who was also ejected from the vehicle.

State flags lowered to honor Milo Fritz

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles on Thursday ordered state flags lowered in memory of Milo H. Fritz, a doctor and former state legislator who died last week at age 91.

Fritz died at his Anchor Point home Aug. 31 following a brief illness, according to a news release from the governor's office.

An Alaska resident since the 1940s, he initially investigated blindness among Alaska Native children.

In 1966 and 1972, he was elected to represent Anchorage in the state House. In 1982, after he moved to Anchor Point, he was elected to third term, this time representing the Kenai Peninsula.

Knowles ordered state flags to be lowered through today.

Gates sends $4.9 million to Alaska

JUNEAU - The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded the Alaska Council of School Administrators a $4.9 million grant to improve education in Alaska.

The grant will enable the Alaska Staff Development Network, which is part of the ACSA, to provide technical assistance to six rural school districts. The money will go toward helping the districts redesign their educational system so that it is based upon performance standards. The money also will be used to educate teachers on how to implement performance standards.

The project will be called the Alaska Quality Schools Coalition. The Chugach, Lower Kuskokwim, Iditarod, Southeast Island, Nome City and Craig City school districts will be included in the project.

Korean trawler seized in U.S. zone

ANCHORAGE - The Coast Guard has detained another Asian fishing vessel accused of illegally fishing in the U.S. zone in the Bering Sea, officials say.

The 170-foot Korean trawler was fishing illegally more than a quarter of a mile inside the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone on Tuesday night, according to the Coast Guard.

The Kum Kang San was boarded at 7:30 p.m. after a short chase into the Russian zone by the Coast Guard cutter Alex Haley.

The U.S. vessel radioed the Korean ship and ordered it to stop when it was spotted fishing more than 500 yards inside the U.S. zone, officials said. But instead, the vessel hauled in its nets and crossed to the Russian zone. The ship halted a short time later when the cutter pursued.

A boarding party was dispatched, and its officers verified by the Korean vessel's own navigation system that it had been fishing inside the U.S. zone, the Coast Guard said. The boarders didn't find any fish, however.

The Korean ship had 43 crewmen aboard, plus a Russian fisheries observer. The Korean vessel was being escorted to Dutch Harbor.

Anchorage school superintendent resigns

ANCHORAGE - Bob Christal, longtime superintendent of the Anchorage School District, resigned Wednesday in the wake of a public uproar over a special contract he negotiated with the school board.

The board last week voted 4-3 to approve a pact with Christal that made him an independent contractor. As a private contractor, Christal was to be paid a flat fee of $160,000 annually through 2002.

As an employee, Christal had a salary and benefits worth $183,739 for the coming school year. But as a contractor, he could also collect retirement benefits for his more than 30 years with the district, eight as superintendent. That could have boosted his annual income to about $240,000.

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