Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, September 09, 2007

Juneau police win technology award

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JUNEAU - The Juneau Police Department won an Excellence in Technology Award last month for their new Digital Evidence Locker software. The award was presented by an international police organization.

The software combines all digital evidence created in contemporary police work.

Documents, audio, video and still photography are combined, and the chain of custody remains intact while officers and prosecutors have access to the information they need to investigate and prosecute criminal cases.

Juneau police will have an opportunity to present the Digital Evidence Locker at a conference in New Orleans next Month.

Eaglecrest raises lift ticket prices

JUNEAU - An adult unlimited season pass for the coming ski season at Eaglecrest Ski Area increased $50 to $349, and the single-day lift ticket price rose $1 to $35.

The Eaglecrest Board of Directors decided Thursday to forgo a steeper price increase to $399 per adult season pass. At one point, $449 was considered.

The price last year was $299.

Eighty percent of those using Eaglecrest's 31 ski and snowboard runs hold season passes.

Senior and youth rates for the same season pass are $299, season passes for children in first through fifth grade cost $149, and preschoolers can ride all year for $49.

The Eaglecrest bus will transport skiers to and from the mountain along some city bus routes for $5 on weekends and school holidays during the season.

New multiple-visit cards are also available. Cards with prepaid single-day lift tickets range from 15-visit cards at $299 to five-visit cards at $139.

The cards represent savings from $226 to $36 over buying single-day passes one day at a time.

The board will revisit the season-pass pricing structure for the 2008-09 season next fall as the city-owned ski area looks to build a reserve fund and promote year-round use of the 640 acre outdoor recreational resource on Douglas Island.

State drops homicide case against driver

FAIRBANKS - The state has dropped its criminally negligent homicide case against a Fairbanks woman accused of causing the death of a man while she was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Faith Derendoff, 32, had been facing a second trial in the May 2005 death of 18-year-old Andrew Coker of North Pole.

Authorities said Coker ran a stop sign and pulled out in front of Derendoff on Danby Street. Coker was killed in the collision and Derendoff was charged with causing his death.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that the state was no longer interested in pursuing a case against Derendoff.

The case against Derendoff was launched after it was discovered that the crash was filmed by a security camera at a nearby gas station. The 5-second recording showed Coker driving into Derendoff's path.

Derendoff's attorney at the time, public defender Tye Menser, urged for dismissal of the case, arguing that the video proved his client's innocence.

A judge threw out the case, but another grand jury reindicted Derendoff, who went on trial earlier this year. The charges were driving under the influence and manslaughter.

Prosecutors said Derendoff caused Coker's death because she had been driving too fast and her reflexes were dulled by the alcohol, marijuana and cocaine in her system. She told authorities that she blamed herself.

Public defenders said the crash was unavoidable and that Derendoff had no time to react.

Derendoff was acquitted of manslaughter, but the jury deadlocked on whether Derendoff had committed the lesser crime of criminally negligent homicide.

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