Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Computer glitch shuts down gas pumps

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JUNEAU - The Fred Meyer gas island on outbound Egan Drive re-opened for business Tuesday afternoon after a computer problem shut it down Sunday.

Melinda Merrill, director of Public Affairs for Fred Meyer in Portland, Ore., said the store resumed gas sales at about 3 p.m. Tuesday.

She said the problem was the failure of a piece of computer hardware that allows people to pay for their gas-pump purchases with credit and debit cards. A replacement wasn't available in Juneau and had to be flown in.

The problem was unrelated to ongoing renovations at the store, Merrill said.

Man charged with illegally taking bear

JUNEAU - Alaska State Troopers charged a 22-year-old Juneau man with illegally possessing and transporting a black bear killed in a traffic accident.

Kevin M. Walker is scheduled to appear on the charges in Juneau District Court on Sept. 28. The bear was killed Friday in a vehicle accident Mendenhall Loop Road.

The Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement officers made contact with Walker with the bear Sunday near the Mendenhall River Bridge at the back of Mendenhall Loop Road.

Troopers also charged Walker with falsely claiming Alaska residency when he purchased his 2006 resident sportfishing license.

Fatal crash suspect says he went for help

FAIRBANKS - A man charged with manslaughter and failing to render aid after a fatal crash claimed he left the scene to get help.

Byron Frank Geisinger, 46, is accused of crashing his pickup into a parked car Saturday, killing a Maryland man in the car. Geisinger was charged Sunday with manslaughter and failing to render aid to an injured person.

He told Magistrate Amanda Eklund at arraignment Monday that after the crash, he walked to his home, called a friend and had her report the crash, then tried walking back to the scene. Geisinger said he may have fainted from his injuries on the way back.

Geisinger is accused of ramming his F-150 pickup truck into the back of a rental car carrying three tourists parked on the shoulder of Mile 8 Chena Hot Springs Road, killing Yong Ki Kim, 74, of Germantown, Md., who was in the back seat.

More charges could be forthcoming, said trooper investigator Dave Wilson.

ConocoPhillips pulls out of oil association

FAIRBANKS - One of the state's three major oil companies has pulled its membership from the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, a statewide organization that lobbies for the oil and gas industry.

ConocoPhillips withdrew as of Aug. 31. Spokeswoman Dawn Patience said the company pulled out because it had its own regulatory and government relations staff doing advocacy work.

"Basically we have our own staff that do a lot of the same functions," she said.

Asked whether ConocoPhillips had a different position than the association on any specific issue, she said it would not be appropriate to discuss the subject with the media.

"We are still supportive of AOGA," she said.

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