Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2004

Man who didn't stop for police runs out of road

JUNEAU - A 35-year old man who police say failed to stop his vehicle at the direction of an officer downtown allegedly ran into two police cars after he ran out of road about 40 miles up the coast.

Police arrested Theodore Rado, a Juneau resident, on a felony charge of failing to stop at the direction of a peace officer and two felony counts of criminal mischief, along with misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment. The criminal mischief charges allege he damaged two patrol cars.

Police lodged Rado at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

According to police reports, at 2:23 a.m. an officer unsuccessfully attempted to stop Rado downtown, alleging an undisclosed traffic violation. Multiple police vehicles followed Rado out of the downtown area, mostly at speeds under the speed limit.

At the end of the road, Rado attempted to turn around, officers reported. They said his vehicle hit two of the pursuing police cars and ran into the ditch.

A 43-year-old female passenger in Rado's vehicle complained of pain and was taken by ambulance to Bartlett Regional Hospital. She was treated and released. Two officers also were reported with minor injuries.

UA regents approve tuition hike for 2006-07

FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a 10 percent tuition hike Wednesday for the next academic year, but put off deciding whether to impose another increase for the 2006-2007 year.

UA President Mark Hamilton had proposed increases for the next two academic years.

A day after hearing testimony from students, the board opted to wait until next year before deciding on tuition for the 2007-2006 year. Regents instead directed staff to determine the impact of higher costs to students, said Wendy Redman, UA vice president for university relations.

Regents also directed staff to craft legislation asking for a state-funded program to help students who can't afford to go to college, according to Redman.

Fairbanks mom collects hearts, eyes for science

FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks mother is hunting for hearts and eyeballs from moose, caribou, sheep, bear - whatever local hunters care to donate - for her daughter's science class.

Thanks to Stephanie Bradford, seventh grade students at Tanana Middle School will get to dissect the organs along with the usual frogs.

"The more people that donate, the more kids get to do it," Bradford told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "I remember dissecting things when I was in junior high and it was really cool."

Bradford is so determined to succeed, she's willing to pick up any and all donations.

Donna Knutson, one of two seventh-grade science teachers at Tanana and the beneficiary of Bradford's organ drive, said dissection is a popular part of the seventh-grade life science curriculum.

"We usually do frogs, that is our big thing," she said. "We buy enough so the kids can do a frog with a partner."

Anchorage police officer shoots, kills home intruder

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage Police Department officer shot and killed a suspected home intruder early Wednesday morning.

Police said Tony Lee Harper, 45, shot and injured two people inside a south side home.

Responding officers tried to talk Harper into putting down his gun before he aimed it at them, according to police.

The injured people were identified as Monica Sun Min Wirtz, 52, and Ki Chang Yum, 44. Nither injury appears life-threatening, police said.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured woman and man were treated at Anchorage hospitals.

Wasilla couple charged in abuse of adopted kids

ANCHORAGE - A Wasilla couple are accused of abusing their five adopted children, including chaining them to trees, withholding food and striking them with shovels, steel pipes and metal bars, Alaska State Troopers said Wednesday.

Sherry Ann Kelley, 35, and Patrick Leon Kelley, 43, were arrested Monday on multiple kidnapping and felony assault charges filed by troopers after a two-month investigation. The Kelleys were being held at the Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility in Palmer in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

"This is the most serious case of child abuse and neglect that I've seen in my 23 years with the troopers," said Sgt. Dallas Massie.

The three girls and two boys range in age from 6 to 15.

One child had suffered a burn in February, but Sherry Kelley refused to take him to a doctor and eventually quit caring for the injury, using a stick to intentionally remove the scabs, according to an affidavit filed by investigators in the felony complaint Tuesday. Eventually, "maggots hatched from the open sores," the document states.

Fairbanks firefighters rescue crane climber

FAIRBANKS - A man climbed the state's largest crane on wheels, then couldn't get down and had to be rescued by Fairbanks firefighters.

Scott Hughes, 21, was charged with disorderly conduct early Tuesday morning after firefighters plucked him off a hook suspended from a cable on the crane.

Police said Hughes had climbed the crane before, on Sunday. Hughes bragged about the stunt to friends and they decided to make a second trip to the crane, Officer Jeromy Lindhag told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

On Monday night, Hughes again crawled up the 120-foot-high steel boom of the Lima 300-ton truck crane parked near the construction site of a new Fred Meyer store in northeast Fairbanks. Hughes then slid down a 25-foot cable to a 1,800-pound steel hook and was stranded nearly 100 feet in the air.

Police got a rescue call around midnight. None of Hughes' friends were at the scene when police arrived.

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