Posted: Monday, September 18, 2000

Bear shot at Eagle Beach

JUNEAU - A Juneau man justifiably shot a black bear Saturday morning at Eagle Beach in defense of his brother, Alaska State Troopers said.

Francisco Velasco of Juneau shot the bear as it was chasing Raul Velasco, said Trooper Arlen Skaflestad of the Fish and Wildlife Protection Division.

Raul Velasco, who is from the Lower 48, was looking at dead fish in a creek near Eagle Beach when he saw a black bear walking toward him from about 30 feet away, Skaflestad said.

Raul Velasco ran toward Francisco Velasco's vehicle, and the bear chased him. Francisco Velasco shot the bear with a rifle. The Velascos called the Juneau police, who referred the incident to troopers.

The shooting would have been a legal kill anyway, because Francisco Velasco has a hunting license, it's open season, it was an open area, and he didn't shoot across a road, Skaflestad said.

Crawford named trooper director

JUNEAU - Maj. Randy Crawford has been named director of the Alaska State Troopers.

Crawford, 46, is a 24-year veteran who has served as deputy director since last year. He succeeds Col. Glenn Godfrey who was named commissioner of the Department of Public Safety last month. He will earn approximately $87,000.

Crawford joined the state troopers in 1976 and worked in Soldotna, Holy Cross, Fairbanks and Kotzebue. As director, he will oversee approximately 240 commissioned and 190 civilian personnel.

Duck Creek sheen source discovered

JUNEAU - The U.S. Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conversation have identified a leaking, underground fuel oil tank owned by the Juneau Airport Travelodge as a likely source of a persistent oil sheen in Duck Creek.

The two agencies, working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have been investigating the source of the light but continuing sheen in the creek in the Mendenhall Valley. The sheen was traced back through the storm drain system to the hotel. As a precautionary measure, absorbent material was placed in the creek to prevent oil from entering the wetlands area, which is also a state game refuge. No impact on wildlife has been reported.

Owners of the hotel quickly responded by removing all remaining fuel in the suspect tank. They have contracted with a private company to remove the tank and surrounding contaminated soil. The Coast Guard and DEC will continue to monitor the cleanup and remediation efforts.

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