Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, September 22, 2004

10-car pileup halts traffic on Egan Drive

JUNEAU - A 10-car accident on Egan Drive stopped traffic Tuesday morning. Nobody was seriously injured.

Around 7:38 a.m., officers of the Juneau Police Department and personnel from Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to a multiple-vehicle accident on Egan Drive inbound at the retaining wall near Channel Drive.

When officers arrived at the scene, they saw eight vehicles crashed together and a separate collision involving two cars nearby. The latter accident was caused by the first one, said Sgt. Kevin Siska.

Police found that the first vehicle in the collision stopped in traffic to avoid another car that had stopped. The vehicle was struck from behind and successive rear-end collisions occurred.

"People drove too closely," Siska said.

Five of the 10 vehicles were towed from the scene. The total estimate of damage for all the vehicles was $30,500.

Fourteen drivers and passengers were in the 10 vehicles. Three of them were sent to Bartlett Regional Hospital for a medical evaluation. They were treated for minor injuries and released, Siska said.

A 29-year-old female driver was cited for failing to maintain a safe distance and failing to show proof of insurance. The accident remains under investigation and other citations may be pending.

Traffic was backed up from the scene to the intersection of Egan Drive and Vanderbilt Hill Road, and resumed around 8:52 a.m.

Cowan named Alaska's superintendent of year

JUNEAU - The Alaska Association of School Administrators has announced that Peggy Cowan is Alaska's superintendent of the year for 2005.

Cowan has been superintendent of the Juneau School District since 2003. She supervises 11 schools in the Juneau-Douglas Borough, including a charter school and an alternative high school.

Prior to that, she served three years as Juneau's assistant superintendent for instruction and one year as director of curriculum and assessment.

Edward Thomas, president of Tlingit Haida Central Council, said Cowan "walks the walk."

"She has encouraged talk openly on how school policy on racial acts relates3 to what has happened and she has been very open and responsive on her assessment of the issue, what the school administration can do in addressing the problem, and made it clear what the school district cannot do," Thomas said.

Alaska administrators have nominated Cowan for national superintendent of the year, to be awarded by the American Association of School Administrators in February.

Murkowski appoints Superior Court judge

ANCHORAGE - Craig F. Stowers, an Anchorage lawyer, has been appointed to the Superior Court bench here by the governor, who initially rejected Stowers and the two other nominees submitted by the Alaska Judicial Council.

"I am proud to appoint Craig Stowers to the Superior Court bench in the Third Judicial District," Gov. Frank Murkowski said Tuesday.

Stowers, 49, is a partner in the Anchorage law firm of Clapp, Peterson & Stowers and has been in the firm since 1995. Before that, he was an attorney with the Anchorage firm Atkinson, Conway & Gagnon. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of California Davis School of Law.

Last month, Murkowski initially rejected the candidates - Stowers, Jonathon A. Katcher and Sidney K. Billingslea - submitted by the Alaska Judicial Council to succeed Judge John Reese, who retired.

The Alaska Public Interest Research Group sued, contending Murkowski was in violation of the state's constitution. It says that the governor shall fill Superior Court vacancies within 45 days of receiving nominations from the council.

On Tuesday, Murkowski said in a news release that the administration used the vacancy "to highlight what it sees as the need for more transparency in the process of nominating judicial candidates."

Fish board to reshape salmon industry

JUNEAU - The Alaska Board of Fisheries announced Tuesday the creation of an advisory panel for restructuring the state's commercial salmon industry.

The Salmon Industry Restructuring Panel will advise the board on developing a model for fisheries policy desicions and help ensure stakeholder input is included in developing that model, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

A Board of Fisheries subcommittee has asked the following individuals to serve on the board: Steve Brown of Homer; Sam Cotton, Jill Klein, Gale Vick and Bob Waldrop of Anchorage; Karen Dunmall of Nome; Pete Esquiro of Sitka; Wallace Fields of Kodiak; John Garner of NorQuest Seafoods; Andy Golia of Dillingham; Stephanie Madsen and Bob Thorstenson of Juneau; Chuck McCallum of Chignik; Jerry McCune of Cordova; Kris Norosz of Petersburg; and Charles Crapo of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

For more information and future panel meetings see the Alaska Board of Fisheries Web site at

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