Sow, cubs chased by boys
JUNEAU - Juneau Police warned four boys after they and others reportedly threw rocks at a bear and two cubs Saturday afternoon in the Lemon Creek area.
A caller reported about 5 p.m. that eight boys, aged 12, had surrounded a bear with two cubs and were throwing rocks at them in the Davis Avenue area, said police Sgt. Troy Wilson.
Police responded and talked to four boys. They were given a warning and taken home to their parents. The bears left the area without being harassed further, Wilson said.
Bear experts recommend using noise to scare off problem bears, but warn against any phsical harassment or confrontation. Sows with cubs should particularly be avoided.
Court protester regains some possessions
JUNEAU -The man who slept on the steps of the Dimond Courthouse to protest a judge's decision about access to his possessions won partial victory in a hearing Friday.
Joshua "Josh" Warner, 36, and his attorney, Douglas K. Mertz, appeared Friday afternoon before Judge Larry Weeks. Seattle attorney Tyna Ek, who had Warner removed last Monday from a fishing boat he had been living on, appeared telephonically. Weeks agreed to release Warner's identification, post office box key, some clothing, dog food and his dog's epilepsy medication, Mertz said.
Warner said he was not pleased with the hearing because he was not allowed access to cash in his wallet or his tools.
Neither Warner nor Mertz would be allowed to go aboard the boat; the court ordered them to name a third party to fetch Warner's belongings. Warner said he expected to retrieve them Saturday.
Senate passes Kake land exchange
JUNEAU - The U.S. Senate has approved a land deal between the Kake Tribal Corp. and the Forest Service designed to protect the Southeast Alaska town's watershed.
The measure requires the corporation to give up about 2,400 acres in the Gunnuk Creek watershed, the main water supply for the city.
In return, the corporation will get 1,389 acres of Forest Service timber land and $10 million.
U.S. Sen. Frank Murkowski proposed the bill. The Alaska Republican contends land grants made under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act were intended to produce income for Native shareholders.
The bill now goes to President Clinton for his signature.
Russian vessel detained in Bering Sea
JUNEAU - A Russian fishing vessel was turned over to Russian authorities Saturday after it was spotted illegally fishing inside U.S. waters, Coast Guard officials said.
A crew from the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis and members of the Russian Federal Border Service boarded the 205-foot vessel Gemin on Friday after it was spotted fishing more than a half mile inside U.S. waters. Russian officials then seized the vessel and were escorting it back to Petropavlovsk on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, Coast Guard Lt. Deborah Darminio said.
BLM pays $9 million in lieu of taxes
ANCHORAGE - Local governments around the state are getting an annual windfall from the federal government.
The Bureau of Land Management is distributing more than $9 million to local governments as payment in lieu of taxes. The payments are intended to offset the loss of tax revenue in communities that have federal land within their jurisdictions, including park lands, military installations, wildlife refuges and federal forests.
This year's total payout to Alaska communities is $350,000 more than last year.