Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, September 25, 2003

56-year-old man fends off downtown knife attack

JUNEAU - A 46-year-old Juneau man was sent to the hospital and then to jail Tuesday after allegedly attacking a man 10 years older with a knife downtown.

Police arrested Kevin Schimanski on a felony charge of third-degree assault. After he was treated at Bartlett Regional Hospital, he was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Capital City Fire and Rescue arrived at the Franklin Street scene in front of the Baranof Hotel, found Schimanski unconscious and took him to the hospital.

Police received the assault report at 6:58 p.m. Sgt. Tom Porter said the named victim and witnesses supplied information of the attack.

He said the investigation showed Schimanski and the 56-year-old victim did not know each other. Schimanski, who was of a different race, threatened the man with a knife and used a racial slur.

Schimanski allegedly stabbed at the victim, who was able to block the attack with his duffel bag and get the knife away from the victim, police reported. Schimanski drew a second knife, and the victim's coat sustained a 12-inch cut.

The victim punched his attacker, and Schimanski lost consciousness after hitting his head on the pavement, according to police.

Rosh Hashana, Shabbat services planned

JUNEAU - The Juneau Jewish Community will hold Rosh Hashana and Shabbat services at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

A Rosh Hashana morning service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, and a children's service will be held at 4 p.m. All services will take place at Northern Light United Church.

A Rosh Hashana Tashlich services will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday at Cope Park.

For more information about these services, call 586-1840.

$10 million-plus bid on tracts in Beaufort Sea

ANCHORAGE - Three companies bid more than $10 million total Wednesday for oil and gas leases on 181,000 acres in the Beaufort Sea off the Arctic coast, the Minerals Management Service said.

The highest bid in the sale was more than $2.15 million from ConocoPhillips for three blocks in the Sandpiper prospect area. ConocoPhillips bid on three tracts.

EnCana Oil and Gas bid on 24 blocks, including 19 tracts north of Smith Bay. Armstrong Alaska bid on 10 blocks east of the Colville River delta.

"We are pleased with the sale results," said John Goll, the agency's regional director.

"This is our largest Beaufort Sea sale in a decade. More importantly, the companies that submitted bids are those with active exploration programs on the North Slope and are experienced with arctic conditions."

The agency offered 1,792 whole and partial blocks encompassing about 9.4 million acres, from three to about 60 nautical miles offshore, between the Canadian border and Barrow.

McGrath moose calf survival rate up

FAIRBANKS - The summer survival rate of moose calves around McGrath is about 20 percent higher this year than it was the previous two years.

State wildlife biologists say the hike is a result of relocating dozens of bears during the spring moose-calving season. Seventy-five black bears and eight grizzlies were moved.

"At this point, we can say it certainly looks like we're going to see increased summer survival," said biologist Mark Keech, who spearheaded the project for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "Whether or not wolves will kill those extra calves over the winter and bring the survival rate back down remains to be seen."

This year's survival rate of 64 percent as of Sept. 10 is based on a survey of 53 radio-collared calves and compares to rates of 38 and 43 percent the previous two years on similarly-sized samples.

Coast Guard recertifies Cook Inlet oil group

HOMER - The Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council - created by Congress to oversee local oil industry operations - was recertified by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The annual recertification came following a review of charges by environmentalists that the council was ineffective and too cozy with the industry.

Environmentalists have no plans to appeal, but said the Coast Guard did not thoroughly investigate charges leveled last spring.

"They just took the council's statements as facts," said Randy Virgin, executive director of the Alaska Center for the Environment.

They alleged a sweetheart deal was granted to former executive director James Carter that awards him a percentage of fundraising money. The deal could net him more than $100,000 a year for congressional funds that he had been working to secure before retiring, environmentalists said.

But the Coast Guard said it was assured Carter would be paid only for new funds raised and not from past work.

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