Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, October 02, 2003

Hotel construction continues with grant

FAIRBANKS - The Tanana Chiefs Conference will receive an $850,000 federal grant to finish a hotel and restaurant in Circle.

The Circle tribal government started the hotel in 2001 with a $725,000 federal grant and a $600,000 loan from the state, but then ran out of money.

"It's good news for the village, and it's good that the federal and state funds that were put into this project won't go to waste," said Ethan Schutt, Tanana Chiefs general counsel.

Last year the village council asked Tanana Chiefs, a Fairbanks-based nonprofit Native corporation, to take over the project. Tanana Chiefs hired the engineering firm Design Alaska to finish the building's specifications and assess what else is needed.

The two-story 6,700-square-foot building sits on council property on the Yukon River's bank. The hotel has about 25 rooms, a restaurant and a meeting area.

Circle, at the northern end of the Steese Highway, had 100 residents in 2000, according to the federal census.

Chevron Texaco cashes out of NPR-A

ANCHORAGE - Chevron Texaco has sold all its lease interest in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska to a competing company.

Anadarko Petroleum purchased its share of 33 leases in the northeast NPR-A that it shares with ConocoPhillips.

The leases are in the northeast NPR-A. ConocoPhillips holds 70 percent interest in the leases.

The leases include the Trailblazer prospect northwest of Nuiqsut where BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. drilled two oil exploration wells in 2001, in partnership with Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

Quake occurs near village of Iliamna

ANCHORAGE - An earthquake struck Wednesday morning southeast of Iliamna, according to the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 and occurred at 6:16 a.m. 50 miles southeast of the village, which is 175 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Fairbanks man dies of injuries in collision

FAIRBANKS - A man struck by a minivan while riding his bicycle last week has died of his injuries, his son said.

Robert "Lucky" Morgan, 54, died on Sunday after being on life support since the Sept. 22 collision, said his son Mike Morgan.

Mike Morgan said he had not seen his father in 15 years and had been planning a reunion for the past few years.

He flew from Minneapolis to Fairbanks on Sunday after he was contacted by the hospital about the accident, he told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Peace Monument restored on Attu Island

KODIAK - Japanese metal technicians and crews from the U.S. Coast Guard have completed restoration of the Peace Monument - damaged in a 2002 storm - at the summit of Engineer Hill on Attu Island, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.

The island was the site of what is considered one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, and the first on American soil since the War of 1812.

In 1942, Japanese occupied Attu Island with 2,300 men. On May 11, 1943, U.S. forces began a 19-day campaign to retake the island.

The U.S. forces landed on opposite ends of the island and met in the middle. Only 28 Japanese survived, after casualties and suicides. American forces suffered 549 casualties.

In 1987, the Japanese government, with permission from the United States, placed a titanium monument on Attu, replacing a wooden monument that had been there since 1978.

Police call infant's death a homicide

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police are investigating the weekend death of an infant girl as a homicide.

Razaya Morris died Saturday after suffering severe head injuries. The 3-month-old girl was brought to the Providence Alaska Medical Center emergency room by her parents, Rateef Morris and Sandina Dunham, on Sept. 7 with a severe skull fracture, said police Detective Cynthia Bridges.

Police have suspects, but are not discussing further details, saying the investigation is continuing.

Doctors notified police that they had a baby with a nonaccidental, life-threatening injury, Bridges said.

Bridges said Razaya's injuries were not consistent with falling three feet. They were more on a par with going through a windshield in a car accident or being dropped from a three-story building, she said.

Man arrested in robbery

ANCHORAGE - A man has been arrested in the robbery of a branch of the Wells Fargo Bank, the FBI said.

Michael Wayne Moore Jr., 30, was arrested on a federal warrant Wednesday at the Northway Mall, the FBI said.

A branch of the Wells Fargo Bank was robbed Monday morning. Later that day, a branch of the Alaska USA Credit Union was held up here. No gun was seen in either robbery, and the FBI said Tuesday they believed the same man was responsible.

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