Local Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, October 03, 2001

School calendar revised

JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board adopted a revised calendar for the current school year Tuesday in order to comply with the new Juneau Education Association contract. Holiday conflicts led to two additional changes.

Under the changes, the last day of school is moved from June 6 to June 5. And school will be held Nov. 9, originally scheduled as a day off for students.

Fall elementary school parent-teacher conference days have been switched to Nov. 14-16 to avoid conflict with the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday. Fall high school parent-teacher conferences Oct. 31, scheduled for the evening, will now be held in the afternoon to avoid conflicting with Halloween night.

Other changes for staff include the elimination of all staff collaboration days. School holidays, as well as the quarter, semester and trimester schedules, will remain the same.

Bomb joke suspect allowed to leave

JUNEAU - A man from the United Kingdom accused of terroristic threatening at the Juneau Airport will be allowed to fly Alaska Airlines again, said a spokesman for the airline.

James Longcroft, 29, was banned from the airline following his arrest Sept. 24 for allegedly making a comment about a bomb in his bag while at an Alaska Airlines counter at the airport.

The airline agreed Tuesday afternoon to allow Longcroft to fly back to the U. K. to continue his work. Longcroft is a machinist based in England and part of his job includes flying to various parts of the world to repair ships, said his attorney Louis Menendez. Work brought him to Juneau, Menendez said.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Jack Walsh said the airline lifted the ban on Longcroft because he is not a threat. After review of the situation, Walsh said it appeared Longcroft appeared to be joking when he made the comment about the bomb.

Menendez said a plea agreement in the case is still being discussed with the district attorney's office.

Quarry blast triggers calls to police

JUNEAU - More than 100 calls came into police Monday night from Lemon Creek residents complaining of noise from RSH Company Inc., a quarrying business in the Lemon Creek area, police said.

The company set off an explosion at about 9:18 p.m. Monday to break up 10,000 tons of rock in the Lemon Creek valley, near the state prison.

Police Capt. Tom Porter said the company notified police a half-hour before the blast and complied with rules for blasting. He said the company is not required to get a permit and did not violate noise ordinances because the blast occurred before 10 p.m.

Lloyd Anderson of RSH said the blasting was originally scheduled for 5 p.m. but because of rain the company had to wait until conditions were safe to use the dynamite solution. He said the company couldn't hold off the blasting because the solution degrades over time.

He said the company blasts rock three times a year and the blast Monday night would be the last for this year. He also said the company notified police, the fire department, helicopter companies and the state prison before the blasting. He said future blast procedures will include notification over the radio and through the newspaper.

JDHS ramp construction pushed back

JUNEAU - Construction of a handicap-accessible ramp at Juneau-Douglas High School will be delayed until the school's renovation after bids exceeded the district's target cost.

The ramp, which would replace an existing lift in the English wing, was expected to cost about $60,000 and was to have been installed this fall. The only bid for the project came in at $145,000, Juneau Assembly member Ken Koelsch said at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

District Facilities Manager Joe Mueller said the ramp project will be folded into the larger JDHS renovation project.

As originally proposed, the ramp would have been located where a classroom currently exists, and a new classroom would have been created. Mueller said architects are re-examining the project to look at other design options.

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