Posted: Monday, October 04, 2004

Ex-Alaska U.S. attorney to take Renkes case

ANCHORAGE - A former U.S. attorney for Alaska will review a potential state coal deal with Taiwan and a Denver company that once retained Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes as a paid adviser, Gov. Frank Murkowski said Sunday.

Murkowski said Robert Bundy will review questions raised regarding Renkes' stock ownership in the company and his role in promoting natural resource development.

Renkes has been accused of potentially gaining personal profit from the deal involving high-moisture coal from the Beluga fields on the western shores of Cook Inlet. The coal would go through a drying process patented by KFx Inc.

Renkes is a company stockholder and actively bought and sold KFx shares in the company as recently as August. His ties to the company date back to at least 1998.

"I have known and worked with Gregg Renkes for 18 years and have the utmost confidence in him and in his integrity," Murkowski said. "The attorney general and I take this matter very seriously. That's why I agree with the attorney general's request for an independent review of the issue to assure the public of the continued integrity of the attorney general and his office."

Coach survives plunge off Seward Highway

KENAI - A Soldotna man survived a 200-foot plunge off a cliff in his pickup truck near Hope Sunday.

Mike Alvey, 28, was driving his Dodge pickup near Mile 57 of the Seward Highway about noon when his vehicle left the roadway and went into a ravine, Alaska State Troopers said.

"From what I understand, he was driving south on the Seward Highway and just drove off the road," trooper Kurt Walgenbach said. Walgenbach said it's not clear why Alvey left the roadway.

Alvey was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Alvey is an assistant coach for the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association's under-18 team and was returning to the peninsula after a weekend of games in Anchorage. Following behind was Soldotna resident Max Best, whose son, Brennan, plays on Alvey's team.

Best said he was trailing behind Alvey when he noticed Alvey's truck was no longer on the highway. He turned around and went back to check along the road where he'd last seen Alvey, but couldn't see any evidence of the truck.

"I said to Brennan, 'Something isn't right,"' Best said.

He pulled up to a gap in the guardrail, then climbed down a ravine. At the bottom, he saw Alvey's truck upside down in a creek.

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