State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2002

Kids Voting to train young journalists

JUNEAU - The Juneau chapter of the national Kids Voting USA project, which encourages students to go to the polls with their parents, is holding a training session for student reporters interested in covering the Nov. 5 Kids Voting election.

Students who attend the training may focus in print, broadcast or Web journalism. Student journalists will be trained to write for publication in the Juneau Empire, cut radio public service announcements, and help design a Web site. The training will be held on at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Juneau-Douglas High School. Students must contact Caren Robinson by 4 p.m., Oct. 7 by phone at 586-1107 or by e-mail at

North Pole couple indicted on meth charges

FAIRBANKS - A North Pole couple is facing a combined 14 counts of drug charges, nearly six months after authorities raided their home.

Kim Nelson, 45, was indicted Thursday on 13 charges while his wife, Jenny R. Nelson, 48, was indicted on six drug charges. According to the indictment, Kim Nelson sold methamphetamine and oxycodone to an informant.

Saxman voters turn down tax to pay bond

KETCHIKAN - Voters in Saxman have approved a ballot measure to let the community incur debt to complete a project, but they also rejected a measure to help repay the funds.

A total of 122 voters went to the polls Tuesday.

Voters solidly approved Proposition 1, which allows the city to issue bonds or obtain a loan of up to $1.5 million to help pay the cost of completing the Saxman Community Center.

But a related measure failed by a margin of 59 yes votes to 68 no votes. Proposition 2 would have increased the city's sales tax levy from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent to help pay off the debt from Proposition 1.

Work on the 26,600-square-foot building stopped in early August when the city ran out of funding for the approximately $4.2 million project. About $1.8 million is required to complete the job, according to Saxman City Administrator Bob Rubin.

Fairbanks bars sued in DWI death

FAIRBANKS - The parents of a 17-year-old Fairbanks girl who was killed in a car crash involving a drunken driver are suing two bars where the man allegedly was drinking.

The wrongful death lawsuit alleges bar staff at The Hideaway and American Legion Post No. 57 overserved Kirk Jackson on Sept. 30, 2000, the day he was involved in the accident that killed Heather Dowdy. A civil complaint was filed in Fairbanks Superior Court in late September.

Jackson, then 32, was driving a truck near 3.5 Mile Old Steese Highway when he crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with Dowdy's car. Dowdy, then a Lathrop High School senior, suffered multiple injuries and died during surgery later that day.

After the accident, Jackson's blood-alcohol content measured 0.29, almost three times the legal limit at the time. Jackson eventually pleaded no contest to charges of manslaughter and drunken driving and was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Compiled from staff and wire service reports.

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