State Briefs

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2002

Bear shot near Lena Loop

JUNEAU - A Lena Cove resident shot and killed an adult sow Tuesday after the bear attempted to break into his home, said a local biologist.

Neil Barten, a biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game, said a man, whose name is not being released, shot the bear around 4:30 p.m. at his residence on Andreanoff Drive after he repeatedly tried to scare it away from his front door.

Barten said this sow and her cubs were captured, tagged and moved by Fish and Game to an area beyond the Taku Inlet earlier this summer after frequenting downtown Dumpsters for several weeks. Barten said the sow's reappearance in Juneau may mean she swam across the inlet or found a narrow area to cross, losing her cubs along the way.

In the days before her death, Barten said, she attempted to get into pet doors and porches of residences in the area, looking for food.

Barten said the man who shot the sow attempted to deter the bear for the better part of 12 hours until he felt his life and property were at risk. Barten said the man, by law, had to skin the bear and turn the hide and skull in to Fish and Game.

Anchorage man charged with murder

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man was charged with second-degree murder after fatally shooting his wife.

Police originally charged Josh Longley with manslaughter after he told them he accidentally shot 28-year-old Susan Williams about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday while handling a hunting rifle. The charges were later upgraded.

The shooting occurred inside the couple's trailer, police said. Williams was struck in the chest and was pronounced dead at Providence Alaska Medical Center later Tuesday night.

Longley was taken to Anchorage Jail with bail set at $100,000.

Police investigate woman's death as homicide

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a woman found dead in her apartment was a homicide victim.

Police found Cynthia R. Barnes, 47, in her home in the Mountain View neighborhood after a friend asked them to check on her.

Neighbors who live in the multiplex said Barnes had not been seen in days and had not responded to knocks on her doors and windows.

Flags lowered for Machetanz

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles ordered state flags be lowered today in honor of Alaska artist Frederick Machetanz, who died Sunday at age 94.

Machetanz, an internationally known artist, died at Valley Hospital in Palmer.

The last of Alaska's "old masters," Machetanz built a reputation from an art career that spanned nearly seven decades. His subjects ranged from Alaska wildlife, dog teams, old-timers, Native people and vast landscapes.

A memorial service was to held at 3 p.m. today at the United Protestant Church in Palmer.

Outdoors author dies on wildlife shoot

CORVALLIS, Mont. - Duncan Gilchrist, who authored several books on outdoor subjects and traveled the world to produce videos on big game hunting, died of a heart attack while filming a hunt east of Missoula on Saturday. He was 66.

Gilchrist, once an Alaska bush pilot, became an outfitter, guiding for brown bear, black bear, Dall sheep and Rocky Mountain goats out of Haines. In 1976 he moved to the Bitterroot Valley of Montana, where he worked as an outfitter for several years and developed an intense interest in Montana's bighorn sheep.

He wrote 11 books, including several on bighorn sheep, as well as books on bear hunting, mountain goats and hunting techniques. He had just completed a book on big-game hunting for beginners.

Gilchrist also became a videographer of wildlife, traveling across the United States and Canada, as well as in Africa, New Zealand and Australia. He produced two dozen videos on big game hunting. His film work was recognized earlier this year at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Patricia, six children and two grandchildren.

Jonrowe fund-raiser brings in $27,000

ANCHORAGE - A weekend fund-raiser for cancer-stricken Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe brought in $27,000, organizers said.

Jonrowe, 48, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. A full-time musher who has completed the Iditarod 19 times, Jonrowe learned after her diagnosis that her health insurance didn't cover chemotherapy. She has since purchased a more comprehensive policy that covers more of her expenses.

Jonrowe said she hopes the Dog Dash can become an annual fund-raiser to benefit others in similar situations. Nineteen percent of Alaskans - more than 100,000 people - don't have health insurance.

Nikiski man charged with sexual crime

ANCHORAGE - A Nikiski man was arrested Tuesday on two sexual abuse charges.

Kevin S. Zardeneta, 20, was charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

According to Alaska State Troopers, Zardeneta engaged in an ongoing sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl from Feb. 23 to the first week of September. Troopers said the abuse occurred at three or more Nikiski area locations.

Nikiski is an unincorporated community of more than 4,300 people on the Kenai Peninsula nine miles north of Kenai.

Man pleads guilty to abuse

FAIRBANKS - A former Bettles man has pleaded no contest to sexual abuse of a minor and assault as part of a plea agreement.

William E. Mackey, 43, faces up to 15 years in prison for offenses against two girls from January 1997 through February this year.

Prosecutors said all the offenses occurred in Bettles, a community of about 43 residents 180 miles north of Fairbanks.

The agreement consolidates nine counts of second-degree sexual abuse into a single charge and drops two counts of third-degree assault.

Assistant District Attorney Corinne Vorenkamp said Mackey's plea agreement, reached Sept. 23, likely will result in a sentence similar to a conviction on all charges. A key element in the agreement from the state's perspective, she said, is that Mackey cannot deny facts contained in his charges and the victims will not have to testify.

Mackey was released on $50,000 bail and had been living in California. According to court documents, he recently returned to Alaska and has been living in Anchorage with a third-party custodian. He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14.

Compiled from staff and Associated Press reports.

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