Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, October 26, 2007

New developers eyeing Douglas golf course

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JUNEAU - Two potential investors visited Juneau last weekend to consider entering into an agreement to develop an 18-hole golf course planned near Peterson Creek at the northern end of Douglas Island.

One developer was from Washington state and the other from Hawaii, said Peter Metcalf, president of Totem Creek Inc., a nonprofit set up to develop the golf course on 274 acres of leased city land. Totem holds the lease and conditional-use permits for the course.

Metcalf would not name the visiting developers.

"They looked around and talked to our board," he said. "They are very interested."

Another developer had entered an exclusive contract to create the golf course, but released Totem Creek Inc. from the deal, Metcalf said. The developer got caught up in the mortgage crisis and did not have the money to move ahead on the North Douglas project.

Alaska Air swings to profit in 3rd quarter

SEATTLE - Alaska Air Group Inc., the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said Thursday it swung to a third-quarter profit as both carriers flew more passengers, lowered costs and benefited from fuel hedging.

Though the latest quarter's results beat Wall Street expectations, the company said it expects to lose money in the fourth quarter because of skyrocketing fuel prices and the seasonal decline in end-of-the-year passenger traffic. Executives declined to project how big the loss might be.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, Alaska Air earned $85.8 million, or $2.11 per share, compared with a loss of $17.4 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier.

Last year's results included charges related to the buyout of five MD-80 aircraft leases and a voluntary severance program that was part of a new labor contract.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $995.1 million in the July-September period from $935.7 million.

Alaska Air Group shares rose 44 cents, or 1.7 percent, to close at $26.01.

Bethel man arrested in wife's death

BETHEL - Alaska State Troopers say they have arrested a 25-year-old Bethel man in the death of his wife.

Jonathan Kashatok has been charged with second-degree murder.

His wife, 20-year-old Angelina Hapoff, died on Oct. 13. No details have been released, and troopers didn't immediately return a phone seeking more information.

Anchorage teacher receives Milken Award

ANCHORAGE - Michael Warren, a teacher at Central Middle School of Science in Anchorage, is the recipient of a prestigious teaching honor.

Gov. Sarah Palin on Wednesday presented the eighth-grade language arts teacher with a 2007 Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award at a surprise ceremony at the school.

He will receive $25,000 from the foundation during a national education conference next spring.

Up to 100 winners of the Milken Award are chosen annually across the nation. He's the 63rd Alaska educator to receive the award since the state joined the program in 1990.

Journalist to become state's rural adviser

JUNEAU - A journalist with an extensive background reporting on Alaska Native and rural issues will become an adviser to Gov. Sarah Palin.

Rhonda McBride will start her new job as the state's rural adviser in December.

McBride will be the principal liaison between the governor's office and rural communities, as well as Palin's chief adviser on issues impacting rural Alaska.

McBride currently works for Anchorage television station KTUU. Before that, she was the news director for KYUK AM/TV in Bethel and hosted two television shows on KAKM in Anchorage.

Before moving to Alaska in 1988, she worked for television stations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev., and in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Denali park looks to form sister park deal

ANCHORAGE - Federal officials are seeking a sister park arrangement between Denali National Park and Preserve and the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia.

Officials representing the two parks plan to sign a letter of intent in Anchorage today to pursue a sister park agreement.

Officials say it's the first step that could lead to exchange of personnel, data and training.

State oil, gas lease sales raise $2.1 million

ANCHORAGE - Two state oil and gas lease sales for acreage on the North Slope and in the Beaufort Sea have brought in more than $2 million.

Five companies bid a combined $1.35 million for about 68,500 acres on the North Slope, and three bidders paid more than $70,000 for over 53,000 acres in the Beaufort.

State officials say no tract drew more than a single bid.

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