Alaska Digest

Posted: Monday, October 27, 2003

Mayor signs $10 million contract for 911 system

ANCHORAGE - The mayor of Anchorage signed a $10 million emergency call system contract that city officials say should prevent police from going to wrong addresses.

Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich signed the 10-year emergency call system contract with Anchorage-based Alaska Communications Systems on Friday. He said the system will be one of the most advanced in the nation.

The need for improvements to the 911 system came into sharp focus after Glenn Godfrey, the former state public safety commissioner, was shot and killed last August by a woman who then shot Godfrey's wife, Patti.

Bleeding profusely, Patti Godfrey waited 48 minutes on the phone with 911 dispatchers before police found her Eagle River home and rescued her.

Police Chief Walt Monegan said the Godfrey case arose from an unusual set of failings. The 911 dispatcher on the Godfrey call sent police to the address suggested by a computer and ignored the address given by the injured woman on the phone. But the address suggested by the computer didn't exist. Also, the family's home had no posted address, Monegan said, and moreover, the police officers' map was wrong.

Unocal announces more layoffs

KENAI - Unocal has cut more of its Alaska work force due largely to its suspension of operations at the Baker and Dillon platforms in Cook Inlet.

Unocal spokeswoman Roxanne Sinz said Friday that 14 company positions and 14 contract positions were cut. Not all the positions were filled by Alaska residents, she said.

Unocal workers still on the job will fill some of the former contract positions, she said.

"The reason we are doing this is mainly due to the fact that we suspended operations on two platforms," Sinz said.

The effort to mothball the Baker and Dillon platforms began last year and is now complete. The platforms are at both ends of the Middle Ground Shoal southwest of Anchorage, offshore from Nikiski.

Man sought in bank robbery

ANCHORAGE - A man robbed the Muldoon branch of First National Bank of Anchorage about 1:55 p.m. Saturday, according to Anchorage police and the FBI.

The unidentified Caucasian man entered the bank and demanded money from a teller, said Thomas McClenaghan, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Alaska.

The teller did not see a gun, McClenaghan said.

After receiving cash, the man left the bank and fled on foot.

The suspect was described as 25-30 years old, 5 feet, 5 inches to 5 feet, 7 inches tall and slender, with thinning brown hair.

He was wearing a royal-blue jacket with dark blue shoulders and hood and dark athletic pants with a white stripe on the side.

More bears killed in defense of life, property

KENAI - Another brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula was killed in defense of life and property last week, bringing the total for the year to 18.

The killings are the highest number of reported shootings in defense of life and property on record, said Jeff Selinger, area manager for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

According to department records, prior to the 2001-02 year, brown bear shootings had never exceeded 10 animals. In 2001-02, the number of brown bear nonhunting mortalities jumped to a record high 14. Last year the number climbed to 15.

Selinger said the reason for the increase is complicated.

"The human population on the peninsula has grown and continues to grow," he said. "With this, recreation into bear country has expanded, which in recent years has led to more bear-human interactions.

Eielson unveils center to streamline processing

FAIRBANKS - Eielson Air Force Base unveiled a new facility to streamline the process Interior military forces undergo before boarding a plane for deployments.

The joint military center will be utilized by both Fort Wainwright soldiers and Eielson airmen. It cost $22.5 million to build.

The new building encompasses 7,680-square yards and will be used to process troops and their accompanying supplies before they're loaded on cargo planes for deployments.

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