Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Federal prosecutor accused of hitting wife

ANCHORAGE - A federal prosecutor in Anchorage is charged with domestic violence, accused of striking his wife.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Cooper was arrested Oct. 12.

Police said his wife had been struck several times in the face. Police did not release her name, but the Anchorage Daily News identified her as Cynthia Cooper, a former chief prosecutor for the state.

Police said Cooper and his wife got into an argument during a party at their home.

Cooper's wife told police she locked herself in a bedroom, but her husband had a key and followed her. They got into an argument and Cooper struck her in the face, said police spokesman Ron McGee.

The wife and a teenage son ran to a neighbor's house and called 911, McGee said.

As a precautionary measure, police seized a gun from a safe in the Cooper home, McGee said.

Dan Cooper was charged with domestic violence, a misdemeanor, and taken to the Anchorage Jail, from which he was freed after posting $1,000 bail.

He is scheduled for arraignment in Anchorage District Court on Nov. 10.

Natural gas credit still under negotiation

FAIRBANKS - Members of Congress are still negotiating over a tax credit for Alaska natural gas as they seek a final energy bill.

But Mark Prater, the Republican majority's chief tax counsel on the Senate Finance Committee, indicated the tax credit is not among the major issues holding up the conference committee assigned to craft the bill into final form.

North Slope gas owners say they need the tax credit to make a $20-billion pipeline to the Lower 48 feasible.

When asked if conferees were hung up on the tax credit, Prater referred to Sen. Pete Domenici's statement last week. Domenici, R-N.M. and chairman of the conference committee, attributed the delay in writing the energy bill to disagreements over ethanol subsidies, liability waivers for producers of the gasoline additive MTBE and clean air act amendments.

Scientists worry about invasive species in Alaska

KENAI - Studies in Kachemak Bay have found potentially dangerous species of sea life, foreign to the local ecology, likely brought up in the ballast water of ships arriving from the Lower 48 and elsewhere.

Scientists are concerned about how the species arrived, whether they could spread, how disruptive they might be to the local ecological balance and what an explosion of their numbers would do to valuable commercial harvest species.

Homer Harbor now is home to at least 13 invasive species, including vascular plants and bivalve mollusks, according to a study done in the summer of 2000.

In addition, four species are reported but not yet confirmed in Kachemak Bay. Four other species known to exist in Kachemak Bay are being called "cryptogenic" because taxonomic experts do not yet know where they came from.

In some parts of the country, foreign species are causing hundreds of millions of dollars of damage annually.

Rampart woman found dead of gunshot wound

FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers are investigating the death of a 40-year-old woman in Rampart. Troopers said Doris Folger appears to have died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Authorities learned of the death just after midnight Monday morning when Randy Joseph, 45, called to report he'd found Folger, his girlfriend, dead in his mother's house.

Troopers from Fairbanks arrived in Rampart on Monday afternoon. They said Joseph, who appeared to be intoxicated, became verbally and physically abusive to them.

He was arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct and taken to Fairbanks, where he was booked at Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Troopers said the investigation into Folger's death is continuing.

Coast Guard reports death of diver

JUNEAU - A Ketchikan commercial diver died Tuesday, after apparently going without oxygen for five to 10 minutes, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Thomas McKenzie said the agency received a report about 9 a.m. of an injured diver aboard the vessel Clearlight near Wrangell.

Rescuers performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Michael R. Anderson, 33, on the boat and while flying him by helicopter to Ketchikan. He was pronounced dead at Ketchikan General Hospital.



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