Alaska Digest

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005

2 treated at Bartlett after Egan accident

JUNEAU - Two drivers were treated and released at the Barlett Hospital emergency room Friday evening after a two-car accident just before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Egan and Channel drives.

A 1999 Dodge Durango, with two occupants, had a green arrow and was beginning a left turn onto Channel Drive from the left turn lane of outbound Egan Drive. A 2002 Honda, with one occupant, was traveling inbound on Egan Drive when it struck the Durango in the intersection.

The driver of the Honda thought they had a green light but was cited for failing to stop for a steady red light.

Both drivers were transported to Bartlett after complaining of neck and shoulder pain.

Anchorage police face backlog of violence warrants

ANCHORAGE - A backlog of warrants mean hundreds of suspects in misdemeanor domestic violence cases have not been arrested, according to Anchorage police.

As of mid-October, about 567 domestic violence warrants had accumulated and were waiting to be served, part of a backlog of about 4,500 warrants in misdemeanor cases, said Capt. Bill Miller of the Anchorage Police Department.

In addition, judges' orders often go ignored because there is a shortage of officers to enforce them, Miller said. The violent partners are usually boyfriends or husbands, but are sometimes girlfriends or wives.

Police hope to crack down on offenders with new grants to pay for officer overtime and the hiring of new police and other staff to check up on offenders, Miller and city officials told the Anchorage Women's Commission during a recent public forum on domestic violence.

That includes a three-year, $2.4 million U.S. Justice Department grant to the city, said Carrie Longoria, manager of the municipality's Safe City program. Two police officers and three other workers are being added to monitor suspects and offenders.

Cold War-era weapons found in Kincaid Park

ANCHORAGE - Workers building a new trail in Kincaid Park recently dug up rusty metal shards of weapons used during the Cold War.

The remains were apparently from a guided-missile complex used to defend Anchorage's military bases against Soviet bombers.

A missile fin that shows evidence of having been slightly damaged was also uncovered, according to Tim Kelley, a history buff who found the blade.

Kelley said he has studied the history of Kincaid and the Nike Hercules missiles at the core of its Cold War mission.

Kelley was looking at the trail work site in mid-October when he noticed the large white blade half covered with brush and debris.

"I thought, 'Hey, that's a Nike missile fin,'?" he said.

The fin is roughly 4 feet long, perhaps 3 feet wide at its widest. It weighs about 40 pounds and is the shape and about the size of a keel for a 30-foot boat.

Kelley said it's mostly aluminum with steel fixtures for attaching it to the missile. Photographs of Nike Hercules missiles show booster fins that appear to be identical in shape and size to the object Kelley found, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Agencies tally firefighting bills

FAIRBANKS - Firefighting agencies have racked up another hefty bill for battling a second consecutive season of widespread, smoking blazes throughout the state.

Agencies face a tab of about $56 million, according to early estimates from the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center and the Alaska Division of Forestry.

That's much less, so far, than the 2004 total of $108 million. But fire managers worry Alaska could be in for a series of expensive firefighting efforts with Interior and Kenai Peninsula forests in prime condition for more large fire seasons.

About 4.6 million acres burned in 2005, in the tracks of a record 6.6 million acres burned in 2004. This year marked Alaska's third largest fire season since 1955.

"If we continue to have fire seasons like 2004 and 2005, then we'll continue to have comparable expenses for fighting those fires," said Scott Billing, manager of the Bureau of Land Management's Alaska Fire Service.

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