State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, November 10, 2002

Two charged with robbery, car theft early Saturday

JUNEAU - Police charged two men with robbery and car theft stemming from incidents early Saturday morning in which a victim was beaten but not seriously injured.

Kyle Jared Sneed, 18, and Charles Alan Abbott, 23, were charged with second-degree robbery and first-degree vehicle theft, both felonies. Abbott also was charged with the misdemeanors of driving without a license and leaving the scene of an accident.

Police said a man, 24, reported at about 4:20 a.m. that he was in the passenger's seat in a Subaru on Gold Street near Second Street when two men approached. One man allegedly entered the car on the driver's side, demanded money and punched the 24-year-old repeatedly in the face and head. The other man allegedly punched him through an open window.

The victim's friend returned from an apartment and they drove away. The assailants did not get any money, and the victim didn't require medical treatment, police said. The charge of robbery also can refer to attempting to rob a person.

Shortly afterward, police received several reports of a motor vehicle accident near Gold and Second streets. Witnesses said they saw two men, whose descriptions matched the suspects in the attempted robbery, leaving a 1984 GMC Suburban after it struck a parked 1995 Mercury.

Police said they located the suspects at about 4:25 a.m. on North Franklin Street near Third Street, detaining one and catching the other a few minutes later.

Sneed and Abbott were lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center with no bail. Police are continuing to investigate, including whether there is a link to Thursday's violent robbery of a 25-year-old Canadian man near Juneau Airport.

Juneau Veterans' Day activities

JUNEAU - There will be a Veterans' Day memorial ceremony on Monday at the National Guard Armory, beginning at 11 a.m.

The keynote speaker will be Coast Guard Adm. James Underwood, and the White Pipes and Drums will play. Mike Walsh of the Disabled American Veterans will announce the winner of the "What Veterans Mean to America" essay contest. The ceremony is sponsored by The Veterans of Foreign Wars Taku Post 5559 and the American Legion Post 25.

Immediately after the armory ceremony, the Southeast Alaska Native Veterans will have short ceremony at the Alaska Native Veterans Memorial near the Sealaska Building.

The Ladies Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars invites the public to the annual chili feed following the ceremonies at the VFW Post Home at First and Gold streets downtown.

On Veterans' Day, city, state and federal offices, post offices and banks will be closed, as will the public schools. Capital Transit and trash collection will offer full service. The Mendenhall Valley public library will be open, and the University of Alaska Southeast will run on a regular class schedule.

House positions announced

JUNEAU - In addition to announcing that Eagle River Republican Pete Kott will be speaker of the House, the GOP caucus made public Friday other key positions.

Anchorage Rep. Norm Rokeberg was named chair of the House Rules Committee, the gatekeeper for bills to reach the floor for a vote.

Along with co-chairmen John Harris of Valdez and Bill Williams of Saxman, Republican majority members on the House Finance Committee will be Kevin Meyer of Anchorage, Jim Whitaker of Fairbanks, John Coghill of North Pole, Bill Stoltze of Chugiak, Gary Stevens of Kodiak and Richard Foster of Nome.

Foster is a Democrat who has joined with the Republican majority in recent years.

The Democrats will be able to appoint three members to the Finance Committee.

It was previously reported that Lisa Murkowski of Anchorage is the new House majority leader.

The Republicans will have a 28-12 majority in the House next session, the same as the past two years.

The main House committee chairmanships named by the Republican majority: Health, Education and Social Services will be led by freshman Carl Gatto of Palmer, a retired Anchorage firefighter and Mat-Su school board member.

Judiciary will be chaired by Lesil McGuire of Anchorage, who has a law degree and served for two years as aide to the committee in the late 1990s.

Resources will be co-chaired by Hugh Fate of Fairbanks and Mike Chenault of Nikiski.

State Affairs will be chaired by freshman Bruce Weyhrauch, a Juneau attorney. Weyhrauch also was placed on Legislative Council, which conducts the Legislature's business when it isn't in session, and was appointed chairman of the Regulatory Review Committee.

Labor and Commerce will be led by freshman Tom Anderson of Anchorage, executive director of a bar and restaurant trade group.

Transportation will be co-chaired by two freshmen, Anchorage Pen Air executive Ralph Samuels and Jim Holm, a former Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly member.

Community and Regional Affairs will be chaired by Carl Morgan, an electrician from Aniak.

Oil and Gas will be chaired by Vic Kohring, a drywaller and house painter from Wasilla.

Fisheries will be chaired by Homer fisherman Paul Seaton.

Tanker loading resumes in Valdez

ANCHORAGE - The Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. resumed loading fuel onto tankers at the Valdez Marine Terminal shortly before 2 a.m. Friday.

Tanker loading had ceased when crude oil supplies at the Valdez terminal ran out following the shutdown of the pipeline after Nov. 3's 7.9 magnitude earthquake.

The pipeline was restarted Wednesday. Meanwhile, crews continued to work on repairs to the support structures damaged by the earthquake. No oil leaked from the pipeline.

Big one's aftershocks continue

ANCHORAGE - Aftershocks from Nov. 3's big earthquake continued Friday.

The largest aftershock was a magnitude 5.3 quake that occurred at 8:34 a.m. It was centered about 20 miles south of Denali National Park.

The Alaska Tsunami Warning Center in Palmer reported a 4.8 earthquake at 11:29 a.m. It was centered 30 miles southwest of Tok.

There were several light quakes with magnitudes ranging from 4.0 to 4.4., according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center. All of those quakes were centered in roughly the same area as the magnitude 7.9 earthquake that shook the state Nov. 3.

There were no reports of any damage or injuries from any of Friday's temblors.

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