State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Veterans honored at Wasilla Wall of Honor

ANCHORAGE - Gov. Tony Knowles paid tribute to Alaska veterans Monday at the Wasilla Veterans Monument and Wall of Honor.

Knowles spoke at the annual Veterans Day ceremony attended by representatives of all branches of the military.

"We must never forget that our freedom has been paid for and preserved with the blood of our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, and so many who came before them," Knowles said at the late-morning ceremony. "It should not be lost on any of us that this willing sacrifice is the binding fabric of our Republic."

Knowles also announced the winners of the annual Veterans Advocacy Awards. This year's recipients are Joe Sadlier of Ketchikan, Linda Boisseau of Fairbanks and the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club of Alaska, Chapter D, of Anchorage.

Golf course update tonight

JUNEAU - The Juneau Planning Commission will get an update tonight on the status of the golf course slated to be built in West Douglas.

The 18-hole, 200-acre course has been in the planning stages since 1997 but was conceived for a parcel of city land in West Douglas nearly 20 years ago.

The Planning Commission will hold a work session from 5-7 tonight in Assembly chambers at City Hall. While the meeting is open, public comment is not expected.

Ketchikan doctor put on probation

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska State Medical Board has put a Ketchikan doctor's medical license on probation for five years.

Dr. Gena McKinley signed a memorandum of agreement with the board in which McKinley admitted to prescribing narcotics to other people, including her husband, so she could use them herself.

McKinley said she obtained the drugs because she suffers from chronic knee pain, the memorandum said.

The agreement specifies McKinley must continue with counseling and therapy and work in a manner that doesn't pose a danger to public safety. She must work with a primary physician who knows what controlled medications she is taking, because she's not allowed to self-medicate. While under probation, she also must submit to random urinalysis and other tests, the agreement said.

"Dr. McKinley deeply regrets this tragic event," said Kristen Pettersen, McKinley's attorney in Juneau. "She has fully cooperated with the medical board to resolve this."

'Northern Exposure' star dies

SEATTLE - An actress who represented part of the spirit of small-town Alaska in a popular fictional TV series had died.

Margaret "Peg" Phillips, 84, a retired accountant who took acting classes at age 65 and won fame as the tart-tongued shopkeeper Ruth-Anne Miller in "Northern Exposure," died this morning of lung disease.

She appeared in at least eight movies, a number of television commercials and made guest appearances in such TV series as "7th Heaven," "Touched By an Angel" and "ER."

CBS issued a statement saying, "Peg Phillips' memorable portrayal of Ruth-Anne Miller on 'Northern Exposure' left an indelible imprint with the millions of loyal fans of this groundbreaking series, as well as with everyone at the network who had the opportunity to know and work with her."

Scorning pretension, she wore blue jeans, a red and white checked blouse, blue suspenders and brown sandals to the Emmy Awards ceremony when she was nominated for best supporting actress in 1993. When asked who designed her outfit, she replied, "Me."

Phillips' wanted to be an actress from age 4 but worked as a bookkeeper and tax accountant to pay the bills and raise her four children. Only after retiring did she enroll in the University of Washington drama school in 1984. She soon landed so many jobs she was unable to complete her degree.

In 1990 she was cast in what was supposed to be an intermittent role in "Northern Exposure," a CBS series on the fish-out-of-water travails of a New York doctor working off his student loan in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska. Shot in suburban Redmond, Wash., and Roslyn, 65 miles east-southeast of Seattle, the show began as a summer replacement series but became so strong in the ratings it ran through 1995.

Vessel thought to have sunk turns up on Afognak beach

KODIAK - A commercial fishing vessel that ran aground at Afognak Island, 25 miles north of Kodiak, has been identified as a Japanese fishing boat that was thought to have sunk earlier this year.

Coast Guard officials said the 97-foot Genei Maru No. 7 caught fire last May in the North Pacific and was abandoned by its crew.

The boat was spotted Sunday. Coast Guard officials in Kodiak say they received a report of a fishing vessel on the beach at Kasakov Bay on Afognak Island.

A Coast Guard helicopter crew flew over the vessel, smelled diesel fumes and saw an oil sheen drifting away from the vessel. It's not known how much fuel remains aboard the boat.

The Japanese company that owns the vessel is KK Yamatsu Anichi Shoten. The Coast Guard has contacted the company and is discussing salvage options. If arrangements are not made in a timely manner, the Coast Guard says it will hire a salvage company and seek reimbursement from the owner.

Fairbanks man charged with kidnapping

ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers have arrested a Fairbanks man they say kidnapped, robbed and threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend.

Arlo Olson, 25, has been charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, burglary, criminal mischief, assault and robbery.

Investigators say Olson broke into his ex-girlfriend's apartment Saturday, hid and waited for the 24-year-old woman to return home at about 4 p.m.

The woman arrived a short time later with the couple's two young children and an unidentified young girl, after being dropped off by her new boyfriend, said trooper Sgt. Dave Drvenkar. When she walked into the house, Olson knocked her to the floor, Drvenkar said.

"He confronted her with a knife," Drvenkar said. The unidentified young girl ran to a nearby store and called 911.

Sometime during the alleged kidnapping, Olson tried to force the woman to swallow a large amount of an unnamed prescription medicine, took her cash and threatened to kill her at knifepoint, Drvenkar said.

Troopers apprehended Olson and took him to the Fairbanks Correctional Center. The woman received minor injuries. The children were not injured.

Anchorage woman rescued after fall on Ptarmigan Peak

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman, injured in a fall on Ptarmigan Peak was rescued Sunday afternoon by the Alaska Air National Guard, Anchorage police said.

Witnesses, who identified the woman as Lori Bennett, said she slipped and fell. She suffered head lacerations and possibly a broken arm, police said. A companion alerted police via cell phone at 3:15 p.m.

The rescue effort took about three hours because of the steepness of the terrain. Police officers, firefighters and people who had been on the mountain helped with the rescue. Bennett was eventually hoisted onto a helicopter about 6:20 p.m., police said.

Compiled from Associated Press reports.

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