Local Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2001

Powder from airliner tested

JUNEAU - A passenger aboard Alaska Airlines Flight 65 Monday afternoon found a white powdery substance in an overhead compartment shortly after the plane landed at the Juneau Airport.

Airline officials notified the FBI, Capital City Fire and Rescue and the Juneau police.

"The likelihood of it being anything dangerous is very low," said police Lt. Walt Boman, "But because everyone on the plane is sharing the same air space we decided to err on the side of caution."

An airport press release said the amount of powder was barely enough to get a good sample. It was sent to the state health lab in Anchorage.

The plane, which was coming from Seattle, made stops in Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg and arrived in Juneau around 1:15 p.m., the airport said.

After the substance was found, a passenger, two flight attendants and one of two pilots on the plane were taken to a safe area and checked. The rest of the 55 passengers were allowed to leave because they had not been exposed to the substance, the airport said.

Boman said the FBI and airline officials interviewed people on the plane.

Divers recover bones where skull was found

JUNEAU - Volunteer divers from Southeast Aquatic Safety found "half a milk crate" of additional remains Monday afternoon where a human skull fragment was found in about 40 feet of water on Oct. 22.

John Lachelt of Channel Dive Center, one of the founders of SEAS, said the bones have been turned over to Sgt. John Boltjes of the Juneau Police Department. Police said they would be taken to a pathologist for identification, Lachelt said.

Boltjes could not be reached for comment today.

"We found a whole bunch of bones and don't know exactly what they are or from what (source)," Lachelt said. "Some of them look like animal bones, but some others especially a scapula or piece of a pelvis and some ribs are suspiciously human."

SEAS divers mapped the area of the find off the steamship wharf downtown so they could repeat the search if necessary.

The previously found skull fragment, about five inches long, contained part of an upper jaw and several teeth with gold bridgework. Police have said local dentists estimated it was from a man 35 to 50 years old, but it wasn't clear how long the fragment had been in the water.

Woman blocks alleged burglar in shed

JUNEAU - Police arrested a man after a resident trapped him in a shed following an alleged burglary Monday night in the Mendenhall Valley.

Aaron St. Clair, 18, was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor assault, the latter charge stemming from injuries police alleged he caused the woman who caught him in the shed. He was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Two other unidentified people fled the scene before police arrived.

When police arrived at the home, a woman, 44, was blocking the door to the shed with St. Clair inside. Police said St. Clair was trying to force his way out of the shed and slightly injured the woman.

Forum set on school bullying

JUNEAU - Parents and students are invited to tell the Juneau School Board about bullying and harassment.

A School Board committee has studied student behavior and discipline in the district's two middle schools, revealing recurring problems with bullying and harassment.

Parents can learn more about the issue and give suggestions for improvements at a public forum from 7-9 p.m. Thursday in the JDHS commons. A forum for students will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at JDHS.

The program, entitled "Positive School Climate: Building Respect, Understanding and Common Values," will combine a discussion of the board's middle school study with an address by character education specialist Stephen Johnson. Johnson is the director of the Center for Family, School and Community at Santa Clara University in California.

Ship job program here on Thursday

JUNEAU - A Ketchikan-based program that provides free training to Alaskans interested in jobs on ocean-going ships will visit Juneau on Thursday.

Sealink, short for Seafarers Educational Alternative Link, targets displaced workers and low-income young people entering the work force, said Lauren Mirsky, the program's outreach coordinator.

Those selected get free transportation to and tuition at a training center in Piney Point, Md. The eight-month program includes five months of campus studies and three months of shipboard training.

Upon graduation, "they are guaranteed a job on a U.S.-flagged vessel paying $30,000 a year plus benefits," Mirsky said.

Sealink will have a booth at the Juneau-Douglas High School college career fair, which is open to students during the school day and to others from 4-6 p.m. Thursday. The program can be reached at (907) 247-5769 or toll-free at (888) 577-7453.

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