Alaska Digest

Posted: Friday, November 16, 2007

City offers free holiday parking for shopping

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JUNEAU - The city will offer up to four hours of free parking in coin-operated spaces only at the Marine Parking Garage from Friday, Nov. 23, to Dec. 31.

The free parking will be made available to encourage people to visit downtown during the holiday shopping season. Permit spaces will still require city-issued permits visible in the vehicle.

For more information, call Parks and Recreation at586-5226.

Wal-Mart responds to crab-label critics

JUNEAU - Wal-Mart responded Thursday to criticism by Alaska House Speaker John Harris, R-Valdez, about a crab product that features a well-known Alaska fisherman on its label.

Harris called the label "fraudulent advertising."

Wal-Mart said the product did not claim to sell Alaska crab.

"While the boxes feature a front picture of the Northwestern and the signature of 'Capt. Sig,' the crab is identified as a product of Russia, packed in the United States," a Wal-Mart statement to Harris said.

"Nowhere on the package does the word 'Alaska' appear and the product clearly states that it is 'crab legs and claws' from Russia. If the product had in fact stated 'Alaskan King Crab' and was found to be Russian-sourced, we would have taken immediate action," the statement said.

Police ID man dragged to death by truck

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a pedestrian killed and dragged by a large truck over the weekend was a 45-year-old man from the village of Noorvik.

Police say Horace Field was pinned beneath and dragged by the tractor trailer for 10 blocks in downtown Anchorage Saturday. Police say his body was rolled up in the truck's rear wheels, and the driver did not stop until a motorist flagged him down.

The truck driver, 57-year-old Stephen Haines of Anchorage, was unaware he'd hit anything.

Police say toxicology results for Field and Haines are pending.

Noorvik is about 530 miles northwest of Anchorage.

More soldiers setto arrive home Friday

FORT RICHARDSON - More soldiers from the Fourth Brigade Combat Team are set to arrive home from Iraq.

About 230 soldiers are scheduled to arrive Friday.

After going through processing, the soldiers will be taken to Buckner Physical Fitness Center at Fort Richardson to be reunited with their families.

This is the fourth plane load of soldiers to return to Alaska. In all, about 800 soldiers of the 3,500-member brigade have returned home.

The others will return by mid-December.

Four plead not guilty to Halloween robbery

PALMER - Two Wasilla women have pleaded not guilty to charges connected to the Halloween robbery of eight trick-or-treaters in Talkeetna.

Kendra Butts, 18, and Amber Martin, 20, are charged with seven counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and eight counts of assault.

They entered their not-guilty pleas Tuesday.

The women's boyfriends - Aaron Tolen and Michael S. Wilson, both 24 - pleaded not guilty to charges of hindering prosecution and weapons misconduct.

All four are being held on bail in varying amounts.

Troopers said the robbery occurred in the evening on Halloween as the children, ages 10 and 11, made their rounds on Talkeetna's Main Street.

Two women wearing ski masks jumped from a truck and pointed a revolver at the children, demanded candy, then fired one shot into the air, according to troopers. They stole six bags of candy and an iPhone, troopers said.

Anchorage woman pleads to drug charge

ANCHORAGE - A 21-year-old Anchorage woman who helped a man sell drugs has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance.

Vanisa Yvonne Crenshaw pleaded guilty Thursday.

She was accused of helping Yancy Darnell Johns Jr., also 21, of selling nearly nine grams of cocaine base to a government informant on three separate occasions.

Johns pleaded guilty to a similar offense Wednesday.

Federal authorities said Crenshaw assisted Johns by driving him to a drug deal, returning phone calls made to Johns from the informant and arranging her own meetings with the informant to sell crack cocaine.

Both face up to 40 years in prison and $2 million fines when they are sentenced Feb. 7.

Sitka man leads school board group

ANCHORAGE - A Sitka man has been elected president of the Association of Alaska School Boards.

Scott McAdams was elected during the group's 54th annual conference in Anchorage.

McAdams, who will serve for a year, succeeds Beth Betts of the Copper River School Board.

The nonprofit AASB was founded in 1954. The organization serves 53 school districts with a variety of services, from legislative lobbying and research to training for new board members.

Tree celebrates Chugach anniversary

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Forest Service is donating a Christmas tree for Town Square Park in downtown Anchorage.

The 35-foot spruce from the Chugach National Forest near Girdwood will be moved to Anchorage and erected on Friday.

The tree will be decorated and lit at a lighting ceremony Nov. 23. It will be on display through Jan. 15, and then it will be donated to the Homeward Bound program.

Mackey set to defend Yukon Quest title

FAIRBANKS - Three-time defending champion Lance Mackey is set to defend his title in the 2008 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

The 25th Yukon Quest will begin from Fairbanks on Feb. 9 and end about two weeks later in Whitehorse, Yukon. Also scheduled to participate is the race's first champion, Sonny Linder, who won the inaugural event in 1984.

Mackey last March became the first musher to win both the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest and the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in the same year. Besides Mackey and Linder, 20 mushers have signed up for this year's race to date, including 1995 champion Frank Turner.

Mackey and Lindner also are signed up for the 2008 Iditarod.

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