Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2003

Rowcroft to begin federal sentence

JUNEAU - The man found guilty last week in state court of taking nearly $100,000 in cash, checks and credit receipts from the Kmart safe last year will begin a federal prison sentence on a separate charge this week, according to his attorney.

Frank Brian Rowcroft had pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of attempting to re-enter the United States with more than $10,000 of undeclared U.S. currency in his possession on May 3, 2002.

He had been turned away at the Canadian border because of a license plate violation on his car. After a U.S. Customs agent near Skagway found him in possession of about $30,000, police arrested him in connection with the March 31, 2002, theft from Kmart, where he had worked as the head of loss prevention.

According to the U.S. District Court clerk's office in Anchorage, Rowcroft was sentenced for the federal offense to serve two months in prison and two years on supervised release, and he was to report to the U.S. marshal by the end of the year.

Louis Menendez, Rowcroft's attorney, said Wednesday that his client would fly to Anchorage as early as today to begin serving the federal sentence.

Rowcroft is scheduled to be sentenced in Juneau Superior Court on Jan. 6, 2004, after a jury found him guilty last week of first-degree theft from Kmart. He could serve up 10 years in state prison.

Governor names seven to state boards

JUNEAU - Gov. Frank Murkowski has appointed seven people to three state boards, including the Marine Transportation Advisory Board, the Police Standards Council and the Workforce Investment Board.

Norm Carson of Pelican and Wayne Stevens of Kodiak will serve on the Marine Transportation Advisory Board. Carson owns and operates Pelican Charters, a sportfishing business. He will serve on the seat designated for communities in northern Southeast Alaska.

Stevens has served as executive director of the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce since 1985. He will serve on the public seat on the advisory board.

Chuck Kopp of Kenai and Janey Wineinger of Chickaloon were appointed to the Police Standards Council. Kopp is chief of police for Kenai and will serve on the seat designated for a chief administrator of a law enforcement agency.

Wineinger is a legislative assistant to state Sen. Lyda Green, a Wasilla Republican.

Rod Betit of Juneau, Rose Ellis of Anchorage and Neal Foster of Nome will serve on the Workforce Investment Board.

Betit is the executive director of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. Ellis is executive director of the Alaska Native Coalition on Employment and Training in Anchorage and serves on the board of directors for Chugach Alaska Corporation. Foster is president of Bonanza Fuel for Sitnasuak Native Corporation in Nome.

Man found guilty in Ketchikan rape case

KETCHIKAN - A Ketchikan jury this week found a 37-year-old man guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of fourth-degree assault.

A woman testified during a six-day trial that Ty Douglas raped her twice June 26 and 27 in her apartment. She said he only stopped beating her when she asked him to kill her.

Before the verdicts were announced Tuesday, Douglas protested the evidence used against him and complained about the police officers who investigated the case and about the witness. He shouted an expletive when the verdict was announced.

Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks ordered a pre-sentence report to be completed by early February.

Oil and gas lease sale proposed for Cook Inlet

ANCHORAGE - The federal government has proposed an oil and gas lease sale next year for Cook Inlet.

The area covers about 2 million acres extending from just south of Kalgin Island to just northwest of Shuyak Island. The U.S. Minerals Management Service has tentatively scheduled the lease sale for May 19, 2004.

The agency removed from the sale proposal a narrow band of blocks offshore of the lower Kenai Peninsula and the Barren Islands, which are critical habitat for the endangered Steller sea lion.

Those areas are used by the residents of Port Graham, Nanwalek, and Seldovia, and by others for subsistence. The MMS estimates that the areas have a very low chance of oil or gas resources being discovered and produced. The sale also offers a package of economic incentives for the first time in the federal waters of Cook Inlet. These include a lower minimum bid and annual rental rates.

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