Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, November 23, 2003

Car plunges into Twin Lakes

JUNEAU - A woman, 18, and her 11-year-old brother were unharmed when their car slid off an icy Glacier Highway on Friday afternoon and sank in one of the Twin Lakes, police said.

The woman had been driving her 1989 Chevy at about 15 mph on Glacier Highway near Blackerby Street, but she lost control on black ice, police said. The car slid down the embankment above the lake, crossed the bike path and went into the ice-covered lake and started to sink.

The driver and the boy got out of the car through the driver's-side door. Carl Rose, a passerby, said the car crossed about 50 feet of the lake before it broke through. The woman and the boy warmed up in a nearby vehicle.

A motorist on Egan Drive had seen the accident and called for help. Police and Capital City Fire and Rescue crews arrived within a few minutes, but by that time all that was visible of the car were the rear tail lights and bumper.

The totaled car was later towed from the lake.

Plow truck accident blocks Douglas Bridge

JUNEAU - A disabled state snow plow blocked traffic on the Douglas Bridge for about two hours Friday night.

The driver wasn't injured. The truck's plow struck an exposed part of the expansion plates, a metal fitting where the bridge meets the roadway on land, at about 9:30 p.m. near the Douglas side, police said.

The plow blade was pushed to the left, and it severely damaged the left side of the truck, disabling it. The force also peeled back the exposed portion of the expansion plate.

The bridge was closed while state transportation crews towed the truck and cut off the damaged part of the expansion plate. The bridge reopened to traffic at about 11:45 p.m.

15 years ordered in sexual abuse case

JUNEAU - A Juneau man found guilty of six counts of first-degree sexual abuse of two preschool-age children was sentenced last week to serve 15 years in prison.

Adam Rogers, 28, stood trial in August facing allegations he engaged in sexual activity with the girls in 2001 and 2002, at a time when the girls were about 3 years old.

In Rogers' defense, attorney Louis Menendez had argued that the children's statements were uncorroborated and that the state's case lacked physical and medical evidence.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Larry Weeks imposed a composite sentence of 15 years in prison with five years suspended.

Specifically, he ordered 13 years with five years suspended on one count, eight years with six months suspended on two counts, and eight years with four months suspended on three counts.

He also placed Rogers on supervised probation for 10 years, to begin after his release from prison, and required him to pay restitution in an amount yet to be determined.

Rogers will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, as set forth in Alaska law.

St. Vincent de Paul needs holiday food

JUNEAU - St. Vincent de Paul needs whipped cream, eggs, potatoes and pie crust for Thanksgiving Day food baskets it plans to distribute this week, Jesuit Volunteer Joe Oliver said.

Donors may drop off goods at St. Vincent de Paul, 8617 Teal St., behind the Nugget Mall. The food distribution runs Monday through Wednesday.

Local man arrested in D.C. protest

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Juneau man was among five Southeast residents arrested last week in a protest at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Tim Miles, 48, and seven other protesters were arrested Thursday morning after placing 12 tons of sod in front of the USDA building and refusing to leave until they could personally deliver a letter to Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey.

They were charged with incommoding, a misdemeanor charge of blocking traffic, said Greenpeace spokeswoman Carol Gregory. The protesters were released after paying a $50 fine.

Also arrested were Don Muller, Woody Litman and Larry Traini of Sitka, and Irene Alexakos of Haines, as well as Greenpeace Executive Director John Passacantando, Greenpeace Campaigns Director Andrea Durbin and Mike Roselle of Portland, Ore.

The protesters met with Rey on Friday, Gregory said.

She said about 35 activists participated in the demonstration to protest proposed regulations to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule.

The Clinton-era rule prohibits timber harvesting and road-building within about 58 million acres of the 192-million-acre national forest system. About 9.6 million acres of Southeast Alaska's 16.8-million-acre Tongass have been designated roadless.

The proposed regulations are part of the settlement of a 2001 lawsuit the state of Alaska brought against the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

State fines Texas firm for labor infraction

JUNEAU - A Texas construction company agreed to pay about $10,000 for violating Alaska's resident-hire laws, the state Labor Department said.

SRI Sports Inc., of Leander, Texas, could have been fined as much as $20,878. But in a settlement with the state, the company will pay $10,438 in fines for improperly reporting that 16 out-of-state employees were Alaska residents, the department said.

The company was hired by the city of Juneau for a city-funded $175,000 resurfacing project at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, the Labor Department said. The fine will be paid to Juneau, the department said.

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