Northwest Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Request to city will bring traffic monitor

JUNEAU - The city can help neighborhoods monitor traffic by installing a traffic counter, at residents' request.

The counter, no bigger than a telephone book, can record data on the speed, size and number of vehicles passing a certain street, said Juneau Streets Superintendent Michael Scott.

The counter won't be used as a law enforcement tool because it doesn't identify vehicles.

"We get a lot of speeding complaints without hard information," Scott said. "Knowing traffic loads, how large and heavy the vehicles are should dictate how streets will be reconstructed."

The city has tested the counter on four roads - Gastineau Avenue, River Court Way, Second Street in Douglas and Commercial Boulevard.

Based on the information collected on Commercial Boulevard, Public Works staff recommended the city raise the street's speed limit from the current 20 miles per hour to 25. About half the 9,972 vehicles were recorded moving at 25 to 29 mph. Many of the vehicles were large trucks and buses.

For more information, call the Public Works at 586-5256.

Daughter arraigned on murder charges

KETCHIKAN - Rachelle Waterman solicited help in the killing of her mother, according to a criminal complaint charging her with first-degree murder.

The 16-year-old girl wiped away tears during an appearance in Craig District Court while Craig Magistrate Kay Clark read the criminal complaint against her. It charges her in an alleged plot to kill her mother, 48-year-old Lauri Waterman, whose body was found in a burning van on Sunday.

Rachelle Waterman's father, Doc Waterman, sat about 10 feet behind his daughter during her arraignment.

Waterman's arraignment was followed by a similar hearing for one of two co-defendants, Jason Arrant, 24. The third suspect is Brian Radel, also 24. All three are charged with first-degree murder.

Both men were accused of working together on Nov. 13 and Nov. 14 in a plan to kidnap and then kill Lauri Waterman. They allegedly cooperated in taking her minivan and body to a remote logging road on Prince of Wales Island where Radel doused the vehicle with gasoline and set it on fire. Arrant then drove Radel away from the scene, according to the complaint.

Doc Waterman, 60, appeared shaken throughout his daughter's arraignment hearing. When it ended, he stood up in the aisle, reached out and touched her elbow as troopers escorted her from the courtroom.

Man pleads guilty in crack-for-sex case

ANCHORAGE - A prominent businessman accused of providing crack cocaine to teenage girls in exchange for sexual favors pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy on Monday, the same day his trial was to start.

Josef H. Boehm, 60, entered the plea as a pool of more than 100 potential jurors were gathering for the start of the trial in federal court, according to the U.S. attorney's Office.

Boehm could be sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Under a plea agreement, Boehm, the president of Alaska Industrial Hardware, admitted conspiring to distribute over 50 grams of crack cocaine to persons under 21 years of age and conspiring to sex trafficking of children.

Man arrested for burglary after chase

JUNEAU -A Juneau man was arrested after a chase through Fred Meyer on Sunday afternoon, in connection with a weekend burglary of Rayco Sales.

Charles A. High Jr. was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on a charge of first-degree burglary, and additionally charged with second-degree escape and resisting arrest.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are pending.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, a Rayco employee reported the store, on Old Dairy Road, was burglarized sometime the previous night. The police investigation revealed weapons were missing, and an arrest warrant was issued for High.

At 12 p.m. Sunday, an off-duty police officer saw High in Fred Meyer. Officers contacted High inside the store and told him he was under arrest. He struggled and fled. The officers chased High through the store and into the parking lot, where he was caught hiding under a vehicle.

Several weapons were recovered in the subsequent investigation.

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