State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Teens arrested in shooting of Stebbins mayor

ANCHORAGE - Two Stebbins teen-agers have been arrested in the weekend shooting of the village mayor, Robert Ferris.

Richard Martin, 16, and a 14-year-old boy were arrested Sunday and were being held at Nome Youth Facility, trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

Ferris, 55, was struck in the neck by a 22-caliber bullet when he looked out the window of his home to check on a disturbance Saturday night. Wilkinson said Ferris runs a store out of his home, and investigators believe the motive for the shooting was robbery.

The 14-year-old, whom authorities didn't name, has been charged with first-degree attempted murder and first-degree assault. Martin has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit assault. Wilkinson said Martin was waived into adult court Monday.

Ferris was being treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Expert: Chaotic seas surrounded Arctic Rose

SEATTLE - Chaotic seas with some 21-foot waves surrounded the doomed Arctic Rose as it sailed near one weather front with another one approaching, a research meteorologist and wave expert told a Coast Guard panel.

Nicholas Bond testified Monday about rough conditions, as hearings resumed before a three-member Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigations trying to determine why the 92-foot fishing trawler sank suddenly April 2 in the Bering Sea, killing all 15 men aboard.

Bond said the vessel may have had little warning of the arrival of high waves from the second front.

The Coast Guard planned to take testimony all week in the fourth session of the review, following earlier sessions in Seattle and Anchorage.

The Arctic Rose disaster was the worst fishing accident in Alaska waters since 32 crew members died when a Japanese trawler capsized in 1982. Only the body of the Arctic Rose skipper, David E. Rundall, 34, has been recovered.

Sterling writer of children's books dies at 86

ANCHORAGE - Elsa Pedersen, a Sterling writer, historian and homesteader who wrote her own obituary, died at 86 on Sunday.

Pedersen wrote 13 books of children's fiction, including "Cook Inlet Decision," which was listed as a top children's book by The New York Times.

Pedersen had been sick since suffering seizures on Sept. 25, though her illness was never specifically diagnosed, said daughter Kathleen Haley, her only child.

Pedersen's work was published in Alaska magazine and national publications. She also contributed columns about her life to the "We Alaskans" section of the Anchorage Daily News for many years, until 1995.

Elsa and her second husband, Walt Pedersen, homesteaded in Sterling on Safin Lake, which Walt built by damming up a swamp. He died in 1998.

Elsa Pedersen's obituary says she "lived happily for the rest of her life" after marrying Walt and moving to Sterling.

Elsa Pedersen's last book, completed several years ago, is due to be published before Christmas. Called "Kachemak Bay Years," it is about life on a Bear Cove homestead.

Brink named deputy regional forester

JUNEAU - Steve Brink is the new deputy regional forester for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska.

Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth on Monday named Brink as deputy regional forester for natural resources. Brink is currently the acting regional forester for Alaska. Brink has worked for the agency for 30 years in northern California, Oregon and Alaska.

New Alaska Regional Forester Denny Bschor is scheduled to begin work in Juneau early next year. The Forest Service's Alaska region covers the Tongass and Chugach national forests.



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