Commission: Convenience stores may expand in residential areas
JUNEAU - The Juneau Planning Commission on Tuesday approved a controversial ordinance allowing convenience stores in residential areas to expand.
The commission's action moves the proposed ordinance to the Juneau Assembly for consideration.
The ordinance allows convenience store owners to expand stores up to 5,000 square feet in residential areas in exchange for improvements to the surrounding area.
Such improvements include adding landscaping and lighted walkways. In exchange, the city would grant store owners increments of extra square footage.
The ordinance also allows convenience stores to add gas pumps.
Residents near the Douglas Breeze-In were upset with the ordinance because they feared there would be increased crime and traffic and lower property values for their homes.
The ordinance applies to the Douglas Breeze-In Grocery in West Juneau, the Duck Creek Market in the Mendenhall Valley, and sites for potential stores in the Auke Lake area and an area north of the Douglas Bridge.
Winds in Juneau should diminish
JUNEAU - A region of Arctic high pressure north of Juneau has been bringing Taku-style winds to the capital city, the National Weather Service said.
"It seemed to be a brief episode of the highest winds downtown and in Douglas on Tuesday," said meteorologist Paul Shannon. The peak of 62 mph came at 6 a.m. today in Douglas. Taku winds are known to blow in excess of 100 mph, with wind storms lasting several days.
The weather service had broadcast a wind warning early today for winds 50 to 75 mph this evening, but Shannon said he might cancel the warning.
"We may have 70 (mph) this morning and dropping off to 50 tonight," he said. "We have probably seen the peaks already."
Thursday and Friday there should be a normal north wind of 15 to 20 mph, "unless you are out on Lynn Canal," Shannon said.
There were no reports of wind-caused damage overnight.
"We have had no problems - but stay tuned," said David Stone, vice president of consumer affairs for Alaska Electric Light and Power.
Anchorage man arrested for leaving child locked in car
ANCHORAGE - A man in Anchorage has been charged with child neglect after he left his 2-year-old son locked and unattended in a car for about 40 minutes, police said.
Kartik Kniaziowski, 26, was arrested Tuesday night after a clerk at Lucky Grocery on Fourth Avenue saw the boy locked alone in the car and called police about 8:50 p.m., Sgt. Barry Reid said. The temperature was 10 degrees at the time, he said.
The boy, who was wearing a coat, was taken home to his mother and is doing well, Reid said.
Kniaziowski told police a woman friend was watching his child, but witnesses saw nobody near the car, Reid said.
Another reason to read the paper
FAIRBANKS - A motel clerk in Fairbanks turned two carjacking suspects over to police moments after he read about them in the local newspaper.
The clerk at the Alaska Motor Inn matched the descriptions of the suspects in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner to a couple who had taken a room Monday morning, Detective Aaron Ring said.
Scott W. Braswell, 28, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree vehicle theft and second-degree theft. He is accused of putting a knife to a woman's throat, demanding a bag of money and her car keys early Monday.
His girlfriend, Brandy Foster, will not be charged because she claimed she didn't know Braswell was going to rob the woman and because she is a collaborating witness in the crime, Ring said.
Palmer high school teacher sentenced for sexual abuse
ANCHORAGE - A former teacher at Colony High School in Palmer has been sentenced to six months in prison for sexual abuse of a student.
Seth D. Joslin, 35, also will have to register as a sex offender, give up his teaching certificate and take sex abuse counseling classes, according to Assistant District Attorney Bill Estelle.
Joslin pleaded no contest in July to a felony count of sexual abuse of a minor for having sex with a 17-year-old female student. He was sentenced last week in Superior Court in Palmer.
Rhonda Gildersleeve, 33, a former special education teacher at Colony, was sentenced in August to six months in jail for a relationship she had with a 16-year-old male student.
Funeral, fund set for slain trooper
ANCHORAGE - A funeral for slain Alaska State Trooper Hans Roelle has been set for Friday in Anchorage.
The service will be held at 11 a.m. at the Anchorage Baptist Temple.
Roelle, 40, was shot and killed Saturday while responding to a domestic violence call near Wasilla. He is survived by his wife and four children.
Troopers identified the shooter as Ryan Andrews, 24, who also shot and killed his two children, ages 3 and 1, and himself.
Andrews' mother, Dorothy Clark Gregory, told the Anchorage Daily News that doctors prescribed Ritalin and antidepressants to combat her son's mood swings, but he may have gone off the drugs.
A fund for the Roelle family has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank under the name Trooper Roelle Memorial Fund.
Saxman man charged with stabbing of older brother
KETCHIKAN - A Saxman man was charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of his older brother, authorities said.
Anthony Charles, 18, was charged with stabbing his 22-year-old brother, Marvin Charles Jr., after the two got in an argument Sunday morning.
Anthony Charles was arraigned Monday and was being held at the Ketchikan Correctional Center on $50,000 cash bail.
Witnesses told Alaska State Troopers the two were arguing at their Saxman home on Sunday morning. They said the older brother was teasing his younger brother about a girlfriend when Anthony Charles got a knife, held it to his brother's throat and cut him.
Marvin Charles was taken to Ketchikan General Hospital where he was recovering from a large cut to his throat.
Witnesses told troopers that Marvin Charles Jr. told Anthony Charles to cut him, when the knife was placed against his neck. But Marvin Charles Jr. told troopers that Anthony Charles started the argument and he never told him to hurt him.