Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2007

Plans move forward for multi-use complex

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ANCHORAGE - Developers say they hope to build a 21-story multi-use complex in downtown Anchorage, as long as businesses step up to lease the space.

Venture Development Group is proposing to build a 365,000-square-foot facility in downtown Anchorage. It would feature street-level retail shops, 14 stories of office space and more than 1,000 parking spots. Plans also call for a fitness center and a large conference center.

Developers say they hope to lease space to businesses in the energy sectors.

The company hopes to start construction on the Augustine Energy Center in the spring, with completion in 2010.

Anchorage man charged with identity theft

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man has been charged with computer fraud and identity theft.

According to prosecutors, Vern Coyner, 52, accessed a desktop computer he shared with a former roommate. In doing so, he obtained her personal passwords. He then allegedly used the passwords to examine the woman's online accounts, including bank accounts, credit accounts and investment records.

Prosecutors say Coyner accessed a computer operated by The Vanguard Group and transferred the assets of his roommate's retirement account into an account he had created.

If found guilty, Coyner could face 15 years in prison and a half-million dollar fine.

He was arraigned Tuesday.

Earthquake felt 25 miles away in Willow

WILLOW - Residents in Willow felt a minor earthquake, but there's been no reports ofdamage.

The magnitude 2.9 temblor was centered about 25 miles northwest of Willow, located at a depth of about 1 mile.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says the quake hit Tuesday afternoon, and reported it Wednesday.

EPA settles with utility companies

ANCHORAGE - The Environmental Protection Agency says it has settled Clean Water Act violations with City Electric and Municipal Light and Water.

The federal agency says the two will pay more than $42,000 for violations that occurred at the Transmission Line Project construction site north of Anchorage.

The agency says City Electric failed to implement best practices to prevent discharge of sediment from the construction site into local waters, and didn't have an adequate storm water pollution prevention plan.

The EPA also found Municipal Light and Power failed to obtain coverage under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Construction Storm Water General Permit between March and July 2006.

Business executive Dale Lindsey dies

ANCHORAGE - Seward business executive Dale Lindsey, who turned his fuel supply business from a mom-and-pop operation into the state's largest independent petroleum distributor, has died. He was 71.

Lindsey, along with his wife, was co-owner of Harbor Enterprises - the state's largest independent petroleum distributor. The company has fuel terminals in Soldotna, Kenai, Homer, Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, Juneau, Sitka, Skagway, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Craig and Whitehorse, Yukon.

Lindsey and his wife got into the business in 1959 under the name Andy's Oil Delivery as a mom-and-pop fuel supplier in Seward.

In the 1980s, the couple acquired a bulk-fuel plant from Chevron. A short time later they opened a bulk terminal in Dutch Harbor to service the Bering Sea bottomfish fleet. The company now has hundreds of employees in Alaska and Canada.

Lindsey had a reputation in the Alaska business world of being "one of the good guys" by his peers.

"He was very generous and loyal. ... He was friends with everyone," his wife, Carol, said Tuesday.

Lindsey retired from his chief executive job in 2001, but he remained chairman and co-owner until his death last week after a long struggle with prostate cancer.

Suspect arrested in machete attack

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say the suspect in a machete attack Wednesday on two men in south Anchorage has been captured.

Leland Walker Chasteen was taken into custody off a city bus about five hours after the attack, according to a police dispatcher.

The attack took place at a large apartment complex. The victims were Chasteen's father and the father's roommate.

Police say Chasteen does not live at the apartment but spent the night there and was scheduled to report Wednesday to a residential program for psychiatric treatment.

The two victims were badly hurt but their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

Man arrested after alleged threat

ANCHORAGE - A 38-year-old Wyoming man was arrested Wednesday after being accused of causing a disturbance on an Alaska Airlines flight.

Kirk Frederick Forest of Cheyenne, Wyo., was arrested on a charge of interfering with a flight crew, FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez said. Arraignment on the federal charge was scheduled for Thursday.

"He was kind of agitated, and he made a threat against the plane," Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the nature of the threat was still being investigated, but Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Amanda Tobin Bielawski said Forest allegedly said the word "bomb."

The incident happened about 20 minutes before the flight from Seattle to Anchorage was to land at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, Bielawski said.

The flight deck was locked, and the man was restrained.

The plane landed at 2:47 p.m., and was taken a remote area of the airport.

All 156 passengers and the flight crew got off the plane and took an airport bus to the terminal.

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