Three survive fiery crash in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - A motorist, her daughter and a police officer narrowly escaped serious injury Wednesday night when their vehicles collided and burst into flames.
The Ford Bronco driven by Shannon Reynolds slammed into a police car on an icy stretch of road in South Anchorage at about 8:30 p.m. Reynolds' car burst into flames. Reynolds and her 13-year-old daughter managed to escape from the vehicle without major injuries.
Officer Mike Burns was stuck in his vehicle after the collision because of a jammed door. Rescuers pulled Burns from the car just as leaking gasoline ignited his vehicle. Burns suffered a broken leg, police said. Ammunition in the burning patrol car started going off, but no one was injured by the bullets, police said.
Fairbanks man gets 25 years for murder
FAIRBANKS - A man was sentenced this week to 25 years in prison for stabbing his cousin to death in Fairbanks in 1998.
Judge Jane Kauvar sentenced Burns Frank, 43, for a second-degree murder conviction in the death of Richard John, which occurred during a drunken dispute outside a hotel room. Frank, who had lived in Venetie and Fairbanks, claimed he had no memory of the crime. Frank will be eligible for parole after about 13 years.
Anchorage airport construction is held up
ANCHORAGE - City officials have delayed issuing building permits for expansion of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport until engineers improve the terminal's structural design.
That could push completion past the original goal of November 2002. Delays also could increase the terminal's estimated $90 million construction cost. Officials said the state has a $10 million insurance policy that covers "errors and omissions" in design and construction.
The expanded Concourse C is the centerpiece of the $230 million airport construction project, a massive overhaul of roads, ramps and facilities funded by state bonds and federal grants. The new facility is designed to be more than 300,000 square feet larger than the old terminal. Alaska Airlines is expected to be the main tenant.
BLM begins recruiting for 2001 fires
FAIRBANKS - The federal Bureau of Land Management is recruiting for next year's fire season. Over the next few months, the agency will seek 1,700 employees for firefighting and fire management positions.
About half are permanent year-round jobs or career seasonal jobs. The other half are temporary seasonal jobs lasting six months. Pay starts at $8.71 per hour. Some positions require applicants to pass a physical fitness test.
"There will be many opportunities for current temporary seasonal employees to hold permanent full-time or career seasonal positions," Larry Hamilton, director of the BLM's Office of Fire and Aviation, said in a news release. "That will mean better benefits and more job security for them."
State tests Seward prison for tuberculosis
SOLDOTNA - The state is testing every inmate and employee at the Spring Creek maximum-security prison in Seward for tuberculosis this week. Routine screening indicated four inmates carry the potentially fatal disease.
State health and prison officials said there has been no TB outbreak at Spring Creek. The four inmates who are infected do not actively have the disease and are not contagious, officials said. More than 700 people are at the prison 508 inmates and 206 employees.
Holland America to send a bigger ship
JUNEAU - Holland America Line announced it will use one of its newest vessels for some of its Inside Passage cruises next year.
The 1,440-passenger Zaandam will replace the 1214-passenger Noordam in the Southeast run, said Juli Chase, Holland spokeswoman.
The 60,900-ton Zaandam is scheduled for 21 Southeast sailings next summer, each with a Juneau port of call, for a potential increase of 4,746 passengers visiting Juneau. Entering service in 1984, the Noordam is the oldest ship in Holland's 10-ship fleet while the Zaandam is the second youngest, entering service in May, Chase said.
Native museum in Kodiak wins award
JUNEAU - A Native museum in Kodiak is among three institutions nationwide that will be honored Dec. 20 with the prestigious Institute of Museum and Library Services National Award for Museum Service.
The museums are the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository in Kodiak, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Youth Museum of Southwestern West Virginia in Beckley, W.V.
The Alutiiq Museum was founded in 1993, when the Kodiak Area Native Association's Culture and Heritage Program received a $1.5 million grant from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.