Winter Games panel to visit Juneau
JUNEAU - Four members of the International Committee of the Arctic Winter Games will visit Juneau on Jan. 18 to evaluate the city as a potential site for the 2006 games.
The Arctic Winter Games attracts about 1,600 athletes, coaches and performers from northern regions such as Alaska, Greenland, Russia and Canada. They compete in about 20 sports, including traditional Native events. The week-long games, held every two years in late February and early March, include artistic performances and cultural exhibitions.
The International Committee "is pleased with and impressed by your bid package and the obvious desire to host the Games," committee Vice President Peter Moore of Alberta, Canada, told the local bid committee in a letter Wednesday.
Alaska has been selected as the site for the 2006 games, but Juneau must compete against bids from the Kenai Peninsula and Fairbanks. All three venues will be visited by the International Committee in mid-January, Moore told the Empire today.
Juneau Assembly member Jim Powell, who is chairman of the local bid committee, said the International Committee will look at Juneau's facilities, spirit and interest in holding the games.
"I think that's a strong 'yes' to all of those," he said.
Anchorage police shoot suspect
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police shot and killed a robbery suspect in South Anchorage early Thursday morning.
Patrick Bailey, 33, died at Providence Alaska Medical Hospital shortly after 6 a.m.
Police said they were notified at 3:54 a.m. that a Tesoro gas station on Vanguard Drive had been robbed. The robber reportedly escaped in a Chevrolet Blazer.
Police shortly afterward spotted a Blazer and pulled it over near the Old Seward Highway and Dimond Boulevard. They instructed two occupants to come out with their hands showing.
Driver Tyla Castro, 32, came out with her hands up, police said, but Bailey refused to get out.
Police said Bailey reached down, retrieved a handgun and pointed it at officers. The officers fired at Bailey. Police said it was unclear how many times officers fired or how many times Bailey was hit.
Police found cocaine on Castro. She was charged with two counts of robbery and misconduct involving a controlled substance.
She was taken to Anchorage Jail, with bail set at $25,000.
The names of the officers involved in the shooting will not be released for three days.
Man dies in Homer boat fire
HOMER - A Kodiak man died Sunday in the Homer harbor during a fire on a 58-foot steel commercial fishing boat.
Mark W. Dennis, 43, died on the Juneau-based Konrad I, the first fatality from a local fire since the 1980s, according to the Homer Volunteer Fire Department.
"The cause of the fire, which originated in the bunk area, is under investigation, and reports have been made to the state Fire Marshal's Office and the Coast Guard," Fire Chief Bob Painter told the Homer Tribune.
The vessel was tied to the E float in the harbor. Volunteers responded to the fire at 2:58 a.m.
"The fire was first detected by a Homer harbor officer and reported as heavy smoke coming from the vessel," Painter said. "Upon entering the smoke-filled boat and extinguishing the small fire, firefighters discovered the body."
Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said Dennis likely was asleep when he died.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It probably was ignited by a cigarette, Painter said.
An autopsy to determine cause of death was scheduled by the state medical examiner.
Anchorage to cut fire training
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Fire Department intends to put limits on firefighter and paramedic training in order to save money.
The idea is to halt nonmandatory training that results in overtime, said department spokesman Tom Kempton. He said there would be an increase in on-duty training and possibly instruction through closed-circuit television. Kempton said it is hard to predict the effect of the training curtailment.
The department also is exploring ways to find a bigger solution to shave its overtime, Kempton said.
The overall fire budget will rise from around $42 million in the current year to just over $44.5 million next year, according to the city. The increase will cover costs of opening a new fire station.
But the budget just passed left the department with about $1 million less in other areas than Mayor George Wuerch had proposed for next year.
Brian Reed, president of the firefighters union, said he hopes the city will give the firefighters an additional $1 million during the spring budget revision. In the union's view, he said, "cutting fire and medical service to the community is not the way to deal with the budget."
Man shot, robbed during drug deal
ANCHORAGE - A Wasilla man was shot Wednesday night in what police say was a drug deal that turned into a robbery.
Kelly DuPaul, 20, was shot at about 10 p.m.
DuPaul told police that he and a friend met a man inside Chilkoot Charlies, an Anchorage bar, who offered to sell him a pound of marijuana. The man invited them outside. Once outside, DuPaul told police, the man shot him, took his money and drove off in a black Suburban.
DuPaul's friend drove him to a gas station and called police. DuPaul was taken to Alaska Regional Hospital with a wound to his left abdomen.