Coast Guard finds hunter uninjured
JUNEAU - A Coast Guard rescue helicopter on Wednesday located a hunter who had been reported missing Tuesday. The hunter, 50-year-old Patrick Marsh of Juneau, was spotted at 11:11 a.m. in Young Bay, west of Oliver Inlet near Admiralty Island. Marsh and a boating companion, both uninjured, told the Coast Guard they planned to return to Juneau today.
A 25-foot rescue boat from Juneau and a helicopter from Sitka began searching for Marsh after an acquaintance reported him overdue. Marsh reportedly departed North Douglas on Dec. 1 aboard a homemade 20-foot skiff for a hunting trip to Oliver Inlet, the Coast Guard said.
Another sunken tug refloated
JUNEAU - A second tug that sank near Hoonah has been refloated without any oil spilled, the Coast Guard said.
The Rocona II, a 67-foot tug, was raised midday Wednesday from 20 feet of water at the Whitestone Logging dock on Long Island, just southwest of Hoonah. None of the 3,000 gallons of fuel on board was spilled, said Lt. Cmdr. George Paitl, executive officer at the Marine Safety Office in Juneau.
The Rocona II and the OB-1, a 58-foot tug, which were tied together, were reported sunk Saturday morning. The OB-1, which spilled about 500 gallons of fuel, was refloated on Sunday. About 300 gallons were cleaned up and the rest apparently has dissipated in the water, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard's investigation of the cause is focusing on pipes that bring seawater into the vessel to cool machinery, Paitl said.
Cops release name of woman killed in wreck
ANCHORAGE - Police have identified a woman killed Tuesday in a single-vehicle wreck as Penny Harvanchik, 28, of Eagle River.
Harvanchik lost control of her Toyota pickup truck and struck a light pole near the Boniface Parkway, police said. Harvanchik was pronounced dead at Alaska Regional Hospital.
Harvanchik's 5-year-old daughter, who was riding in the truck, remains hospitalized with injuries, but police said the girl's injuries do not appear to be life threatening.
Kodiak bears chew communication cables
KODIAK - Brown bears on Kodiak are playing havoc with the Coast Guard Communication Station's antenna field.
Bears have been puncturing pressurized cables that carry essential communication signals to antennas, where they're sent to boats and aircraft along Alaska's coast.
Technicians noticed the problem Dec. 3 after readings indicated holes in the line. They found a line mangled and impossible to repair, as well as distinct bite marks. Bears chew cables every year, but this time chewed a long length that will cost $20,000 to replace.
A state biologist told the Coast Guard the plastic coating on the cables attracts the bears. The biologist likened the chewing bears to a dog playing with a sock.
Ex-North Pole mayor ordered to pay city $8K
NORTH POLE - Former Mayor Tim Peters has been ordered to reimburse the city of North Pole $6,187 plus interest in a final judgment of a lawsuit he filed against the city two years ago.
"We're pleased this chapter in the city's history has come to a close," said Jeff Jacobson, the city's current mayor. "I'm disappointed one individual cost the city $40,000 and we only get $8,000. I hope he will be honorable and pay it."
Peters was mayor of North Pole for about a year when he was recalled in a special election in November 1998. Peters promptly filed a lawsuit against the city and a council member charging them with defamation for advertisements advocating his recall.
The court dismissed some of Peters' charges and ordered him to pay the city's attorney fees. He later dropped his claim and appealed the judgment. On Tuesday, Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Mary Greene upheld the judgment.