Alaska Digest

Posted: Thursday, December 14, 2006

Perseverance Trail to close until May

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JUNEAU - Construction work will begin Friday on Perseverance Trail, Juneau Parks and Recreation Director Marc Matsil announced Wednesday. The work was slated to start Nov. 3, but early snows delayed contractors.

The trail will be closed until May 2007.

Failing wooden cribs will be replaced on the first mile of the trail. Additional reconstruction efforts are aimed at improving hiking conditions and trail safety.

For further information please call 790-6406, 364-3388 or 586-0932.

Company proposes tram over Ketchikan

KETCHIKAN - A company that has built trams in tropical rain forests is considering building one in Ketchikan.

"We like rain forests," said Josef Preschel, chief operating officer of Rain Forest Aerial Trams. "We have operations in tropical rain forests and we think it's an interesting idea to develop our company to temperate rain forests."

The company has proposed building a tram from Herring Cove to Fawn Mountain, a distance 200 feet short of a mile. A car would carry eight passengers and a tour guide explaining the history of the area.

"We came up here 10 years ago and looked around at that time but decided to go elsewhere," said company chief engineer John Dalton. "Some of the reasons were, we didn't know how a timber-industry-dominant culture would perceive us because we are an environmental company. But the increase in tourism has brought us back."

The company has grown from one park in Costa Rica to five total in the Caribbean and Central America.

"The climate, tourism and the openness of the community were some reasons to build in Ketchikan," Dalton said.

The proposed tram would start in Rainforest Adventure property south of the city and travel through U.S. Forest Service land to the top of Fawn Mountain, Preschel said.

Boy brings meth to elementary school

FAIRBANKS - An 11-year-old boy brought nearly half a gram of methamphetamine to his elementary school and may face juvenile charges, authorities said.

The boy took the drug Monday to Hunter Elementary School to show other students.

"No one took drugs," said principal Barbara Pile. "No one saw anybody take drugs ... The child is not in school now."

Fairbanks police and school officials say the child found the .44 grams of the crystalline substance at his home in North Pole. His family had recently moved into the home.

A report will be forwarded to the Alaska Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement for further investigation, said Lt. Dan Welborn.

"The juvenile denied knowing it was an illegal narcotic," Welborn said.

The boy told authorities that he thought the substance was salt, but the boy's friends said they were told the substance was methamphetamine.

The student threw the blue plastic packet into the trash at the urging of his friends. After a pupil reported the incident to an adult, the packet was retrieved.

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