Posted: Friday, December 15, 2000

Glacier visitor center drops fee in winter

JUNEAU - The U.S. Forest Service has eliminated the entry fee to the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in winter, the agency announced today. It also decided to keep the Mendenhall Lake Campground closed in winter, reversing an earlier decision.

The campground was scheduled to open this winter, but the Forest Service decided against it because cross-country skiers use the road, which would be plowed if the facility opened for campers.

District Ranger Pete Griffin said public comments made the decision easy.

"Everyone who contacted us favored either dropping the visitor center fee or not opening the campground so people can continue to ski the roads," Griffin said.

The Forest Service last month proposed dropping the center's entry fee in the winter, saying it cost more to collect than it generated during the off-season. The agency also said many people turned away from the center rather than pay the toll.

The no-fee policy starts Saturday; the $3 charge resumes April 30. The center is open in winter 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.

Teen injured in crash returns to Juneau

JUNEAU - Kenny Taug, a 16-year-old injured in an automobile collision with a bus on Egan Drive on Nov. 27, returned to Juneau on Thursday afternoon. He was discharged from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Dec. 6, a Harborview representative said, and entered Maydenbauer rehabilitation facility for a week.

"He lost a little weight, but he looks good," said his grandfather, Ole Taug, today. "He is fine, doing real good. Of course, he won't be able to put any pressure on his (fractured) leg for another month, but he is hobbling around."

Taug also suffered injuries to his elbow and spinal column in the crash.

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