Alaska Digest

Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Watershed Partnership wins $25,000 grant

JUNEAU - The National Forest Foundation has awarded the Mendenhall Watershed Partnership a $25,000 grant to restore Montana Creek Road where it is eroding into a stream.

The partnership will use the grant money from the Montana-based foundation to protect the stream's spawning and rearing habitat for salmon and trout by stabilizing and regenerating its banks.

"The foundation's grant of $25,000 will go a long way toward protecting fish habitat and stabilizing a popular recreational road that is slowing eroding into the stream," said Mark Jaqua, the partnership's executive director.

"As more residents and visitors use the road to enjoy the river and to access the Tongass National Forest, we need to insure that growing use is not detrimental to either the stream or the fish that use the habitat," Jaqua said.

By matching federal funds funneled through the National Forest Foundation with non-federal dollars, nonprofit organizations are able to double their financial resources for projects in national forests.

The foundation is a a non-profit partner with the U.S. Forest Service.

"The MWP has shown incredible leadership," said Bill Possiel, the foundation's president, "in working with the Forest Service and local citizens to care for the amazing array of resources on the Tongass National Forest."

Bicyclist, 75, runs into car on highway

JUNEAU - Police reported a 75-year-old man was in serious but stable condition at Bartlett Regional Hospital on Tuesday after riding his bike into a car on Glacier Highway in Auke Bay.

Officers did not identify the cyclist or the driver of the 1994 Honda Civic, described as a 21-year-old woman.

The initial call came at 12:39 p.m. Tuesday. Emergency crews found the cyclist and the driver of the Honda. From talking with witnesses, police concluded the man had been riding a bicycle on the shoulder of the outbound lane, in the same direction as the Honda.

As the car approached the bicyclist, the man turned into the car's lane of travel, striking the right side of the car and the windshield.

The car's driver was uninjured. Damage to the car was estimated at $4,000.

Man charged with sexual assault

JUNEAU - A 38-year-old Juneau man was arrested early Tuesday on a felony charge of third-degree sexual assault, after police received a report from a woman who said she was inappropriately touched.

Dirk Cooper was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center after an investigation into the allegation, police reported. Police received the complaint at 3:28 a.m. from the woman, relating the incident at her home in the Douglas area.

Officers talked with the woman and a 28-year-old woman who witnessed the incident. A short time later, they talked with Cooper at his home before placing him under arrest.

Third-degree sexual assault is a felony that could carry a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Vandals hit Valley holiday decorations

JUNEAU - Police received reports of vandalism to holiday decorations on Tuesday morning in the Mendenhall Valley.

"We're going to take a look at (these incidents) and see if they're related," police Capt. Tom Porter said.

Between 7:49 and 8:12 a.m., police received reports of vandalism in the 9000 block of Tournure Street, the 4500 block of Riverside Drive and the 4300 block of Taku Boulevard.

The total monetary loss was estimated at $230, but Porter said the value doesn't reflect what the decorations mean to people. "They go to a lot of work and expense."

He said Christmas decoration vandalism is not a problem Juneau has had to deal with in the past.

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