Northwest Digest

Posted: Friday, December 15, 2006

Smith retires from NOAA Fisheries

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Phil Smith, who helped pioneer and still leads the Restricted Access Management Program of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries' Alaska Region, is retiring Dec. 22.

Smith began at NOAA in 1993 to lead implementation of Alaska's new halibut and sablefish individual fishing quota program. He later headed the division.

Before joining NOAA Fisheries, he served as a State of Alaska Limited Entry Commissioner for eight years and as Executive Director of the Rural Alaska Community Action Program. Smith has lived in Alaska nearly his entire life.

Smith says he has no intention of leaving Alaska with retirement, but plans to remain in Juneau with his wife, Deborah. He said he plans to increase his volunteer efforts at KTOO Public Radio, where he is a new board member, and with Veterans for Peace. He might become a consultant on fisheries topics.

Two die, two wounded in Wasilla shootings

ANCHORAGE - A 47-year-old Anchorage man killed a woman and wounded two other people before taking his own life at a Wasilla home, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The name of the shooter and the 32-year-old dead Anchorage woman were not released.

Troopers took a call at 11:42 p.m. Wednesday that multiple gunshots had been fired at a Wasilla home.

Responding officers found Simone Greenway, 49, and William Anthony, 46, at the home. Both had been shot. They were transported by ambulance to area hospitals.

Troopers found the bodies of the dead woman and man inside the home.

Troopers said an initial investigation indicated the dead man briefly argued with the others, shot them, then took his own life.

No others were in the home during the shooting. Names of the dead were not immediately released.

Groups push probe of mercury emissions

RENO, Nev. - The nation's largest gold producing state has been asked to investigate whether mercury emissions from the mines are contaminating fisheries.

Citing a recent study by the University of Nevada, Reno, a coalition of environmentalists, health care advocates, sportsmen and American Indians said Thursday that a fish consumption advisory for mercury should be issued for one large reservoir in northeast Nevada and perhaps other fisheries downwind from mining operations.

Fish tissue samples collected by university researchers at Wild Horse Reservoir 60 miles north of Elko found mercury concentrations that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers a public health risk, especially to children and pregnant women, the groups said.

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