Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, December 16, 2007

Chickenpox shot made mandatory

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ANCHORAGE - All Alaska children entering public and private schools will have to get a chickenpox immunization, starting in July 2009.

That's the result of a new regulation adopted by the state Board of Education.

The chickenpox vaccine has been available since 1995.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 45 states have passed requirements that children entering child care and school must have a history of chickenpox or have had the vaccine.

Gardener leaves$1 million to UAA

ANCHORAGE - A famed Alaska gardener has left $1 million to the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The gift was announced Friday, a little more than a year after Lenore Hedla died at the age of 91.

It's the second-largest gift from an individual in UAA's history.

The beneficiary is the university's College of Business & Public Policy.

Of the $1 million, $700,000 will be used to create the George M. Hedla Endowment. It's named for her Certified Public Accountant husband of 38 years.

The other $300,000 will be used to provide scholarships for accounting students and educational opportunities for faculty and students.

She worked more than 40 years on her South Anchorage gardens, and wrote about a book and newspaper columns about gardening.

Hayes seeks to delay his federal trail

FAIRBANKS - Former Fairbanks Mayor Jim Hayes is seeking to delay his federal trial on charges of conspiracy, theft, fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

Hayes' attorney, John M. Murtagh, said in a motion filed Thursday that the trial should be delayed until after the sentencing of Hayes' wife and co-defendant.

Jim Hayes is charged with more than 20 counts relating to the misuse of more than $450,000 in federal grants awarded to the nonprofit LOVE Social Services, which he and his wife helped found.

Jim and Murilda "Chris" Hayes are accused of diverting funds from the charity to help complete construction of the new Lily of the Valley Church of God in Christ where he is pastor, and for personal use. Jim Hayes' trial is set to begin Jan. 18.

Earlier this month Chris Hayes pleaded guilty to two felony charges of theft and money laundering. As part of that plea deal, dozens of other charges were dropped.

The plea agreement also notes that Chris Hayes' conduct during her husband's trial will affect her sentence. Chris Hayes' sentencing is set at 70 days after the conclusion of Jim Hayes' trial.

Chris Hayes could face 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for money laundering and 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines for theft.

Car fatally strikes woman lying in road

ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a 57-year-old woman was struck and killed by a car, minutes after she was ordered out of a friend's vehicle during an altercation.

Police say Nancy McNeal was lying down on Old International Airport Road when she was hit by a driver who didn't see her late Wednesday night.

According to police, the friend told officers she had been driving McNeal home when the woman became belligerent and combative and began to grab at the steering wheel.

Police say the friend feared for her safety and told McNeal to get out of the car.

The driver of the vehicle that hit McNeal is not expected to face any charges.

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