North Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Monday, December 20, 2004

Prof, ex-assemblyman sentenced to a year

FAIRBANKS - A former Fairbanks borough assemblyman and university professor has been sentenced to a year in prison on charges of bootlegging alcohol to Barrow and selling marijuana to an undercover agent in Fairbanks last year.

Superior Court Judge Charles Pengilly on Friday also ordered Bob Logan submit a research paper on the economic implications that fetal alcohol syndrome has on rural villages for his 60 hours of community service.

"I have extensive experience in dealing with charges like this," said Pengilly, who has been a judge in Fairbanks for more than 14 years. "I have never been called upon to sentence anybody that's a nationally recognized economist with a Ph.D..."

At Friday's hearing, defense attorney Bill Satterberg said Logan may have just been looking for excitement in bootlegging substances to remote Alaska communities.

"Here's somebody that has lived on the edge, is a loner and basically got enamored with that concept. Basically it was the flying through the Arctic, sneaking through passes in his Super Cub, coming in below the radar," Satterberg said.

Logan admitted to flying 60 750-milliliter bottles of alcohol into Barrow, which he that he sold for more than $4,500 to an undercover investigator.

Board to review Renkes ethics complaint

ANCHORAGE - The state personnel board will open its own review of Attorney General Gregg Renkes, who is already the subject of an investigation of his connections with a company that would gain from a $1 billion coal deal between the state and Taiwan.

The personnel board will hire an independent counsel to review allegations of ethical misconduct by Renkes, according to a letter signed by chairwoman Debra English.

The board will not investigate Gov. Frank Murkowski, however, because that is beyond its purview, the letter said.

Rep. Eric Croft, D-Anchorage, and Sarah Palin, a Republican former mayor of Wasilla, had filed a formal complaint with the board against Renkes and Murkowski.

They asked the three-member board to investigate whether Renkes misused his position as attorney general to promote a coal deal with Taiwan that involved KFx Inc., a company he had close connections to and in which he owned stock worth more than $100,000.

Family taken from tent near McGrath

ANCHORAGE - A mother and three children living in a tent in subzero weather near McGrath were picked up by authorities after receiving numerous reports by residents concerned for the children's welfare.

Authorities flew to the site unannounced Thursday to determine the condition of the family living in a small, uninsulated canvas tent on a plot of land about 30 miles northwest of McGrath.

All three children - 1 1/2 -year-old twin boys and their 4-year-old brother - were found to be generally healthy "but cold and very soiled," said trooper Brett Gibbens, who is investigating the case.

The children were examined at a clinic and released back to their parents, officials said.

The family included a man, who came to McGrath later on a snowmobile because there was no room for him on the plane. Authorities have not released the names of the family members.

Gibbens said McGrath city officials have lined up temporary housing for the family for one month.

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