Alaska Digest

Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2005

City manager gives update on stores

JUNEAU - City manager Rod Swope said Home Depot officials will attend a Juneau Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 10 to start the permit process for opening a store in town.

The home improvement superstore intends to build a branch near Costco in Lemon Creek and open it doors by late next year or February 2007, Swope said on Monday at a Juneau Assembly meeting.

The company will be here to apply for a conditional-use permit and city officials will submit a land survey for the desired area for the commission's approval, the city manager said.

At a later date, the city also will have to approve the sale of property, Swope said.

The city manager said he has not heard from Wal-Mart officials recently. The retail giant has already bought the property of the former K-Mart in Juneau and plans to do mostly interior construction with some changes to the building's facade, Swope said.

Wal-Mart also plans to open in early 2007, he added.

Assembly makes payment on projects

JUNEAU - The Juneau Assembly on Monday appropriated $2.7 million to fund three out of four projects voters chose in October to be paid for by extending a 1 percent sales tax.

The money appropriated is for fiscal year 2006. About $800,000 is set aside for a chairlift at Eaglecrest Ski Area, $1.3 million is saved for sewer expansions and $600,000 will be spent on construction for a downtown parking facility.

This year's appropriation fully funds the ski lift. Another $5 million will be spent in the next fiscal year on the sewers and parking garage, and $8 million will be spent in fiscal year 2008 to finish those two projects.

Some $2.5 million will be appropriated in fiscal year 2009 to make improvements to the Don Statter Boat Harbor.

A total of $18.5 million will be spent from the 1 percent sales tax increase over the next few years.

Sitka man agrees to plea in auto theft

JUNEAU - A Sitka man has agreed to spend two more months in jail after being charged with stealing a van near the Lemon Creek Correctional Center the morning he was released after serving time on a drunken driving charge.

David Mulligan, 22, originally was charged with felony first-degree vehicle theft after his arrest Dec. 6. Friday, he pleaded guilty before Juneau District Judge Keith Levy to misdemeanor attempted first-degree vehicle theft. The agreement called for two months to serve in jail with another 10 months suspended.

According to court records, Mulligan was released from the state prison about 10 minutes before the 1997 Dodge van was stolen as it was warming up, no more than a block away from the prison grounds.

The owner reported it disappeared after he had left it running outside his home, court records state. Less than two hours later he called police to say he was following his van in traffic, inbound on Glacier Highway in the Auke Bay area.

Mulligan, who lives in Sitka, had been sent to Lemon Creek to serve 25 days in a drunken driving case, according to the Department of Corrections.

Man charged with sex abuse of a minor

JUNEAU - A man convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor five years ago has been indicted by the grand jury on a new charge of sexually abusing a 3-year-old.

Erik Jacobsen, 36, is charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He is scheduled to be arraigned today in Juneau Superior Court.

Police arrested Jacobsen on Dec. 9 and lodged him at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Court records show Jacobsen is alleged to have sexually abused a 3-year-old child on Dec. 6.

In 2000, Jacobsen was accused of a crime against a child younger than 13. He was indicted on two counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and was later found guilty of attempted second-degree sexual abuse of a minor. He was sentenced to serve six months in jail with another 30 months suspended. He also was placed on probation for 10 years and required to maintain sex-offender registration.

If convicted, the maximum sentence for first-degree sexual abuse of a minor would be 40 years. Alaska law sets the usual sentence for someone previously convicted of a sexual felony at 20 years.

Spilled fuel heads for Tanana River bridge

ANCHORAGE - A collision between a fuel tanker and a flatbed truck sent more than 3,000 gallons of diesel oil heading toward the Tanana River outside Delta Junction.

Five to 15 gallons of turbine fuel on Friday reached the bridge over the Tanana but did not get to a drain hole, and no fuel spilled into the open water, said Tom DeRuyter, a DEC environmental program specialist in Fairbanks.

Most of the fuel was trapped by an access road belonging to Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., DeRuyter said.

"As far a spill goes, this is as lucky as it could get," DeRuyter said.

Drivers heading south on the Richardson toward Delta Junction round a curve and head down a hill for a spectacular view of the Tanana River, a 650-mile river that's the main tributary of the Yukon River and a major salmon stream. Both the road and the pipeline cross the river.



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