Northwest Digest

Wire reports

Posted: Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Guard honoring Iraq-bound soldiers

JUNEAU - The Alaska National Guard will host a dinner Thursday night for soldiers who will soon be leaving for Iraq.

Staff Sgt. Mac Metcalfe said 60 tickets will be made available to the public for $25 apiece. The dinner is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the Moose Lodge, 8335 Old Dairy Rd.

Metcalfe said 10 Iraq-bound soldiers are expected at the event. People can purchase tickets at the National Guard office, 355 Whittier St. downtown. Those looking for further information can call Metcalfe at 465-1345.

Usibelli secures second contract with Chile

FAIRBANKS - Usibelli Coal Mine has secured a contract with a second power plant in Chile to sell it coal.

The Healy-based company had a batch of its coal delivered to a plant in Chile last August, and now has a second contract to sell a batch to a different plant in the South American country.

In this deal, Usibelli sold about 45,000 metric tons of coal to international resource trading company Glencore, Ltd., which is delivering the coal to the plant in Chile.

The agreement is similar to Usibelli's arrangement with Glencore in August, when Usibelli for the first time shipped coal to Chile, said Bill Brophy, Usibelli's vice president for customer relations.

"The second shipment here in December is to a separate plant," he said, "which is obviously pretty favorable to us.

"More customers means that, as our Alaskan coal is burned in a number of different plants, there's more interest in our coal. Any time you can broaden your customer base, that's a good thing in my view."

Crews were expected Tuesday to start the process of loading the second batch of coal onto vessels at the Alaska Railroad Corp.'s Seward coal terminal after the coal arrived from Healy by rail.

The company could be sending more coal to Chile early next year.

The first power plant that bought Usibelli coal in August could purchase another shipment based on tests performed on the first batch, Brophy said.

About 800,000 tons of the 1.2 million tons of coal that Usibelli mines every year is used for heat and power in the Interior. Most of the rest goes to South Korea, where Usibelli has shipped coal since 1985.

Trial postponed for father charged with murdering toddler

KETCHIKAN - The trial for a man charged with murdering his young daughter has been postponed until May.

James Paul, 45, was to go on trial Jan. 4. He's been jailed since last February, when he was found unconscious at his apartment and lying beside the body of his 22-month-old daughter, Sarah Paul.

A grand jury in Ketchikan indicted Paul on the first-degree murder charge in September. He also faces 31 counts of possessing child pornography, three counts of violating a domestic violence restraining order and three counts of unlawful contact.

Paul now is scheduled to go on trial May 10 in Ketchikan Superior Court.

Judge Michael Thompson rescheduled the trial at the request of Paul's attorney, Steven Wells. Ketchikan Assistant District Attorney James Scott did not oppose the motion.

Paul was jailed on $100,000 bail and charged with the child pornography possession when he emerged from Ketchikan General Hospital.

In April, Paul was charged with unlawfully contacting his ex-wife from by telephone from the Ketchikan Correctional Center.

The indictment did not contain any details, and neither police nor prosecutors have disclosed any details regarding the girl's cause of death or what caused Paul's unconsciousness.

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