Ketchikan man murdered
KETCHIKAN - A 50-year-old man was found dead outside his downtown apartment on Tuesday, the apparent victim of an assault, Ketchikan police said.
The victim is identified as Gordon E. Rasnick, an employee of Ketchikan Public Utilities, Police Chief Grant Sirevog said today. Rasnick lived alone in an apartment on Front Street, Sirevog said.
A neighbor found the body at about 2:30 p.m. outside the victim's residence, police said.
Rasnick was assaulted early Tuesday near the downtown tunnel under a stairway leading to his street, Sirevog said. The victim apparently was able to crawl up the stairs and was found dead on a wooden walkway near the entrance of his apartment, Sirevog said.
"We don't usually have problems like this," Sirevog said. "You add Christmas into the equation and we are really surprised."
No suspects were in custody early today. Investigators were trying to determine Rasnick's whereabouts between Monday afternoon and the time of the attack, Sirevog said.
Robbery doesn't appear to be the motive, but police are not ruling anything out in the early stages of the investigation, Sirevog said.
This is the fourth murder in Ketchikan this year, the highest number of murders in recent memory, said Sirevog, who has been with the department for 19 years.
"The Ketchikan area is typically a homicide a year, maybe. We go years without any," Sirevog said.
The previous murders all happened between May and July. Suspects have been charged in each of those killings.
Young accident victim improves
JUNEAU - The condition has been upgraded of the most seriously injured of the two Juneau children hospitalized in Seattle following a single-vehicle crash Saturday.
Both children are now in satisfactory condition, said Kristin Foley, spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Lane Nashoanak, 8, suffered a colon injury, and was in serious condition on Monday. Ruby, 6, had facial fractures.
Six members of the Nashoanak family, two parents and four children, were in the 1990 Suburban when it hit a rock retaining wall on Glacier Avenue, police said. A 2-year-old boy had no apparent injuries; a 4-year-old boy had a scalp laceration, said Marijo Toner, spokeswoman for Bartlett Regional Hospital. Two children were medevaced to Seattle.
The driver, Annabelle Nashoanak, 25, was arraigned on one count of drunken driving and two counts of second-degree assault, a felony, said District Attorney Richard Svobodny. She continues to be held at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $5,000 cash bail.
Robbery suspects plead innocent
JUNEAU - Two men accused of a Dec. 16 armed robbery on Douglas Island were arraigned Monday in Juneau Superior Court.
Joshua Allen Coon, 20, and Rorie Christopher Miller, 22, pleaded innocent to felony charges of first-degree robbery. Judge Patricia Collins set bail at $15,000 for Coon and $20,000 for Miller, and ordered that they have no contact with anyone outside of their families should they be released.
A trial date was set for March 26.
According to court and police documents, the two men allegedly forced their way into a Creek Street apartment early on the morning of Dec. 16 while brandishing a shotgun and handgun and wearing ski masks. They stole money while holding the guns on the two residents, who were not injured, police said.
Police said they located the men's truck on David Street and found two guns and ski masks inside. Coon was apprehended quickly, while Miller was found in a wooded area an hour later. Miller was suffering from mild hypothermia and was briefly hospitalized. Both men were lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.
Fairbanks man killed in avalanche
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks man has become the state's fourth avalanche fatality so far this winter.
Dwayne Dufford, 30, was snowmachining with friends southwest of Cantwell when he was buried by a slide Monday afternoon, Alaska State Troopers said.
One of the other snowmachiners alerted troopers. Dufford was carrying an avalanche beacon and was located just 18 minutes after the slide, but he had succumbed to his injuries.
No one else was injured. Troopers are continuing their investigation.
Violence rattles holiday shoppers
ANCHORAGE - Unrelated violent crimes were reported at two Anchorage businesses that remained open on Christmas Day.
Anchorage police said a man attempting to steal a computer from the Northway Mall Kmart pulled a handgun on store employees and shoppers trying to stop him at about 11:25 a.m. The man ran to a waiting car.
While officers were responding, they were dispatched to a shooting in Muldoon.
Antonio, Wyche, 24, was shot outside a convenience store in the Muldoon area, police said.
Sgt. John Norsworthy said the victim apparently had been arguing with some other men outside the store before he was shot. It appears he knew the perpetrators, Norsworthy said.
Wyche was reported in stable condition at the Alaska Native Medical Center with a bullet wound in the lower left side of his back. The suspect remained at large.
Weather hinders Homer power
HOMER - Strong winds and rain on Christmas complicated the task of restoring power to homes left without electricity by a winter snowstorm last week.
The temperature reached 39 degrees but and more than a half-inch of rain fell by early afternoon and winds gusted to 40 mph, making for miserable working conditions.
Local utility workers and crews brought in to assist them restored power to about 200 more homes as of 3 p.m. Tuesday. But another 300 homes remained without power from the storm Friday that hit the area with snow and wind up to 90 mph.
The winds that ripped through the area last week pushed over hundreds of trees made brittle and killed by infestations of spruce bark beetles. The utility expects that some homes will be without power until Thursday or Friday.
The utility worked with the Red Cross to put up 13 families in Homer hotel rooms because of the outage. Some people moved in with friends but many simply fired up wood stoves and generators, drained their home's pipes and lighted candles.
Compiled from staff and wire reports.