New charge filed in car shooting
ANCHORAGE - Prosecutors have upgraded a charge against a man riding in the back seat of a car whose gun fired and struck a fellow passenger Dec. 18.
Solomon Garcia, 21, is now charged with manslaughter in the death of Cameron Dorsey, 19, who died from the injury last week. Garcia had been held on a charge of first-degree assault.
Police said Garcia told them he and Dorsey were passengers in the car, with Garcia in the back seat and Dorsey in the front. According to the criminal complaint, Garcia was playing with a handgun and assumed it was unloaded. He pulled the trigger several times and the gun fired, striking Dorsey in the head.
Ketchikan police seek information in beating murder
KETCHIKAN - Police are focusing their investigation into the murder of Ketchikan utility worker on his whereabouts late Christmas Eve and early Christmas Day.
Gordon E. Rasnick, 50, was found outside his home above a downtown traffic tunnel on Christmas Day, dead of an apparent beating. Neighbors discovered the body, which lay on a wooden walkway to Rasnick's apartment, at about 2:30 p.m., police say.
Ketchikan Police Chief Grant Sirevog said he had no suspects, although the investigation was progressing. "We have really focused our attention on the later hours of Christmas Eve to the very early morning hours of Christmas morning," he said. He is urging anyone passing by the tunnel during that time to contact the police.
The tunnel contains a busy waterfront roadway and sidewalk through a hill that once split the city. There likely was not a lot of traffic Christmas Eve, Sirevog said.
Police established that Rasnick was assaulted underneath the stairs that lead to the street above the tunnel. He then crawled up the long flight of stairs to his apartment.
The official cause of death has not been established. Sirevog said all evidence indicates a beating to the head and face killed Rasnick.
State signs new credit card deal
JUNEAU - The state has signed a long-term contract with First National Bank Alaska to provide credit card services for state agencies.
Jim Duncan, Department of Administration commissioner, said the six-year contract consolidates purchasing capability for goods, services and travel into one program. Separate contracts for purchasing cards and travel expire next year, Duncan said.
The new contract will provide flexibility to meet different agency needs and reduce overhead because administration is limited to a single credit card program, Duncan said.
State agencies will begin converting to the new card system in March, with travel and procurement functions converting before fall. Services under the contract will be available to all three branches of government and the University of Alaska.
Cook Inlet open to all marine traffic
ANCHORAGE - Improved ice conditions allowed the Coast Guard to open Cook Inlet to all marine traffic Thursday.
Upper Cook Inlet was closed to single-hull tank barges by the Coast Guard a week ago because of heavy ice conditions.
The closure came after a tug hauling a barge carrying aviation and diesel fuel reported difficulty maneuvering through heavy pack ice. After two hours battling the ice, the tug managed to turn around and head south to open water.
All ships in Cook Inlet have been under ice rules since Nov. 29. Vessels must travel low enough in the water to prevent ice from clogging water-intake vents. In addition, crews are required to have foul-weather gear and equipment operational to handle icy conditions.