Alaska Digest

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas treedisposal offered

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JUNEAU - The Juneau Recycling Center is hosting a Christmas tree chipping event on Jan. 5 at the landfill on Tonsgard Court from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The disposal service is free.

The recycling center expects participants to remove tree stands, tinsel, nails and ornaments before bringing the tree for chipping.

Police seek suspect in knife threat

JUNEAU - Police are looking for a man who threatened another with a knife Friday in a public restroom at the Nugget Mall.

The victim, a 50-year-old local man whose name was not released, had been in the men's bathroom at about 3:50 p.m. Friday when the suspect entered and exchanged words with him. The suspect grabbed the victim, held him against the wall and pulled out a knife, police said. The victim said the man slashed at him with the knife but he was able to fend off blows and was not injured.

Hearing the disturbance, the security guard entered the bathroom and saw the suspect threatening the victim with the knife, police said. The security guard told police that he placed himself between the two men and stopped the attack.

Police are still looking for the suspect, who left the area on foot. He is described as 5 feet 5 inches tall, approximately 195 pounds with short, graying hair. He was wearing a red and black checkered jacket and a green undershirt.

The incident remains under investigation.

One killed in crash on Tongass Highway

KETCHIKAN - Alaska State Troopers say an early-morning vehicle crash Sunday killed a 24-year-old man on the Tongass Highway near Ketchikan.

Troopers say Kelly Nausid, of Ketchikan, was killed after the Volvo he was driving crossed the median and struck a plow truck.

He was pronounced dead at Ketchikan General Hospital.

Troopers say a passenger in the Volvo, Ryan Spaise of Hawaii, refused medical treatment and was released.

The driver of the plow truck, 61-year-old William Kacenas of Ketchikan, sustained minor injuries.

Troopers say an investigation is ongoing.

Tiger dies at Alaska Zoo in Anchorage

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Zoo says its last tiger has died.

Director Pat Lampi says Al the Amur tiger was euthanized under veterinary supervision Friday.

Lampi says the health of the 18-year-old animal had been on the decline.

The tiger arrived at the Alaska Zoo with his twin brother, Steve, and their mother in 1995 from the Philadelphia Zoo.

They were born as part of the Amur Tiger Species Survival Plan.

Steve died in August.

The life span of Amur tigers, the largest of all big cats, is 12-15 years in captivity with a few living into their 20s.

Fewer than 300 Amur tigers are found in the wild.

The Alaska Zoo is pursuing acquisition of new Amur tigers.

Police officers foundjustified in shooting

ANCHORAGE - Two Anchorage police officers have been found justified in the fatal shooting of a 57-year-old man who was driving a stolen Jeep.

Anchorage District Attorney Adrienne Bachman said the man could have killed or injured people when he began aggressively ramming other vehicles Sept. 24.

Steven Douglas Callan did not have a gun when he was shot. But Bachman said the stolen vehicle constituted a weapon that posed a continuing risk to police and civilians in the area.

Both police and civilian standards for using deadly force include provisions for self-defense, according to Bachman.

"Under both standards the police were justified in stopping Mr. Callan with deadly force," she said.

Callan led police on a high-speed chase before he pulled into a supermarket parking lot. There, he began ramming police and other cars as the officers attempted to pin his vehicle in place.

When he wouldn't stop, officers Doug Fifer and John Bolen fired multiple shots at him. Callan was killed and his passenger, Jamie Smith, 33, sustained a minor gunshot wound to her arm. Another officer, Derek Hsieh, also was slightly wounded in the abdomen, possibly from a bullet ricocheting, police said at the time.

The district attorney's decision means the officers will not face criminal charges as a result of their actions.

Bolen and Fifer also are under a separate, internal police investigation - a standard procedure - to determine if their actions were in line with department standards, police Lt. Paul Honeman said.

Fifer has been with the department for more than 11 years and Bolen for nearly four years.

Man dragged by truck was drunk

ANCHORAGE - Authorities in Anchorage say toxicology results show a 45-year-old homeless man was intoxicated when he was dragged for blocks by a semi truck last month.

Police are still waiting for an enhanced FBI security tape to determine exactly how Horace Field got entangled under the truck Nov. 10.

According to authorities, Field also had two different drugs in his system when he got caught in the rear wheels of the truck as he walked on East Sixth Avenue.

Police say the truck driver, Stephen Haines of Anchorage, didn't realize he had struck Field and dragged him about 10 blocks before someone flagged him down.

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