State Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Suspected bank robber arrested

ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage man wanted in two bank robberies has been arrested, authorities said Monday.

FBI officials said Lonnie Dee Ridgeway II, 49, was taken into custody on Sunday. He was arrested after an employee at a Fred Meyer store recognized him from a photo the FBI released last Thursday.

Ridgeway is a suspect in the robberies of two Northrim Bank branches on Nov. 12 and Dec. 9. He also was wanted for questioning in two other Anchorage bank robberies, investigators said.

Chitina buildings added to historic register

ANCHORAGE - Two 92-year-old buildings in Chitina once used by workers for the Copper River and Northwestern Railway have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The bunkhouse and messhouse in Chitina were part of the 196-mile track from the deep-water port of Cordova to the Kennecott copper mines in the Wrangell Mountains.

The railroad, completed in 1911 at a cost of $23.5 million, hugged the west bank of the Copper River until it reached Chitina at Mile 131. There it turned east to the mines.

Copper ore from the mines contributed mightily to Alaska's economy from 1911 to 1938.

The railroad employed 200 maintenance workers on the line in summer, 150 in winter. Buildings to accommodate the crews were spaced along the way about every 20 miles, according to the state Office of History and Archeology.

Arrest made in car-burning case

CENTRALIA, Wash. - Police have arrested a 22-year-old Fairbanks man for investigation of first-degree arson in the Christmas Day torching of a car believed connected to a double killing in Northern California.

William Z. Holmes was arrested Sunday in Tacoma and was taken to the Lewis County Jail, said Detective Sgt. Dave Ross of the Centralia Police Department.

The car, which was discovered engulfed in flames early Christmas morning in a field on Cooks Hill Road near Centralia's Providence Hospital, had been rented Dec. 23 in Tacoma by Krista Robinson, 31, of Olympia, and one of the dead men.

The night before, passing motorists had found the bodies of Hakeem Salim Bryant, 25, of Fairbanks and Christopher Lamar Martin, 28, of Olympia, in separate locations near off-ramps of southbound Interstate 5 in the Castella, Calif., area, north of Redding.

Men posing as DEA agents invade Anchorage home

ANCHORAGE - Two armed men posing as federal drug enforcement agents pushed their way into a South Anchorage home Monday, bound three people with duct tape and demanded the combination to a gun safe, Anchorage police said.

After the homeowner's son began yelling for help, the men fled in the family's Ford station wagon. Police found the car abandoned about 30 minutes later. Canine units combed the area but lost track of the suspects.

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