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Montana man sentenced in Alaska for hunting violation

Jan 23, 2015 -- 12:30pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A 45-year-old Montana man has been sentenced to pay a $3,000 fine after pleading guilty to violating the federal Lacey Act while leading a former Major League Baseball player on a 2009 sheep hunt in Alaska. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the plea agreement Tuesday by Jason Kummerfeldt of Billings, Montana, completed the 16th and final case against employees and clients of a now-closed Anchorage guiding business, Fair Chase Hunts. Authorities say Kummerfeldt was an assistant guide when he took former Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs on a hunt in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in August 2009. Authorities say Kummerfeldt and another guide incorrectly assured Boggs he didn't need to buy a non-resident caribou tag to also hunt for caribou. Boggs was not charged in the incident.

Jet skips Nome landing because of ash from Russian volcano

Jan 23, 2015 -- 12:15pm
- NOME, Alaska (AP) - Flights are operating as normal Friday in western Alaska after ash from a Russian volcano dissipated. Alaska Airlines altered one flight Thursday because of ash at about the 10,000-foot level near Nome. A spokeswoman says a flight left Kotzebue for Nome, but the crew saw a haze in the sky and opted to return directly to Anchorage. National Weather Service aviation weather unit officials in Anchorage say the ash was from Volcano Shiveluch, which spewed an ash plume to about the 22,000-foot level on Wednesday evening. The ash traveled across the Kamchatka Peninsula before arriving in the Nome area Thursday. Jerry Steiger, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office in Nome, says no ash fell on the ground there.

Federal board approves Kenai Peninsula gillnetting

Jan 23, 2015 -- 12:00pm
- KENAI, Alaska (AP) - The Federal Subsistence Board has voted to allow subsistence gillnetting on the Kenai and Kasilof rivers. The Peninsula Clarion reports the new fisheries will primarily target sockeye salmon, under the decisions issued Thursday. The potential to harvest other species of fish, however, has been a sticking point. Alaska Department of Fish and Game Department biologists are concerned about king salmon runs, which have dipped in numbers in recent years, as well as resident species such as rainbow trout. The Kasilof River decision follows proposals from the Ninilchik Tribal Council to allow a community-set gillnet fishery for subsistence users. The tribal council had argued that the gill nets will catch far fewer kings than sport and commercial users do.

Collins named special investigator for National Guard claims

Jan 22, 2015 -- 11:45am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Attorney General Craig Richards has hired a retired state court judge to serve as a special investigator to look into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Alaska National Guard. Patricia Collins is expected to look at each allegation that has been made and determine if it was adequately investigated by law enforcement and handled appropriately by prosecutors. She also has been asked to determine whether cases should be investigated further. Her work is to span the time period between September 2010 and November 2014. Richards says Collins is to produce a confidential report by the end of April and another report that will be made public about a month later. Richards says the contract with Patricia Collins is for up to $50,000, plus reasonable expenses.

Interim CEO begins filling in at Sitka Community Hospital

Jan 22, 2015 -- 11:30am
- SITKA, Alaska (AP) - An interim CEO has begun working at financially troubled Sitka Community Hospital to fill for the former CEO who resigned suddenly. Rob Allen arrived last week from Deerfield, Massachusetts, where he has been living. Allen was raised in Sitka and makes several trips a year to the southeast Alaska town. The Daily Sitka Sentinel says Allen's appointment follows the Jan. 2 resignation of CEO Jeff Comer, who left town Jan. 4 and returned to his home in Phoenix. Allen began his new stint last Friday after signing a three-month contract. He says he can serve until April, when his Sitka boat tour business begins for the visitor season. The Sitka Assembly voted in December to extend a line of credit to the hospital from $500,000 to $1.5 million.

Woman cited for trap tampering says she rescued eagle

Jan 22, 2015 -- 11:15am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Juneau woman cited by Alaska Wildlife Troopers for tripping legally set traps says she found a mortally wounded bald eagle in two of the devices and sprung others to protect her dogs and other people. Kathleen Adair tells KTOO-radio she was on Davies Creek Trail on Dec. 24 north of Juneau and found the eagle on the ground with both of its legs caught in traps. She untangled the bird and carried it to the Juneau Raptor Center. The eagle was euthanized by a veterinarian. Adair says she sprung a trap nearby that day and another three days later as she led a group hike. Alaska Wildlife Trooper Sgt. Aaron Frenzel says freeing an eagle from a trap is not a violation but interfering with other traps is.
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