Around the State

Posted: Friday, August 10, 2001

UA tuition waived for Guard members

ANCHORAGE -- For the second consecutive year, eligible members of the Alaska Army and Air National Guard can get University of Alaska tuition waivers, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced Thursday.

The tuition waiver program is being funded by $250,000 approved by the Legislature for fiscal year 2002. It's first come, first served. The program will end when the money runs out.

To qualify, Guard members must maintain grades of ''C'' or higher for all courses covered. To continue receiving funding, undergraduates must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.0 and graduate students an average of at least 3.0.

The program covers up to 12 undergraduate credit hours and nine graduate credit hours per semester.

Juneau to pay $30,000 fine for EPA violations

JUNEAU -- The city has agreed to pay $30,000 and make drainage improvements to settle a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency complaint about a raw sewage leak, a city official said.

The city was originally fined $60,000 after the Mendenhall Wastewater Treatment Plant discharged sewage into houses, a parking lot and a drainage ditch in August 1999. The EPA cited the city for violating the Clean Water Act and its own permit limits on fecal coliform.

In the fall of 1999, raw sewage from the treatment plant flooded the drains and toilets of eight homes and manholes near Airport Boulevard.

The city has since spent more than $1 million on improvements at the plant and has taken safeguards to ensure the mishap is not repeated, city documents showed.

Juneau City Manager Dave Palmer said he signed the agreement with the EPA this week. It does not become final until the agency approves it.

As part of the agreement, the city will also replace pipes running under Mendenhall Boulevard to improve fish passage, Palmer said. The project will cost about $60,000.

''We have a policy that allows us to reduce penalties if the party signing the agreement agrees to do a supplemental environmental project,'' said EPA compliance officer Kristine Karlson.

Earthquake occurs near Amchitka

AMCHITKA -- An earthquake occurred Thursday morning near Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands.

The earthquake occurred at 5:09 a.m. and had a preliminary magnitude of 5.2, according to the West Coat Alaska Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake was located 135 miles east of Amchitka, or 65 miles southwest of Adak. There were no reports of any damage.

Boy in critical condition after being hit by car

ANCHORAGE -- A 12-year-old boy was in critical condition Thursday after being struck by an SUV while riding his bicycle.

Steven W. Durk of Willow and a friend were riding their bikes north on the Parks Highway shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after having picked up the family mail, Alaska State Troopers said.

Durk attempted to cross the highway near Mile 73.6 and was struck by a Jeep driven by Joseph C. Porter, 22, of Evergreen, Colo., troopers said.

The boy was flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Troopers said Porter was not cited and that the investigation was continuing.

Law enforcement to get meth lab training

ANCHORAGE -- More than 50 law enforcement officers from around the state will participate in a nine-day training session on how to deal will methamphetamine laboratories.

The training sessions are co-hosted by the Alaska State Troopers and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration with support from Anchorage police and the Alaska National Guard Counter Drug Support Unit.

''The extreme danger of clandestine labs is widely known in other states, but these types of labs are a fairly recent development in Alaska,'' said Lt. Al Storey, commander of the troopers Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit.

--The Associated Press

Alaska law enforcement officers seized 50 such labs in 2000, nearly twice as many as in 1999.

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