Lt. Governor Loren Leman presents Kathy Watson with her late husband's PFD check.
KPD Chief Chuck Kopp, hugs Kathy Watson during special presentation at Kenai Chamber, #07, 08, 18, It's been a year since the tragic event that took the life of Kenai Police officer John Watson. The Kenai Chamber of Commerce at their last meeting of the year 2004 dedicated the program in memory of Officer Watson and the community's loss last Christmas Eve. Lt. Governor Loren Leman came in from Juneau for the special meeting to personally deliver a check to John's wife Kathy in the amount of last year's Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Last spring, Kathy learned that John would not be eligible for last year's PFD due to the fact that he was killed 6 days before the end of year 2003, "When Kathy contacted me last spring, she said this isn't fair, and I agreed with her, but according to the rules of the Dividend, he was not eligible. So at my request, a group of generous Alaskans including Rep. Chenault and Sen. Wagoner raised the equivalent amount of last year's PFD, and it was my privilege to present Kathy with a check for that amount today," said Leman. The Lt. Governor added that he would certainly support legislation to change the rule to allow for special situations in the future that might occur regarding the wrongful death of a public servant.
The Kenai Chamber also announced the results of their first drive to establish a John Watson memorial fund. Nearly $8,000 dollars will be turned over to the City of Kenai to create a special John Watson memorial walk as an expansion to the Leif Hanson Memorial Park in Kenai. According to Kenai Chamber president Tim Navarre, funds will continue to be collected through the City, "The Chamber has finished its drive, but those who would still like to make a contribution in John's memory can do so at the City offices with a notation dedicating the gift to the John Watson memorial fund and every dollar will go to building the park expansion that will be known as the John Watson walk," said Navarre.
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