Statewide Briefs 11/3/09

UA regents meeting in Fairbanks

University of Alaska regents meet Oct. 29 in Fairbanks to review a tentative operating budget of $820 million.

A final budget request for the 2011 financial year goes to the governor in December.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported regents will also review building plans, and one of the priorities is $88 million for a life sciences classroom and lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

UA spokeswoman Kate Ripley said another priority is $50 million toward deferred maintenance throughout the 16-campus system

Juneau high school boys disciplined for streaking

Two Juneau-Douglas High School students have been disciplined after streaking through the gym in front of roughly 900 surprised classmates.

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The students had been gathered in the gym Oct. 26 to watch an anti-drug and alcohol pantomime when the boys ran past the performers and out the door.

The students were not completely naked. One wore fairy wings and both wore masks. Accounts varied, but eyewitnesses told the Juneau Empire the masks were either of George Bush, Bill Clinton or John McCain.

School district spokeswoman Kristin Bartlett declined to say what action had been taken against the students, citing student privacy.

Anchorage considers housing alcoholics

A conference on housing homeless alcoholics in Anchorage is looking at an example in Seattle that gives them a place off the street where they can continue to drink.

KTUU reports the conference this week is looking at a program called “housing first” to reduce the amount spent on jail and hospital resources.

The Seattle program said it costs about $14,000 a year to house each resident, compared to $86,000 when they were on the street.

A taxpayer-funded downtown Seattle apartment building houses about 75 people and offers counseling and social services.

Downtown Emergency Service Center Director Bill Hobson said the average resident had been drinking to intoxication 24 out of every 30 days, but that has been reduced to 13 days.

10 johns arrested in Mat-Su prostitution sting

The Palmer and Wasilla police departments teamed up to arrest 10 men accused of soliciting prostitution.

Palmer police said investigators placed ads for adult services on the Web. The johns agreed to meet, agreed to a specific price and were arrested.

The suspects ranged in age from 18 to 58. Their hometowns included Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer and Wasilla.

Anti-abortion initiative seeks signatures

Anti-abortion activists are sponsoring an initiative that would declare a fetus a legal person.

KTUU reported they’ll need more than 30,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot in Alaska.

Sponsor Christopher Kurka said the unborn should have the legal protections of people, including the right to life. He hopes the issue goes to a vote of the public to decide.

Planned Parenthood said if the initiative becomes law it could lead to unintended consequences such as police investigating miscarriages.

Levi Johnston claims damaging secrets about Palin

Levi Johnston, the teen father of Sarah Palin’s grandchild, claims he has information about the former Republican vice presidential candidate that would “get her in trouble and could hurt her.”

Johnston made those comments in an interview that aired Oct. 28 on “The Early Show” on CBS.

The 19-year-old Johnston said he doesn’t plan to reveal the “huge” things he knows about Palin, who resigned as Alaska governor in July.

Johnston lived in the Palins’ house for two months awaiting the birth of the baby he has with Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, Bristol, his former fiance.

Palin said in a statement that her family was appalled at “inflammatory statements” made or implied during the interview by Johnston, who is set to pose nude for Playgirl

Young: Alaska not getting F-35s

Congressman Don Young released a statement Oct. 29 expressing disappointment that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will not be based at Eielson Air Force Base.

Young said Eielson’s vast airspace, lengthy runway and proximity to China, Russia and North Korea made it the perfect location.

The Air Force evaluated more than 200 sites for their suitability to base F-35s. The Deseret News in Salt Lake City is reporting that the preferred bases are Shaw in South Carolina, Hill in Utah and Mountain Home in Idaho.

The single-seat F-35, built by Lockheed Martin, will be used by several U.S. military services in a variety of missions, including air-to-air combat and ground attacks.

12-year-old Anchorage girl OK after Amber alert

Anchorage police said a 16-year-old boy lured his girlfriend’s 12-year-old sister away from home because he was upset with his girlfriend’s mother.

An Amber alert was issued Oct. 28 for the 12-year-old before police tracked her down to an apartment where she was found unharmed.

The boy was arrested and is facing burglary and assault charges. Police said he kicked in the door to the girl’s home and awoke her Oct. 27 and told her they needed to help her sister.

Police said the boy was upset because the mother had taken her 16-year-old daughter to a mental institution.

– Compiled by Kam Walters