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In Brief

February 9th 7:15 pm | Staff Report Print this article   Email this article  

Fansler steps down amid assault charges

Rep. Zach Fansler submitted a letter of resignation to Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) on Feb. 2. Edgmon and the Alaska House Majority Coalition had requested his resignation upon learning of allegations that he committed an act of physical violence against a woman in his hotel room.

"Calling for Rep. Fansler's resignation was the right thing to do given the severity of his alleged actions, but that does not mean that it was an easy thing to do because Zach was a committed and effective legislator for the people of House District 38. I also considered him a valuable member of our Coalition," Edgmon said. "The circumstances that warranted Rep. Fansler's resignation were unfortunate and show the problems in our state with domestic violence and alcohol abuse. I want to thank Rep. Fansler for his service. I also want to thank all of the victims who have braved so much in coming forward. We can all take heart in their bravery."

Fansler was elected to represent the people of District 38 in November 2016. His resignation from the Alaska Legislature will take effect on Feb. 12.

"Our Coalition has shown a steadfast resolve to hold our members to the highest standards of conduct because that's what the people of Alaska expect from their elected representatives," said House Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage). "While Representative Fansler was well liked and respected, his actions were counter to our shared values. We felt the decisive action of calling for his resignation had to be taken to maintain the public trust. We are all accountable to the people of Alaska, and I want to thank Rep. Fansler for stepping up and being accountable to the people of his district. He always wanted to do the right thing for his district and Alaska. Rep. Fansler's decision to resign further proves it. I would like to let the people of the Yukon-Kuskokwim District know that your District 38 office is still conducting business and staff remains available and working on your behalf."

Nominations open for notable volunteers

By Shady Grove Oliver

Bristol Bay Times - Dutch Harbor Fisherman

Nominations are now open for the 2018 First Lady's Volunteer of the Year Awards. These commendations are done annually by the state's First Lady Donna Walker.

"We have recognized some incredible individuals over the years, and it is my honor to continue this storied tradition," Walker said in a release. "Alaskans give so much of themselves for their communities, and they deserve recognition. I look forward to once again hearing about the amazing things happening across our state thanks to the great work of volunteers."

Then-First Lady Bella Hammond began the awards in 1975 with the goal of recognizing local volunteers who made significant contributions to their communities. It has continued ever since.

Nominations opened on Monday and will continue through the end of the business day on March 5. Anyone can submit a nomination online at volunteerawards.alaska.gov. Awardees will be announced at the end of May.

Kilo of hash oil seized in Prudhoe

By Shady Grove Oliver

Bristol Bay Times - Dutch Harbor Fisherman

Police seized just over a kilo, or two pounds, of butane hash oil (BHO) in Prudhoe Bay at the end of January.

The hash oil, or dabs, had an estimated street value of $100,000, according to the North Slope Borough Police Department.

Dabs are made by extracting cannabinoids using a solvent, like butane, from which it derives one of its names. The end result is a thick and sticky concentrated dose of cannabis oil which, when smoked, affects a person faster and stronger than straight marijuana.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents at the Deadhorse Airport called police when they noticed "a suspicious smell emanating from a package in a checked bag." The bag was tagged as heading to Utqiaġvik and belonging to Anchorage resident Lynette P. Craig.

Inside it was 1,087.3 grams of the oil, which was then confiscated by the canine officer and detectives on scene.

Police did not specify whether or not Craig was accompanying her bag on the flight or if she was arrested at the time. However, they did note they have forwarded charges of fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance to the assistant district attorney for review. That charge is classified as a class A misdemeanor and may be punishable by a year of jail time and a $10,000 fine, the department noted.

In a release on the bust, the department asked anyone with information on the trafficking of illegal alcohol and drugs to contact a local officer or the police hotline at 1-800-478-3784.

Alaska Board of Forestry to meet Feb. 23

The public is invited to participate in a Board of Forestry teleconference on Feb. 23 to discuss statewide forestry issues. The meeting will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A draft agenda is posted a?http://forestry.alaska.gov/whatsnew.htm?

Topics for the board meeting include?

• Fish habitat permitting legislation (HB 199) and fish habitat ballot initiative (17FSH2);

• Fish rehabilitation permit legislation (HB107);

• State regulatory proposals related to forest operations in Alaska, including antidegradation of water quality, identification of Tier 3 waters, small negotiated timber sales under 11 AAC 71.045(e), state fees, and public notices.

For a copy of the agenda, go t?http://forestry.alaska.gov/whatsnew.ht?or contact Marty Freeman a?marty.freeman@alaska.go?o?907-269-8467. Any individuals wishing to receive announcements of future Board of Forestry meetings by email or in hard copy should contact Freeman to be added to the mailing list?

 

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