In Brief

Editor’s note: The story on a sentencing hearing for Demarqus Green has been updated on Aug. 21, 2015, to show a new date for sentencing.

Rototiller operator ruptures gas line

Residents in the Soundview Avenue area escaped injury last Thursday when a rototiller operator hit and ruptured a natural gas line. 

According to Homer Police reports, a 36-year-old man at about 7 p.m. Aug. 13 made a 911 call that he hit a gas line at a Shelley Avenue address near Soundview Avenue. Homer Volunteer Fire Department firefighters and police responded. The line leaked gas, and as a precaution, nearby homes were evacuated while firefighters clamped the line. Enstar Natural Gas workers then repaired the line.

For the Homer natural gas project, Enstar contractors buried service lines according to code, at least 12 inches deep, and usually between 18 inches and 24 inches, said Charlie Pierce, southern division manager for Enstar, Soldotna. Utilities require property owners to get a free utility locate by calling 811. Workers digging in the area also are required to hand dig if the line is within 2 feet of a project, Pierce said.

“Regardless of how deep they (lines) are, what we want to emphasize is call 811 and get a free locate,” Pierce said.

HVFD Chief Bob Painter said he did not know if the homeowner had called 811 to request a utility locate. Painter said the operator used a rear tiller on the back of a tractor and could easily have dug below a foot. 


Green to be sentenced Sept. 28

A sentencing hearing in the case of convicted murdered Demarqus Green scheduled for Monday has been rescheduled for next month. Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran conducts a sentencing hearing for Green, 23, at 9 a.m. Sept. 28 at the Homer Courthouse. In May, a Homer jury found Green guilty of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in the killing of Demian Sagerser. Green admitted to shooting Sagerser, then 40, on July 7, 2012, at Sagerser’s Stariski Creek home during a marijuana drug deal, but claimed he shot Sagerser in self defense when he said Sagerser attacked him with a utility knife. 

The jury rejected that argument, but did find him not guilty of first-degree murder — that he intended to kill Sagerser — and of first-degree robbery. The state claimed Green robbed Sagerser of marijuana and cash.

On the evidence tampering charge, the jury found Green guilty of destroying evidence from the shooting, including a red jacket a game camera set up by Sagerser showed Green wearing. Green’s girlfriend, Nancy Modeste, had earlier pleaded guilty to evidence tampering.


Seaton to host town hall meetings

with state revenue commissioner

Rep. Paul Seaton will host two town hall meetings in September to discuss state revenue options to address Alaska’s current fiscal situation. Commissioner of Revenue Randy Hoffbeck will attend to listen and answer questions. Hoffbeck will discuss the fiscal challenges the state is facing, the options the state has for those challenges, and the path Gov. Bill Walker is laying out to reach fiscal stability.

The first meeting will be from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Ninilchik Senior Center.

The second will be from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center in Homer.

Those attending are asked to consider completing the revenue options survey before coming to the meeting to help deepen the discussion. The survey can be found online at

Hoffebeck also will be present along with Homer City Manager Katie Koester at the chamber luncheon from noon-1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Homer Elks Lodge. It is free and open to the public; lunch is optional.

Seaton would like to know which revenue options Alaskans believe the state should implement.  By filling out the survey, participants add their voice to the discussion. 

The survey will help Seaton and Hoffebeck better prepare for questions and comments at the September meetings.