In Brief

Alaska Air Guard does rescue training

The Alaska Air Guard did water-rescue training in Kachemak Bay and Homer from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1. The 210th, 211th, and 212th Rescue Squadrons of the Alaska Air Guard’s 176th Wing trained on water rescue tactics along with a boat crew as support personnel, the Alaska Air Guard said in a press release.

“Our commitment to rescue is 24/7, 365, non-stop,” said Maj. Jay Casello, the on-scene commander and combat rescue officer with the 212th RQS. “We have to train hard in very challenging environments to be ready to save lives.” 

The wing’s “rescue triad” exercises including day and night missions, in personnel jumps and cargo drops on a moving target, flying night water operations, visual search for casualties, and drop zone control for safety and situation management. 


Homeless person grabs cash

A robbery reported about 4:40 p.m. Monday outside a bank on the Sterling Highway had nothing to do with the bank, but instead involved one homeless person taking cash from another homeless person. A 911 caller reported the incident. Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said the robber reached into the victim’s pocket, grabbed cash and ran away. The robber did not display or threaten the victim with a weapon, Robl said. Robl said that he did not know if the Kenai District Attorney would file a charge of robbery in the case.


Woman found dead in April identified

Alaska State Troopers have identified a woman found dead about 1 p.m. April 17 at her Damar Road home. The woman is Susan Jarvis, 65. Next of kin have been notified. Troopers found Jarvis dead at her home off Diamond Ridge Road after a friend asked them to do a welfare check. At the time troopers were unable to make a positive identification and sent Jarvis’ body to the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage. There were no indications of foul play.


North Pole man dies in Kenai cell

KENAI (AP) — A 45-year-old inmate was found dead in his cell at the Wildwood Correctional Facility in Kenai.

The Department of Corrections says in a release that Paul Heppner died Sunday. He was being held on assault and driving under the influence charges, and had been in jail since Oct. 23, 2014.

KTVA reported Heppner was found unresponsive in his cell and efforts to revive the North Pole man were not successful.

Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska State Medical Examiner’s office will review the death. The Department of Corrections says it will also conduct an internal review per policy, and the results will not be made public.


Homeless man uses spear to kill bear

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A homeless man fashioned a machete-like blade to a groomed tree branch and speared a hungry black bear cub that was sniffing for food Friday morning at an illegal camp site in Anchorage.

The cub, estimated to be about a year and a half old, and an older bear thought to be its mother had been at the camp site for days stealing food, authorities said.

On Friday morning, the cub was seen outside a tent. David Tandler, 49, told officers he was worried it would harm children inside the tent, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said in an email to The Associated Press. No children were present at the camp site when troopers arrived.

Tandler picked up the spear, which he had earlier prepared for protection by attaching the long knife blade to the branch, said Dave Battle, the Anchorage-area biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Battle said Tandler threw the spear at the cub, hitting it in the side. The bear ran for about 20 yards before collapsing and dying.

“It’s the first time I’ve run across the spearing of a bear,” Battle said.

Authorities determined the bear kill was legal under the state’s defense of life and property law.