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Alaska and Yukon Headlines
A routine traffic stop in downtown Homer Saturday afternoon turned into an emergency situation when an Alaska State Trooper found a methamphetamine laboratory inside a vehicle.
In a criminal complaint filed at the Homer Courthouse, Trooper David Chaffin wrote that he pulled over a silver 2000 Oldsmobile sedan at about 2:47 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Waddell Way and the Sterling Highway, after the driver failed to signal for a right-hand turn.
Chaffin says that when he contacted the driver – 26-year-old Homer resident Timothy Igou – he noticed what appeared to be a handgun on the front seat. A pat down of Igou revealed a glass pipe that the suspect admitted was for smoking methamphetamine, and a small baggie of what the officer suspected was methamphetamine.
Although it’s not detailed in the criminal complaint, Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters says Chaffin soon suspected that Igou was operating a mobile laboratory for making methamphetamine in the vehicle.
“It was determined there was what we felt was a meth lab,” she said. “We have haz-mat crews come in and deal with that because the substances can be very volatile. That’s why the road was closed down for such a length of time.”
The hazardous material crew was called in from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in Anchorage, says Peters, and the area around the Homer Post Office was closed off until 10 p.m. while the crew dismantled the lab.
She says it’s not unheard of for law enforcement officers to find a meth lab that is small and mobile.
“There (are) different ways that people can make methamphetamine,” she said. “They can be small enough to fit in a backpack or they can be large enough to fill up an entire garage.”
Igou was arrested and transported to the Homer Jail, where he is being held without bail. He is charged with Fourth Degree Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance but Peters says further charges are likely pending an ongoing investigation.
According to Alaska Court records, Igou was convicted of Fourth Degree Assault in January and was sentenced to one year in jail, with nine months suspended and credit for time served.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
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Federal prosecutors say four Anchorage residents have been indicted on multiple charges, including identity theft, for using the identities of people in the prison system to file false income tax returns and get refunds. The four named in the indictment are 46-year-old Steven McComb, 42-year-old Michael Sexton, 47-year-old Paulando Williams and 44-year-old Helen Maloney.
Prosecutors say Sexton had not yet been arrested.
According to prosecutors, the conspirators submitted about 100 false tax returns seeking more than $213,000, of which the U.S. Treasury issued refunds totaling more than $110,000.
By Toni Massari McPherson
Your public library is constant flux developing ways to connect you with the materials currently on the shelves and introduce the vast array of new items being added continuously. As in book stores, we create themed displays to catch your attention and offer specialized book lists. The card catalog is constantly updated and will soon include photos of book covers to pique your interest.
Now, thanks to the ingenuity of staff and help of volunteers, Anchorage Public Library is just completing a customer service project that re-defines the way
biographies are classified. This project, in the works since January 2010, greatly increases the efficiency of reference desk staff, as well as, simplifying a patron’s ability to peruse our biographies.
Or, more simply put – finding biographies used to be a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. Now, the hay is gone and all you have is needles. But don’t be fooled into thinking this was an easy process. Creating the “B” (biography) classification involved going through hundreds of thousands of volumes in the APL collection.
Librarian Nancy Tileston, director of APL Technical Services, initiated the project to address the difficulty both staff and patrons had finding biographies. She had noticed that when they were in the “new books” section, bios had a high checkout rate, but when they were put into the general collection, their numbers reduced to almost nothing. The Dewey Decimal Classification system seemed to be the barrier.
Conceived by Melvil Dewey in 1873, the DDC is the most widely used, general knowledge organization tool in the world. The system is continuously developed and maintained by the Library of Congress where specialists assign more than 110,000 DDC numbers every year.
The DDC is divided into ten main numerical classes (000-900), which together, cover the entire world of knowledge. Each main class is further divided into ten divisions, and each division into ten sections.
One of the downsides of DDC is that the same subject can show up in different places in the collection. Take “clothing.” According to a library information website: “The psychological influence of clothing belongs in 155.95 as part of the discipline of psychology; customs associated with clothing belong in 391 as part of the discipline of customs; and clothing in the sense of fashion design belongs in 746.92 as part of the discipline of the arts.”
Same with biographies. The biography of, say, a U.S. female scientist who won the Nobel Prize, could end up under “famous women,” “Nobel Prize winners,” “American scientists” or the subject she researched. And you might find one of her biographies in one area and another in a totally different place. Not so user friendly.
After much discussion, a staff committee decided to establish a separate biography collection for all new material and to start the process of reclassifying books already on the shelves. The timeline for the project was five years since staff would have to have to work on the project during rare spare time.
Enter the volunteers. It started with a couple of young women who needed something to do in 2010, before heading off to library school, and was continued by four other dedicated women. Lists of potential biographies were generated.
The volunteers pulled them from the shelves and, then, ran each through a matrix that determined whether or not they fit the new classification. Altogether, the six of them have spent hundreds of hours asking the question: biography or not biography?
“Thanks to the amazing support of these six volunteers, we have been able to cut the project timeline in half,” Nancy said. “We should finish up the last of the
evaluation processing in April.
After preliminary culling by volunteers, the TS staff confirmed their selections, revised the call numbers in the catalog and issued a new spine label for each
book: first line “B”; second line, the first five letters of the biographee’s last name and the first initial: third line, the first letters of the author’s last name.
Increasing circulation numbers reflect the success of the one-stop shopping approach. In 2011, bio circulation was 14,667; in 2012, it jumped to 16,107. And, given the current numbers of bios being checked out, the 2013 figure should be nearly 19,000.
Come peruse our collection of 16,371 biographies. Now, you can see in a glance all the biographies each neighborhood library has of a particular person.
Toni Massari McPherson is the APL Community Relations Coordinator. Keep up with what is going on at your library at www.anchoragelibrary.org and “like” us on FaceBook.