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AK Beat: 76-foot fishing vessel sinks at Haines harbor, cause under investigation

Alaska Dispatch

Fishing vessel sinks at Haines harbor: A large fishing vessel with 2,000 gallons of fuel sank in the Haines harbor late Friday or early Saturday, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard and the state Department of Environmental Conservation to begin working to clean up spilled fuel. According to the Coast Guard, the Haines harbormaster reported the sinking of the 76-foot Neptune early Saturday. The harbormaster put containment boom around the boat, the Coast Guard said, and the cause of the sinking is under investigation.

Furloughs ending for some Alaskans: Civilian federal workers at Alaska's military bases "whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members" are going back to work. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Saturday that the furloughs will end for all Department of Defense workers whose jobs fall into those categories, based on the law that allows military members to be paid during the government shutdown. "I expect us to be able to significantly reduce – but not eliminate – civilian furloughs under this process. Employees can expect to hear more information from their managers starting this weekend," Hagel wrote.

How not to escape notice: Alaska State Troopers arrested a Wasilla man, 42-year-old Charles Slack, Friday afternoon after Slack allegedly rammed his vehicle into a family member's vehicle and assaulted the family member, all while he was drunk, according to a trooper dispatch Saturday. Troopers responded to the scene on Tidal Way and learned that Slack had failed to meet a court-ordered requirement that he register as a sex offender and had a warrant that could have him extradited to Arkansas.

More peanuts, Congress?: With the Federal Aviation Administration poised to allow more widespread use of electronic devices on aircraft, Alaska Airlines is reviewing what changes are needed for pre-flight instructions, seat-back cards and other cabin procedures. "We're eager to give our customers the flexibility they want to use electronic devices,"  Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy told the Wall Street Journal. One holdup: The FAA employees responsible for revising the government guidelines are not working because of the government shutdown.