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News Briefs
News Briefs

Texting forbidden while driving on Alaska posts

Using the text messaging feature on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle on Alaskan roadways may be costly.

Texting while driving not only endangers the life of the driver, but the lives of other motorists and pedestrians as well. Texting while driving is a misdemeanor offense that carries a mandatory court appearance with a maximum $5,000 fine and one year in jail. If drivers are involved in an accident in which someone gets hurt or killed, the offense becomes a felony.

While cell phone use is still legal on Alaskan roads, drivers are reminded cell phone use without an approved hands-free device is illegal on forts Richardson, Wainwright and Greely, as well as Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force bases. Driving privileges may be suspended for up to 30 days for the first offense. Offenders caught texting on military installations will be cited and prosecuted in U.S. District Court to the full extent of the law.

Vehicles with election signs may not enter Wainwright

Political activity throughout the Alaska and across the nation is building in intensity, and signs supporting one candidate or another are appearing all over town.

It is the Armyís long-standing policy for commanders to refrain from engaging in activities or allowing situations that could be interpreted as associating the Army with a particular cause or candidate.

Regulations prohibit commanders from allowing political campaign activities on installation facilities. This command has determined large political signs constitute a campaign activity. In accordance with those regulations, vehicles displaying large political signs will not be allowed to enter Fort Wainwright. The signs must be removed or the vehicle will be denied access to the post.

This policy does not apply to ordinary bumper stickers.

1-25th SBCT deployment ceremony set for Thursday

A deployment ceremony for 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division,   will begin Thursday at 1 p.m. between hangars 2 and 3 on the Fort Wainwright airfield.

More than 4,000 soldiers are assigned to the 1-25th SBCT and its subordinate units. The unit has reset, trained and is prepared to deploy to Iraq for a 12-month tour.

As the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, the 1-25th SBCT deployed to Iraq in August 2005 to serve what would become the longest combat deployment for Alaska Soldiers since the Vietnam conflict. Following a three-month extension, the brigade was reflagged the 1-25th SBCT during a ceremony in December 2006.

The ceremony is open to the public. Anyone planning to attend is cautioned to watch for military police directing traffic.

Visitors who would like to attend may obtain a pass at the front gate Visitors Center.

Parking for the deployment ceremony will be on Ladd Army Air Field. Visitors, family members and guests not using shuttle service from the Youth Center, Last Frontier Club or Post Exchange/Commissary complex should follow signs along Gaffney and Ketcham roads.  A shuttle service will be provided from the parking areas to the seating area.

There will be limited or restricted vehicle access to Santiago, Meridian and Montgomery roads Wednesday and Thursday.

Installation visitor passes will be issued by the access control personnel located at the main gate, not inside the Visitors Center. Access to the installation will require drivers to show a valid driverís license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.  All passengers who are older than 16 will be required to have a state or federal government-issued identification card.