The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 16, 1984.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 16, 1984.

Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week ending April 20

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Empire Archives is a series printed every Saturday featuring a short compilation of headline stories in the Juneau Empire from archived editions in 1984, 1994 and 2004.

This week in 1984, convicted armed robber Roy L. Marshall escaped from authorities twice this weekend, but freedom lasted only a few hours each time. Marshall has escaped from custody four times: once in California, last spring from the Southeast Regional Correctional Institute at Lemon Creek, Saturday from the same prison and Sunday after a court appearance on the Saturday escape charge. A state correctional officer has been placed on suspension pending the completion of an Alaska State Troopers investigation into the escape Saturday night in which Marshall fled the Lemon Creek jail. A March 1983 escape from the same facility gave Marshall, 36, little more than 24 hours of freedom before he was arrested at a Cedar Park residence in West Juneau. He had taken a taxi to the residence after spending the night in the woods in the Lemon Creek area. He was located through information from an anonymous tipster. On Saturday, Marshall was discovered missing from the prison at about 10:30 p.m., and nabbed by a trooper and two correctional officers without incident at a Mobilehaven Trailer Court residence about two hours later. Following his arraignment Sunday morning in Juneau District Court, Marshall fled again, this time through a ground-floor door of the court building. A swarm of troopers, Juneau Police officers and state correctional officers found Marshall under a house at 423 Seward St. at about 1:20 p.m. Sunday after an intensive manhunt.

Original Story: “Escape: Prisoner escapes — twice — in one weekend after having escaped from jail twice before,” by Christopher Jarvis. 4/16/1984.

This week in 1994, another land deal has stepped into the morass of the decade-old litigation over state mental health trust lands. KTOO-FM and TV’s purchase of the old Alascom building downtown is on hold, pending legislative resolution of the land-trust dispute. The station’s agreement to purchase the 14,670-square-foot concrete building next to the Alaska State Museum hinges on getting a 55-year land lease at 1% of fair market value. Alascom owns the building, but the state owns the land. State law allows the Division of Land to grant favorable lease terms to nonprofits such as KTOO, but the 0.6 acre may become part of the lands trust. The trust, which was illegally broken up by the Legislature in 1978, is being reconstructed to settle a lawsuit borough by mental health program advocates. The trust was supposed to provide income for mental health programs statewide.

Today KTOO occupies the building after moving into it in 1996.

Original Story: “Trust land quagmire snags KTOO,” by Tim Huber. 4/17/1994.

This week in 2004, the state is predicting record prices for Alaska North Slope oil for fiscal year 2004 at $31.13 per barrel, state Revenue Commissioner Bill Corbus said. The price volatility and strong short-term market conditions are being driven by strong global demand for oil, particularly in China; instability in Iraq; the production of non-OPEC oil and fluctuation of world currencies, Corbus said. But he cautioned the high oil price projection doesn’t mean the end of the state’s fiscal woes. “The state still maintains a structural financial problem that must be addressed,” he said. The state is projecting continued high prices through fiscal year 2005, with an average price of $28.30. At that price the $2 billion Constitutional Budget Reserve — tapped to cover deficits in 10 of the last 12 years — would last until 2008. That’s a year longer than previously predicted.

Today the revenue forecast for fiscal 2024 is for oil prices averaging $84.08 per barrel, higher than the $73 predicted before the year began last July 1, but far below peak prices exceeding $120 in 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The same concerns about the state’s fiscal situation are still being voiced by lawmakers, who say the reserve fund that now has about $2.7 billion could be depleted within a few years under budgets proposed by the governor that contain deficits of about $1 billion — although the Legislature appears highly unlikely to approve a spending plan with a large deficit.

Original Story: “State: Oil prices to hit record high,” by Masha Herbst. 4/16/2004.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at or (907) 957-2306.

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