Aug. 11, 2009 — A Fairbanks man who fell 25 feet while rescuing a cat stuck in a tree last month has died.

Joseph Fletcher’s family made the difficult devision to remove Fletcher’s breathing tube last weekend, daughter Rebecca Fletcher Babus said. he died on Monday, according to an official at Seattle’s Harbourview Medical Center.

“It was not an easy decision for us,” Fletcher Babus wrote in an e-mail update. “We all just want what is best for dad. We want to do what he would want us to do.”

Fletcher, 73 and co-owner of J and E Trees, was attempting to rescue Sam, a gray Russian Blue cat, from a tall tree at Jenny and Terry Ray’s Birchwood Homes yard. Jenny Ray previously told the News-Miner that Fletcher wouldn’t even accept payment for the service.

After letting Sam down with a rope and pet carrier, Fletcher fell.


Aug. 11, 1994 — Firefighters returned to the Aurora Fire Station after a seven-year absence Wednesday, but it was only 38 minutes before they headed out again, this time on their first emergency run from Station No. 3.

The city reopened the Aurora Drive station and staffed it with some of the six part-time firefighters it had just hired.

Station No. 3 will handle all fire and emergency calls in the Aurora and Lemeta subdivisions, and the area north of the railroad tracks to Fort Wainwright and including Shannon Park and the Bentley Mall side of College Road.


Aug. 11, 1969 — SAN CLEMENT, Calif. — President Nixon’s first workday at his California home today combined welfare policy plans and foreign policy talks.

He was dispatching to Congress the first of three messages spelling out his new $4 billion family assistance welfare program. With it was a statement outlining the reorganization of the Office of Economic Opportunity to make the antipoverty agency an innovator of ideas for solving the nations social ills.


Aug. 11, 1944 — Ceilings on the number of employees for all Alaskan business houses were established today by a new order from the Office of War Mobilization received in Fairbanks this morning by War Manpower Commissioner Peter Wood. The order means in effect that all labor in Alaska will be rationed to all types of industry.

All employers, Wood said, as a first step in setting up the program, must immediately submit reports on the number of employees working for them as of August 1 — effective date of the order. These reports should be mailed or delivered in person to 601 4th St.