Lawmakers work toward agreement on education
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — There might be a break in
the legislative logjam in Juneau.
The Senate's chief negotiator, Kevin Meyer, said late Wednesday
afternoon that the House had made a "respectful offer" that he hoped
to sell to his caucus. Meyer declined to provide details but said he
thought it was a "good compromise, from our position to their
The Senate and House have been at odds over education funding.
Much of the day was marked by delayed meetings and floor sessions,
while majority caucuses met and talks continued between the Senate
and House's chief negotiators, Meyer and Rep. Mike Hawker.
Failure to reach agreement on an education package by the scheduled
end of session Sunday sent lawmakers into overtime. Wednesday marked
Day 93 of what was scheduled to be a 90-day session.
Two car wreck, one totaled, one damaged at
Egan and Medenhall
A rear-ending accident left one vehicle totaled
and one damaged in the area of Egan Drive and Mendenhall Loop Road.
It happened Wednesday morning just before 8:00.
A 49 year old woman driving a Honda CRV rear-ended a Honda Pilot
driven by a 37 year old female. The 2010 Honda CRV was totaled and
the driver was cited for failing to maintain a safe distance. The
Honda Pilot suffered approximately $1,000.00 in damage and was able
to be driven away from the scene.
Underage and Intoxicated, woman drives with small child in vehicle
An underage intoxicated woman driving with small
child in vehicle was arrested in Wasilla Tuesday night.
Alaska State Troopers were called to a disturbance off of Ocean
Avenue. The caller reported the individuals causing the disturbance
left in a 1995 white Ford Escort northbound on (Kuh-nick) Knik Goose
Bay Rd. around 9:30 p.m.
The driver was identified as 20 year-old Arielle L. Hausmann of
Wasilla. She was under the legal drinking age of 21 and had been
driving under the influence of alcohol with the 5-year old child in
the vehicle, according to Troopers. .
Hausmann was arrested for DUI, Minor Operating After Consuming
Alcohol, Endangering the Welfare of a Child in the 1st Degree and
Minor Consuming Alcohol. She was remanded in Mat-Su Pretrial
Facility with bail set at $1,500.
Governor signs air ambulance services legislation
(Juneau, Alaska) – Governor Sean Parnell
Wednesday signed legislation allowing air ambulance service
providers to offer annual membership agreements and ensuring
Alaskans are able to subscribe to this service.
The Governor commended Senator Stedman and Representative Cathy
Munoz for their work on this legislation that he said will
undoubtedly result in significant reductions in out-of-pocket costs
Governor Parnell also also thanked the men and women behind Alaska’s
air ambulance companies as unsung heroes who provide life-saving
services every day.
Senate Bill 159, sponsored by Senator Bert Stedman, provides the
framework by which an air medevac company can continue offering its
AirCare program, which helps pay for flying seriously ill or injured
people to hospitals outside of Southeast Alaska at costs that can
run as high as $100,000 per flight.
Governor Parnell signed Senate Bill 159 at the Airlift Northwest
hanger with Representative Cathy Munoz, members of Airlift
Northwest’s flight crew, Executive Director Chris Martin and Alaska
Regional Manager Shelly Deering.
House, Senate winnow down calendars
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The House and Senate have
winnowed down their calendars, awaiting resolution on the education
bill and capital budget, the last major pieces in play in this
The Senate had five House bills on its calendar Wednesday. It also
noticed a proposed constitutional amendment to create a
transportation infrastructure fund. That measure remained in the
Senate Finance Committee.
The House had a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at helping
lower the cost of student loans. Also pending was a bill to finance
the Knik Arm crossing
project. If the House takes it up, it will have to decide whether to
agree to the Senate approach.
The House also had the capital budget calendared. But a vote on that
is pending resolution on an education package.
Meyer: Funding remains a stickler
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Senate's chief negotiator on an education
package said the two sides were making good progress on all points
of difference except on additional funding.
Sen. Kevin Meyer says he thinks the House and Senate can resolve
virtually all their other issues. But funding — and particularly,
whether money is inside or outside the per-student funding formula —
remained a stickler.
He says the Senate majority favors keeping any additional money
outside the formula, which some lawmakers think is broken and in
need of review.
The Senate majority proposed $100 million in additional aid over
three years, plus support for other programs and initiatives.
The House proposed an increase of about $300 over three years in the
formula and $30 million in one-time funds outside it.
Man saved from deflating raft
The Coast Guard, Air Force and the Alaska State
Troopers partnered to rescue a man in a deflating raft in Cook Inlet
between Fire Island and Kincaid Park Tuesday night.
An Air Force airplane and Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene
and used the helicopter’s rotor wash to push the man’s deflating
raft to shore where he was met by Alaska State Troopers at 8:19 p.m.
The Troopers flew the man to Providence Hospital for further
Smokey 6th floor at Baranoff Hotel, patrons
Capital City Fire Rescue responded to a fire
alarm at the Baranoff Hotel Tuesday morning around 7:00.
Captain Chad Cameron says crews found the 6th floor full of smoke
from food on the stove.
That floor had to be ventilated and hotel occupants had to wait
outside until the alarm was cleared.
Juneau drug arrest
While serving an arrest warrant, Juneau Police Officers observed
evidence of drug use and applied for and received a search warrant
for the residence.
Officers ultimately seized over 155 grams of heroin which is
equivalent to .35 pounds. The street value is an estimated $155,000
dollars. 8.7 grams of methamphetamine was also seized, with a street
value of $2600.
Four handguns, and two rifles were also seized in the search. One
handgun was fully automatic, which is illegal to possess without a
Additional charges are anticipated.
PD makes warrant arrest
The Juneau Police Department SWAT Team saw action Tuesday
JPD Lt. Kris Sell tells us that around 11:00 a.m., members of the
Juneau Police Department SWAT Team and other JPD officers served an
arrest warrant on 45 year old William Byron Benedict of Juneau.
Benedict was arrested without incident at a residence in the 1900
block of Lemon Creek Road.
The arrest warrant is a result of a federal grand jury who indicted
Benedict for attempted possession of methamphetamine and heroin with
intent to distribute.
According to Sell, firearms were located in the residence as well as
drug paraphernalia. Additional charges are expected.
Oscar-nominated director of sled dog film
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Oscar-nominated filmmaker who directed
and produced a documentary detailing a 1925 sled dog run in Alaska
to deliver life-saving serum has died.
Daniel Anker died Monday at age 50. His wife, Donna Santman, says
her husband died of pneumonia, a complication of his lymphoma.
Anker's film, "Icebound," details the five-day run to Nome following
a deadly diphtheria breakout. The film opened the Anchorage
International Film Festival in December.
Santman says her husband most recently was working on a documentary
about late director Sidney Lumet.
Anker was nominated for an Academy Award in 2001 for another
documentary, "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy."
The New York filmmaker is survived by his wife of 12 years and their
A funeral is scheduled for Thursday at the Plaza Jewish Community
Chapel in Manhattan.
Someone steals Easter collection plate from
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Someone helped themselves to the collection
plate at First United Methodist Church in downtown Anchorage.
And they had to go through a safe to get to it.
KTUU reports the Rev. Ronald Myers arrived to work Monday morning
and realized the safe had been broken into. Someone helped
themselves to the large collection of cash donated by those
attending Easter services the day before.
Jennifer Miller, the church's administrative assistant, says about
200 people attended the holiday service, and is convinced one of
them was there to scout the church for the later theft.
The collection plate is usually split between paying the church's
bills and giving to Anchorage charities.
The church intends to now strengthen its security. Police are
investigating the theft.
Sign-Ups for Denali Road lottery to open May
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sign-ups for the annual Denali Road lottery
are set to begin May 1.
Officials with Denali National Park and Preserve say people can
apply for the lottery until midnight May 31.
People can no longer sign up for the lottery by regular mail.
Entries can be made online or by phone.
Winners of the four-day lottery will be announced in mid-June.
Under the lottery, 400 vehicles will be allowed to travel the road
with day-long permits each day from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15, weather
Officials say the road will be open for the entire 92-mile length if
Fishing company pleads guilty in Alaska case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A fishing corporation has been fined after
pleading guilty to illegal fishing operations in Alaska state
Fishermen's Finest Inc. is based in Kirkland, Wash., and executives
there did not immediately respond to a request for comment
The Anchorage Daily News says the company pleaded guilty in a
Cordova court on Monday.
As part of a plea agreement, the company will pay a $12,500 fine, of
which $2,500 is suspended for a three-year probationary period.
Also, the company will pay a forfeiture of more than $10,000 for the
An investigation by Alaska State Wildlife Troopers found that the
company violated state law by catching and retaining 11,000 pounds
Sgt. Brent Johnson says the case was spurred by confusion over state
and federal regulations.
Fairbanks council rejects labor agreement
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks City Council has rejected a
labor contract for the second time in two weeks.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the council Monday night
rejected the labor contract covering 42 office workers and
It was the identical contract the council rejected two weeks ago,
but brought back for consideration by Mayor John Eberhart.
Eberhart wanted the council to take another look after the city
finance department overestimated how much of a deficit the contract
would cause in 2016 budget.
It would give workers a 2.5 percent increase in wages and benefits
in 2014 and 2 percent each of the next two years.
Council members took another look, but said they still have concerns
about the red ink projected for 2016 and sent it back to
Court shooting sheds light on 'Tongan Crips'
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — This week's fatal shooting of a gang member by
a U.S. marshal inside Salt Lake City's federal courthouse during the
man's trial has put the spotlight on his relatively unknown street
Authorities say the 25-year-old Siale Angilau was a member of the
city's "Tongan Crip Gang." Gang experts say it is comprised of young
men of Tongan, Samoan and other Pacific Island descent who have been
pulling off robberies and assaults since the late 1980s in the Salt
Lake City area following a model set by a gang established years
earlier in Inglewood, Calif.
The gang ascribes to the "Crip" culture, wearing blue and viewing
"Bloods" as rivals.
The FBI reports in its most recent gang assessment of 2011 that the
gang has a presence in Utah, California and Alaska.
Conference committee meets on education
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — House and Senate
negotiators are trying to find common ground on an education package
as lawmakers hope to wrap up the extended legislative session.
The six-member conference committee, comprised of three
representatives and three senators, met for the first time Tuesday,
and got a rundown of differences between the House and Senate
approaches to HB278.
Rep. Mike Hawker, who chairs the committee, said funding is probably
the biggest sticking point. The House and Senate took different
approaches to providing additional aid to schools.
There were some other issues, too, that were flagged for further
discussion, including bond debt reimbursement, impact of raising the
required local contribution level for schools and teacher tenure.
The session was scheduled to end Sunday but ran long after lawmakers
failed to reach agreement on education.
House begins debate on capital budget
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) One of the last big pieces to be resolved before
lawmakers wrap up their work is the capital budget.
The House began taking up amendments Monday, while waiting for the
Senate to send over an education bill.
The capital budget could be a vehicle for additional education
funding. A conference committee had been appointed to try to hammer
out a negotiated education package.
Capital spending in the budget, as it left the House Finance
Committee early Monday, was about $2.2 billion.
In floor amendments, a provision was stripped that would have
appropriated $10,000 to the governor's office for providing
information about the possible effects of ballot initiatives.
Parnell signs HB284
Alaska is joining an interstate agreement calling
for a balanced budget amendment to the U. S. Constitution.
Governor Parnell on Tuesday signed
HB-284, which not only calls for a convention to adopt the amendment
but prospectively ratifies the result.
The Bill, modeled on a compact
shared by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.Calls
for an amendment to prevent the Federal Government from spending
more than it takes in, unless the debt is approved by a majority of
state legislatures. HB-284 is separate from a "convention of states"
Resolution HJR 22, which calls for a Constitutional Convention not
just on the topic of federal standing but also term limits and
That measure passed the Senate
12-8 Saturday and is heading to the governor's desk.
Juneau hosts coaching seminar for coaches
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — About 50 coaches, representing nearly every
region of Alaska, converged on Juneau Tuesday to talk about domestic
The Juneau Empire reports the coaches were in the capital for an
all-day training conference titled, "Coaching Boys Into Men."
The intent of the national program is to get coaches to talk to
their teams about domestic violence and sexual assault.
The program teaches young men respect for women and healthy
It started in 2001 in California, and the program was first
implemented in Juneau four years ago by John Blasco, the Thunder
Mountain boys basketball coach. He says his players now are more
conscientious about words they use and how they act.
JPD: DUI and wreck Tuesday
Juneau Police arrested a man for DUI after a
A police bulletin shows that there was a single vehicle accident
near mile 32 of Glacier Highway Tuesday morning around 7:30.
20 year old Robert Brian was placed under arrest for driving under
JPD responds to report of drug activity, man arrested for
Juneau Police responded to a report of drug
activity in the 9000 block of Long Run Drive Monday night just
A police bulletin states that several people were contacted and the
investigation continues into alleged drug possession by a 21
30 year-old Brandon Stephens was cited for driving without a
license, and his vehicle was impounded.
JPD: One arrested for trespassing, one for trespassing and larceny
Joseph Yaletchko returned to a business in the
6500 block of Glacier Highway Tuesday morning around 11:00 after he
was issued a Criminal Trespass Letter. Yaletchko was arrested for
Criminal Trespass and transported to Lemon Creek Correctional
During the same incident, Chelsea Nusbaum returned to a business, at
the 6500 block of Glacier Hwy, after she was issued a
Criminal Trespass Letter. She had concealed merchandise while in the
business and left the store without paying. Nusbaum was arrested for
Larceny and Criminal Trespass and transported to the Lemon Creek
AK Delegation to FCC: Fulfill universal
service obligations for Alaska
WASHINGTON, DC – Alaska’s Congressional
delegation raised concerns this week with the Federal Communications
Commission about its lack of progress in fulfilling universal
service goals established by Congress that are crucial to expanding
Alaska’s telecommunications network.
Universal service is the "principle" that all Americans should have
access to communications services.
In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Lisa
Murkowski and Mark Begich, along with Congressman Don Young,
emphasized the need for the FCC to adopt policies and funding
formulas to ensure the FCC achieves the universal service goals in
the Telecommunications Act. In their letter, attached, the
In the letter, the delegation expressed concern on a number of
aspects in which the Commission’s policies appear to digress from
the universal service goals established by Congress in the
Communications Act. The delegation wants the FCC to maintain and
expand the incomplete telecommunications network in Alaska. The
letter reminds the FCC of the lack of roads, extreme distances,
topographical and climatic challenges in rural Alaska result in
extraordinarily high construction and operational costs.
Senator Lisa Murkowski says, the FCC must ensure that its changes to
universal service truly incentivize Alaskan carriers to develop
broadband infrastructure in the state.
Senator Mark Begich said strong telecommunications services open the
door for learning and commerce that can lead to successful,
self-reliant people and economies.
Congressman Don Young said he met with FCC Chairman Wheeler last
month and discussed his many concerns for infrastructure needs
across the state. Young added that Wheeler and his staff made a
serious commitment not to ignore the unique challenges facing
Alaska, including the high cost of new construction, restrictions to
our short building season, and the construction of much needed
infrastructure in remote communities.
BP sells interest in 4 Alaska fields
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — BP announced Tuesday it
is selling its interests in four North Slope fields to Hilcorp.
BP is selling all its interests in the Endicott and Northstar fields
and half its interests in the Liberty and Milne Point fields.
These fields produce about 20,000 barrels of oil a day, less than 15
percent of BP's net North Slope production. The Alyeska Pipeline
Service Co. says there has been an average of nearly 580,000 barrels
a day flowing through the trans-Alaska pipeline from the North Slope
The company says about 250 employees working these fields should
learn more about the status of their jobs soon.
BP says in a release the sale will allow it to concentrate on
Prudhoe Bay field and help advance an Alaska liquefied natural gas
Crime bill moves to governor
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has passed a sweeping
Lawmakers gave final approval early on Monday morning as they
attempted to finish the session within 90 days, but lawmakers
weren't able to find common ground on the education bill and capital
budget. They remained in session on Tuesday.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the crime bill attempts to
address Alaska's growing prison population by keeping low-level
offenders out of prison and working on reducing Alaska's recidivism
The bill now heads to Gov. Sean Parnell for his signature.
Tardy lawmakers push Alaska legal pot vote
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A ballot measure that could make Alaska the
third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana is getting
pushed back to the November ballot because lawmakers couldn't end
their session on time.
State election officials confirmed Monday that the marijuana
initiative and two others can't be on the Aug. 19 primary ballot.
State law requires at least 120 days between the legislative session
and the election for initiatives.
The Alaska Legislature was supposed to end the 90 day session
Sunday, but lawmakers couldn't agree on an education bill and the
funding for it. When lawmakers reconvened Monday, that pushed the
three initiatives to November.
A public referendum on Alaska's oil tax structure will still go
ahead in August.
Election officials confirm initiatives
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — It's official: the three
initiatives that had been slated to appear on this year's primary
ballot have been bumped to November after lawmakers went into
extended session Monday.
State election officials confirmed the change affecting initiatives
on legalization of recreational marijuana, a minimum wage increase
and requiring legislative approval for a large-scale metallic
sulfide mining operation in the Bristol Bay region.
A legislative attorney has said statutory and constitutional
provisions require that at least 120 days pass after the regular
session adjourns before the day of the election for purposes of
initiative placement. A law passed last year moved up the primary
date in even-numbered years by one week, putting it at Aug. 19 this
The referendum on Alaska's oil tax structure will still appear on
the primary ballot.
Anchorage airport police lose track of
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police at the Anchorage airport lost track
of a small quantity of explosives used for training bomb-sniffing
The explosive was attached to a rental car that a customer drove
away Monday at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Airport Police and Fire Chief Jesse Davis tells KTUU the explosive
was recovered Monday afternoon in the Anchorage area.
He says the amount of explosives in the vehicle was small and didn't
pose a threat to the driver or the public.
The department is reviewing policies to make sure officers don't
lose track of explosives again.
Donors to bond groups faces election fines
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Some donors to school bond campaigns are
facing hefty fines from state election regulators.
The Anchorage Daily News reports some could be fined as much as
State law requires both groups formed to back bond proposals, like
School Bonds Yes!, and individual donors of $500 or more to file
reports with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.
Many contributors to bond groups are engineering firms, like the one
owned by Bob Bell. He was also co-chair of Anchorage Bonds Yes!.
His firm received notice that it faces a fine of $50 for every day
it hadn't reported its donation. The letter noted that was due 381
APOC Executive Director Paul Dauphinais says it's not a new law and
others have correctly and timely filed their paperwork.
Nenana Ice Classic clock ticking down to
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Organizers of the Nenana Ice Classic hooked
up the clock Monday that will determine this year's winner in
Alaska's largest guessing game.
Thousands of Alaskans have bought tickets, guessing the exact date
and time the Tanana River ice will break up in Nenana. The winner
will claim a jackpot of about $300,000.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the clock is connected by
cable to a wooden tripod anchored in the Tanana River ice about 300
feet from shore. When the ice breaks up and the tripod moves or
falls, the cable tightens and stops the clock.
Last year, the ice went out at 2:41 p.m. on May 20, the latest
breakup in the history of the 98-year-old event. A couple from Kenai
won more than $318,000.
Former Alaska soldier due in military court
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. (AP)
U.S. soldier accused of deliberately killing two unarmed teenage
boys as they herded cattle in Iraq seven years ago is due in
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera is set
for a preliminary hearing today at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in
Washington state. Barbera was most recently stationed at Joint Base
Fairbanks hatchery opens to the public
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The public will have the
first opportunity this weekend to tour a $50 million fish hatchery
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Alaska Department of Fish
and Game will open the Ruth Burnett Sport Fish Hatchery to the
public on Friday.
The opening is in conjunction with the opening of the annual
Fairbanks Outdoor Show, which also starts Friday at the nearby
The hatchery will offer visitors the opportunity to see where tens
of thousands of fish are grown yearly for sport anglers.
A 5,000-gallon aquarium with hatchery-raised fish inside will greet
visitors entering the building.
The hatchery has been open 18 months, but did have funding to staff
the visitors center, which is known as the Tanana Valley Fisheries
Wounded Bear being sought in Kodiak
Alaska State Troopers received a report Monday of
a Kodiak bear killing domesticated fowl in the Woodland Acres
Alaska Wildlife Troopers and an Alaska Department of Fish & Game
bear biologist responded to the area and while on scene, the bear
was possibly shot by a resident of Kodiak.
Officials are currently attempting to locate the bear, which is
believed to be wounded. The bear may be located in the Woodland
Acres subdivision between Puffin Drive, Sharatin Road and the Spruce
AST reminds residents of Kodiak the location of the bear is not
absolute and the bear may be located in another area.
AST requests local residents to be vigilant of their surroundings
and to immediately report any bear activity or sightings.
Illegal moose kill, antler transport brings
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 67-year-old Fairbanks man has been fined
$10,000 for helping to shoot an under-size moose and for shipping
the antlers out of Alaska.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Leslie Zerbe (ZUR'-bee) also was
barred in federal magistrate court from hunting for two years.
Prosecutors say Zerbe in 2009 helped a friend from Michigan shoot a
bull moose with antlers just more than 42 inches wide in the Ferry
Trail Management Area.
Prosecutors say Zerbe had a cabin in the area and knew that moose
had to have antlers at least 50 inches wide to be harvested.
Also, the moose had only three brow tines on each side and needed to
Vehicle hits curb, stains sidewalk
A vehicle was leaking oil and staining the
sidewalk after colliding with a street curb on Coleman Street Sunday
just after noon.
A Capital City Fire Rescue bulletin says absorbent pads were used to
absorb the spill.
There were no injuries from the one vehicle accident.
No windshield leads to arrest for no license
If he'd only had a windshield, police may never have known he had no
Juneau Police stopped a a Ford Bronco on Haloff Way after it was
observed being driven without a windshield Sunday night just after
The driver, 43 year-old Calvin Weimer, was cited for driving without
a license and the vehicle was impounded.
Juneau man changes plea to no contest, fined $500
During a non-jury trial on Monday, Zachary M. Worrell, age 30 of
Juneau, entered a change of plea to No Contest in regards to one
count of operating a commercial gillnet within 500 yards of a salmon
The case was the result of a charge against Worrell after he was
observed by state aircraft deploying his commercial gillnet from the
Fishing Vessel Minter Bay near the mouth of Bessie Creek in
commercial fishing district 15 north of Juneau.
State law forbids operating commercial fishing gear within 500 yards
of any salmon stream.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game's anadromous stream catalog
lists Bessie Creek as supporting chum salmon presence, pink salmon
spawning and coho salmon rearing. Worrell was fined $500.
Two reports of domestic violence arrests Sunday in Juneau
Two men were arrested on two separate domestic violence reports
Sunday in Juneau.
43 year old Alonzo Rumfelt was arrested for Assault Domestic
Violence in the 3300
block of Park Place for placing another person in fear of imminent
physical injury. Rumfelt was transported to and lodged at the Lemon
Creek Correctional Center Sunday afternoon around 2:30. He was held
without bail per the bail schedule.
52 year old Martin Aguirre was arrested for Assault Domestic
Violence in the 1000 Block of Coogan Drive for placing his
girlfriend of about 4 years in fear of being injured after he was
yelling and grabbed her glasses off her face. Aguirre was
transported to and lodged at Lemon Creek Correctional Center without
bail Sunday night a little after 7:00.
Haines man arrested after disconnecting phone as wife
Alaska State Troopers and Haines Borough Police responded to a
report of a domestic disturbance at a residence near 18 mile of the
Haines Highway Sunday night.
Investigation showed that John Donald, age 53, of Haines had
assaulted his wife in their residence around 11:00 p.m.. and then
disconnected the phone when she attempted to call 911.
Donald was arrested without incident and remanded to the Haines jail
Hypodermic needles seen, wanted man arrested on the
Alaska State Troopers responded to the Alaska Marine Highway ferry
terminal in Ketchikan after receiving a report that two male
passengers onboard the "Kennecott" were observed with hypodermic
Troopers contacted 49 year old Kenneth R. Bradley of Washington and
his adult male companion. Investigation revealed Bradley was wanted
in Alaska for unrelated charges of Reckless Endangerment. Bradley
was taken into custody without incident and transported to Ketchikan
Correctional Center where he was remanded on the warrant.
Bail was set at $2,500.00. Several backpacks were seized for
Food Recalls in Alaska
Two food products have been recalled in Alaska.
Kraft Foods Group, Inc. has issued a recall for packages of Oscar
Mayer Classic Wieners that may instead contain Classic Cheese Dogs,
a product that contains milk, a known allergen. The recalled
product, packaged in individual consumer-sized packages and cases to
retailers, may be identified by the establishment number “Est.537H,”
located inside the mark of inspection. Consumers with questions
about the recall should contact Kraft Consumer Relations at
Hickory Farms, Inc. has issued a recall for Farmstand Recipe
Chipotle Ranch Sauce because the label does not state that the
product contains buttermilk powder, a known allergen. The recalled
product may be identified by the “Best If Used By” date located
above the back label. Consumers with questions about the recall
should contact the company at 800-762-5558.
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the
risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they
consume these products.
Alaska DEC has confirmed these products were available in Alaska. To
date, no illnesses or reactions have been reported in Alaska or
3 adults and 1 child rescued from vessel near Whittier
The Coast Guard rescued three adults and one
child aboard a disabled vessel approximately 13 miles northeast of
A Coast Guard 45-foot response boat from Station Valdez safely
transported the boaters and their 15-foot vessel to Whittier.
Coast Guard Sector Anchorage received a call from a man reporting a
friend had texted him a distress message late Friday night saying
his vessel was out of gas. Sector Anchorage personnel issued an
urgent marine information broadcast and made contact with the people
aboard the disabled boat by cell phone to learn their location. The
Station Valdez crew was directed to launch after it was determined
no good Samaritans were able to respond.
"The passengers aboard this vessel wisely informed their family and
friends of where they were headed and how long they would be gone
and reached out for assistance before the situation deteriorated,”
said Lt. Matthew Mitchell, command center chief, Coast Guard Sector
Anchorage. "The Coast Guard recommends boaters also file a float
plan with their local harbormaster and carry additional means of
communication and flares aboard their vessels for when cell phone
reception is unreliable."
There were no reported injuries.
Update: Coast Guard investigates grounding
of fishing boat
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Two crewmembers from a fishing vessel were able
to walk from their grounded vessel to a waiting Coast Guard
helicopter for rescue.
The Coast Guard says in a release that there were no injuries in the
Monday morning incident in Sitka Sound.
Authorities say the 50-foot fishing vessel Mirage was grounded in
low tide near Low Island, about 10 miles west of Sitka.
The Mirage, which doesn't appear to have any damage, has about 1,000
gallons of diesel aboard.
The crew will attempt to refloat the Mirage during high tide
Tuesday. The Coast Guard will investigate the grounding.
Begich Comments on NOAA Arctic Action Plan
U.S. Senator Mark Begich was both pleased and concerned following
the release Monday of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration’s Arctic Action Plan:
Begich said he is glad the administration continues to plan for
changes in the Arctic, But he stated that we need more than just
plans sitting on a shelf saying that without a serious commitment of
resources, the U.S. will find itself unprepared for growing activity
in the Arctic.
According to Begich, NOAA has taken some concrete action, including
developing an Arctic version of its oil spill response management
software, and is starting to improve Arctic weather and sea-ice
forecasts, but there is still too much to do.
The Senator pointed out that the U.S. Government Accountability
Office, in a report issued last week, noted that only 1% of the
nation’s waters in the Arctic have been charted with modern methods.
In other areas we are relying on leadline surveys made during the
age of sail.
Begich believes that unless the administration commits serious
resources to Arctic science, we will be decades behind other nations
when it comes to Arctic development.
Feds charge 3 in counterfeiting cases
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three Alaskans have been charged in two
separate counterfeiting cases.
The U.S. attorney's office says 42-year-old Eugene David Downey Jr.
of Anchorage faces four counts of passing counterfeit $50 bills at
In a separate case involving two Chugiak residents, 28-year-old
Matthew Lee Daley faces seven counts and 30-year-old Christa Louise
Speiser is charged with four counts of passing and making
counterfeit money. They are accused of bleaching $1 and $5 bills and
using computers to make the notes into $50 and $100 bills.
Authorities allege they passed the bills at stores in Eagle River
Prosecutors say Downey and Daley are under arrest, and an arrest
warrant has been issued for Speiser. There was no indication from
online court records that any have lawyers.
Kodiak police say drug bust was biggest ever
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — Kodiak police say a weekend drug bust — with a
street value of nearly $2.2 million — was the biggest ever in
Kodiak radio station KMXT reports police seized more than a
pound-and-a-half of methamphetamine and nearly 2 ounces of heroin.
The Anchorage Daily News reports Eric McDaniel, a 44-year-old
resident of Washington state, was arrested. Police chief Ronda
Wallace says in a statement that they have been investigating him
Police say they lured him from his hotel room Saturday morning and
arrested him. Police say they found the drugs in a subsequent search
of the hotel room. McDaniel's girlfriend fled when she saw police.
approves operating budget
The State House Sunday afternoon unanimously approved an operating
budget for next fiscal year.
House Finance Co-Chair Alan Austerman told the House that the
spending plan amounts to $9.1 Billion.
The Senate voted 14 to 4 later in the day to adopt the conference
Senate Finance advances education bill
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee has advanced a
broad-ranging education bill that adds more money to public
education and raises the required local contribution for schools.
The committee has proposed $100 million in extra funding for
districts over the next three years, in addition to support for
charter schools, residential schools, correspondence programs and
other initiatives. The $100 million would be distributed to
districts outside the per-student funding formula known as the base
Some lawmakers say the formula needs to be examined. The committee,
in its rewrite of HB278, proposes a study of how the state funds
But critics say having the extra funding in the formula ensures it's
there and helps districts plan.
The bill raises the local mill levy and allows for greater voluntary
contributions by municipalities.
Pension debt bill clears Legislature.
The State House has gone along with the Senate's approach for addressing Alaska's pension obligation.
The Senate's Finance Committee suggested putting $2 billion
from savings into the teachers' retirement system and $1 billion
into the public employees' system. The plan calls for lower annual
payments than Governor Sean Parnell proposed but payments would
extend out from 5 to 9 years.
Parnell proposed a $3-billion infusion, too, but broken out between
the two systems differently.
Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell said the plan works well, and the
administration did not have any problems with it.
The idea behind the committee plan is to improve the health of the
pension systems while reducing the pressure on the state budget over
the next decade, an effort, as co-chair Pete Kelly said, to preserve
The Senate changes to House Bill 385 were okayed by the House Sunday
afternoon on a unanimous vote.
Natural gas line bill approved by
The State House approved a Senate bill on the last day of the
regular session that sets the state's participation in a major
liquefied natural gas project.
The vote was 36 to 4. Juneau Representative Sam Kito III was among
the no votes.
The Senate later concurred with House
changes on a 16 to 4 vote.
SB 138 now backs to the Senate for concurrence in House changes.
The bill from Gov. Sean Parnell would
set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being
pursued by TransCanada, the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., and
the North Slope's major players. It would allow the project to move
to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost
It also would allow the state to negotiate project-enabling
contracts that would be brought back to lawmakers for consideration.
Some supporters expressed cautious optimism that this would lead to
a long hoped-for project. Critics questioned if this was the best
deal for the state.
Legislature passes bill honoring Native
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature has
passed a bill symbolically recognizing 20 Alaska Native languages as
official languages of the state.
Supporters of HB216 staged a sit-in at the Capitol Sunday, which was
the last scheduled day of the 90-day session, to urge lawmakers to
take up the bill. Because this is the second year of this
Legislature, any bills not passed by adjournment will die.
Supporters filled the Senate galleries, waiting for the bill to be
taken up. They stood during the debate and applauded following the
vote, which came after 3 a.m. Monday. At least one woman wiped away
The bill prompted emotional testimony in committee hearings. Sen.
Fred Dyson, who carried the bill on the floor, said this was a way
to show respect for Alaska's indigenous people.
Bill designates Juneau house for Lieutenant
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Senate has passed a bill that would
designate an historic house in downtown Juneau as the official
residence of the state's lieutenant governor.
The amendment, from Juneau Democratic Sen. Dennis Egan, was accepted
to HB246, a bill that would add land to Creamer's Field Migratory
Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks.
Egan last year proposed budget language calling on the Department of
Natural Resources to negotiate with the governor's office to
establish the House of Wickersham State Historic Site as lodging for
the lieutenant governor when he or she is in the capital city. The
department manages the site. The house would remain open to
public tours and events.
But the Legislature did not provide funding requested by the
governor for renovations aimed at making the upper floors more
The House on Sunday afternoon concurred with the Senate change on a
Dog ticks a growing concern in Alaska
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Many people think ticks can't live in
Alaska but a state veterinarian says that's not the case.
Some ticks, such as hare ticks, have always survived in the state,
but non-native dog ticks have also been found in Alaska, raising
concerns for dogs, wildlife and the risk of spreading diseases to
Kimberlee Beckmen of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in
Fairbanks told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner ticks on small mammals
like snowshoe hares, squirrels and birds are endemic to the state.
In the past three years, Beckmen also has found at least two types
of non-native dog ticks surviving in Alaska.
Ticks carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, that can be transmitted
to people. Dog ticks also pose a risk to moose and other wildlife.
Police ID Ontario bank robbery suspect
ONTARIO, Ore. (AP) — Oregon authorities say they have a name and
sketchy background information about a man who fatally shot himself
after a bank robbery, and they're appealing for help to find his
Oregon State Police said Monday the man was 71-year-old as Joseph
Thomas Johnston, reported living most recently in a Mohave Valley,
Ariz., mobile home park.
The police said he drove to the Pacific Northwest in March to see a
friend named "Paul" who was reported ill.
Police said Johnston shot himself after he was pulled over by an
officer investigating a robbery April 10 at Bank of the West in
Johnston is described as diabetic and having unspecified ties in
several states including Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California,
Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, Maryland,
Sons testify in Kodiak Coast Guard murder
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The sons of the man charged with murder in
the deaths of two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard communications
station say they never saw their father with a silver handgun, a
weapon authorities say likely was used in the crime.
Cable and Matthew Wells testified Monday in the trial of 62-year-old
He's charged in the deaths of Petty Officer First Class James
Hopkins and civilian Richard Belisle (BEL'-eye-ul).
Matthew Wells is a Portland, Ore., police officer. He says his
father's preferred sidearm in bear country was a .44-caliber Ruger
He says his father didn't own a silver Smith & Wesson .44-caliber
revolver that could have been involved.
Defense attorneys continue to call character witnesses who are
testifying that Wells was not a violent person.
UPDATE: Fugitive caught by Juneau
A fugitive from justice has been apprehended by Juneau Police.
The police department says Nicholas
Alexander Detemple was picked up Saturday night.
Detemple was the focus of the most
recent Juneau Crime Line. There was a warrant for the arrest
of 26 year old Detemple for violating his parole on an original
charge of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third
Police say Detemple has a history of
having weapons in addition to being associated with drugs.
An off duty police officer saw
Detemple on April 6 near the airport driving a 1999, green
Volkswagon Passat. Police say the suspect recognized the officer and
nearly struck him with his car while fleeing. It's estimated
Detemple was traveling at 80 miles per hour on Glacier Highway near
Jordan Avenue when he fled the area.
Suspected drunk driver jailed after accident
on Montana Creek Road
Juneau Police says a man who caused a a traffic accident on Montana
Creek Road was intoxicated.
In addition to drunk driving, a police bulletin says 22 year old
Eric Moy was cited for driving without a valid license and no
Moy was jailed at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center and his
vehicle was impounded.
Police say his breath alcohol content was point 216 percent. The
legal limit is point 80.
Details on the accident police say Moy caused were not detailed in
the bulletin issued Sunday afternoon.
Police bulletin reports two DV arrests
The bulletin issued by Juneau Police Saturday afternoon details two
domestic violence arrests.
In one case Friday night, a man took swings at officers.
The bulletin says 51 year old Jeffrey Justice fought with police
while being served with a a domestic violence protective order in
the 2800 block of Mendenhall Loop Road.
Justice was jailed at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on charges
of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The other came just before one Saturday morning in the 300 block of
The bulletin says 25 year old Nathan Davis interfered with the
report of a domestic violence crime by forcibly taking a telephone
that was being used to call 911.
Davis was jailed at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on no bail.
Garage fire doused in the Valley
Capital City Fire Rescue responded to a report of a garage fire in
the Mendenhall Valley Sunday afternoon.
Fire Marshal Dan Jager says the call from 9446 Carroll Place came in
The home owner thought the fire was in the garage so Jager says they
cut a hole in the roof above the garage and found where the fire was
Jager says the cause of the fire was discarded smoking materials
that were placed in a plastic coffee can that had cat litter in it.
The fire marshal said the plastic melted and ignited and burned up
the exterior wall of the house to the roof eave and into attic
No injuries were reported. Jager says all occupants were able to
escape from the house.
While one of the homeowners called 911, the other got a garden house
and knocked down the fire.
Damage caused an estimated $3,000 damage. Jager says the home was
Special Assembly meeting for
The Assembly conducted a special meeting Monday evening to take up
City Manager Kim Kiefer's evaluation.
Kiefer was asked on Action Friday to offer a self evaluation.
She said that the Assembly should look at what it brought up
last year and how she has responded to points brought up then.
Kiefer added that members should look at whether she's moving
forward as they directed on their goals.
Murkowski seeks to empower medical
volunteers during disasters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski Monday introduced the Good
Samaritan Health Professionals Act four days after the 50th
anniversary of Alaska’s Good Friday earthquake – to protect
volunteer health care providers assisting in disaster areas from
civil liability when providing care outside their home community to
victims. The bill would allow health professionals to use their
medical liability insurance across state lines when volunteering
after a serious disaster.
Murkowski said, there is a longstanding physician shortage which
already makes it difficult for Alaskans to access medical care. If a
serious natural disaster were to shake Alaska, there would not be
enough volunteers to assist those who really need it. This bill
would allow health care professionals to cross state lines and use
their hard earned skills to help out.
The Alaska State Medical Association also supports this legislation
adding that, “given Alaska’s geographic size and transportation
challenges, it is vital to minimize the number of hurdles in getting
qualified healthcare providers to a disaster scene as soon as
This bill would allow for a health care provider’s professional
liability insurance to carry across state lines during a declared
disaster or emergency.
There is a bipartisan companion bill in the House called The Good
Samaritan Health Professional Act,HR 1733, which was introduced in
the 113th Congress by Representative Republican Marsha Blackburn of
Tennessee and Democrat Jim Matheson from Utah.
Attempt to stop Anchorage indoor tennis
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage Assemblyman Bill Starr is trying
to stop Mayor Dan Sullivan's administration from spending on a new
indoor tennis facility.
Starr says when the administration proposed replacing outdoor
courts, it didn't make clear it intended an entirely new tennis
center in the Turnagain neighborhood.
Mayor Sullivan says it only makes sense to replace the outdoor
courts with ones that can be used 12 months a year.
Anchorage Daily News reports the money comes from the $2.5 million
parks bond approved in April 2013.
On Tuesday the Assembly will consider Starr's proposal to stop
spending money on an indoor tennis facility.
cancels 15 port calls in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Ketchikan will have about 30,000 fewer
cruise ship passengers this summer after technical issues prompted
one line to cancel 15 port calls.
The Ketchikan Daily News reports Carnival Cruise Lines had 20 port
calls scheduled this summer.
But the liner Miracle has a technical issue that will lower its top
speed from 21 knots to anywhere between 18 to 20 knots.
By bypassing Ketchikan, the Miracle will spend more time in Juneau
After the ship completes its Alaska and Hawaii schedules this year,
it will report to drydock in early 2015 for repairs.
(Ketchikan Daily News)