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[Tuesday September 30th, 2014  10th  EDITION 11:22 A. M.]

Bella Hammond endorses Begich in new ad
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Former Alaska first lady Bella Hammond likens Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich to her husband in a new campaign ad.

Hammond says her husband, the late Republican Gov. Jay Hammond, was not party-oriented. She says she was impressed by Begich wanting to work across party lines. She says it reminded her of Jay Hammond's attitude, and endorsed Begich.

Jay Hammond was a driving force behind creation of the Alaska Permanent Fund, the nest egg the state built from its oil wealth. He is often remembered as a strong leader and statesman by politicians from both parties.

Begich, who is facing GOP rival Dan Sullivan, has sought to cast himself as an independent voice for Alaska. His critics have tied him to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.

Parnell's office denies National Guard records
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell's office has denied a media request to obtain records showing how the office handled complaints of sexual abuse in the Alaska National Guard.

The Alaska Public Radio Network reports it took 86 working days to deny its request for the records.

Under Alaska regulations, government entities have 10 working days to fulfill a records request. They have another 10 if they need an extension.

APRN says it received a three-page response letter on Friday that was sent by policy director Randy Ruaro, who cites among other reasons the legal rights of privacy for victims.

Ruaro says his office has not had the staff necessary to quickly deal with a rash of requests.

The letter notes a significant amount of information has already been made public.

Petersburg to host large Alaska Native gathering
PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) — Petersburg will be hosting one of the largest gatherings of Alaska Natives in southeast Alaska.

The 102nd annual of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Alaska Native Sisterhood Grand Camp is scheduled for Oct. 8 through 11.

ANB-ANS has grown into a nonprofit that includes 29 volunteer camps in Alaska, Washington and Oregon.

Brenda Louise of Petersburg is ANS 2nd Grand Vice President. She tells KFSK the Grand Camp looks at issues or concerns from different communities. She says individual camps submit resolutions for review that address their concerns.

The Petersburg camp plans to bring resolutions calling for cultural education within the community and a more transparent permitting process for cultural hunts.

Man shot in Anchorage restaurant parking lot
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police are investigating a shooting outside a fast food restaurant that left a man seriously injured.

KTUU-TV reports a man was shot in the neck Monday night in the parking lot of a Taco Bell on east Fifth Avenue.

Police took a call on the shooting just before 9:30 p.m.

Medics rushed the man to a hospital in critical condition.

The man's name has not been released.

State may require more math for diplomas
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The state Board of Education is considering a new requirement for high school graduation that's already in place in most school districts.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a proposed regulation would require students to complete three credits of math.

The requirement now is two credits out of the 21 needed to graduate. Half a credit typically is earned in a class each semester.

The state has 54 school districts and 45 already require students to take at least three credits of math.

Susan McCauley of the state Department of Education says the state board in June learned that 42 states require more math credits than Alaska.

The board asked the department for a proposal making Alaska requirements comparable.

Sen. Murkowski applauds first Alaska crude oil exports in 10 Years
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today welcomed the news that ConocoPhillips has loaded a U.S.-flagged tanker with Alaska crude oil for export to markets in Asia.

“Alaska has long played a vital role in the American energy trade,” Murkowski said. “This is the first North Slope cargo to leave Alaska for overseas markets in a decade. I am encouraged to see Alaska increasing its participation in global oil markets. It’s my hope that Lower 48 oil will soon follow suit.”

Foul play not suspected in Fairbanks man's death
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Officials don't suspect foul play in the death of a man whose body was found in downtown Fairbanks.

Police on Monday identified the man as 46-year-old Clay Wimberly.

Wimberly once listed Fort Smith, Arkansas, as his address but police say he lived in Fairbanks. His family has been notified.

Detective Peyton Meredith tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner that Wimberly's body was found Friday by a bench in Golden Heart Plaza, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meredith says an examination of the body didn't reveal anything that would suggest a homicide, and nothing was found near the body.

The body will be sent to Anchorage for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

University of Alaska Fairbanks to host forest fair
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Fairbanks is hosting the 17th annual Farthest North Forest Sports Festival this coming weekend.

The free event set for Saturday will feature teams and individuals participating in various competitions.

UAF officials say there will be contests in such skills as log rolling, campfire building and ax throwing.

The competition is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Fairbanks Experiment Farm. At about 1 p.m., the event moves over to Ballaine Lake.

Department warns against speeding in new spots
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Department of Public Safety plans to run public service announcements on TV and radio warning against speeding on the roads.

The department says the PSAs will run during the first few weeks of October.

Aircraft documents stranded whales, recovery
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Army unmanned aerial aircraft captured something pretty tragic in the waters of Cook Inlet. Then it captured something joyful.

KTVA reports the aircraft was taking part late last month in an exercise in Knik Arm. The aircraft's operator from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was giving helicopter crews an observational view of their training exercise.

Then the camera captured a large pod of beluga whales stuck in mud near Eagle Bay after the tide went out.

Soldiers believed five of the whales were dead, and federal biologists were called.

Authorities were preparing for a large-scale operation to conduct five necropsies when the aircraft's cameras caught something else.

Aircraft operator Pfc. Raymond Lounsbury says they watched as the tide came back in, and the whales were able to swim off unharmed.

[Monday September 29th, 2014  11th  EDITION 4:55 P. M.]

Parnell, Walker back minimum wage hike
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell says he supports a ballot measure that would raise Alaska's minimum wage by $2 an hour over two years.

The minimum wage is currently $7.75 an hour.

The question was raised during a gubernatorial debate in Juneau on Monday. Parnell's main rival, independent candidate Bill Walker, said he also supports the initiative.

Both Parnell and Walker said they would vote no on a measure that would legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Parnell said people who smoke could be testing themselves out of jobs in workplaces that do drug tests. He also said marijuana takes people's initiative "way down" and can be a gateway to other drugs.

Walker said he shared similar concerns. He also said the only thing he smokes is salmon.

Walker declines to announce Senate support
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker has declined to say who he'll vote for in Alaska's U.S. Senate race.

The question arose during a gubernatorial debate on Monday. The Senate race features Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan.

Republican Gov. Sean Parnell said he would vote for Sullivan. Walker answered the question by saying there would be a Walker-Mallott campaign sign in his yard.

Walker changed his party affiliation from Republican to undeclared to run with Democrat Byron Mallott as part of a so-called unity ticket.

Walker later said he was staying in his own lane.

Mallott was a prominent supporter of Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in campaign in 2010. Murkowski said she didn't know if she would endorse in the governor's race.

Department of Public Safety says, "Keep Racing off the Roads"
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Department of Public Safety will be airing an anti-speeding Public Service Announcement during the first couple weeks of October, on some television and radio stations and on cable TV.

The message is:  "Competitive rivalries, like racing, can start at a very young age. The stakes can get really high as kids move into adulthood and their modes of transportation go from bikes to cars. Keep the racing off the roads. "

UA regents approve Certificate in Medical Assisting for Southeast Alaska
The University of Alaska Board of Regents approved a new Medical Assistant Certificate program for the University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) during its September meeting in Juneau. Health employers in the region—including PeaceHealth (Ketchikan), SEARHC, and Valley Medical Clinic in Juneau—testified in support of the proposal.

UAS expects the program to begin in Fall 2015. Lori Hart, health faculty member at the UAS Sitka Campus, says students should be able to complete the courses in four semesters. The program will be housed administratively at the UAS Sitka Campus but most of the required courses will be available online.

Medical Assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks to support the work of physicians and other health professionals. Current earning power can be upwards of $30 - $46K, based on experience and demand.

Parnell, Walker clash on spending, gas line
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican Gov. Sean Parnell clashed with his major rival, independent Bill Walker, on state spending and a gas line project during a debate in Juneau on Monday.

Walker said the state is in a fiscal crisis but Parnell said Walker has offered no solid plans for addressing the budget deficit.

Parnell also sniped at Walker teaming up with Byron Mallott, who abandoned his Democratic bid for governor to be Walker's running mate.

Parnell said voters were disenfranchised by the partnership, which followed the August primary. A judge has upheld the pairing.

Walker, who lost the GOP primary to Parnell in 2010, said he wants a nonpartisan administration. He said Mallott would be a senior adviser. Parnell, whose running mate is Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, said there can't be co-governors.

Plaintiff says won't appeal ballot lawsuit ruling
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the merged campaigns of two Alaska gubernatorial candidates says he won't appeal a judge's ruling that an emergency order allowing the ticket was valid.

Plaintiff Steve Strait says state lawmakers should enact a permanent regulation to address a legal "train wreck."

The Sept. 2 order was issued by Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, who was named in the lawsuit.

The order paved the way for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join campaigns with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and run as Walker's lieutenant governor after their lieutenant governor candidates withdrew from their races.

The state maintained Alaska statutes are silent on how to fill vacancies left by the withdrawal of a no-party candidate.

Superior Court Judge John Suddock sided with the state Friday.

Murkowski firmly support Sullivan in Senate race
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's senior senator is making no bones about who she is backing in this year's Senate race.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said during a news conference in Anchorage on Monday that Dan Sullivan is the man she wants to see as her partner in the U.S. Senate.

Murkowski is backing her fellow Republican in his race against Democrat Mark Begich, who is seeking re-election.

She cut an ad last week endorsing Sullivan. Shortly after that began running, Begich began running another ad touting his bipartisan cooperation with Murkowski in the Senate.

She's asked Begich to stop running such ads and not to use her imagery in his advertisements.

Murkowski declined to say for whom she's voting for in the governor's race.

Anchorage police seek stabbing suspect
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected in a weekend Anchorage stabbing.

Police on Monday announced they are asking for the public's help in finding 51-year-old Monte Ferguson Sr.

Police say Ferguson and another man just after 11 p.m. Saturday got into an argument at a home on Jefferson Street in the Spenard neighborhood. The men went outside and started fighting.

Police say Ferguson stabbed the other man and left in a vehicle.

The injured man was driven to a hospital and treated for a knife wound that police say is not life-threatening.

Ferguson is charged with felony assault. He also has two outstanding felony warrants on drug and weapons charges.

Woman boarding plane charged with drug offenses
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 42-year-old Kodiak woman suspected of carrying narcotics was taken into custody in Anchorage as she attempted to board a flight to Kodiak.

Alaska State Troopers say Tamra M. Jones was investigated as part of a long-term narcotics investigation by the Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team.

Jones was detained Saturday. After officers obtained a search warrant to conduct a body scan, she was taken to a hospital. Troopers say the scan revealed she was concealing a balloon with smaller items inside her body.

Trooper say Jones voluntarily removed the balloon and it contained 24.3 grams of heroin, valued at $24,000 in Kodiak, and 8.3 grams of methamphetamine, valued at $2,500.

Jones was charged with four counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance. She was jailed with bail set at $25,000.

More than 9 inches of rain floods Ketchikan lakes
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — More than 9 inches of rain fell this weekend in Ketchikan, and a landslide temporarily disrupted the flow of the city's water supply.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports the city received more than 5.7 inches of rain on Saturday, followed by nearly 3.7 inches on Sunday.

The heavy rains sent mud and debris into Granite Basin early Sunday morning, causing turbidity levels to surpass Environmental Protection Agency standards.

The city was on back up water for about eight hours until the turbidity settled. The slide also caused trees to plus the drainage at Granite Basin, causing water to go over the top of the dam. The trees will be cleared once water levels drop.

Flooding was also reported at Silvis, Whitman, Fawn and Ward lakes.

Alaska firefighters wrap up training conference
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Firefighters from around Alaska wrapped up a training conference with some friendly competition.

The Peninsula Clarion says 250 firefighters attended the 2014 Alaska Fire Conference, which concluded Saturday.

The conference kicked off Sept. 17 at Kenai Central High School.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell was among the speakers at the opening ceremony. Treadwell, who lost his father in a fire, urged the firefighters to never quit training.

Saturday's competitive events included a 3.43-K race in honor of the 343 New York City firefighters who died Sept. 11, 2001. Many of the participating competitors ran in full gear.

Other events included racing to extinguish a barrel fire, setting up a ladder and hooking up a hose by relay teams.

Next year's conference is scheduled to be held in Seward.

Students learn about consent when it comes to sex
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Freshmen at the University of Alaska Southeast are learning about what constitutes consent when it comes to sex.

It is part of a renewed focus on cracking down on sexual violence on college campuses nationwide. New guidelines from the federal government require that colleges talk to students about consent.

At a recent orientation, student conduct administrator Lori Klein said no means no. But she said there are also situations where yes does not mean yes, such as when someone is drunk or incapacitated.

Faculty and staff also were required to undergo training to learn to recognize the signs of trauma related to sexual assault.

Wasilla man charged with felony eluding
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — An 18-year-old Wasilla man has been arrested after a high-speed chase.

Alaska State Troopers say Mackenzie V. Robinson was charged early Monday morning with felony eluding and reckless driving.

Troopers at about 3:15 a.m. spotted a maroon pickup exceeding the speed limit on Palmer-Wasilla Highway.

Troopers say the truck ran a red light, nearly hit another vehicle crossing the highway on Trunk Road and sped away from an officer.

Troopers say the pickup surpassed 90 mph as it ran another vehicle off Bogard Road.

The chase ended after five miles when the pickup crashed into trees at the end of a home driveway.

Troopers say Robinson fled on foot and was arrested a short time later at his home.

He was jailed Mat-Su Pretrial Facility with bail set at $5,000.

Police arrest man disrupting Anchorage traffic
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say they took a man into custody who wandered through busy east-side traffic and knocked down an officer trying to make him stop.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports the man was eventually shocked with a stun gun and handcuffed.

Drivers just before 4 p.m. Sunday called police to report a man in traffic at Debarr Road near Debarr Circle.

Traffic was rerouted and officers circled the man on a sidewalk.

Police say the man pushed an officer, who hit his head on a truck fender and suffered a bruise.

Other officers used a Taser to shock the man and he was taken into custody in the parking lot of Alaska Regional Hospital. He was not immediately charged.

Judge stops logging projects, pending review
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Four southeast Alaska logging projects are on hold after a judge found the U.S. Forest Service didn't fully comply with a prior court order.

Conservationists who sued to stop the Scott Peak, Overlook, Traitors Creek and Soda Nick projects raised concerns with the model for determining sufficiency of deer habitat.

An appeals court in 2011 ordered an explanation for how the models supported decisions to move ahead with the projects. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline said Friday that the Forest Service failed to comply with that order.

The management plan for the Tongass National Forest was updated in 2008. Beistline said the agency can provide deer modeling analyses based on the 1997 plan under which the projects were approved or revise the approval decisions to apply the 2008 plan.

Grants to focus on chronic health problems
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will receive $1.1 million for efforts aimed at preventing heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

The initiative is among those being funded nationwide with nearly $212 million from the federal government.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says the grant funding is aimed at combating chronic health problems. Goals include reducing the rates of death and disability due to tobacco use, heart disease, stroke or diabetes, as well as reducing obesity.

Other health organizations and communities in Alaska will receive about $540,000 in grants to focus on populations hit hardest by chronic diseases.


[Sunday September 28th, 2014  3rd  EDITION 3:30 P. M.]

Snoop Dogg to visit Alaska if voters legalize pot
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Rapper Snoop Dogg says he'll do a concert in Alaska if voters in November approve an initiative legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

Snoop Dogg is well known for his love of pot and said he would do a "wellness retreat concert" in Alaska if Ballot Measure 2 passes.

KTUU reports the rapper made his comments during a webcast in which he interviewed former TV reporter Charlo Greene.

Greene recently quit on-air after announcing she owned the Alaska Cannabis Club.

Black bear disrupts cross country meet
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A black bear disrupted a girls' race at the Region V Cross Country meet in Ketchikan.

Thorne Bay's Taylee Nyquest led the first heat of runners as her mom and coach cheered her on. As Nyquest passed, she yelled, "There's a black bear!"

Thorne Bay Principal Rob O'Neal watched the scene unfold. KRBD reports he and some coaches stopped the rest of the girls before the two-mile mark of the race because of the bear. They had to re-run the course later.

But Nyquest kept running after the bear disappeared into the forest.

She said she was less concerned with the bear than with her time. Top runners at the meet qualify for state.

She was among them though disappointed her time was about a minute slower than usual.

Juneau man faces charge for non-emergency 911 calls
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Juneau man faces a misdemeanor harassment charge after police say he made nine calls to 911 in one evening, with no emergency.

Police say Scott E. Huddleston was warned to stop calling because he didn't have an emergency. They say alcohol was a factor.

During Huddleston's arraignment, City Public Defender Tom Wagner asked that the case be dismissed, arguing the calls were not obscene and did not hurt the ability of dispatchers to handle calls.

But City Attorney Sherri Petticrew said the calls amounted to verbal abuse and a misuse of the 911 system

Huddleston pleaded not guilty, with trial set by a magistrate for December. Huddleston was released without bail on the condition that he not call 911, unless it's an emergency.

Cox given more time to file appellate brief
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Convicted militia leader Schaeffer Cox has been given more time to file an appeal brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Cox was convicted in 2012 of nine federal charges, including conspiracy to kill federal law enforcement officers. He was sentenced in January 2013 to serve nearly 26 years in prison and gave his notice of appeal shortly thereafter.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Cox had a rocky relationship with his initial appellate attorney. He was allowed to get a new attorney in May.

The delay, granted last week, gives Cox and his attorney until Dec. 29 to file their opening briefs. Prosecutors will have until Jan. 28 to respond.

Pro-pot group announces support from some parents
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The group supporting the legalization of recreational use of marijuana has announced what it calls a statewide coalition of moms and dads supporting the initiative.

The list includes Juneau Assembly member Jesse Kiehl.

Kiehl told KTOO the issue, for him, is one of public safety. Kiehl says public safety resources need to be put where they can do the most good. He says that's not focusing on marijuana.

Police chief Bryce Johnson told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in August that enforcement of driving under the influence laws could be a challenge if the initiative passes. Johnson also expressed concern that marijuana-related DUI cases could increase.

Voters will decide in November whether to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years of age and older.

Commercial fishing continues near Petersburg
PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) — Sunday marks the opening for more commercial fishing near Petersburg by some gillnetters.

KFSK reports that the Alaska Department of Fish and Game called for the opening. The fishery continues through Thursday at noon for Districts 6 and 8.

Some restrictions apply to where fishing is allowed.

New Begich ad features Murkowski
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is again running an ad touting his work with Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

It comes after Murkowski earlier in the campaign called on Begich to stop running a similar ad. And it comes days after Murkowski was featured in an ad endorsing Begich's GOP rival, Dan Sullivan.

The Begich ad is narrated by Margie Brown, a former president of Cook Inlet Region, Inc., an Alaska Native regional corporation. Brown says she has voted for Murkowski and will vote for Begich.

Begich has sought to cast himself as an independent voice for Alaska, not beholden to party. His critics have tried to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and to Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

A Murkowski spokesman did not have an immediate comment.

[Saturday September 27th, 2014  6TH  EDITION 7:07 P. M.]

Party applies to take Alaska orphaned bear cubs
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Biologists are trying to capture three black bear cubs orphaned when their mother was illegally killed in the Yukon River community of Galena last week.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner a party outside Alaska has applied to take the cubs.

She isn't saying who applied because the application hasn't been approved.

Harms says the cubs will be euthanized if a home isn't found for them because they're unlikely to survive the winter on their own.

The mother was killed along a dike separating Galena's old town and new town neighborhoods. It's illegal to kill a sow with first-year cubs if not in defense of life or property. The killing is being investigated.

Juneau Chamber hosting luncheon debate for gubernatorial candidates on Monday
The Juneau Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Gubernatorial Luncheon Debate Monday September 29 at Suite 907.

Governor Sean Parnell, Libertarian candidate, Carolyn Clift and independent candidate, Bill Walker have all agreed to participate.

The Program is from Noon until 1:30 PM; doors open at 11:30 AM. The cost is $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non-members.

State of Alaska defends gay marriage ban
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska says citizens, not the courts, should decide whether the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples.

The state is defending its ban on gay marriage in a filing in federal court. Five same-sex couples sued earlier this year to overturn the ban, which was approved by voters in 1998.

In a filing Friday, attorneys for the state say that citizens have a fundamental right to decide whether to make changes to important institutions through the democratic process.

The attorneys say there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage under the U.S. Constitution.

The state says recent court decisions in support of gay marriage don't point to a foregone conclusion in this case but to intervention by some courts into a law-making process that should be reserved for the people.

Magnitude 4.9 quake north of Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Earthquake Center says an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.9 was widely felt across Southcentral Alaska on Friday night but there have been no reports of damage.

More than 200 people quickly logged on to a national earthquake information website to report feeling it. Many of the responses came from Anchorage. The Alaska center says the quake was felt from Talkeetna to Valdez. It hit at 7:53 p.m.

The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colorado, said the quake was centered about 55 miles north of Anchorage.

The Alaska center described the Friday night quake as 64 miles east of and 25 miles shallower than the powerful 6.2 quake that shook a large swath of the state on Thursday morning. State seismologist Mike West tweeted that the latest event was "not a true aftershock, but possibly a readjustment 'nudged' " by the earlier quake.

Thursday's quake knocked things off shelves and caused people to take cover but there were no reports of injuries or major damage.

Judge dismisses case against EPA
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over a process that could result in development of the Pebble Mine being restricted or prohibited.

The case was brought by the group behind the mine and the state, who argued that EPA was overstepping its authority. In dismissing the case Friday, U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel Holland said EPA's initiation of the process was not a final agency action.

EPA has said it won't decide before Jan. 2 what the next step in that process might be.

EPA faces another lawsuit from Pebble over an agency study that concluded large-scale mining posed significant risk to salmon in the Bristol Bay region. The study provided the basis for EPA invoking the process under the Clean Water Act.

Ketchikan man faces assault of fed officer charge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 23-year-old Ketchikan man has been accused of swinging a knife in front of a federal fisheries officer.

The U.S. attorney's office says Dean Wesley Garcia has pleaded not guilty to a single count of assaulting a federal officer. Online court records don't list a lawyer for Garcia, who remains jailed until trial.

Federal prosecutors say a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration special agent visited Garcia in response to a report of illegal halibut sales.

The agent noticed a large filet knife on the counter, and he moved it closer to him.

Court documents allege Garcia asked him, "Are you scared?" He's then accused of grabbing the knife and swinging in the air of front of the agent.

There were no injuries, and authorities say the agent deescalated the situation.

[Friday September 26th, 2014  13th  EDITION 4:41 P. M.]

State of Alaska defends gay marriage ban
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska says citizens, not the courts, should decide whether the definition of marriage includes same-sex couples.

The state is defending its ban on gay marriage in a filing in federal court. Five same-sex couples sued earlier this year to overturn the ban, which was approved by voters in 1998.

In a filing Friday, attorneys for the state say that citizens have a fundamental right to decide whether to make changes to important institutions through the democratic process.

The attorneys say there is no fundamental right to same-sex marriage under the U.S. Constitution.

The state says recent court decisions in support of gay marriage don't point to a foregone conclusion in this case but to intervention by some courts into a law-making process that should be reserved for the people.

Sullivan defends record on Alaska Native issues
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says he's proud of his record on Alaska Native voting rights.

As state attorney general, he said he pushed to settle a long-running case by tribal governments seeking improved language-assistance for Yup'ik-speaking voters in the Bethel area.

During the 2010 Senate race, in which Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski ran as a write-in candidate, Sullivan said he led the state's efforts to allow voters to see lists of write-in candidates. That effort was opposed in court by the state Democratic and Republican parties.

Alaska Natives are an important and influential constituency. Sullivan opponents have sought to cast him as soft on some issues important to Natives, including subsistence.

In an interview Friday, Sullivan, whose wife is Alaska Native, said he supports the subsistence culture.

Nome fire injures 2, displaces more than 20
NOME, Alaska (AP) — A fire gutted a Nome apartment building, injuring two people and displacing more than 20 people.

KNOM says the fire was reported shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday at the eight-unit building at East 3rd Avenue and Moore Way.

Two people were taken to Norton Sound Regional Hospital for treatment of minor smoke inhalation.

Crews with the Nome Volunteer Fire Department arrived on scene within five minutes and it took them almost two hours to bring the fire down enough to enter the L-shaped building and begin eliminating hotspots. An hour earlier, crews tried to enter the building, but were driven out by the fire.

Acting fire chief Jim West Jr. says the building is likely a total loss.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

Judge sides with state in Alaska ballot lawsuit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A judge sided with the state of Alaska Friday against a lawsuit challenging the merged campaigns of two candidates in the governor's race.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock ruled an emergency order issued by Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell that allowed the merger was valid.

The lawsuit was filed last week by Steve Strait, an Alaska Republican Party district chair.

Strait maintained Treadwell erred in his Sept. 2 order that allowed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join campaigns with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and run as Walker's lieutenant governor in the November election.

The new ticket is deemed a stronger challenge to Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

Alaska Constitution Party Convention!
The Alaska Constitution Party will be holding its first formal statewide convention on Saturday from 8AM to 6PM at the Coast International Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska.

The Alaska Constitution Party will endorse candidates, revise it's bylaws and adopt a platform. Also, a new slate of ACP officers will be elected to guide the party until 2016. Three National Committee positions will also be filled.

ACP Chairman J.R.Myers stated, "We are very excited to get together to move the ACP to its next phase of development. As we anticipate our role in the 2016 elections, and our ongoing grassroots efforts to motivate and mobilize the people of Alaska to reclaim their rightful oversight of our government."

U.S. Forest Service:  ensures First Amendment upheld by commercial filming directives
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2014 – The U.S. Forest Service today released information to clarify the agency’s intentions regarding a proposed directive for commercial photography and filmmaking in congressionally designated wilderness areas.

“The US Forest Service remains committed to the First Amendment,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “To be clear, provisions in the draft directive do not apply to news gathering or activities.”

The proposal does not apply to news coverage, gathering information for a news program or documentary. However, if a project falls outside of that scope and the filming is intended to be on wilderness land, additional criteria are applied to protect wilderness values. In that case, a permit must be applied for and granted before any photography is permitted.

The agency issued a Federal Register notice on Sept. 4 seeking public comment on a proposal to formally establish consistent criteria for evaluating requests for commercial filming in wilderness areas as it has on national forests and grasslands. The proposed directive on commercial filming in wilderness has been in place for more than four years and is a good faith effort to ensure the fullest protection of America’s wild places.

“The fact is, the directive pertains to commercial photography and filming only – if you’re there to gather news or take recreational photographs, no permit would be required. We take your First Amendment rights very seriously,” said Tidwell. “We’re looking forward to talking with journalists and concerned citizens to help allay some of the concerns we’ve been hearing and clarify what’s covered by this proposed directive.”

Congressionally designated wilderness areas are protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964 and must remain in their natural condition. This is achieved in part by prohibiting certain commercial enterprises, and the agency is responsible for ensuring its policies adhere to that standard.

The public originally had until Nov. 3, 2014, to comment on the proposal. Based on the high level of interest, the agency will extend the public comment period to Dec. 3, 2014.

The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs.

Currently, commercial filming permit fees range around $30 per day for a group up to three people. A large Hollywood production with 70 or more people might be as much as $800. The $1,500 commercial permit fee cited in many publications is erroneous, and refers to a different proposed directive.

The Forest Service has long required permits according to statute for various activities on agency lands, from cutting a Christmas tree to filming a major motion picture, such as the 2013 Johnny Depp movie “The Lone Ranger.” The Disney production obtained a permit to film part of the movie on the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico.

17 soldiers return to duty after CO exposure
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — Most of the Alaska-based paratroopers who were hospitalized after being exposed to carbon monoxide have returned to duty.

U.S. Army Alaska says in a release that 17 of the soldiers were treated and released after the Thursday incident at the Yukon Training Area near Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks. They were to be returned to their unit Friday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.

Four other soldiers were admitted to the Fort Wainwright base hospital. U.S. Army Alaska spokesman John Pennell says they are in good condition, and should be released to their unit at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage on Saturday.

None of the injuries was life-threatening.

Pennell says the cause of the carbon monoxide exposure, which occurred Thursday during a field training exercise, remains under investigation.

Landslide wipes out Sitka restoration projects
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Heavy rainfall is blamed for a major landslide near Sitka that wiped out hundreds of thousands of dollars in watershed restoration projects.

On Sept. 19, a state biologist noticed Starrigavan Creek had been diverted onto an old logging road. U.S. Forest Service employees went to check on things this past Monday.

Marty Becker is the watershed program coordinator for the Forest Service's Sitka Ranger District. Becker estimated the area of the main slide, one of three slides, at around 100 acres.

The heavy rains also caused damage to a footbridge and trails.

Becker told KCAW the ranger district hasn't seen a cluster of slides like this since the mid-1990s.

Sitka didn't receive an unusual amount of rainfall for this time of year, but the rains came hard and fast.

Defense wants polygraph admitted in toddler death
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The attorney for a Fairbanks woman charged with killing her 18-month-old son in November is urging the court to admit polygraph evidence that he says could prove she's innocent.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Amberlynn Swanson took polygraph tests administered by the state and by an expert she hired, David Raskin.

Defense attorney Bill Satterberg wants the test administered by Raskin admitted, plus Raskin's testimony about flaws in the test administered by Alaska State Troopers.

Swanson is charged with murder in the death of Julian Swanson-Byrd.

Satterberg says Raskin's test showed Swanson was truthful when she said she didn't inflict the injuries that killed her son.

Raskin claims the Alaska State Troopers test was inaccurate or interpreted incorrectly.

The Fairbanks District Attorney could not be reached immediately for comment.

JPD's crime of the week involves the theft of a storage unit
Between Wednesday and Thursday evening this week, on or about September 25th, 2014, someone broke into a storage unit in the 8600 block of Airport Boulevard.

The items stolen include a Heritage .22 pistol and checkbooks. The suspect also took a ‘Bear’ compound bow and a ‘Parker’ compound bow. Also missing is a survival suit with the initials (KM) written inside.

The suspect also took several Coleman sleeping bags, a Cabela’s brand black down coat, a set of Helly Hanson commercial grade rain gear, and two military style Gerber knives.

Anyone with information is encouraged to logon to or call JPD at 586-0600.

You may be eligible for a reward.

Fairbanks approves fees for pipeline assessment
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly has appropriated another $1 million for legal fees in its ongoing dispute with owners of the trans-Alaska pipeline on the pipeline's value.

Owner companies since 1986 have disputed the value of the pipeline as assessed by the borough and other municipalities.

The assessed value determines how much municipal tax pipeline owners will pay.

Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins says the legal fees are high but the borough has recovered far more in arguing for a higher assessed value.

A State Assessment Review Board decision earlier this year set the value of the pipeline system at $10.2 billion.

Oil companies contend the system should be valued at $2.7 billion.

21 Alaska soldiers exposed to carbon monoxide
FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Army officials say 21 soldiers are being evaluated after being exposed to carbon monoxide during a field training exercise Thursday near Fairbanks.

The Army says in a release that the paratroopers were at the Yukon Training Area near Eielson Air Force Base when they began to show symptoms of exposure.

It wasn't immediately clear how the soldiers were exposed or what the exercise was. An Army official didn't immediately return a call to The Associated Press.

The soldiers were taken to Bassett Army Community Hospital. Four were admitted; one was sent to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, and seven have been released. The remaining soldiers are being evaluated.

The Army says it's investigating the incident.

The soldiers were from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division.

South Dakota fair manager to leave for Alaska
HURON, S.D. (AP) — The fairgrounds manager of the South Dakota State Fair is headed to Alaska to oversee its fair.

KOKK-AM reports the Alaska State Fair announced South Dakota's Jerome Hertel will become general manager in Palmer, Alaska, in December. Hertel has overseen the South Dakota fair for almost seven years and helped it reach over 200,000 attendees this past year. He will replace the Alaska fair's manager of seven years, Ray Ritari.

The station's requests for comment from the South Dakota State Fair were not returned Thursday. The Alaska fair's board chairman was unavailable for comment.

To win Senate, groups book $80M of final TV ads
WASHINGTON (AP) — After a summer chasing voters with millions of dollars in television ads, some of the biggest spenders in politics have settled on eight races for Senate for a final flurry before Election Day.

The groups have booked more than $80 million in television ads between now and Election Day.

The final rush of spending on television ads will come on top of the tens of millions of dollars the candidates themselves and their allies have banked for the final month of the campaign.

For the moment, the spending seems to favor Democrats, who are fighting to keep control of the Senate for the final two years of President Barack Obama's term.

Democrats' fortunes are tied to races in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, North Carolina and New Hampshire.

Oral arguments to be presented in ballot lawsuit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Oral arguments are scheduled to be presented Friday in a lawsuit challenging a decision that allowed two competing campaigns in the governor's race to merge.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge John Suddock has said a decision is likely by the end of Friday. Regardless of the outcome, the case is expected to be appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was filed last week by Steve Strait, an Alaska Republican Party district chair.

Strait says Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell erred in a Sept. 2 emergency ruling that allowed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join campaigns with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and run as Walker's lieutenant governor.

The new ticket is deemed a stronger challenge to Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell.

The state stands behind Treadwell's decision.

[Thursday September 25th, 2014  12TH  EDITION 4:39  P. M.]

Production companies join two Alaska companies with FAA permission to use drones
It's a first from the FAA: granting permission to movie and TV production companies to legally use drones.

ABC's Alex Stone reporting from Los Angeles says, "With the exception of highly restrictive permits issued to two companies in Alaska, no commercial drones have been flying legally in the US. In a big change the FAA is allowing six movie and production companies to begin flying small unmanned aircraft. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx made the announcement. SOT: Using unmanned aircraft for this purpose does not pose a risk to national airspace users for that reason we have given this permission. The aerial production companies will have to abide by strict rules including keeping the drones within line of sight."

The FAA had only granted permission to Conoco Phillips Oil in Alaska.

State, plaintiffs prepare ballot-lawsuit arguments
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state says a lawsuit challenging the mechanism that allowed two Alaska gubernatorial candidates to merge their campaigns would derail the November election and potentially disenfranchise voters if it succeeds.

The state's position is detailed in court documents filed this week ahead of oral arguments set for Friday in the lawsuit against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and elections director Gail Fenumiai.

The lawsuit filed last week by an Alaska Republican Party district chair, Steve Strait, challenges an emergency ruling that allowed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join campaigns with independent gubernatorial candidate bill Walker and run as Walker's lieutenant governor.

Strait maintains that Treadwell erred in his Sept. 2 decision.

The combined ticket is seen as a stronger challenge to Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell than a three-way race.

Powerful earthquake rattles large swath of Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Alaska Thursday morning.

The Alaska Earthquake Center said the epicenter was about 80 miles northwest of Anchorage, where it was strongly felt. The quake lingered for at least a minute in some areas.

Staffers at the Nesbett Courthouse in downtown Anchorage felt the shaking in their office on the top floor of the six-story building.

They took the stairs outside, where they waited for about 20 minutes before being allowed back in the building.

Alaska emergency officials received scattered reports of things flying off shelves. But there have been no reports of any infrastructure damage.

The Alaska Railroad stopped all trains to check the tracks and bridges for damages, which is a procedure after earthquakes.

Bear killed in Juneau, wouldn't stay out of fridge on porch
Juneau Police and Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded this morning around 6:00 to a report of a black bear that had been shot and killed after it was repeatedly observed getting onto a porch and removing items from a freezer/fridge.

At the home on back Loop Road near Goat Hill, officers found that a young black bear had been killed. Interviews found that the bear had been in and around the area for several weeks and that the home owners had made several attempts to deter the bear, including putting up electric fence around their chicken coop and keeping garbage secured until the day of trash pickup.

Wildlife Troopers were able to locate a charity willing to utilize the meat and the home owner who shot the bear will complete the skinning of the bear and removal of the skull for official sealing with Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Home owners are reminded to make every effort to keep garbage and other attractants secured for the next few months until bears begin hibernating.

Palin busy for GOP
As the November 4th general election draws closer, the GOP is bringing out their heavy hitters to try to win back control of the U.S. Senate.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is urging Kansas Republicans to unify behind U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, alleging his independent opponent is trying to "snooker" voters in what has become a surprisingly close race.

Palin donned an apron and flipped pancakes alongside Roberts. He once was considered a near lock for re-election but now is facing a tough battle from independent businessman Greg Orman after the Democratic candidate withdrew.

Palin will head to Louisiana this weekend to help Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rob Maness with his campaign.

The Maness campaign says Palin will visit a Jefferson Parish restaurant on Saturday to eat alligator with Maness. The event is a nod to a Maness TV ad that compares his campaign against two members of Congress to facing down alligators in a Louisiana swamp.

Maness, a tea party favorite and retired Air Force colonel, is running against Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu and her chief GOP challenger, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Lab results pending for seals oiled off island
NONE, Alaska (AP) — Lab testing done on two recently harvested seals coated with an oily substance off Alaska's Saint Lawrence has not confirmed it was oil.

KNOM reports no petroleum product was found on flippers that were tested.

Gay Sheffield, a marine biologist with the University of Alaska Fairbanks marine advisory program, says she hasn't heard back yet about other samples that were sent in from the jaws and face areas.

Sheffield is a member of a local team trying to determine the source of the oily substance on the seals.

Kawerak subsistence director Brandon Ahmasuk says pinpointing the source of the substance is challenging because a small number of animals have been found in a wide area.

Ahmasuk says it's a cause for concern because such animals are a food source.

Pilot avoids beach crowd, crash-lands in ocean
HONOLULU (AP) — A former Alaska bush pilot safely crash-landed his small airplane in the ocean just off a beach on Oahu's North Shore after running out of fuel.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Greg Harding landed the plane Wednesday.

Harding says he was headed for Dillingham Airport, and "the engine just quit." He considered landing on the beach but then saw about a dozen people on shore.

Ana "Suzy" Gromacki owns North Shore Aircraft Leasing, which owns the plane Harding was flying. She praised Harding's landing and noted that if the aircraft had overturned, he might not have survived.

The plane came down in about 5 feet of water. Harding was not injured.

Harding moved to Honolulu from Kotzebue (KAWT'-zuh-byoo) nine months ago. He has flown planes in Alaska for 40 years.

Army officials urge conservation after line fails
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fort Wainwright officials are asking some on the Army post to turn down the thermostat.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a 300-foot, 15-inch diameter steam heat line has failed and must be replaced. Fort Wainwright leaders ask those on the North Post, including office buildings, barracks and housing north of Ladd Field, to conserve energy until the is replaced.

The request comes as temperatures begin to drop in Interior Alaska. Temperatures have dropped into the 20s at night this week.

A second 12-inch line continues to work as normal, but its capacity is limited.

The larger line is expected to be replaced by no later than Nov. 1.

3 bear cubs orphaned in Interior Alaska need homes
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Three orphaned bear cubs will be euthanized unless Alaska wildlife officials can find homes for them.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the 1-year-old cubs became orphaned when their mother was illegally killed in the Interior community of Galena (GUH-leen-uh).

Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms says they are looking for homes for three cubs, but it's difficult because there's little demand for black bears at zoos and other licensed facilities. Black bears are not rare, and they breed well in captivity. Harms says if a facility has had black bears in the past, they likely still have them.

Hunters are allowed to take three black bears a year in the Galena area, but sows with first-year cubs are exempt.

Wildlife officials are investigating the illegal kill of the sow.

Anchorage Assembly doesn't back pot measure
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly is giving the thumbs down to legalizing pot.

KSKA reports assembly members representing the state's largest city this week voted 9-2 to oppose Ballot Measure 2, which would legalize marijuana for those 21 and older.

Some Assembly members cited an increase in robberies in Colorado, where the drug is legal under state law. But it's still illegal under federal law, and putting that money in a bank would be considered laundering. That means many businesses have lots of cash on hand

Assembly Chairman Patrick Flynn opposed the vote, saying it wasn't something the assembly shouldn't weigh in on. He says, "Frankly, the voters don't care what we think."

Other assembly members say their constituents asked for the vote because the measure endangers public safety.

Nuremberg stenographer's mementos to be auctioned
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Carbon copies of transcripts and other mementos from the Nuremberg trials following World War II are being auctioned off in Alaska on Saturday.

The documents in the small collection belong to the estate of Maxine Carr, an Anchorage woman who worked as a stenographer at the war-crimes trials.

Carr died at least 10 years ago. The documents being auctioned off by the Anchorage-based Alaska Auction Co. were found in an old trunk in her long-vacant home.

Her Nuremberg items are being sold separately as one lot, with no minimum bidding set.

Several other private collections of mementos from that era also are being auctioned in other lots and include Nazi arm bands, German and Russian medals, Japanese grenades and a tiny Hitler propaganda booklet.

Chefs to compete in Alaska seafood cook-off
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four professional Alaska chefs will be competing in a seafood preparation competition in Anchorage, with the winner to represent the state in November at the World Food Championships in Las Vegas.

The third annual Great Alaska Seafood Cook Off is scheduled to take place Tuesday evening at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown. The event will not be open to the public.

The cook-off is sponsored by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, a nonprofit partnership between the state and the seafood industry.

The chefs selected are Travis Haugen of Southside Bistro in Anchorage, Lionel Uddipa of SALT in Juneau, Shawna McIntyre of the Seward Brewing Company in Seward and Joel Chenet of Millbay Coffee in Kodiak.

Participants will have one hour to prepare and plate a dish at the event.

[Wednesday September 24th, 2014  13th  EDITION  5:06  P. M.]

CGC Alex Haley returns to Kodiak from Bering Sea, Aleutian Island patrol
KODIAK, Alaska — The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley returned to Kodiak Wednesday following a successful 68-day deployment patrolling more than 12,000 miles throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.

Alex Haley, known as the “Bulldog of the Bering,” departed Kodiak in July and spent the last two months conducting operations in the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands. During the deployment, Alex Haley’s crew performed more than 40 at sea domestic fisheries enforcement boardings, four search and rescue cases, and one rescue and assistance operation.

The Alex Haley crew participated in several community outreach and volunteer events during their patrol that included hosting tours of the ship, meeting with local leadership and two beach cleanups.

“It was a great patrol and we were able to serve a lot of different communities throughout the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands,” said Cmdr. Stephen White, commanding officer, Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley. “The partnerships and relationships we are able to build with people throughout Alaska is what makes working here so rewarding. We look forward to reconnecting with our families and friends in Kodiak before returning to patrol.”

Alex Haley is a 282-foot medium endurance cutter that has been homeported in Kodiak since 1999. Alex Haley routinely conducts operations in the Bering Sea, the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska. These operations occur under the tactical control of the 17th Coast Guard District in Juneau. The 17th Coast Guard District encompasses the entire state of Alaska, as well as the coastal and offshore waters seaward over several thousands of miles.

Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley patrols the Aleutian Islands near Great Sitkin during its 68-day deployment in August 2014.

The crew performed more than 40 at sea domestic fisheries enforcement boardings, four search and rescue cases, and one rescue and assistance operation.

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dale Arnould.

Report finds fewer government jobs in Juneau
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A new report shows government jobs in Juneau are decreasing while private sector jobs are on the rise. However, the largest growth area tends to be in lower-paying positions.

The Juneau Economic Development Council's 2014 Economic Indicators and Outlook found the leisure and hospitality field, which includes tourism and restaurants, to be one of the city's growth areas.

Local and tribal government jobs fell by 6 percent over the last decade, in contrast to Juneau's 6-percent increase in population.

Government remains the biggest employer in Juneau.

Researcher Eva Bornstein sees opportunities to attract seasonal workers to become a permanent part of Juneau's workforce. One challenge with that, though, is housing. Juneau has a chronically low vacancy rate.

Juneau man faces forgery count
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A 32-year-old Juneau man faces a forgery charge after police say he used fake bills to buy soda and pay a phone bill.

Michael James Healey was indicted by grand jury on Friday. An arraignment wasn't planned later Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court on the felony charge.

Healey's attorney, Mark Osterman, declined comment when reached by The Associated Press Wednesday morning.

The Empire reports at least five Juneau businesses reported receiving forged bills in the last month, and police believe the cases are connected.

All the bills have the same serial number, which police Lt. Kris Sell says is a pretty good indication the same bill was copied.

New totem poles set to be raised in Juneau
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Sealaska Heritage Institute is among sponsors of an upcoming ceremony to raise two totem poles carved for a building in the Indian village of Juneau.

The totems are replacing original poles that had deteriorated and become safety issues. The pole raising ceremony is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 29 at the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in Juneau.

The carvers are brothers Joe and T.J. Young, who began the work last year. They also created a replacement house screen — a painted, decorated panel that sits between the totem poles.

Sealaska Heritage officials say the screen has been installed.

Sealaska Heritage Institute is the nonprofit cultural and educational arm of Juneau-based Sealaska Corp., a regional Native corporation that donated the yellow cedar logs that the poles were carved on.