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[Friday October 31st, 2014  10TH  EDITION 5:07 P. M.]

The Rotary Club of Juneau presents annual Vocational Service Awards for outstanding businesses, programs and individuals
For more than 100 years, Rotary International’s guiding principles have been to encourage and foster service and ethics through fellowship, high ethical standards, and the worthiness of all useful occupations – with each being an opportunity to serve society locally and globally. All of these ideals are applied to each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life.

Every year in October, Vocational Service month, the Rotary Club of Juneau, through its Vocational Service Awards, recognizes others in the community who exemplify these basic tenets. Garnered from nominations by club members, the annual awards are presented to individuals, non-profits and businesses who demonstrate Rotary’s high ethical standards and standards of conduct. This year’s recipients were honored at the club’s meeting on Tuesday, October 28th at the Baranof Hotel and are:

PUBLIC SECTOR/ Lorrie Heagy – JAMM: Lorrie Heagy is a music teacher and librarian at Glacier Valley Elementary School where she works with the community, parents, and teachers to integrate and advocate for the arts for all kids. Named "Music Teacher of the Year," she initiated the Art is Elementary program, which won the Kennedy Center’s Creative Ticket National School of Distinction Award, an honor given annually to only five schools in the country. The instrumental music program she helped initiate at Glacier Valley spread to other Juneau elementary schools through grants and school district funding. Lorrie also teaches at the University of Alaska Southeast in its Master of Arts in Teaching program and at the Basic Arts Summer Institutes for Alaskan teachers. She is an accompanist for local arts organizations throughout Juneau and was one of fifty teachers selected nationally as a 2009 Yale School of Music Distinguished Music Educator.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP/The Downtown Improvement Group (DIG): Normally presented to a business that has made a significant contribution to the community, this year’s recipient is actually an informal partnership created to better Juneau’s downtown. The award committee reasoned that Vocational Service in Rotary is about fellowships and partnerships, which the DIG exemplifies. Its founder, businessman Bruce Denton, is concerned about downtown Juneau’s slow deterioration. Wanting to do something positive, he commissioned a film through fellow businessman and local artist Pat Race to galvanize the community into positive action. The film was not meant to be a critique but, rather, a “documentation” to get Juneauites to take a long look at downtown and to brainstorm social issues, the business-economy and changes needed – to figure out a way to preserve and improve the downtown Bruce, members of the DIG and many in the community love. Concurrently, the group has taken smaller steps along the way with projects such as downtown community clean up.

NON-PROFIT/SEADOGS: Each year Rotary recognizes a non-profit organization that goes the extra mile and truly exemplifies “service above self”, -- contributing to the community in order to make things better for others. SEADOGS is a 31-year old volunteer nonprofit search and rescue organization dedicated to training and handling search dogs in Southeast Alaska. Working closely with other search and rescue groups, certified SEADOG handlers are on 24-hour call, available within 40 minutes after notification of the need for a search. Recognized nationally as a search and rescue operation, every year SEADOGS participates in searches involving everything from lost hunters to suicide victims. Teams have participated in rescue efforts from Ketchikan to Barrow, and during the Armenian and Loma Prieta (San Francisco) earthquakes. Bruce Bowler, Team Leader for the SEADOGS, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. Bruce has participated in more than 750 searches and trained four dogs in the more than 30 years of service to the organization. He describes himself as a “bald guy who does his best to lead some amazing people who have even more amazing search dogs.”

INDIVIDUAL/ Debbie Fagnant, Volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): Though Debbie “retired” three years ago, she did not retire from caring about the community. Through her volunteer advocacy on behalf of the mentally ill, she is described as “extraordinary” -- credited with transforming the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and now serving as its president. NAMI’s focus is to support those with mental illness toward recovery through advocacy and support to them and their families. One in four adults and one in ten children are impacted by mental illness; the disease touches us all, and the Fagnants are no exception. Prepared to share her story and help others, Debbie trained as a facilitator for the organization’s family support groups. Fueled by her teaching background, she began training other facilitators and widened the availability of local resources. In partnership with her husband, she also began teaching a 12-week class to develop family-to-family teachers. The result helps families share information in a climate of mutual support. Debbie’s activism has further inspired NAMI to advocate before the Alaska legislature raising the profile of the organization. Now recognized as an important community force, NAMI is better positioned to seek financial support to meet its challenges. Described as a compassionate person who is generous with her resources and time, Debbie has made a difference in dozens of lives through kindness, lucid teaching and exquisite sensitivity. This combination, driven by passion, makes her tremendously effective. Through her volunteer commitment, more families in Juneau and Alaska share helpful information, experience greater support, and look to the future with hope.

The Rotary Club of Juneau meets each Tuesday at noon at the Baranof Hotel. For more information, visit

Time to "fall back" and check your smoke alarm
Fire Marshal Dan Jager reminds us to change our clocks, and our smoke alarm batteries, late Saturday or Early Sunday.

This time of year we “fall back” or change our clocks back one-hour.

Each day an average of three kids die in home fires – that’s 1,100 children each year. On top of that 3,600 children are injured in house fires. Ninety percent of the child fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. Closer to home in Alaska all of the injuries and deaths that have occurred as a result of fire have occurred in a home without a working smoke detector. An easy way is to remember to change the batteries in your smoke detector is to do it when you change your clock Saturday night or Sunday morning.

Federal agency releases Arctic drilling review
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal agency overseeing offshore petroleum development has released a revised environmental review of drilling off Alaska's northwest coast, and critics say it shows the risk is too great.

Mike LeVine of Oceana says it's the third time the government has tried to justify offering leases in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') Sea based on an unfair evaluation of the risks.

A federal appeals court in January ruled that the government prepared a flawed environmental review before selling $2.7 billion in Chukchi leases in 2008.

The review was based on projected extraction of 1 billion barrels of oil. Environmental groups said development was likely to be far more widespread.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the revised review is good news and could satisfy court concerns so drilling can resume next summer.

Alaska State Troopers' new Halloween anti-DUI campaign
Alaska State Troopers began a new Anti-DUI campaign early this morning. The high visibility enforcement effort will continue through Tomorrow night. Drive safe and have a Happy Halloween!

Alaska State Troopers will be doing everything possible to help keep your little monsters and ghouls safe this Halloween. Earlier in the week, AST began airing anti-DUI public service announcements to encourage all motorists to have a plan in place to only drive sober and to keep the holiday safe for everybody. In addition the safe driving reminders and keeping zombies at bay, the Alaska State Troopers will ramp up enforcement efforts beginning Oct. 31 through Nov. 1. Alaska State Troopers patrol units, alongside the Bureau of Highway Patrol troopers, will be working extra hours and focusing their efforts on curbing impaired and dangerous driving.

Regardless of what your ultimate plans are for your Halloween celebration, Troopers encourage you to always practice safe driving behaviors on the roads while traveling to and from your destination. If you consume drugs or alcohol, plan to either stay the night or to have a sober driver take you home. Always have a plan to get home safely.

Boosting public awareness regarding the dangers of impaired driving, along with other driver behavior issues, helps to decrease the number of fatal and serious injury crashes. Speeding, reckless driving, driver inattention, and failure to wear seatbelts or use child safety restraints all contribute to injury and death on Alaska’s roads. The Alaska State Troopers, as well as local law enforcement agencies, believe that persistent public education will help deter motorists from making poor driving decisions while behind the wheel and help save lives.  Troopers also encourage everyone to Report Every Dangerous Driver Immediately by calling 911.

Funding for the media campaign and enforcement effort is provided in part by grant sources distributed through the Alaska Highway Safety Office.

AFN: There was strong support for endorsements
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Leaders of the Alaska Federation of Natives say there was strong support for the organization's rare endorsements in the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races.

Officials with the largest statewide organization of Alaska Natives, known as AFN, held a news conference Friday to explain the recent endorsements and to call for additional steps to help prevent Alaska Native voters from being disenfranchised.

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and Walker's Democratic running mate Byron Mallott also attended the event.

AFN President Julie Kitka said the group has endorsed only three times before — twice for Democrat Tony Knowles in gubernatorial races and for Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010.

Begich is being challenged by Republican Dan Sullivan. Walker is challenging Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.

Stolen van:  JPD Crime of the Week
The JPD Crime of the Week involves a stolen gray 1992 Toyota mini-van. It was taken from in front of a storage unit on Brandy Lane between October 17th and October 20th. Police found the van in the Fred Meyer parking lot October 21st.

Juneau Police Lt. Kris Sell says, "The discovery may have caused the suspect to abandon the vehicle before he or she planned. There was a great deal of personal property in the vehicle that either belonged to the suspect or was stolen in other incidents. One such item is a worn men’s extra- large black leather jacket which was collected along with other clothing. This suspect is also likely to be associated with drug use as multiple syringes were found in the vehicle. Officers have collected fingerprints and DNA, which are being analyzed. The case is of particular interest to JPD as there have been multiple recent thefts in the area around Industrial Boulevard. These crimes may all be associated with one person or a small group of individuals."

Anyone with information is encouraged to log on to and report a tip or call JPD at 586-0600. You may be eligible for a reward.

Out-of-state vacationer spots burglary suspect
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks man monitoring his home while on vacation outside Alaska was able to assist in the arrest of a man suspected of burglarizing his rural home.

Alaska State Troopers say the homeowner was watching a live feed of his security system Thursday afternoon and spotted a sedan that he didn't recognize in the driveway.

He also didn't recognize the driver.

Troopers say the driver walked into the house and came out carrying items belonging to the homeowner, who called troopers.

Officer caught up with the suspect car and arrested a 37-year-old man inside.

Troopers say they already were seeking the driver on active warrants and that he was driving with a revoked license.

He remained jailed Friday but had not been formally charged.

US rig count up 2 to 1,929

HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by two this week to 1,929.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,582 rigs were exploring for oil and 346 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,742 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Kansas gained five rigs, Oklahoma increased four, Pennsylvania gained three and Louisiana gained two.

Texas lost five rigs, New Mexico lost three and Ohio and West Virginia each lost two. Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, North Dakota, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Search renewed for Kenai family missing since May
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Kenai police are trying to determine if an article of clothing found by searchers belongs to a member of a family that has been missing since May.

Police, the FBI and others have renewed the search for 23-year-old Rebecca Adams, her 3- and 6-year-old daughters Jaracca and Michelle Hundley, and 37-year-old Brandon Jividen.

The family was last seen May 27. Their two vehicles remained at their apartment in Kenai and relatives say the family departed with no evidence of packing.

With leaves off trees and the ground freezing, police renewed a search in woods a few miles from the family's home where Jividen often hunted.

Police Lt. David Ross tells the Peninsula Clarion that searchers planned to expand the search area where the article of clothing was found.

Noon deadline for Governor to turn over documents
The Governor's office has until noon today (fri) to release documents related to the sexual misconduct scandal in the National Guard -- or explain why they cannot be released.

Superior Court Judge Greg Miller issued that order Thursday in a lawsuit filed by the Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Public Media. The organizations sued after they were denied e-mails and other records regarding the National Guard's leadership. Their lawsuit claimed the Governor's office failed to comply with the state's public records act when it refused to release emails.

Attorney John Mckay argued that the media are entitled to review the documents swiftly, with the governor up for re-election next Tuesday. judge miller agreed that the timing makes it an emergency.

The Governor's office can assert "executive privilege" for specific e-mails or other documents, explaining why they cannot be released.

Parnell appoints Abel to board
Governor Parnell appointed Bruce Abel and reappointed Ronald Sega to the Alaska Aerospace Corporation Board of Directors.

The corporation allows Alaska to play a leading role in the exploration and development of space, in enhancing human and economic development, and in providing direction for space-related education and research.

Abel, of Juneau, has been the owner and operator of Don Abel Building Supply since 2006. He is the chairman of the Western Building Material Dealers Association Investment Committee, a member of World Presidents’ Organization, and the past president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce. Abel received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in business administration from Gonzaga University. He is appointed to a public seat.

Begich, Sullivan face off in final debate
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his Republican challenger Dan Sullivan took advantage of a statewide audience to draw distinctions between themselves — and throw some elbows — in their final debate.

The two clashed on issues such as privacy and a constitutional amendment to address campaign finance. Begich defended the tone of his campaign, while Sullivan mentioned the blowback Begich got for at least one of his negative ads.

And the two fell back on what have become familiar refrains of the campaign: Begich noting he was born and raised in Alaska and has a record of working with Republicans like Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sullivan touting the need to roll back federal regulations and trying to tie Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid.

[Thursday October 30th, 2014  12th  EDITION 8:56 P. M.]

DPS Launches Silver Alert Plan
Silver Alerts became an available tool today for law enforcement and the public when an at-risk adult is missing.

Governor Sean Parnell signed legislation on July 10, 2013, at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center, requiring the Department of Public Safety to develop and implement notification plans to more quickly locate missing vulnerable adults. Like many other states, Alaska has designated the alerts as Silver Alerts. The Department of Public Safety believes that the immediate public notification, using a variety of systems, will likely expedite locating and returning home safely the missing vulnerable adult.

Much like an AMBER Alert, the Silver Alert is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, state and local government and Alaska’s media and broadcasters. Instead of notifying the public of a kidnapped child in imminent danger, a SILVER Alert provides information to the public when a vulnerable adult is missing and believed to be in serious danger. Silver Alerts will not be issued for every missing adult and will be issued only when specific requirements are met.

For a Silver Alert to be issued for a missing individual, the following criteria must be met:
· The individual is 18 years of age, or older and is lost on foot or in some mode of transportation
· There is a clear indication that the individual has a deterioration of intellectual faculties, a physical impairment or medical condition that makes them unable to meet their own needs or to seek help without assistance.
· Enough descriptive information on the missing individual and their last known location is available to assist with their safe recovery.
· Law enforcement verifies the criteria above and believes the missing individual is in danger and may come to serious harm if not located.

When a law enforcement agency receives a report that a vulnerable adult is missing, the incident will be evaluated based upon the Silver Alert Criteria. If it meets the criteria, the information will be forwarded on to the Alaska State Trooper Fairbanks Dispatch Center for activation. Once activated, the statewide Silver Alert website will be updated. Activating an alert on the website immediately triggers the Silver Alert Notification System which sends an email to everyone on the Silver Alert email list. The DPS Public Information Office will also be notified and the alert information will be forwarded to the media. Additionally, Silver Alert information will be posted on the 5-1-1 website, Social Media, and forwarded to partnering agencies.

The Silver Alert Website activation will include:
· Description of the vulnerable adult (name, race, age, physical attributes, clothing worn)
· Where they were last seen and any location they are believed to be destined for
· Any suspect description (if any evidence of abduction is present)
· Any associated vehicle description
· Phone number for the public to call with information
· A photograph of the vulnerable adult and any suspect, if available

The public can view active Silver Alerts online at Members of the public can also sign up for Silver Alert email notifications on the website.

Housing and safety downtown big issues at final town hall meeting on economic plan
It was the second and final Town Meeting Wednesday night for the McDowell Group and Sheinberg Associates 10 year economic plan for the City and Borough of Juneau.

Barb Sheinberg told "News of the North" that the need for increased housing and safety in the downtown area was mentioned by at least three groups. She also said rising freight cost are impacting numerous businesses and must be addressed in the plan. Sheinberg then talked about how the plan is addressing green issues. She said we have abundant renewable energy and there's research and development going on here; for example, The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center just received funding to do an electric transit research park. "That sort of piggybacks off ideas about electric busses and reducing emissions and all the attention AEL&P and JEDC are putting into electric vehicles."

You can logon to to see an expanded form of the seven economic initiatives.

Smoke at hotel said to be exhaust from cleaning van left running
Capital City Fire Rescue was called to the Super 8 hotel Wednesday afternoon. Hotel manager Kim McCade says someone maliciously pulled the fire alarm around 1:20 and what was thought to have been smoke was actually exhaust from a cleaning van left running while doors were propped open.

The hotel was evacuated as a precaution. Crews checked all floors and found no fire, only what they thought might be a small amount of smoke. Capital City Fire Rescue believed it could have been an electrical issue, so the hotel says they had their electrician take a look and everything checked out fine. McCade reiterated, "There was no fire. Everything is A-O-K at the Super 8."

Survey ranks Alaska low in energy efficiency
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A new survey on how states are improving energy efficiency programs ranks Alaska near the bottom.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy has been tracking energy inefficiencies for eight years. It issues an annual survey on whether states are making progress.

This year's survey ranked Alaska 47th in the nation.

Much of Alaska's low rating was based on the state's failure to develop energy-efficiency programs for utilities and the transportation sector. The survey acknowledged efforts, such as legislation passed in 2010 that set renewable energy goals, but did not give the state credit for that since the effort is voluntary.

Sean Skaling is with the Alaska Energy Authority. He told KUAC he doesn't think Alaska was given enough credit for energy-conservation efforts.

Explosion, woodstove fire injures Homer man
HOMER, Alaska (AP) — An 88-year-old Homer man was seriously injured in an explosion apparently caused when he used gasoline to light a woodstove.

Alaska State Troopers say officers and fire officials at about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday took a call of a home fire on Diamond Ridge in Homer.

Troopers say the gasoline explosion started a fire.

The home, valued at $160,000, was destroyed.

Troopers say the homeowner suffered life-threatening injuries.

He was transported to South Peninsula Hospital.

Bartlett Regional Hospital receives international breastfeeding award
Baby-Friendly USA, announces that Bartlett Regional Hospital has received prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly Designated birth facility, the second in the state.

The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this prestigious international award recognizes birth facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding are to:
Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated.
Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or birth center.

There are more than 20,000 designated Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers worldwide. Currently there are 209 active Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers in the United States, and now there are two in Alaska. The first in the state was Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

The “Baby-Friendly” designation is given after a rigorous on-site survey is completed. The award is maintained by continuing to practice the Ten Steps as demonstrated by quality processes. Find more information at

Coeur Alaska gives 20,000 to UAS
Coeur Alaska donated $20,000 to the University of Alaska Southeast today.

Retiring UAS Chancellor John Pugh (pictured on the right) accepts the check at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon at the Juneau International Airport.

New geologic materials library opens in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new state library in Anchorage is full of rocks.

The Geologic Materials Center opened Wednesday, offering oil and gas developers a place to learn about the geology of areas they want to explore.

KSKA says the new facility is replacing the library in Eagle River, where most of the samples will remain until the end of winter.

The new, larger center will be able to house nearly four times the size of the collection.

The new library is housed in a building formerly used by a Sam's Club warehouse store.

It took the state two years and $24.5 million to purchase and renovate the facility.

State Department of Natural Resources geologist Dave LaPain says the core collection is a valuable resource for oil and gas developers.

Woman dies in Eagle River Road crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say the woman killed Wednesday in an afternoon crash on Eagle River Road was an Eagle River resident.

Police say 64-year-old Alane Louise Allen died in the crash just before 12:30 p.m.

Allen was driving a small sedan north on Wren Lane and entered the intersection with Eagle River Road. The sedan collided with another small car and a sport utility vehicle driving in opposite directions on Eagle River Road.

Allen died at the scene.

Drivers in the other vehicles sustained what police called minor injuries.

Alaska mayor vetoes law aimed at protecting moose
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, has vetoed an ordinance passed to protect moose from impaling themselves on fences with metal spikes.

KTUU-TV reports that the ordinance approved last week banned new palisade fences less than 7 feet tall. Spiked fences now in place would have had to be removed within five years.

Former Department of Fish and Game biologist Rick Sinnott (SIN'-it) says spiked fences impale roaming moose two or three times per year. He says the animals instinctively jump over low obstacles.

Mayor Dan Sullivan says the number of moose wounded or killed by the fencing is "very, very low." He says the cost of cutting the spikes or replacing fencing outweighs the benefits of saving a few moose.

He says safer driving habits would save more moose.

Critics pan recommendation to cut Medicaid therapy
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A group appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to give advice on reforming Medicaid was told that its recommendations to limit payments for therapy would harm Alaskans.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports the state's Medicaid Reform Advisory Group in a five-hour meeting Wednesday heard of harsh consequences that could occur from limiting therapeutic services.

Parnell created the advisory group after refusing to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.

He asked for recommendations on Medicaid from the group by mid-November.

Elann Moren testified that she was someone who had benefited from therapy.

She was slashed with a machete by her fiancé's son in 2007 and was told she would never walk again.

She walked to the microphone Wednesday and said much is possible through occupational, physical and speech therapy.

CBJ Tax Exempt Committee met last night
The Tax Exempt Review Committee met last night in Assembly Chambers for a work session.

Faced with a daunting list of exemptions to review, the committee chose to pick some "low hanging fruit".

They chose to maintain the Out-of-Borough sales exemption and the lobbyist sales exemption, while limiting the Senior Exemption to CBJ residents only.

There had been talk of imposing an Inventory tax, although that was unanimously dismissed.

Waiting on the release of a Committee on Aging report on November 14, the committee chose to hear that report presented on December 3 and then enter into a work session to discuss the tax cap, "hardship" property tax and the business license tax.

December 18th was the date set for the next public hearing as well as the committee's recommendations on the balance of the exemptions.

War, Murkowski topics in Alaska Senate debate
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Veterans' issues, war and Sen. Lisa Murkowski were among the leading topics during a debate in Alaska's U.S. Senate race.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and his GOP challenger Dan Sullivan squared off for one of the last times before Tuesday's election.

Sullivan said Begich was slow to respond to problems with the Department of Veterans Affairs and didn't join calls for the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki.

Both Begich and Murkowski reserved judgment on Shinseki, who resigned earlier this year. But Begich also defended his work to improve VA care in Alaska.

Sullivan asked Begich why he hadn't pulled ads touting his level of cooperation with the Republican Murkowski. Begich said the ad is no longer running, but said he was proud of their record of working together.

Oregon, Alaska are ground zero in pot fight
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of ballot measures to legalize marijuana in Oregon and Alaska are focusing on young voters, who are considered more likely than others to favor legal pot, but less likely to cast a ballot.

Ethan Nadelmann is head of Drug Policy Action, a major contributor in the national campaign to legalize marijuana. He says the picture is not clear in Alaska, but in Oregon he is confident that if as many young voters turn out as did for the 2012 presidential election, legalization will pass.

Whatever happens, observers expect advocates to quickly shift their attention to the 2016 presidential elections and the big prize: California, where hopes are high for approval of legal pot despite a 2010 rejection.

Murkowski attending Arctic conference
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is attending a conference in Iceland focused on the Arctic.

Murkowski's office says the Alaska Republican and U.S. Arctic representative Admiral Robert Papp will help lead a discussion on Arctic issues with attendees.

Murkowski, in a release, said America is an Arctic nation and must engage and show "thoughtful leadership" in the Arctic community as interest and activity in the region increases.

The U.S. is in line to take over the chair of the Arctic Council next year.

[Wednesday October 29th, 2014  9TH  EDITION 5:24 P. M.]

CCFR saves Super 8
Capital City Fire Rescue was all of sudden busy with call, after call, after call on Wednesday afternoon at 1:20.

The first two calls were minor issues, an open burn on Gold Street and a burn complaint on Eagan and Glacier Highway, coming in at 1:20 and 1:22 respectively. With the final call at 1:23, a hotel was saved.

Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto says there was an electrical issue on the second floor of the Super 8 hotel. Fire crews did not find any fire, only a small amount of smoke. Occupants were evacuated and no one was injured. Quinto added, "We were able to save the whole building."

Guard members sue over leaked records
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Four Alaska National Guard members have sued the U.S. Army, saying investigative and other records pertaining to them were improperly leaked to reporters and state officials.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, said the plaintiffs have suffered humiliation, embarrassment and loss of promotional potential.

It seeks unspecified damages and to have those found responsible for the leaks to be referred to the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution.

Plaintiffs' attorney Mathew Tully says he does not know who leaked the reports.

Tully says he believes they were singled out as part of a "smear campaign," with selective information released.

The plaintiffs are Shannon Tallant, John Nieves and Jarrett Carson and Joseph Lawendowski, who were part of the Guard's recruiting team.

Fairbanks man indicted on attempted murder count
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A warrant has been issued for a Fairbanks man indicted on an attempted murder count.

A grand jury Thursday also indicted 39-year-old Richard W. Lane on four felony counts of assault with a weapon and one burglary count.

Alaska State Troopers say they're looking for Lane in connection with events that occurred Aug. 24.

Troopers say Lane forced his way into a home on Willow Creek Road north of Fairbanks and choked a woman four times. The woman escaped to a neighbor's house and called 911.

A no-bail warrant for Lane's arrest was issued Thursday.

Mining company says it will exclude ski area land
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Canadian gold exploration company has revised its application for a state land lease to exclude ground occupied by one of the only downhill ski areas near Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Vancouver-based Freegold Ventures this week contacted the Mental Health Trust Authority to exclude ground used by Skiland (SKEE'-land) northeast of Fairbanks.

The authority manages 1 million acres of state land to produce income that helps pay for care of Alaskans who experience mental illness.

The authority's Marcie Menefee says Freegold President Kristina Walcott heard of concerns from skiers and asked that the ski area's land be removed from the company's application.

Skiland was founded in 1962 by downhill skiers and has signed annual leases with the trust to use the land.

Bethel home for pregnant women moves to new digs
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A Bethel facility for pregnant women from the Yukon-Kuskokwim region has moved into a new home.

KYUK reports the new facility for the Prematernal Home is triple the size of the old one.

The facility houses pregnant women from the region during their last month of pregnancy, so they have easier access to health care needed.

The official grand opening is set for Nov. 18 for the home, which is run by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp.

YKHC spokeswoman Donna Bach says the new facility opened for business Oct. 1.

Doreen O'Brien, who has run the home for 24 years, says the new facility is a huge improvement over the old one.

The home began as a stand-alone nonprofit in the late 1960s. YKHC took over the operation in 2004.

DNR chief wants property rights protected in park
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's Natural Resources commissioner says he will seek to protect rights of property owners within Chugach State Park as the state and the municipality of Anchorage move forward with a park comprehensive plan.

Most of the park is within the municipality.

A planning document developed by the city and the state outlines future public access into the park.

The document has generated strong reaction by property owners because it identifies potential access points on private land.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports the city's land-use code says the city platting authority "shall require" access through points identified in the plan.

Natural Resources Commissioner Joe Balash says he would like to see that language softened.

He says access to state parks is a high priority but doesn't trump protecting private-property rights.

Scammer solicits cash for $350,000 'prize'
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks woman narrowly avoided falling victim to a scam artist who told her she had won the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes.

Barbara Reed says she regularly enters, so at first believed a caller Monday who said she had won $350,000 and a red Mercedes.

She tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the man even asked if she wanted the media present when the prizes were handed over.

There was one catch. The man said Reed would have to go to wire him $490 to claim the prize.

She did, but stopped payment after calling Publishers Clearing House and learning the company notifies its winners by mail or in person and doesn't require payments.

Lt. Matt Soden of the Fairbanks Police Department says similar scams pop up every few months.

Search proceed slowly in burned treatment center
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The acting fire chief in Bethel says it could take a week to search through the burned ruins of the community's partially completed alcohol treatment center and determine if anyone was inside.

Acting Chief Bill Howell tells KTUU-TV there were a large amount of combustibles inside the 16,000-square foot building when it burned Monday night.

The structure was on pilings. Howell says the fire released a lot of heat and fire officials are acting cautiously.

The $12.5 million treatment center was almost completely engulfed when firefighters arrived. They fought the fire for nine hours.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The 16-bed center was scheduled to open next year.

Oil companies seeking lease extensions
Oil companies interested in drilling off Alaska's northern coast are asking the Obama Administration for an extension on their leases.

The Alaska Dispatch reports that Shell is seeking an additional five years before its leases in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas begin expiring in 2017.

Conocophillips and Norway's Statoil have made similar requests. Shell began drilling in 2012, but the company says circumstances beyond its control have caused delays.

Big money in Alaska US Senate race
The race for U-S Senate is shaping up as the most expensive election campaign, by far, in Alaska history.

The Alaska Dispatch cites figures from the Center for Responsive Politics that show the bulk of the spending comes from groups unaffiliated with candidates.

Total spending so far totals over 37-million dollars. Incumbent Senator Mark Begich has spent just over 7 million, while Republican challenger Dan Sullivan has spent just under 7 million.

The remaining 23 million dwarfs the 4 million in spending by unaffiliated groups from Alaska's last U-S Senate contest in 2010.

Alaska ranks fourth in terms of total outside spending, but tops the list of money spent per vote cast.

Recruiters back on campus
The Mat-Su Borough School District is welcoming back military recruiters, after a temporary ban imposed last week.

Superintendent Deena Paramo says she met with recruiters from several branches to discuss training, chain of command, and an improved complaint process.

The district barred recruiters from Mat-Su schools after a report alleged misconduct by members of the Alaska National Guard. Paramo tells KTVA-11 that "all branches of the military demonstrated that exceptional safeguards are in place to protect students."

The Anchorage School District is also reviewing the role of recruiters in high schools before lifting its ban.

New lead in case of missing Kenai family
The discovery of a piece of clothing is reviving the search for a family missing on the Kenai Peninsula.

Police in Kenai say officers recently found a piece of outerwear near the home of 22-year old Rebecca Adams. She and her two daughters, along with her boyfriend, 37-year-old Brandon Jividen, and pet dog, were last seen May 27th.

Searchers combed the woods during the month of June until they ran out of leads.

Kenai Police said Tuesday a new search team could benefit from better visibility now that leaves have fallen.

[Tuesday October 28th, 2014  13th  EDITION 10:09 P. M.]

2014 Alaska State Fair - attendance up, state records set, improvements unveiled
Palmer, Alaska – Increased attendance, new state records and the unveiling of several fairground improvements are just a few of the takeaways from the 2014 Alaska State Fair, which took place August 21 – September 1 at the fairgrounds in Palmer. The theme of this year’s Fair was “Good Time Fun!”

Total attendance at the 2014 Fair was 293,827, up more than 4,300 from 2013’s attendance. Ray Ritari, Fair general manager attributes the increase to great weather.

While concert ticket sales were still strong, the number of tickets sold this year was down slightly, at 28,174 compared to 33,392 last year. Topping the ticket sales chart was Three Days Grace and Pentatonix, followed by Thompson Square.

Three new state vegetable records were set at the 2014 Fair. Jody Zylstra of Wasilla set a record with a 15.50-pound spaghetti squash; Pat Tremaine of Palmer set a record with a 9-foot, 10¾-inch dill; and Phyllis Kircher of Palmer set a record with a 5-foot, 7¾-inch fennel.
While no new records were set at the Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off or the Alaska Midnight Sun Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off this year, the entries were still impressive. Steve Hubacek took first place in the cabbage weigh-off with his 117.95-pound entry, and Dale Marshall won the pumpkin contest with his 1283.5-pound gourd.

The 2014 Fair featured several significant expansions/improvements, including the opening of The Gathering Place, a new area of the fairgrounds dedicated to experiencing Alaska’s rich Native cultures and traditions. All 10 of the Alaska Native groups from the five regions were represented at The Gathering Place, which featured 54 Native dance performances, 36 traditional storytelling sessions, 30 traditional Native artist vendors, and four World Eskimo-Indian Olympic athletic demonstrations. New paved walkways in the carnival area provided improved access for fairgoers, who also enjoyed Mega Drop, the newest addition to the carnival ride attractions. In Farm Exhibits, fairgoers experienced Sudsy’s Barn™, a play-based, interactive hand-washing station that was custom-designed and built for the Fair in an effort to address animal/human disease transfer while continuing the tradition of hands-on interaction. The upgraded and expanded sewer system and new Farm Exhibits roof were also completed in advance of the 2014 Fair.

Other highlights from the 2014 Fair:
A total of 439 vendors set up shop at the 2014 Fair.
During the three-day Fair food drive, Mat-Su Food Bank collected 16,400 pounds of nonperishable goods.
Retiring Sen. Fred Dyson and the 2014 Farm Family of the Year, Mike and Paula Williams, were honored.
A total of 300 volunteers helped with the Fair’s recycling program, collecting 31,121 pounds of recyclable materials. Included in the total was 1,619 pounds of aluminum – a 116 percent increase from last year!
There were 8,253 exhibits entered and $36,000 in premiums awarded at the 2014 Fair.
The Fair drew media attention from Food Network, NPR, NHK Japan Broadcasting, BBC Television and HGTV, among others.
More than 2,100 students in kindergarten through fifth grade visited the Fair on field trips this year.
A total of 77 youth participated in the 4-H Junior Market Livestock Auction, where 76 animals were sold, raising $155,666.
The Age of Dinosaurs/Living Legends exhibit, which was free with Fair admission, drew nearly 82,000 visitors.
Amanda Sanders of Bryant, Arkansas won the Cabbage Classic Lottery, which raised money for Alaska State Fair and Palmer Rotary scholarship programs.

The 2015 Alaska State Fair will take place August 27 – September 7. Find more information at

Second public meeting on senior citizen tax exemption Wednesday night
The public is invited Wednesday night as the Assembly holds a work session as they review various tax exemptions.

Seventeen citizens addressed the CBJ committee at the first meeting earlier this month.

Approximately $57 million in sales were exempted as senior citizens sales during 2013 and of that $2.8 million was the estimated sales tax revenue that was exempted.

The Tax Exemption Review Committee meets again Wednesday at 5 pm in Assembly Chambers.

Tax Foundation ranks AK No. 4, improvements needed in two categories
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation ranked Alaska fourth best in the nation in their 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index released on Tuesday, but Denny DeWitt, Alaska state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, says two components in the index do need improving.

The index measured a state’s corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax and property-tax rank to come up with an overall score. DeWitt said, “It helps our ranking that we have no sales or individual income taxes, but I think the Tax Foundation will find our state in even better shape in future reports." According to DeWitt, Alaska was ranked 24th in unemployment insurance taxes. He added, "With Gov. Sean Parnell’s signing last year of House Bill 76 holding down unemployment insurance premiums, it will no doubt improve our standing in the years to come."

Corporate tax and property tax rankings were areas in need of improvement.

CBJ welcomes sister city delegation from the Philippines
Mayor William Lachica and a delegation from the Municipality of Kalibo will be traveling to Juneau October 29 through November 3 to formalize the Sister City relationship between our two communities.

Many of Juneau's Filipino community members come from the Province of Aklan and have family members living in or near Kalibo. Both communities are the capital cities of their regions, and share a belief that a Sister City relationship will be beneficial to the people of both cities on economic, social, educational, and cultural levels.

The community of Juneau is invited to help welcome the delegation at the following events:

Wednesday, October 29 at 9:15pm: Welcome to Juneau, Airport lobby outside the security area.

Thursday, October 30 at 2:00pm: Delegation Meet and Greet, Assembly Chambers

Saturday, November 1 at 3:30pm: Official Signing Ceremony, Assembly Chambers

Alaska soldier's court-martial moved to Washington
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Fort Wainwright soldier charged with premeditated murder in the death of his 3-year-old son will be court-martialed in Washington state.

The Army in an announcement Tuesday says the court-martial for 24-year-old Sgt. Nathaniel Ulroan will begin Nov. 3 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Ulroan's son died April 3 at the family's home on Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks.

Ulroan, originally from Chevak, Alaska, is also charged with kidnapping, rape, assault counts and communicating a threat.

The Army says prosecutors and Ulroan's military defense team agreed to move the court-martial. The Army says Ulroan, the military judge, members of the defense team and a primary witness are all present at the Washington base.

Ulroan joined the Army in October 2008 and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sarah Palin hopes to run for office again some day
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she hopes to run for office again and is urging Republican leaders to have "more guts" as they pursue their agenda.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee says in an interview with Fox Business Network that she is invigorated by her critics and intends to be out there "hopefully running for office in the future."

Palin decided not to seek the presidency in 2012, but she remains a popular figure among conservatives. She hasn't held office since resigning as Alaska governor during her first and only term.

She says Republican leaders also need to have more confidence in what the party stands for. She cites Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Utah Sen. Mike Lee as "good leaders" and says they have been bold and courageous.

Nicely preserved mammoth carcass shown in Moscow
MOSCOW (AP) — Nearly 40,000 years old and in surprisingly good shape, the carcass of a woolly mammoth has gone on display in Moscow.

Scientists, who found the teenage mammoth in 2010 in Russia's far north region of Yakutia, named it Yuka. Yuka had gone on display in Japan and Taiwan before it was exhibited in Moscow Tuesday.

Albert Protopopov, a researcher from Yakutia, said Yuka's carcass bore traces indicating that humans hunted for mammoths during the Ice Age.

Woolly mammoths are thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago, although scientists think small groups of them lived longer in Alaska and on islands off Siberia.

Scientists have deciphered much of the woolly mammoth's genetic code from their hair, and some believe it's possible to clone them if living cells are found.

USDA makes high tunnels a standard Alaska program
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's success with federally funded high tunnels for extending growing seasons is being recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA says it's changing its High Tunnel Cost Share grant program from an interim practice to a standard practice. That means less uncertainty about future funding.

High tunnels are tall hoop houses used to cover crops.

The USDA's Meg Mueller tells the Peninsula Clarion that the program has been tested and proven in Alaska for five years. Alaska has more high tunnels per capita than any state, including 161 in Homer.

Natural Resources Conservation Service soil conservationist Pam Voeller says growers who previously felt pressure to sign up for a subsidized high tunnel while they were part of an interim practice now have time to thoroughly develop plans.

Teen sentenced to 25 years for sexual assault
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 19-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in prison for sexually assaulting a teenager he'd asked on a walk.

KTUU-TV reports Jessye Potts was sentenced Monday for the New Year's Day assault.

Potts was 18 when he asked the 17-year-old girl out for an afternoon walk. They walked through their Ocean View neighborhood and along Cook Inlet railroad tracks.

Investigator say Potts bound the teenager with duct tape, assaulted her and left but came back and freed her.

The girl walked to a home and called for assistance. Potts was arrested at his home.

He pleaded guilty in June to a single count of sexual assault.

Superior Court Judge Michael Spaan sentenced Potts to 35 years in prison with 10 suspended. He also faces 15 years of probation.

Fliers attempt to shame voters
Fliers being mailed to Alaska voters shaming them into showing up at the polls are not illegal. they're also not official.
The Alaska Dispatch reports that one set of fliers from the "Alaska State Voter Program" comes from a national group backed by a conservative donor in Oregon.

Others have been sent by groups supported by labor unions or the conservative non-profit "Americans for Prosperity."

The fliers list the names and addresses of the recipients' neighbors and whether they voted in the last three elections. It warns that a follow-up flier will include whether the recipient votes at next Tuesday's election.

Whether a person votes is public information, though how the fliers were customized for each recipient is somewhat mysterious. Elections Director Gail Fenumiai says nothing in the law prevents anyone from obtaining the state's active voter list.

Fire at partially built Bethel treatment center
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Officials say a partially built alcohol treatment center in the southwest Alaska city of Bethel caught fire Monday night.

KTUU-TV reports that a spokeswoman for the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. says the $12.5 million center was expected to be completed next year.

Spokeswoman Donna Bach said the building appeared to be engulfed in flames by 8:15 p.m. Volunteer firefighters were on scene.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the blaze wasn't known late Monday night.

The regional health corporation runs a Bethel-based hospital and provides medical services for more than 50 surrounding villages.

Bach says the treatment center was being built as a 16-bed facility and was insured.

Alaska state ferry office releases summer schedule
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Reservations are now being taken for traveling on Alaska state ferries next summer.

State transportation officials say the 2015 summer schedule announced Monday comes after a public comment period that allow people to notify the Alaska Marine Highway System about important community events.

People and communities also were able to comment on the proposed schedule in September.

Eaglecrest tumbles in Ski Town Throwdown
Voting for round 2 of Powder Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown ended last night.

Eaglecrest spokeswoman Jeffra Clough says, "It was a busy day of voting but unfortunately Eaglecrest was beat out by Red Mountain, British Colombia and does not advance to round 3. We would like to thank the entire community for their support. We all know Eaglecrest is an awesome ski area.
The snow is creeping down the mountain and winter is just around the corner. Eaglecrest is getting ready for the upcoming season. Season passes and multi-visit cards are on sale now at earlybird rates. The EarlyBird Sale ends on November 15.  For more information on Eaglecrest visit or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram."

UAS Chancellor Announces May 2015 Retirement
University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh announced his retirement yesterday. It's scheduled for May 29, 2015.

Since August 1999 Pugh has been at the helm of the state public university with campuses in Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. Pugh will have completed a 28-year career at UAS that began in 1987, including service as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and the Dean of Faculty.

Many significant changes have occurred under Chancellor Pugh's leadership, including major building projects such as the Egan Classroom Wing, Recreation Facility and recently completed Freshman Residence Hall on the Juneau campus.

In a memo to employees, Pugh thanked staff and faculty for their service and encouraged them "to stay engaged and work together with the administration to provide a smooth transition in UAS leadership."

Although UA President Pat Gamble says he does anticipate a successful transition, he added, "We will be challenged to find another chancellor with the same love for his university community of students, faculty and staff." Gamble intends to travel to Juneau in the coming weeks to discuss with Pugh and members of the UAS community the next steps in finding a successor.

After his retirement in May, Pugh looks forward to having more time to visit extended family, travel with his wife Margaret and spend more time with their granddaughters.

[Monday October 27th, 2014  9th  EDITION 10:34 P. M.]

20-year-old dies after collapsing at Bethel home
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The body of a 20-year-old Bethel woman has been sent to Anchorage for an autopsy after she collapsed and died.

KYUK reports police identified the victim as Cheyenne Nick. Police and medics responded Oct. 15 to a home and found Nick not breathing.

She was taken to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corp. where she was pronounced dead.

Police continue to investigate.

Anchorage looks at closing schools to save money
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District is asking district officials to determine any the costs, savings and benefits involved with closing more than a dozen schools.

KTUU reports the school board made the request of district administrators earlier this month.

This is in response to the district's project shortfall of $73 million over the next three years.

There's several different fiscal projections drafted. School Board President Eric Croft says the district hasn't acted on any of them, and to do so would take two years to implement.

Troopers release name of man killed on Steese
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a man killed in a weekend crash north of Fairbanks was driving the wrong way in lanes of a divided four-lane highway.

Troopers say 51-year-old James Wilder on Friday night was driving south in the northbound lanes of the Steese Highway when he crashed head-on into another vehicle.

The crash occurred near Hagelbarger Road, which crosses the Steese Highway 6.4 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

Troopers say Wilder struck a vehicle driven by 38-year-old Michael Walker of Fairbanks at about 7 p.m.

Walker and two passengers were transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital with injuries that troopers describe as non-life-threatening.

Northbound lanes were closed after the crash.

Group launches anti-Walker ad campaign
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new Republican group has launched an advertising campaign against independent Alaska gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker in the final days before next week's election.

Alaska Dispatch News reports the group, Citizens Against Walker, is spending $150,000 on a TV ad on one station, KTVA.

Randy Ruedrich, the former chair of the Alaska Republican Party, heads the group, whose treasurer is Washington, D.C.-based attorney, Michael Adams, who works with the Republican Governors Association.

Ruedrich said Monday morning he was unable to immediately comment.

Walker is the main challenger to Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, who is seeking a second full term.

Walker campaign spokeswoman, Lindsay Hobson, says the commercial attacks Walker on health care.

Walker has repeatedly stated he wants to expand Medicaid coverage in Alaska. Parnell opposes Medicaid expansion.

Eaglecrest in Round of 16; Skitown Throwdown
We all know that Eaglecrest is a very important part of the Juneau Community. Today we have a chance to shout this out to the world in Powder Magazine’s Ski Town Throwdown!

Eaglecrest is up against Red Mountain, BC in round two of the Ski Town Throwdown. Voting started at 8:30am and runs until 8:30pm tonight. You can find the voting link on the home page of or pinned to the top of our Facebook page.

Powder has picked Eaglecrest as the favorite for this round but it will be a tough competition. Please join me in voting for Eaglecrest today and help me spread the word. Every vote counts – a vote for Eaglecrest is a vote for Juneau, Alaska and a vote for the Americans!

And please note – you can and are encouraged to vote on more than one computer or more than one browser.
Below is the link to vote.

You can vote on more than one computer and/or browser.

UAS this week
The Juneau World Affairs Council just concluded in annual fall forum at UAS focusing on Mexico.

UAS Chancellor, John Pugh says now there are opportunities for students to study abroad.

On Wednesday, October 29 at Spike's Cafe students can learn about exchange and study abroad opportunities at UAS; both national and international.

Marsha Squires and her group will be there to answer questions all day.

Although we haven't seen our firs snowfall... the Spring schedule is available today online.

Friday, October 31 is the deadline for Late Fall Graduation Application; 907-796-6100 or

Friday, October 31 in Egan Lecture Hall at 7 pm- Global warming, toxic spills, water and air pollution are not new. But have you heard of The Ecological Imperative in the Age of Cybernetic Organisms? What if we embrace our monstrous condition as cyborgs? Could we  transform the planet and ourselves? UAS History Professor Robin Walz asks, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Borg? At the next Evening at Egan, Halloween night, October 31, 7 p.m. at the Egan Lecture Hall at the University of Alaska Southeast.

Doctor charged with sexually abusing 3 girls
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 67-year-old Anchorage doctor has been charged with sexually abusing three young girls.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports Clifford R. Merchant was taken into custody Saturday at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

Merchant is a longtime contract physician in the emergency room of Providence Alaska Medical Center. The hospital has suspended his physician privileges.

Alaska State Troopers say a 12-year-old girl in July told an investigator that she had been inappropriately touched by Merchant.

Troopers say two more victims were identified and that the incidents occurred between 2001 and 2013 with three girls under the age of 13.

Merchant is charged with 14 counts of felony sexual abuse of a minor and one of attempted sexual abuse of a minor. He was arraigned Sunday with bail set at $500,000.

Man with box-cutter, pickax arrested at store
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man carrying a box-cutter at a Fairbanks store told a clerk he intended to rob the place was arrested after he picked up a pickax.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the man late Sunday afternoon entered the city's Sears store and walked up to a clerk in the hardware section. The man said he intended to rob the store and that the clerk should call police.

The clerk called police and officers found the man at the store's tool counter brandishing a pickax.

Fairbanks Police Department Sgt. Gregory Foster says the man within a few minutes was taken into custody without injuries or property damage.

Foster says police will recommend charges of armed robbery and assault.

Online court records early Monday did not indicate he had been charged.

Final gubernatorial debate last night
Gov. Sean Parnell and independent candidate Bill Walker traded barbs during a televised debate late Sunday.

Walker sought to cast Parnell as slow to respond to allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Alaska National Guard, a characterization that Parnell vigorously disputed.

Parnell, meanwhile, asked Walker what deal he cut with Democrats to have Bryon Mallott join Walker's ticket.

Mallott, who won the Democratic primary for governor, later became Walker's running mate as part of a "unity ticket" widely seen as providing a tougher challenge to Parnell.

Walker said there was no deal, and said he was sorry that Parnell couldn't fathom him and Mallott agreeing to put party interests aside for the good of Alaska.

The debate was one of the last before the Nov. 4 election.

[Sunday October 26th, 2014  6th  EDITION 7:12 P. M.]

Juneau warrant arrest
Alaska State Troopers say a 26 year old Juneau woman was arrested Saturday afternoon at her residence on an outstanding warrant for "Failure to Appear in Court on an Order to Show Cause Hearing. "

Chelsie Nelson was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center on $250.00 bail.

Bethel Food Pantry struggles to open
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The Bethel Food Pantry has been having difficulty getting enough food to open.

The food pantry, run by the Bethel Lion's Club, usually opens in August or September but isn't slated to open this year until November.

Carol Ann Willard is president of the local Lion's Club. She says there's less help from the government at a time when more people need food.

Willard tells KYUK that as help from the Food Bank of Alaska has decreased, the food pantry has sought more help locally.

Last year, the Bethel branch of Alaska USA Federal Credit Union donated several thousand dollars so the pantry could buy food and plans to donate again this year. The pantry has also reached out to grocery stores, and food drives are underway.

Attempted escape at Ketchikan Correctional
Alaska State Troopers were notified Friday night that 26 year old Tiffany Martinez of Ketchikan, a current inmate at Ketchikan Correctional Center, attempted to escape from custody.

She was transported to the courthouse for a hearing by Department of Public Safety Court Service Officers, after which Marinez attempted to flee by breaking loose from the officers' physical hold on her. She fled through the Courthouse parking garage where she was re-apprehended.

Martinez was charged with Attempted Escape III and Resisting Arrest.

Walker welcomes Palin's backing in governor's race
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker says he welcomes Sarah Palin's endorsement.

Palin announced her support for Walker and his running mate, Democrat Byron Mallott, in a Facebook post on Saturday.

Walker, in a statement, said Palin "joins a long line of Alaskans from all political persuasions who are ready for a new direction for Alaska."

Walker is challenging Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, who served as Palin's lieutenant governor after Palin was elected governor in 2006.

Parnell took over for Palin as governor in 2009, when she resigned. He was elected in his own right in 2010, beating Walker in that year's Republican gubernatorial primary.

Permits secured for North Slope gas plant
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Interior Energy Project has secured the necessary regulatory permits for a natural gas processing facility that would supply a gas-trucking program to the Fairbanks area.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority made the announcement. But the project isn't a done deal.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a price range for gas off the North Slope is expected soon and will be used to gauge demand for the plant and economic feasibility by the authority's board.

The project has been billed as a stop-gap measure until a gas pipeline is built. It received more than $300 million in low-cost loans, tax credits and grants to help develop the processing facility and distribution and storage in the Fairbanks area.

There are no guarantees the pipeline will be built, either.

Native organization backs Begich for Senate
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The largest statewide organization of Alaska Natives has endorsed Democratic Sen. Mark Begich's re-election bid.

The Alaska Federation of Natives, or AFN, also endorsed independent candidate Bill Walker for governor. Walker is running with Democrat Byron Mallott, a former leader of Sealaska Corp.

Begich has been courting the rural vote, including Alaska Natives, in his hotly contested race with Republican Dan Sullivan.

Sullivan, a former state attorney general, has sought to play up his ties to the community, noting, in part, that his wife is Alaska Native.

A number of Native groups backed Begich in the lead-up to the AFN convention. Leaders of the Arctic Slope Regional Corp. had endorsed Sullivan.

Ketchikan Shellfish Festival scheduled for Tuesday
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Ketchikan's Shellfish Festival will feature locally harvested seafood when it takes place next week.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports the event is scheduled Tuesday at the Ted Ferry Civic Center.

This year's festival is a stand-alone event.

In years past, the event has occurred during annual meetings in Ketchikan of the Alaska Shellfish Growers Association. Anchorage is the site for this year's meeting for the association.

The Southeast Alaska Regional Dive Fisheries Association is involved with organizing the shellfish festival.

Struggling governors could hurt GOP's Senate hopes
WASHINGTON (AP) — As Republican Senate candidate David Perdue campaigns across Georgia, he describes a struggling economy.

But that's not what the state's Republican governor wants to hear. Nathan Deal is battling for re-election while Democrats remind voters that Georgia has the nation's highest unemployment rate.

Georgia isn't the only state where a Republican governor up for re-election could conceivably undermine his party's Senate nominee.

Similar scenarios are playing out in Kansas and Alaska.

But in Colorado, the Democratic governor faces a tough re-election challenge at a time the party needs to shore up Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

Strong links between races for senator and governor are by no means certain.

But even a small drag or boost could affect the GOP's bid to gain six new Senate seats and take control.

[Saturday October 25th, 2014  6th  EDITION 5:43 P. M.]

Ex-Fairbanks priest indicted for child pornography
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A former Fairbanks priest has been indicted for allegedly attempting to produce child pornography.

The Fairbanks Daily News Miner reported a federal grand jury indicted Clint Landry on one count of attempted production of child pornography and one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.

Landry pleaded not guilty to both counts on Friday.

The 57-year-old former Sacred Heart Cathedral priest allegedly attempted the acts on May 18 and 19. The Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks placed him on leave that week.

Charging documents don't specify the age of the victim or the specific actions Landry is accused of committing.

Diocese Human Resources Director Ronnie Rosenberg says staff called Alaska State Troopers after receiving a report of misconduct by Landry. The troopers passed the case to the FBI.

Palin endorses Walker in Alaska race for governor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has made it official and endorsed a third-party candidate for governor over her former running mate.

Palin on Saturday made the endorsement official for the ticket of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott on her Facebook page. Walker is an independent and Mallott is a Democrat.

The two joined their campaigns after the August primary, with Walker at the top of the ticket, as the best chance to unseat Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell, who was Palin's lieutenant governor.

Palin hosted a reception for Walker and Mallet earlier this week, but Walker's spokeswoman said they didn't consider it an endorsement.

Luke Miller, Parnell's campaign spokesman, says he wonders how Walker will backtrack this time.

US to recognize same-sex marriage in 6 new states
WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is recognizing gay marriage in six more states, extending federal benefits to those couples.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the states are: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Saturday's announcement brings the total number of states with federal recognition of same-sex marriage to 32, plus the District of Columbia.

Couples married in these states will qualify for a range of federal benefits, including Social Security and veterans' benefits.

Holder says the Justice Department also has determined that it can legally recognize gay marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin after federal courts declared state marriage bans unconstitutional. Subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those unions, but Holder says the federal government will recognize the marriages.

Environmentalists say an Canadian barge adrift off the coast of Alaska is another reason there needs to be strong regulations for Arctic shipping.

The U-S Coast Guard is trying to monitor the barge, which broke free of a tugboat on Monday in heavy seas.

The tug was towing the barge to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories.

It's empty but is carrying 35-hundred litres of light diesel fuel for its own engines.

Kevin Harun of the non-governmental organization Pacific Environment says Arctic weather is routinely unpredictable.

He says if authorities can't deal with a barge that's fairly close to civilization, how can they deal with a large ship that's carrying something even more dangerous.

He says it's another indication of why good rules are needed.

The barge was last seen Wednesday and the company that owns it hopes to get sailors on board and bring it to port under its own power.

Treadwell to AFN: Youth and Native Votes Trending Upward
Anchorage, AK – Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell told delegates at the Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) convention yesterday to keep working to increase voter participation, a priority Treadwell promised to maintain until his term ends on Dec. 1.

Treadwell released statistics showing that voter access, as well as participation among youth and Native Alaskans, had increased significantly in the last four years.

“In the 2012 primary election, less than 10% of 18-24 year olds cast a ballot, but in 2014, 20% of voters from the same age group participated,” Treadwell said. “In Alaska’s Northern and Western legislative districts, where over 60 percent of voters are Alaska Natives, voter turnout increased nearly seven percent between 2010 and 2014. That’s a great improvement and a positive trend.

“I’m most proud that the Division of Elections has more than doubled the number of early voting locations since 2012, by establishing 128 polling places in time for the 2014 election cycle. This year’s ballots will be the most widely available in state history. That’s due to the collaboration of the division with AFN and Native corporation CEO’s.”

Treadwell said the Division of Elections is complying with a federal court order to expand language assistance provided to voters, and said the word is getting out in many ways, including regular announcements on VHF Citizens Band radios, which are heard in homes throughout rural Alaska. He told delegates that anyone needing language assistance to vote in this election could call the division’s hotline at (866) 954-8683.

“On Nov. 4, we have an election with three major ballot measures, races that could determine control of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, and statewide offices,” Treadwell said. Citing the convention’s “Rise as One” theme, he said, “We have to rise as one to make sure everyone eligible to vote exercises their right to do so.”

Treadwell also chairs the Alaska Historical Commission, and cheered yesterday’s signing of House Bill 216, which makes 20 Native languages official languages of the State of Alaska. He urged delegates to work with him and his successor to put more traditional Native place names on official maps of the state. Individuals wishing to nominate a place name for consideration by the Commission can use forms provided at

“The best way to preserve a language is to come up with ways to use it every day,” Treadwell said. “When a traditional name like Dena’ina or Denali becomes the accepted word for a place, we help preserve the language.”

More Alaska Production Act Leads to New Drill Site at Kuparuk
Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell yesterday welcomed the announcement from ConocoPhillips that the company will construct a new drill site at Kuparuk that is expected to produce 8,000 barrels of oil a day at peak production. The company credits SB 21, the More Alaska Production Act, legislation sponsored by Governor Parnell, for moving the project forward.

“This is the first new drill site at Kuparuk in nearly 12 years, bringing a $500 million investment in the near term, hundreds of new jobs, and greater economic opportunity for Alaskans,” said Gov. Parnell. “This announcement, when coupled with two other newly planned ConocoPhillips North Slope projects, will provide a $2 billion investment for our state. Our oil tax reform changes are working and this is only the latest example.”

Yesterday morning ConocoPhillips announced the funding for Kuparuk field expansion project Drill Site 2S (DS2S) has been sanctioned by ConocoPhillips and the Kuparuk co-owners, which includes BP Exploration, ExxonMobil and Chevron.

[Friday October 24th, 2014  13th  EDITION 4:46 P. M.]

Begich, Sullivan tout Alaska Native ties
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The major candidates for U.S. Senate are touting their ties to the Alaska Native community, a key constituency in a state that could help decide control of the Senate.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich and Republican challenger Dan Sullivan squared off during a forum at the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage.

Begich said he is committed to the Alaska Native people and said subsistence rights for Native people are fundamental.

Sullivan said he has deep respect for the Native community, noting his wife is Alaska Native.

He tried to paint Begich as a man of words, not action, noting that few bills bearing Begich's name have passed since his election.

Begich said it's not about getting his name on something but getting results, which he said he has.

Parnell, Walker outline Alaska Native views
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Republican Alaska incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell and independent challenger Bill Walker weighed in on various issues during a candidate forum at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage.

Parnell told the audience Friday that his administration has worked hard on improving education opportunities in rural Alaska, including efforts to equalize school construction across the state.

Walker said he would push to develop opportunities through technical training that could create more opportunities for local hires.

The candidates gave different views on health care.

Parnell says he does not support Medicaid expansion in its present form, saying it would place too much financial burden on states. Walker says he would expand Medicaid, saying it's something Alaskans have already paid for.

The convention is the state's largest yearly gathering of Alaska Natives.

Coast Guard rescues person from water in Juneau, Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard Station Juneau crewmembers rescued a person from the water in Gastineau Channel near the DIPAC Macaulay Salmon Hatchery in Juneau early Friday morning.

A Station Juneau 25-foot Response Boat - Small crew rescued the man from the water before transporting him to Aurora Harbor and turning him over to police custody.

Local residents contacted Juneau Police Department reporting a male yelling for help. The Juneau Police Department contacted Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders around 1:15 a.m. The watchstanders directed the launch of the Station Juneau boat crew.

The Station Juneau boat crew located the man and recovered him at 1:49 a.m. The man was in an 8-foot row boat that he painted red. He stated he was attempting to reach his boat which is anchored in Auke Bay.

"Mariners are cautioned to wear a life jacket when operating a vessel at night," said Lt. Stacey Tate, command duty officer, Sector Juneau. "Thanks to the local residents who contacted police, we were able to reach the individual quickly."

The 8-foot row boat sank outside of the channel and does not pose a hazard to navigation.

The man was transported by Juneau police to Bartlett Hospital.

Wrangell doctor indicted on child porn charges
WRANGELL, Alaska (AP) — A Wrangell doctor has been indicted on child pornography charges.

KSTK reports Greg Salard was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on felony counts alleging child-pornography distribution and possession.

Federal public defender Cara McNamara, who is representing Salard, declined to comment Friday.

Salard is accused of being in possession of child porn when he was arrested last week after a search warrant was served at his home. Authorities say Salard also made child pornography available through a file-sharing network.

He is in custody and scheduled for arraignment Tuesday.

Until his arrest, Salard was working as a family doctor for Alaska Island Community Services. He also had a contract with Wrangell Medical Center.

Island Community Services executive director Mark Walker says Salard is no longer practicing for either organization.

Rep. Don Young apologizes for comments on suicides
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Rep. Don Young is apologizing for remarks made to Wasilla High School students on suicide and says he had been personally touched by the issue.

Young in a speech Friday to the Alaska Federation of Natives made reference to a family member who died. Young says he questioned whether he had "done enough."

Young says the personal side of the suicide issue may have caused him to mangle some of his statements. He told Wasilla students Tuesday that lack of support from family and friends might be to blame when people kill themselves.

Young says that after his personal experience, he made up my mind to try to prevent future suicides.

He says he has supported federal programs aimed at training teachers and counselors to recognize the mental illness.

US rig count up 9 to 1,927
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by nine this week to 1,927.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,595 rigs were exploring for oil and 332 for gas. A year ago there were 1,738 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained eight rigs, New Mexico increased five, West Virginia was up three, while Arkansas, California and Ohio gained two apiece. Alaska was up one.

Kansas declined by four, Pennsylvania was down three, Wyoming lost two and Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Utah decreased by one each.

Oklahoma was unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Paper lantern launch causes disruption
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials at an Anchorage air field had to briefly reroute traffic following the release of paper lanterns during an interfaith event in the area.

The lantern release, during an event in support of victims of domestic violence, came as a surprise to Anchorage police, who said lanterns appeared in the path of airplane traffic at Merrill Field on Thursday night.

Sgt. Shaun Henry told the Alaska Dispatch News police received calls about rerouted planes and a lantern landing on a vehicle. No injuries or accidents were reported.

A police spokeswoman said no citations were issued.

Jenny Michaelson, with the Archdiocese of Anchorage, said the launch was meant as part of a positive community event. She said no harm was meant.

Calista Corp. to issue new dividend
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Calista (Cha-LIS'-tuh) Corp. officials say the regional Alaska Native corporation will issue a first-ever investment fund dividend to shareholders next month.

KYUK reports the money will come from the Akilista Fund, which was established in 1994 for developing future dividends.

The first dividend from the fund totals $1.22 per share. For the average shareholder with 100 shares, that will work out to $122.

Calista communications manager Thom Leonard says the payout will mark the first time that financial benchmarks set by the corporation board for the fund have been met.

The dividend checks are expected to be distributed in mid-November.

Calista is the Alaska Native corporation for the Bethel region. The corporation currently has more than 12,000 shareholders.

Man rescued from Gastineau Channel early this morning
A 43 year old Juneau man was rescued early this morning, October 24th, 2014, after multiple people heard his cries for help from a swamped boat in the Gastineau Channel. The calls started coming to the Juneau Police Department at about 1:00 a.m. and the US Coast Guard rescued the man shortly after 2:00 a.m..

The man later told officers he had found a plywood boat with a 'Free' sign on it and had decided to use it to row to Auke Bay from downtown Juneau. The man admitted he had been drinking and smoking marijuana.

JPD Officers used spotlights to keep track of the man and requested a Coast Guard response. The man yelled that he was cold and cursed at the officers, apparently displeased with the time it took the Coast Guard to respond. The man said he did have a life jacket in the boat and agreed to get it and put it on at about 1:30 a.m..

After the rescue the man declined emergency medical care but was transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital at his request. Criminal charges are not anticipated.

Juneau Police Department's Crime of the Week
A teenage boy and his father’s project took a negative turn when someone stole the door off the pickup the two had been fixing. The door was taken between the evening of October 17th and the morning of October 18th, 2014, while parked at the corner of Industrial Avenue and Crazy Horse Drive. The pair who was working on the truck had been borrowing a commercial shop in the area to work on a transmission repair.

During the incident the windshield of the truck was also broken. The total cost of the damages is $3500.

You can see a picture of the pickup on the JPD Facebook page.

Anyone with information is encouraged to log on to the Juneau Crime Line Web site and report their tip. You may also call JPD at 586-0600. You may be eligible for a reward.

Senator Dennis Egan addresses Juneau Chamber
Alaska Senator Dennis Egan addressed the Chamber luncheon Thursday at the Juneau International Airport.

He was asked how he would improve the quality of education in Alaska....

"The Senate bill for education was horrible. Thank heavens House Bill 278 was introduced and made it through, but I don't think it was a good idea either.
It's much better than the bill we introduced. I don't think the BSA is high enough. Here in Juneau, to break even, because of inflation, it's over $400 BSA.
We have $100, $50 and $50 over three years. It's not enough.
I think that we ought to increase the Base Student Allocation. That is our future. The kids that we are raising. They are going to be our future leaders, business owners, teachers whatever. I think we need to do more to educate our children. I am a big supporter of Pre-K education; Pre-K funding."

The Senator was asked about the forming of the Walker-Mallott ticket....

"I am proud that Bill Walker and Byron Mallott are doing an independent ticket. To be honest, I am not thrilled with Bill's standing on social issues, but they will work on that.
I think Byron will have a much better standing in a Walker administration as Lt. Gov."

Egan, a Democrat, reflected on joining the Republican majority last session.....

"The reason we did it was because there was no representation for coastal Alaska. Everybody that was in the majority was representing the "rail belt'; the roaded system.
There are no senators that were representing coastal issues. It's a totally different thing when you get out of here.
You don't realize what we have to go through to get our issues taken care of. They don't know about fisheries, they don't know about the Alaska Marine Highway system.
It's our highway, but they don't get it. So, we formed, because of that, a group called the Coastal Caucus; Donny Olson, Bert Stedman, Gary Stevens, myself and Peter Micciche.
We got a lot of things passed that took care of us. "

Senator Egan faces challenger Tom Williams in the General Election on Tuesday, November 4.

Anchorage police investigate death of pit bull
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The carcass of a pit bull found hanging from a tree in a wooded area of Anchorage has spawned an animal cruelty case for Anchorage police.

The department says it's seeking the public's help in finding the person who slashed the dog's throat and hung it in woods near east 20th Avenue and Rosemary Street in east Anchorage.

A man walking in the woods spotted the dead dog Oct. 10.

The dog's ear contained a microchip.

KTUU-TV reports police contacted the owner, who said family members thought their dog, Snoop, had simply run away.

The family lives the Penland Mobile Home Park about a mile from where the dog was found.

Seismologists study earthquakes near Minto
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska state seismologist says big things may be coming from faults near the village of Minto about 50 miles west of Fairbanks.

The third earthquake of at least magnitude 5.0 since Aug. 30 rocked the area Thursday.

State seismologist Michael West tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the area has become "very vigorous" and faults in the area could generate quakes of magnitude 6.0 or higher.

Earthquake magnitude is measured exponentially. A magnitude 6.0 quake is 30 times more powerful than a magnitude 5.0.

West says a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Minto Flats in 1995.

West says the area has had roughly 1,500 quakes in the last two months.

He says the aftershock sequence did not die out as anticipated and that has gotten seismologists' attention.

CBJ Tax Exemption Review Committee listens to seniors Thursday night
The CBJ Tax Exemption Review Committee met last night in Assembly Chambers. Juneau citizens were able to publicly comment on the Senior Citizen Tax Exemption.

Before a standing room only crowd, seventeen citizens addressed the committee. For the most part, the comments were rational and balanced.

Bob Batholomew, Director of Finance for the city and borough set the stage by summarizing the current Senior Citizen Tax Exemption.....

Anyone 65 years of age or older who is a resident of the state is exempt from CBJ sales tax for the sales of goods, services and rentals, with the exception of sales of alcoholic beverages, that are solely for the personal use of consumption of the cardholder, the cardholder's spouse or same-sex domestic partner.

Approximately $57 million in sales were exempted as senior citizens sales during 2013 of that $2.8 million was the estimated sales tax revenue that was exempted.

Citizen Pat Watt led off the comments and set the tone for the evening....

" I think the Senior Sales Tax Exemption should be seen in light of all the other tax exemptions; those 31 sales tax exemptions and 21 property tax exemptions.
I have sat through the committee meetings, and I want to applaud you for the hard work you are doing and I don't envy you having to make these decisions. You will have to make some hard decisions. Not everybody is going to be happy. I do think you have the opportunity to make course corrections made up of several adjustments, that when put together will not only help resolve the city's budget predicament but also could reduce some serious inequities in the tax burden. I am struck my the sense of collaboration and fairness that I hear from people who have testified at other hearings and from seniors whom I have talked to ."

The Tax Exemption Review Committee will meet again next Wednesday, October 29 at 5 pm in Assembly Chambers.

[Thursday October 23rd, 2014  14th  EDITION 6:04 P. M.]

Eaglecrest Advances to Sweet 16 Round of Ski Town Throwdown
Juneau, Alaska — In an excitingly close race, Eaglecrest Ski Area took down Fernie of British Columbia on Oct. 14 and advanced to round two of the Ski Town Throwdown. Up next, Eaglecrest will take on Red Mountain the Sweet 16 round on Monday, October 27.

Part of the first Ski Town Throwdown winning team, Red Mountain is sure to be tough competitor. Eaglecrest is calling out to all users, fans, and Alaskans at heart to vote this next round. As in the previous round, voting will take place on Visit or the Eaglecrest Facebook page for quick links to the voting site. Polls will open at 8:30 a.m. Alaskan Time and ends at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, October 27.

During the last round Eaglecrest received comments that some devices experienced more difficulties voting than others. Different devices may function better with the voting site than others, although any device with an internet connection should allow users to vote.

“A vote for Eaglecrest is a vote for Juneau, Douglas and all of Alaska!” said Jeffra Clough, Eaglecrest Director of sales & marketing. “We appreciate the support from everyone in Round One and are asking for help to get Eaglecrest and Juneau into Round Three.”

For more information on Eaglecrest, visit

US, Canada monitor barge adrift off Arctic Slope
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. and Canadian authorities are monitoring a barge carrying nearly 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel that's drifting in the Beaufort Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday the 134-foot barge broke free from its tow in Canadian waters during a severe storm earlier this week.

Canadian aircraft located the barge drifting west in U.S. waters. The U.S. Coast Guard says it will deploy aircraft to the Arctic Slope from Air Station Kodiak to continue tracking the ship.

The fuel tanks on board appear to be intact and don't show signs of discharge.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the area is experiencing 40 mph winds and 12-foot seas.

Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard personnel are developing a response plan with the barge's owner, Northern Transportation Corp.

Fire Fighters give lifesaving tips for Halloween
By making small adjustments to costume and decoration choices on Halloween, danger and risk to public safety is easily decreased.
  “It is important for people to take basic precautions to make sure they have nothing other than a fun-filled Halloween,” say Juneau Professional Firefighters of IAFF Local 4303.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the United States sees an overall increase in fires on Halloween caused by open flames, and the arson fire rate is 10 percent higher than on any other day with 15,500 fires and $92 million in property loss per year. To ensure a safe and happy Halloween, IAFF Local 4303 offers the following tips:

Cross streets at the intersection and look both ways before crossing.

Use battery operated lights, not candles, to decorate walkways.

Always keep candles, matches and lighters in a place that children cannot reach.

Keep children, costumes and decorations away from open flames and heat sources.

Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires or loose connections and make sure they are certified by a recognized organization like the Underwriters’ Laboratory, Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Underwriters’Laboratory of Canada (ULC). Also, do not overload extension cords.

Choose costumes that are flame resistant, comfortable, and easy to walk in and see.

Pick brightly colored costumes that can be clearly seen by motorists. Add reflective tape to the costume to increase visibility.

Please call 9-1-1 for the help of your local fire fighters in the case of a fire or emergency.

IAFF Local 4003 wishes you a happy and safe Halloween.

Airlines doing better financially
Times are apparently better for the country's airlines. New earnings out are showing big gains says ABC's Alex Stone.

"The days of the airline industry bleeding money are over, at least for now. United, American, Alaska, Southwest, and JetBlue Airlines are all reporting huge earnings. More people are flying. Ticket prices are up and they're collecting more money in fees every time you want to check a bag or buy more legroom. What's down? Oil prices -- meaning jet fuel is costing the airlines a whole lot less."

Anchorage TV station wrongly airs contentious ad
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Anchorage television station inadvertently aired a commercial for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich that the campaign had pulled because the ad sparked outrage.

The commercial attempted to portray Begich's Republican opponent, former Alaska Attorney General Dan Sullivan, as soft on crime. The ad featured a man identified as a former Anchorage police officer standing outside the home where an elderly couple was beaten to death and a family member sexually abused in 2013. It ended with the man saying Sullivan shouldn't be a senator.

Sullivan had responded with his own ad, but both were pulled at the request of the family.

However, KTVA ran the Begich ad again Thursday.

Station sales manager Andrew Tierney says this was "100 percent" their fault and the Begich campaign wasn't involved.

Troopers seek driver who bashed patrol car
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers are looking for a driver who fled from a traffic stop, bashed a patrol car and fled down an all-terrain vehicle trail.

Troopers say the man in a sport utility vehicle just before 1 a.m. Thursday was stopped by a trooper for traffic violations on west Clairborne Drive.

The officer contacted and identified the driver, who took off at high speed.

Troopers say that during a 10-minute chase, the driver rammed a patrol vehicle twice, causing extensive damage and minor injury to the officer.

The driver managed to flee down an all-terrain vehicle trail.

Troopers say they are seeking warrants for the man's arrest. They did not immediately release his name.

UPDATE: Palin backs independent candidate for governor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Sarah Palin is supporting an independent candidate for her former office instead of her lieutenant governor.

The former Alaska governor hosted a reception for Bill Walker at her home Tuesday. Walker is running against Palin's former No. 2 and the state's current Republican governor, Sean Parnell.

Walker spokeswoman Lindsay Hobson says while Palin supports the ticket, they do not consider it a full-on endorsement.

Walker and former Democratic candidate Bryon Mallott joined their campaigns after the primary as the best chance to unseat Parnell, who has been in office since Palin quit in 2009.

Palin's relationship with Parnell cooled after he dismantled her signature piece of legislation, a tax system that placed higher taxes on the oil industry when oil prices were high.

Parnell's campaign spokesman says they aren't commenting.

Feds to bring indoor plumbing to Alaska village
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A remote Alaska village where only half the homes have indoor plumbing is among rural communities nationwide to receive a share of more than $352 million in grants and loans for upgrades to rural water and wastewater systems.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Alaska's $12.6 million share of the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday at a convention of Alaska Natives in Anchorage.

The western Alaska village of Akiachak is receiving a $5 million grant in this round. It will go toward construction of sewer mains and other parts of a core system that can be hooked up later to 100 houses in the community still without indoor plumbing.

Another 100 homes in the Yup'ik Eskimo community of 675 received the plumbing in an earlier project.

Parnell signs bill honoring Native languages
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell has signed a bill into law that symbolically recognizes 20 Alaska Native languages as official state languages.

Parnell prompted cheers when he signed HB216 Thursday at the first day of the Alaska Federation of Natives convention, where he also delivered an opening speech before scores of people from around the state.

Organizers say time did not allow Parnell to sign the bill during his speech. Instead, the signing was held in a smaller room at the downtown Anchorage Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center.

Alaska legislators passed the bill at the end of their session in April after supporters staged a sit-in at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to take up the matter.

Parnell on Thursday said the new law gives "dignity and honor" to the languages.

Quake felt in Fairbanks; No reports of damage
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A moderate earthquake has rattled the interior portion of Alaska, but there's been no immediate reports of damage.

The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, and was recorded at 8:30 a.m. AKDT Thursday at a depth of 11 miles. It was centered about 45 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

The Alaska Earthquake Information Center says in a release the quake was "felt strongly" in several interior Alaska communities, including Fairbanks.

2 cited for wasting deer, ducks in Juneau
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Coast Guard says it will take additional steps to teach personnel about local hunting laws after two petty officers were issued citations for wasting game.

Anonymous tips led Alaska State Trooper wildlife officers to issue citations to 26-year-old James Schmidt and 27-year-old Chris Hyde.

They are scheduled for arraignment Oct. 30 and could not be reached Wednesday.

Troopers investigated after a deer and four ducks were found Oct. 1 along a rural Juneau road. Antlers but almost no meat had been removed from the deer.

State law requires that edible game meat be processed for human consumption. Failure to salvage meat is a misdemeanor.

Coast Guard spokesman Kip Wadlow says the agency will consider disciplinary action after the court case is complete.

Mining company eyes ski area for gold mine
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The oldest downhill ski area near Fairbanks may be turned into a gold mine.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a Vancouver mining company wants to dig for gold on land occupied by Mount Aurora Skiland (SKEE'-land).

The property is owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The state-owned corporation manages state land to produce income that helps pay for health care of people who experience mental illness.

Skiland pays just $2,500 per year on its annual lease and the mining company would pay much higher rental fees.

Skiland Board member Jeff Fay says the ski area founded in 1962 has never been a money-maker. He says he hopes the mental health trust can see beyond the financial advantages and consider the ski area as a community resource.

Palin comes out for Walker-Mallott
Her resignation made Sean Parnell Governor -- but now Sarah Palin is lending support to Parnell's election opponents.

Palin hosted a reception at her Wasilla home Tuesday for the "unity ticket" of Bill Walker and Byron Mallott.

The ticket is already an unprecedented fusion of Walker, a Republican until last month, and Mallott, who won the Democratic Primary Election.

Now Walker is welcoming the endorsement of Palin, who topped the 2006 ticket for Governor with Parnell as her running mate.

Meanwhile, Palin's erstwhile political ally Joe Miller is supporting the rival who defeated him in the Republican Primary for U-S senate. Miller produced an ad supporting Dan Sullivan, not naming the candidate but aiming instead at ousting incumbent Senator Mark Begich.

Alaskan TV family charged with PFD fraud
A family featured in a T-V show about Alaska is charged with Permanent Fund Dividend fraud.

The Alaska Dispatch reports that six members of the Brown family were indicted by a grand jury in Juneau on 60 counts of unsworn falsification and theft. The charges stem from dividend applications filed in 2010 through 2013.

The indictment names 61-year old Billy Brown, 51-year old Ami Brown, and four of their adult sons.

The state office of special prosecution would not comment on why the applications were considered false.

The Browns were featured in the Discovery Channel Show "Alaskan Bush People," living first in the copper river valley then moving to a houseboat in Ketchikan -- which sank at the conclusion of the show.

Wrangell man indicted for child exploitation crimes
United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced yesterday that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against 53 year-old Greg Alan Salard of Wrangell, charging him with distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

The indictment alleges that on June 5, Salard distributed a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct through the internet, and that on November 15, 2014, he was in possession of child pornography.

If convicted of distribution of child pornography, Salard faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than 5 and up to 20 years imprisonment. If convicted of possession of child pornography, Salard faces a maximum statutory penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

USDA brings indoor plumbing to Alaska village
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A remote Alaska village where only half the homes have indoor plumbing is among rural communities nationwide that will receive upgrades to rural water and wastewater systems.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to announce $352 million in grants and loans Thursday at a convention of Alaska Natives in Anchorage.

The western Alaska village of Akiachak is receiving a $5 million grant in this round. It will go toward construction of sewer mains and other parts of a core system that can be hooked up later to 100 houses in the community still without indoor plumbing.

Another 100 homes in the Yup'ik Eskimo community of 675 received the plumbing in an earlier project.

Coast Guard to host 'haunted' food drive
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Coast Guard says a cutter crew will host an annual "haunted" food drive in Homer on Thursday.

The Coast Guard says the cutter Hickory will be open for the event two different times to provide different fright levels for younger visitors. The cutter will be open from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for children and between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. for teenagers and adults.

Coast Guard officials say people who visit the ship are encouraged to bring two nonperishable food items each.

Officials say the event is sponsored each year around Halloween and has increased in popularity and size.

More Juneau police to be out on Halloween
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau police plan to have an additional nine officers working on Halloween.

The extra officers will provide a greater police presence on the streets and be available to respond to any incidents.

The department reminds motorists to watch for pedestrians and asks pedestrians to wear bright clothes, carry a light source and walk in groups.

Police say they have a limited supply of flashing clip lights available at no charge.

Halloween is on Oct. 31.

[Wednesday October 22nd, 2014  11TH  EDITION 11:04 P. M.]

Hot topics at Juneau town meeting: Housing, seniors, downtown, and more
A 10 year economic plan developed by The McDowell Group and Sheinberg Associates for the City and Borough of Juneau was presented at a town meeting Tuesday night.

Barb Sheinberg told News of the North, "We had about 75 people attend and people divided themselves up really pretty evenly among the seven initiatives for discussion purposes."  She also commented on the many "excellent comments from the public."

Concerning downtown issues, Sheinberg said, "We really need a downtown plan to systematically look at and address what's going on down there, everything from counting housing units and vacant properties to dealing with the atmosphere and safety issues, etc."

As for needs of seniors, Sheinberg says, "There was a lot of attention to the need for an assisted living facility. We're taking some steps already in that direction but we need leadership and we need to continue the momentum."

Sheinberg emphasized the need for housing in Juneau. The group working on that focused on the housing action plan, which should be starting in the next month.

You can logon to to see an expanded form of the seven economic initiatives.

The second and final Town Meeting will be Wednesday October 29 from 7-9 pm at UAS, Egan Classroom Wing; Rm 112.

Juneau-Douglas City Museum seeks artists interested in exhibiting
Each year in their galleries the Juneau-Douglas City Museum hosts local artists or artist groups who have an idea for an exhibit.

The application period for proposals is now open, with exhibitions to take place in the period between December, 2015 and February, 2016. The deadline for the receipt of applications is October 31, 2014. Artists selected must be prepared to hang the exhibit, produce labels and supply posters and invitation postcards for promotion of their show. Artwork may be for sale, with a percentage of the sales being paid to the Museum as a guest fee.

Marjorie Hamburger told News of the North, "The Museum encourages a variety of exhibition ideas and will consider artists working in all media."  She added that successful candidates will present work that compliments the Museum’s mission: To foster an awareness of Juneau’s cultural heritage and values

Application forms can be picked up at the Museum or can be found online at: Click on “Exhibit Opportunities” under the “Exhibits” tab.

For more information call 586-3572. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is located at 4th & Main Streets. Fall/Winter hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission is free during the month of October thanks to the generosity of Pioneers of Alaska Men’s & Women’s Igloo #6.

Alaska files appeal of gay marriage ruling
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska on Wednesday asked to have an 11-judge panel of the federal appeals court for the West review a lower court's ruling that struck down gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess ruled Oct. 12 that the state's ban on gay marriage approved by voters in 1998 violated the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution.

The state maintains in its filing with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that is incorrect.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports a majority of the appeal court's 29 justices would have to agree to hear the case. If that's granted, an 11-judge panel instead of the court's normal three-judge panel would hear the case.

It wasn't immediately clear when the appeals court would rule.

Koch brothers among donors to Sullivan
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Industrialist billionaires Charles and David Koch donated to Republican Dan Sullivan's U.S. Senate campaign during the last fundraising quarter.

Other members of the Koch family also contributed, with money going to help pay off primary debt and the general election.

Throughout the campaign, Democrats have sought to tie Sullivan to the Koch brothers; their images appear in at least one anti-Sullivan ad from Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the brothers, is among the groups opposing Begich.

Sullivan's fundraising report appeared on the Federal Election Commission website Wednesday.

Other donors included Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson and former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, also prior donors. Sullivan worked in Bush's White House as an assistant Secretary of State.

Gov. Sean Parnell gave $500.

Tea party group cuts ad for Sullivan
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A national tea party group is endorsing Republican Dan Sullivan in Alaska's U.S. Senate race.

A new Tea Party Express radio ad features Joe Miller, who finished behind Sullivan in the August primary. Miller was the 2010 Republican nominee in a race won in a write-in campaign by GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

Tea Party Express endorsed Miller in 2010 but sat out this year's race until now, less than two weeks before the election.

Miller's narration doesn't mention Sullivan, instead focusing on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and why Miller thinks Begich should be replaced.

Tea Party Express executive director Taylor Budowich says his group has been following the race and thought now would be the perfect time to get involved. He thinks the ad will help consolidate conservatives around Sullivan.

UPDATE: Ketchikan assembly rejects meeting prayer proposal
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly has turned down a proposal to begin regular meetings with prayer.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports the proposal failed 5 to 2 Monday following public testimony from both sides of the issue.

Some of those speaking in favor of meeting prayers talked about the long-standing practice of legislative prayers in the nation.

Some opponents said they would feel alienated by prayer at meetings and others said such a policy would discourage people from attending.

The assembly also rejected a proposed amendment to put the issue on the 2015 local ballot.

Local minister Bill White asked if he would be welcome to deliver a prayer during citizen comments.

Borough Mayor David Landis said he personally would enjoy hearing from White.

US Rep. Don Young apologizes after suicide comment
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Rep. Don Young has apologized after telling students at a high school where a child recently committed suicide that people kill themselves when there's a lack of support from family and friends.

Wasilla High School Principal Amy Spargo says students and adults at the assembly took offense because it was as if they were being blamed.

She says after that, the event became more confrontational.

Spargo says she went for the microphone when a response by Young to gay marriage, which he opposes, seemed to rile students further.

Young, the longest serving Republican in the House, has a history of colorful, sometimes offensive, quips, and has made headlines recently more for gaffes than policy.

His office told the Alaska Dispatch News that the congressman should have been more sensitive.

Suspected impaired driver charged with assault
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — A Wasilla man suspected of driving while impaired with two people in his car has been charged with felony assault after they were hurt in a crash.

Alaska State Troopers say 44-year-old John Murtha was arrested Monday night. He remains in custody at Mat-Su Pretrial Facility.

Troopers took a call just before 10 p.m. Monday that a car had crashed into a utility pole on Forest Lake Drive outside Wasilla.

Troopers say the car crossed the opposite lane and hit the pole.

The two passengers were taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center.

Murtha was charged Tuesday with the felony assault counts and a misdemeanor driving under the influence count. His bail was set at $15,000.

Fairbanks schools won't suspend recruitment
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Administrators in the Anchorage and Matanuska-Susitna school districts have suspended military recruiting at schools after allegations of sexual advances by recruiters but officials in Fairbanks say they have no plans to limit visits.

Fairbanks school board President Heidi Haas tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner she's not concerned about problems with recruiters at district schools.

She says no instances of misconduct were reported in Fairbanks and the district has procedures in place for school staff to report concerns.

Anchorage School Superintendent Ed Graff placed a moratorium on visits after news reports that at least one Alaska National Guard recruiter had made unwelcome advances on high school students in schools.

Graff said Monday student safety is the district's top priority.

The Mat-Su district suspended visits Tuesday.

Invasive species workshop planned for Anchorage
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — University of Alaska Fairbanks officials say an invasive species workshop is scheduled to take place in Anchorage next week.

The UAF Cooperative Extension Service is hosting the three-day event, which begins Tuesday. The workshop will be held at the Anchorage Marriott Downtown hotel.

Officials say topics to be covered include caribou control on Kagalaska Island and detection of marine invasive species.

Participants also will receive training on weed management and herbicides.

Open houses set for gas line project
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A dozen open houses are set to be held in the coming weeks to provide information on a major proposed liquefied natural gas project.

The office of federal coordinator for Alaska gas pipeline projects says officials with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will attend the meetings.

The current schedule begins Oct. 28 in Nikiski and ends Nov. 20 in Houston.

The office says several open houses have already been held and others are expected.

The state is pursuing the mega project with BP, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corp., TransCanada Corp. and the Alaska Gasline Development Corp.

[Tuesday October 21st, 2014  16th  EDITION 8:42 P. M.]

Public meeting on Juneau’s sales tax exemptions Thursday
The City and Borough of Juneau’s Assembly Tax Exemption Review Committee (TERC) is holding a public meeting, on several senior citizen related sales tax exemptions, Thursday from 5:00pm to 7:00pm in the Assembly Chambers in City Hall.

The TERC has held 7 meetings to discuss options for potential changes to various sales and property tax exemptions. The objective of this meeting is to solicit input from the public on the following specific exemptions:

1.Senior Citizen Sales Tax Exemptions

    a)Narrow the exemption to 3 essential purchases: Food, Residential, Electricity, and Heating Fuel
    b)Narrow the exemption to a “needs based” program, based on income level
    c)Eliminate the exemption entirely
    d)Other options to change senior citizen exemptions

2.At the conclusion of testimony on the above items the committee will take public comments on other tax exemptions or revenue options, with the remaining time.

The agenda for this meeting can be found by going to:

If you are unable to attend this meeting the committee is planning to have additional public meetings on tax exemptions and the next meeting is scheduled for October 29, 2014.

Local SEABIA contractors volunteer weekend on repairs to Eagle River Boy Scout Camp
This past summer the local non-profit, Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association (SEABIA), coordinated a volunteer work party weekend to tackle a number of much needed repairs at camp that would benefit from the technical expertise of builder/contractors.

After a couple months of coordination efforts by Laura Baker, Executive Officer of SEABIA, the work party was nearing fruition. The project scouting began with a group hike in July to identify work to be done. As the weekend of August 22-24 approached, donated labor and materials were secured from SEABIA members.

Work started on Friday evening after a group of the volunteers met at the trail head and started loading up materials, equipment, tools and camping gear and began the two mile hike in to camp. When they arrived at camp, they were surprised to see another of the volunteers, Rich Harris, had already arrived via plane with a beach landing! Over the successful weekend, work to repair and replace the roof on two cabins at Elk Camp, Riddell #1 & #2 that were in pretty bad shape was completed; fallen trees near trail were sawed up and hauled away; two leaking skylights at a cabin in Eagle Camp were replaced; proper roofing was put on a previously made make-shift wood shed; and other miscellaneous work around camp was completed.

A full contingency of volunteers were on hand, including SEABIA builder contractors: Greg Stopher, Stopher Construction; Russ McDougal, Mac’s Design & Construction; Victor Banaszak, VRB Construction; and Rich Harris, RH Development; along with Dave Hanna, Alaska Concrete Casting; Brad Fail with VRB Construction; Mike Ban, EXIT Realty; Laura Baker, SEABIA Executive Officer and of Mac’s Design & Construction; Judy Lum a State fisheries biologist; Susan Stopher of Stopher Construction with their support team, Amelia (10) and Oliver (7). In addition to the SEABIA group, Boy Scout camp manager volunteers Jerry Taylor and Dave Behrends were on hand to help with hauling logistics and more.

A special thanks also goes out to SEABIA members Alpine Construction, Design North, Icy Straits Lumber & Milling, Perseverance Glass, Alaska Outdoor Wearhouse & Embroidery, Tyler Rental, Don Abel’s Building Supply and Valley Lumber & Building Supply for their contributions of materials, supplies and/or equipment!

There is already talk about what to tackle on the project list for contractor work next year.

Sullivan seeks to tie Begich to Obama, Reid
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican Dan Sullivan repeatedly sought to tie Democratic Sen. Mark Begich to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during a candidate forum in Kenai.

The comments built off what's become a common refrain for Republicans in a race that could help decide control of the Senate and followed a new ad from Sullivan in which he says Begich is "with Obama, and I'm with you."

Begich disputed Sullivan saying he'd support Reid's re-election as leader, saying he'd back whoever would make the floor process more open.

Begich also dismissed the characterization of him as the deciding vote on the federal health care law as a line used against other Democrats.

Begich said he's an Alaska Democrat, who is pro-gun, pro-development and supports public education and privacy rights.

Ketchikan Assembly says "no" to prayer rules
The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly turned down new rules for prayers at official meetings.

An ordinance up for a vote Monday would have added prayer to the Assembly agenda and set out a procedure for approving invocations.

The Assembly gave preliminary approval earlier this month, but Ketchikan's community radio station reports that the measure failed Tuesday 5-to-2.

Some assembly members said making prayer official might alienate some residents.

Ketchikan Mayor David Landis noted that prayer can be offered at meetings during public comment.

Local governments nationwide have been adopting similar rules after the U-S Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that sectarian prayers at public meetings do not violate the first amendment, provided all faiths are represented.

Elders and youth conference focuses on language
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Native languages are the theme of the annual First Alaskans Institute's Elders and Youth Conference taking place this week in Anchorage.

The three-day yearly event that kicked off Monday will be followed by the annual conference of the Alaska Federation of Natives that runs through Saturday.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports 17-year-old Devlin Anderstrom of Yakutat gave the keynote speech at the downtown Dena'ina (deh-NIE'-nah) Civic and Convention Center.

Anderstrom told the crowd that Native language connects people to their land, their past and people who love them most.

The teenager, a Yakutat High School senior and Tlingit (CLINK'-it) language apprentice, gave his speech first in Tlingit, then in English.

Anderstrom told conference attendees that values of elders and ancestors only really come across in the Native language.

Decorative tusks, bone taken from thrift shore
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Church officials have reported the theft of ivory elephant tusks and whale bone from a thrift store in Juneau.

The Holy Trinity Episcopal Church runs the downtown shop and reported the theft to police Saturday.

The tusks were described as being carved with lines of little elephants. The whale bone bore a carving of an Alaska Native woman holding a child.

Lt. David Campbell, a police spokesman, said the tusks were being sold at the shop for $150 each and the whale bone for $450. He said police had no leads and had found no signs of forced entry.

Church Administrator Alison Talley said the store normally does not experience much theft. But she said someone recently stole a homemade donation box.

State, refinery reach agreement on cleanup
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Owners of the shuttered North Pole refinery and the state of Alaska have agreed on cleanup methods for a leak of an industrial chemical at the site.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the agreement for the cleanup of sulfolane was worked out between Flint Hills Resources Alaska, the Alaska Department of Law and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The agreement sets binding requirements for cleanup and containment methods.

It contains provisions for cleanup at the refinery but not the surrounding area.

Kristin Ryan of the Environmental Conservation Department says Flint Hills already has been complying with most of the provisions in the agreement.

Flint Hills spokesman Jeff Cook says a cleanup off the site will be the next step.

Alaska earthquake felt in state's interior
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Seismologists say a moderate earthquake struck Alaska and was felt in communities of the state's interior.

The Alaska Earthquake Center says the 5.0 magnitude earthquake occurred at 4:36 p.m. Monday.

State seismologist Michael West says the quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Fairbanks and was felt there and other communities, including Nenana and Salcha.

There are no immediate reports of injury or damage.

West says seismologists are trying to determine if the quake was connected to a 5.0 magnitude quake that occurred Aug. 30 near the same location.

The National Tsunami Warning Center says Monday's earthquake is not expected to trigger a tsunami.

Anchorage School District bans military recruiters
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District has banned military recruiters from the district's campuses.

KTVA reports that the decision follows recent reports that allege recruiters from the Alaska Army National Guard made inappropriate advances toward high school students.

Superintendent Ed Graff calls the reports absolutely unacceptable. He says the school is reviewing its policies on adult-student boundaries to make the school's expectations clear.

Last week, KTVA received documents stating that members of the Alaska Army National Guard's recruiting staff were offering students alcohol and inviting them to parties.

Witnesses say a married recruiter had sexual relations with a female student.

Lt. Col. Lee Knowles from the Guard says the school hasn't contacted them, and he finds it regrettable that the district took this stance based on a media report.

Anchorage conducting survey on homelessness
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage health officials say locals can participate in a survey looking for ideas on how to end homelessness in the city.

Officials say the goal of the survey is to provide information toward developing a five-year plan aiming for a solution to the problem.

Those involved in developing the plan are the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness and a subcommittee of the Housing and Neighborhood Development Commission.

27 apply for adjutant general job in Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A selection team will forward for Gov. Sean Parnell's consideration finalists from among 27 applicants to serve as adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.

The team, appointed by Parnell, includes Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, adjutant general for Arizona; Parnell aides Cindy Sims and Randy Ruaro and state labor commissioner Dianne Blumer.

Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said the panel represents a cross section of expertise, including labor, legal and military matters. She said the panel is conducting interviews this week.

Parnell plans to personally interview the finalists. Applicants include Brig. Gen. Leon "Mike" Bridges, the acting adjutant general.

The position opened up after Parnell asked for the resignation of Thomas Katkus following release of a scathing report into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Guard.

Autopsy being performed on Sitka downing victim
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — An autopsy is being conducted on a man who drowned in the ANB Harbor in Sitka.

The Daily Sitka Sentinel reports 41-year-old Richard T. Hatten was unresponsive when he was pulled from the water last Thursday. Friends found him in the water near the dock and pulled him out.

Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. Police say he was in the water for about an hour before his body was found. He had been staying on a boat in the harbor.

Surveillance video at the harbor shows Hatten leaving the harbor and returning later. Police Lt. Jeff Ankerfelt says the video shows Hatten appearing unsteady on his feel before falling off the dock.

Wanted man flees from police; involved in hit and run
Monday morning around 11, a Juneau Police Department officer saw a vehicle being driven by 42 year old Jose Angel Munoz, a man with a $10,000 warrant on a prior charge of felony DWI and misconduct involving drugs in the 4th degree. That warrant had been out since September 26, 2014 and officers had been unable to find Munoz.

The officer who saw Munoz attempted a traffic stop near Juneau Douglas High School. Munoz fled the stop. After following about a block the officer slowed down and created about two blocks of space between him and Munoz to try and keep Munoz from driving recklessly in a residential and school area. Munoz turned up into the Highlands neighborhood and the officer lost sight of him.

Another JPD officer joined in the search for Munoz. Munoz was next seen by that second officer as Munoz was coming down Behrends Avenue at a high rate of speed and failed to negotiate a left turn onto Glacier Avenue. Munoz was struck by a car that had the right of way. Munoz fled the collision on foot but was caught by the second officer, also on foot, and held at taser point. Munoz surrendered to that officer.

The driver of the car in the collision with Munoz was an 82 year old Douglas woman. She was transported to Bartlett Hospital as a precautionary measure. She was later found to be uninjured. She did ask the case officer who came to check on her at the hospital if she had helped to catch the suspect. She was assured by the officer that she had.

Munoz now faces five new charges in addition to those that led to the warrant. Munoz was found in possession of narcotics and was charged with misconduct involving drugs in the third degree (B felony), failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer (C felony), failure to render aid (C felony) and two A misdemeanors, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license.

Munoz was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Changes in Alaska National Guard leadership
Transitions in senior leadership for the Alaska National Guard were made yesterday at the direction of Governor Sean Parnell.

Brig. Gen. Mike Bridges met with three leaders in key positions to notify them of personnel changes involving them, effective immediately.

Based upon the totality of the OCI report and findings, the governor directed the following actions:
Brig. Gen. Catherine Jorgensen is removed from her position as chief of staff and land component commander for the Alaska Army National Guard. Acting Army chief of staff is Col. John Woyte.

Brig. Gen. Donald S. Wenke is removed from his position as the commander of the 176th Wing, Alaska Air National Guard. Assuming command of 176th Wing is Col. Blake Gettys.

Col. Edith Grunwald is removed from her position as the director of human resources for the Alaska National Guard. Acting director of human resources is Lt. Col. Emma Thyen.

These changes were made to help restore trust, and foster faith and confidence in the leadership of the Alaska National Guard.

Deliberate steps will continue to be made to improve the organization and its culture, and additional changes will take place as appropriate.

JPD enhances Halloween enforcement and your costume
Trick out your Halloween costume with a treat from Juneau Police this Halloween and feel safer with more officers on patrol.

Juneau Police Department will be conducting enhanced enforcement on Halloween, Friday, October 31st. In addition to normal staffing for a Friday night, an additional nine officers are scheduled to work. The additional officers will focus on providing a police presence and respond to incidents, both in town and for the entire road system.

In a release, Lieutenant David Campbell offers these Halloween safety tips: "Motorists are reminded that there will be more pedestrians on the street than normal. Please drive safely near pedestrians and watch for people running from house to house in neighborhoods. Pedestrians are reminded to watch for motorists and cross streets at designated crosswalks if available. Pedestrians are advised to wear bright clothing, walk in groups, have adult supervision, and carry a light source. If trick or treating, do not enter a stranger’s house and only accept unopened store bought treats."

To help pedestrians be seen, JPD has a limited supply of red and blue LED flashing clip lights available at no charge. The lights can be picked up at the JPD front counter during normal business hours. Supplies are limited to two lights per person.

"Purple Ice," Disco Open skate to raise domestic violence awareness
It's a "Purple Ice," Disco Open skate Wednesday, co-hosted by Juneau Alaska National Organization for Women members, the Aiding Women from Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE) center, and the Treadwell Arena. 

The Disco Open Skate is to raise awareness of domestic violence. 

Adult skate is $6.  Youth skate is $5.  Senior skate is $4.  Skate rental is $2.25.

Bring a new bath towel for the AWARE shelter and get a free skate rental for the night. 

Alaska has the nation's highest rates of rape and domestic violence against women and women are more likely to be killed by men in Alaska than in any other state.  59% of women in Alaska and 55% in Juneau reported they had experienced intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence, according to a recent survey by the University of Alaska Justice Center.

Disco skate Wednesday night at the Treadwell Arena on Douglas Island from  6:30 - 8:00. 

[Monday October 20th, 2014  11th  EDITION 4:37 P. M.]

Power restored within thirty minutes in numerous areas this afternoon
Power went out in numerous areas today around 3:10 PM, including downtown, West Juneau, Douglas, the Valley, Lena Loop, and out the road. 

AEL&P's Debbie Driscoll says all power was restored within 30 minutes.  She called the problem a load shed that caused multiple feeders to open. 

Begich urges more airport screenings for Ebola
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has urged the president to expand health screenings at more international airports, including Anchorage, in response to Ebola concerns.

In a letter to President Barack Obama, Begich said such "sensible travel restrictions" must be considered to help contain the outbreak in West Africa and prevent its spread to the U.S.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she isn't sure adequate protocols are in place to protect health care workers and the American public.

She said until that certainty exists, the Obama administration should consider banning or restricting travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, nations hit hard by the outbreak.

Last week, an epidemiologist for the state questioned the efficacy of additional airport screenings since people may not show symptoms for up to 21 days after exposure.

Candidates start final push as early voting starts
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Early voting has started in Alaska, as the candidates in the state's hotly contested U.S. Senate race begin their final push.

Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, whose campaign has been urging Alaskans to vote early, planned to cast his ballot on Monday in Anchorage and to hold a news conference defending his record as mayor of that city, a job he held prior to his election in 2008.

Meanwhile, Republican challenger Dan Sullivan was scheduled to be in Homer on Monday evening.

The two are scheduled to participate in a forum in Soldotna on Tuesday, one of a handful of forums and debates that both have agreed to ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

The race could help decide control of the Senate. Republicans see Begich as vulnerable.

Coast Guard completes international assist, disabled vessel safely moored
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard assets and personnel assisting the Canadian coast guard returned to their units after the disabled vessel, Simushir, was safely towed by commercial tugboats to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Monday.

“The trusted partnership we have with our Canadian counterparts continues to be a vital component to protecting lives at sea and mitigating potential maritime emergencies,” said Rear Adm. Dan Abel, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “We are pleased this case ended with a positive outcome; preparing for the worst case scenario is the first step in an effective prevention and response plan.”

Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders in Juneau received a request for assistance on Friday from the Rescue Coordination Center in Victoria, who reported the Simushir had lost propulsion while transiting from Port Angeles, Wash., to Russia, and was at risk of running aground on the Queen Charlotte Islands with 11 crewmembers and approximately 168,000 gallons of fuel.

The Coast Guard forward deployed an Air Station Sitka Jayhawk helicopter crew Friday and an Air Station Kodiak C-130 Hercules crew with a State of Alaska Emergency Towing System on Saturday to the town of Sandspit on Moresby Island to provide search and rescue assistance to Canadian coast guard crews. The 17th District also stood up their incident management team to direct Coast Guard assets and personnel support. Coast Guard Sector Juneau deployed six members, including the sector’s commander, to Ketchikan to establish the foundation for a unified command and to exercise their sub-area contingency plan with state and local partners.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR, a 225-foot seagoing bouy tender homeported in Kodiak, was diverted Friday to the Simushir’s location with a State of Alaska Emergency Towing System onboard and arrived Saturday. The SPAR stayed on scene and kept in close communication with the Canadian coast guard vessels and the commercial tugboat, Barbara Foss.

The Barbara Foss took the Simushir into tow Saturday and safely transited to Brown Passage, where two other tugboats took over and brought the freight vessel into Prince Rupert.

“Assistance provided by the U.S. Coast Guard in the form of the USCGC SPAR and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter at the ready in Sandspit, B.C. highlights the ongoing support that the U.S. and Canada provide to each other,” said The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “And for that I would like to extend my appreciation.”

Official: Kenai Peninsula residents oldest
HOMER, Alaska (AP) — A state official says the Kenai Peninsula has some of the highest percentages of older Alaskans in the state.

The Homer News says Alaskans 50 and older account for 36 percent of the population on the peninsula, compared with 27 percent of the population in that age group statewide.

State demographer Eddie Hunsinger discussed Alaska's growing senior population during a presentation Friday at the Homer Senior Center.

Hunsinger's discussion was part of the first South Peninsula Senior Summit.

Hunsinger says the aging trend is expected to keep climbing. In two decades, seniors aged 65 and older on the peninsula are expected to make up nearly 25 percent of the population there, compared with 15 percent statewide and 20 percent nationwide.

Juneau musician donates $100K to local causes
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Juneau musician marked his 87th birthday by donating $100,000 to four local organizations.

The donation by Ron Maas is to be divided equally among Juneau Jazz & Classics, Juneau Alaska Music Matters, the Juneau Symphony and the Glory Hole, a shelter and soup kitchen.

Maas, a trumpeter and leader of the Thunder Mountain Big Band, says when he was growing up, his family never had much to eat. He said he learned the need to help others.

Maas and his wife are long-time members of Juneau's arts scene and have made major donations before, including a $50,000 gift to the symphony and a scholarship to the Sitka Fine Arts Camp.

In 2008, they received a Mayor's Award for Patrons of the Arts.

Bike parts found behind Juneau apartment house
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau police say they have no explanation for a stash of stolen bicycle parts found behind an apartment house in the Mendenhall Valley.

Lt. David Campbell reports that most Juneau bike thefts are crimes of opportunity and people steal them to get around, not to strip them.

Michelle Norman says she loaned her bike to a friend of her daughter and it was stolen outside a store.

The girl's stepfather received a tip about stolen bikes and found the Norman's bike frame among tires and wheels piled up behind Coho Apartments.

Norman says it will probably be cheaper to buy a new bike than to add handlebars, front forks, wheels, gears, pedals, shifters and brakes to her recovered bike frame.

First measurable snow falls in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The first measurable snow of the season has fallen in Alaska's largest city.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports six-tenths of an inch fell on Sunday at the National Weather Service's Sand Lake office.

And that was just the start. The agency says in a statement that another 1.5 inches fell there after midnight.

Snow depths from the first snowfall varied widely over the municipality.

Eagle River had three-tenths of an inch of snow, but one part of the Hillside south of O'Malley Road had 7 inches. There was also a measurement of 8 inches of snow along Turnagain Pass early Monday morning.

Alaska resumes issuing licenses to gay couples
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gay couples can start getting married in Alaska on Monday.

Phillip Mitchell, with the state Department of Vital Statistics, said couples who completed applications last week before the courts issued a stay can start picking up their licenses Monday morning. He also tells The Associated Press in an email that offices across the state will again be taking marriage applications for same-sex couples.

A federal judge on Oct. 12 ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. The state intends to appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay for the state to seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, the nation's highest court denied the state's request for a stay on Friday, when marriages offices were closed for a state holiday.

Cab passenger dies after crash with SUV
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A woman riding in a cab died after a crash in midtown Anchorage but the cause of death has not been determined.

KTUU-TV reports two women and a 2-year-old child were in the cab at 7:30 p.m. Friday when it was struck by a sport utility vehicle that rolled through a stop sign at 40th Avenue and Denali Street.

Initial police reports said the women had received injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

However, at 3 a.m. Saturday, police learned one of the women had died. An autopsy was ordered to determine whether the crash played a role in the death.

The driver of the SUV, 35-year-old Bjarne Rasmussen, was issued a citation for failure to stop at a stop sign. He also was transported to a hospital.

Fairbanks air plan won't include local measures
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The official overseeing state efforts to clean up winter air around Fairbanks says any new measures taken by local government probably will not immediately make it into a cleanup plan required by the federal government.

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says the federal Environmental Protection Agency requires a cleanup plan by the end of the year.

Air Quality Division chief Alice Edwards says the state plan was conceived before Fairbanks North Star Borough voters this month rejected a continued ban on local air pollution controls.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the state plan has to include scientific modeling to show federal air standards can be met.

Fairbank's wintertime air is regularly out of compliance with federal standards because of particulate emitted by people heating with wood as an alternative to expensive heating oil.

Sen. Murkowski Releases GAO Report on Crude Exports
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today welcomed the release of a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggesting that lifting the ban on crude oil exports could decrease gasoline prices and grow the economy.

“This latest review by the GAO is a welcome addition to the growing body of analysis supporting the case for greater oil exports,” Murkowski said.

The report, available here, outlines a number of potential outcomes of lifting the ban, including greater oil production, economic growth and lower gasoline prices. GAO states:
“Removing export restrictions is expected to increase the size of the economy, with implications for employment, investment, public revenue, and trade. For example, removing restrictions is expected to contribute to further declines in net crude oil imports, reducing the U.S. trade deficit.”

GAO also states:
“The studies we reviewed and most of the stakeholders we interviewed suggest that consumer fuel prices, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, could decrease as a result of removing crude oil export restrictions. A decrease in consumer fuel prices could occur because they tend to follow international crude oil prices rather than domestic crude oil prices, according to the studies and most of the stakeholders.”

The report also recommends that the Department of Energy re-examine the size of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

AFN convention this week in Anchorage

The Alaska Federation of Natives holds its annual convention this week in Anchorage.

The theme of this year's gathering is "Rise As One."

The convention opens Thursday with guest speakers including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby.

Two hometown speakers will present a joint keynote address Thursday: Miriam Aarons, Communications Director for Bering Strait Native Corporation and former NFL player Mao Tosi.

The agenda for Friday's session includes the usual speeches from elected officials and candidates, and one item never seen before at A-F-N: a 5-minute update on ebola virus preparedness.

The A-F-N convention, billed as Alaska's largest annual gathering, is expected to attract up to 5-thousand attendees to the Dena'ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage.

[Sunday October 19th, 2014  5th  EDITION 6:21 P. M.]

State lays claim to land along refuge boundary
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state is seeking conveyance of nearly 20,000 acres on the western boundary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The state says the lands were requested under the Alaska Statehood Act and Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. But Gov. Sean Parnell says the federal government has been improperly drawing the boundary.

In a release, Parnell says his administration began a review of the boundary after the Department of Natural Resources received bids for oil and gas tracts in the area in 2011.

He says conveyance will bring the acreage under state control for oil and gas exploration.

Maureen Clark, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, told APRN the agency received the state's request and was checking if the issue was the subject of prior litigation.

Parnell meets with Guard members
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell met with Alaska National Guard members amid ongoing criticism about the administration's response to allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Guard.

Parnell spokeswoman Sharon Leighow says this was a drill weekend and hundreds of Guard members attended the town hall at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on Sunday.

Leighow said by email that Parnell was addressing changes that are being implemented within the Guard and taking members' questions. She says Guard leadership was not in attendance.

A report from the National Guard Bureau's Office of Complex Investigations found that victims did not trust the system because of a lack of confidence in the command. In response, Parnell asked the leader of the Guard to resign.

Parnell vowed to implement the report's recommendations to help restore confidence.

Files allege misconduct among recruitment officers
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Investigative files show years of alleged sexual and other misconduct among officers within the Alaska Army National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

The files, leaked to the Alaska Dispatch News, were prepared between 2010 and 2014.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports the files describe a unit in which officers cheated on their wives, bullied civilians, drank to excess and made demeaning comments about women, including fellow soldiers.

Most of the leaked files contain portions of the full investigations and do not provide defense statements from the officers or the final results of the investigations.

Gov. Sean Parnell has been criticized for not acting quickly enough in response to allegations of misconduct within the Guard. News organizations and others have requested information on the administration's response and Guard records.

Record number registers for ultra race
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A record number of people have signed up for the White Mountains 100-mile ultra race north of Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 155 people signed up for 65 slots in the race, scheduled for March.

A lottery determines the roster and wait list.

There are three divisions: biking, running and Nordic skiing. Ninety-six people signed up for the bike race, 31 people signed up for the ski race and 28 for the run.

Returning are the reigning winners and record holders in the men's and women's bike division, Josh Chelf and Amber Bethe. Also back is two-time women's foot race champion and record holder Laura McDonough.

The 65-person field currently includes racers from a handful of states in the Lower 48, two from Canada and one from Spain.

Restoration plan taking longer than expected
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Government attorneys say a restoration plan for addressing lingering effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill is taking longer than expected to complete.

The six-step plan includes testing of possible bioremediation technologies.

The attorneys, in a recent court filing, said it will be necessary to apply what was learned from the testing to all known or predicted oiled sites before moving ahead. They proposed another update to the court by June 30.

Lawsuits brought against Exxon Mobil Corp. by the state and federal governments after the 1989 spill led to a $900 million settlement and a consent decree that included a clause that would allow the governments to seek additional funds for restoration projects.

In 2006, the governments demanded $92 million but haven't asked a judge to enforce the provision.

Ketchikan officials to consider prayer at meetings
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The Ketchikan Gateway Borough Assembly is set to consider whether to begin its meetings with a prayer.

A public hearing and vote are scheduled for Monday.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports that there was disagreement at an earlier meeting about whether non-religious speakers would be allowed to deliver invocations and how much time would be set aside for prayer.

One proposal would set time limits of 30 seconds to 90 seconds for prayers or meditative observances "with a positive and cooperative focus." Another would allow representatives of all faiths and denominations to deliver invocations, including moments of silence.

Update: Coast Guard Cutter SPAR open house in Juneau, Alaska, cancelled
JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard Cutter SPAR open house scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Coast Guard Pier in Juneau has been canceled.

The SPAR has been diverted to provide assistance to the Canadian Coast Guard, who are responding to a freight vessel adrift off the coast of British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands.

Man fleeing with stolen TV runs in front of JPD patrol cars
It was bad timing for one thief in Juneau Saturday night. A man running from a store with a TV over his head ended up crossing the road just as a procession of Juneau Police patrol cars approached.

Four Juneau Police officers were traveling in a procession on Glacier Highway near Northwood Street on Saturday just before midnight. The officers were en route to a location to follow-up on an assault case from the day before.

As the officers approached the intersection of Glacier and Renninger Street, a man ran in front of the patrol cars carrying a large object over his head. The man was running toward Renninger Street from the direction of WalMart. The officers contacted the man as he placed a 42” flatscreen TV into the back of a pickup truck in the parking lot of a nearby apartment complex. Investigation revealed the man had stolen the TV from WalMart and exited through an emergency exit in the back of the store, where police found him running across the street.

The suspect, 33 year-old Berton Atlas Tullis, was arrested and charged with Larceny. He was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center and later released.

Alcohol did not appear to be a factor.

Contractors are starting repair work on the Salmon Creek Road Monday to repair an 80-foot section of the road that washed away last winter after heavy rains. As a safety measure, the trail will be closed to the public during these repairs. Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of November.

The damaged section is located about a mile up from the gate, halfway between the gate and the old upper power house where the actual Salmon Creek Trail to the dam begins. The damage is not far from where a larger section of road washed out in 2005, also causing a temporary road closure.

The 30-year-old road is part of the Salmon Creek Hydro Project regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and operated and maintained by AEL&P.

Image of road damage taken in January 2014 by Scott Willis of AEL&P

American tug towing disabled Russian cargo ship to Prince Rupert, B.C.
OLD MASSETT, B.C. - The stricken Russian container ship Simushar is under tow again off the north coast of British Columbia.

The Canadian Forces' joint rescue co-ordination centre in Victoria says the ocean-going American tug boat Barbara Foss has a secure line attached to the ship.

Spokesperson Acting Sub Lt. Melissa Kia says the owners of Russian vessel plan to have it taken to Prince Rupert.

Kia says the winds and seas have calmed significantly since yesterday, and at their current speed of seven nautical miles per hour the ships should reach port later today.

The Canadian Coast Guard vessel Sir Wilfrid Laurier and the U.S. Coast Guard vessel Spar are providing escort service.

A mechanical failure left the Simushar drifting in heavy seas Thursday night, sparking fears it could run aground and spill hundreds of tonnes of fuel along the pristine shores of Haida Gwaii, also known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

A Canadian Coast Guard vessel tried towing Simushar yesterday, but the tether kept breaking.

Kia says there have been no such problems since the bigger and better equipped tug took over.

[Saturday October 18th, 2014  5th  EDITION 9:58 P. M.]

Proposal would run recycling program as non-profit
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks-North Star Borough is looking 300 miles south in the hopes of finding a better solution to trash and recycling.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough runs a recycling program as a non-profit, with eight employees and 400 volunteers.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports an ordinance going before the assembly for a vote next week would spend $75,000 on updating a municipal recycling plan from 2005.

And Assemblyman John Davies thinks the Mat-Su model works. It pays the bills with donations, a $75,000 municipal grant and by selling high-quality baled recyclables to brokers in Washington.

Davies says recycling might make financial sense if the rate for selling bundled recyclables by the ton is comparable to what it costs to bury a ton of trash in the landfill.

Coast Guard responds to vessel aground near Ketchikan
A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan boatcrew and an Air Station Sitka helicopter crew responded to a 38-foot fishing vessel aground with one person aboard near Ketchikan, Saturday morning.

The Ketchikan boatcrew recovered the boater from the beach and transferred him to Station Ketchikan.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau watchstanders received a report of a vessel aground at Lyman Anchorage in Clarence Strait.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast for assistance from any nearby mariners and requested the launch of the Station Ketchikan crew.

The Jayhawk helicopter crew, returning from a previous mission, was diverted to the scene to assist. A good Samaritan vessel, the Guardian, answered the UMIB and proceeded to the location.

Once on scene, the Station Ketchikan boatcrew launched a workskiff and recovered the boater from the beach. They returned to Ketchikan where the boater was reunited with his family with no medical assistance needed.

“We encourage all mariners to ensure emergency and safety equipment is in good working order,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Adam Durham, watchstander, Sector Juneau. “Proper use of personal floatation devices and emergency equipment greatly helps in locating and rescuing mariners in distress”.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

Weather on scene was reported as 17 mph winds and 2-foot seas.

CCFR responds to fire on Gee St. Friday afternoon
Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to a house fire in the 9000 block of Gee Street Friday afternoon. Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto reports that smoke was billowing out of the front door when responders arrived. The fire was quickly extinguished and contained to the kitchen area.

The kitchen sustained an estimated $30,000 in damage. No injuries were reported.

Light earthquake felt in Anchorage; no damage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Earthquake Center says a light quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 was felt in Anchorage and nearby communities Friday night.

The center says it has received no reports of damage.

The quake hit at 9:32 p.m. at a depth of 38 miles. It was centered on the Kenai Peninsula, about 80 miles south-southwest of Anchorage, and was felt in Anchorage, Homer, Kenai, Ninilchik and Soldotna.

The center says a minor aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 3.6 was recorded four minutes later, at 9:36 p.m. in almost the same location. There were no reports that it was felt or caused damage.

Alaska jobless rate unchanged from August
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's unemployment rate was 6.8 percent last month.

State labor officials say in a web posting that remains unchanged from August.

However, officials said it is higher than the 5.9 national unemployment rate.

The non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, which was lower than the 6.2 percent in August.

Officials said September traditionally has the lowest unadjusted rate as school starts back up and tourism hasn't fully leveled off.

[Friday October 17th, 2014  13th  EDITION 4:16 P. M.]

Week long celebrations in Sitka in observance of Alaska Day
In Sitka, Alaska Day is marked with a week long celebration.

Sitka served as the capital of the Alaska Territory until 1906, when the seat of government was relocated north to Juneau. Transfer of Russian claim of Alaska to the United States occurred October 18, 1867 in Sitka.

Events continue through Sunday. Find the events list at

Supreme Court denies Alaska's request for stay
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gay marriages will resume Monday in Alaska.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell's spokeswoman says the state will comply with a federal court judge's order to allow gay marriages to continue.

However, Sharon Leighow says in an email to The Associated Press that the state will continue to seek a review of the matter by the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied the state's request to halt gay marriages while the state appeals.

A federal judge last Sunday struck down Alaska's law as unconstitutional. Another judge in Arizona issued the same ruling there Friday, and that state's conservative attorney general decided not to contest it any further.

Joshua Decker with the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska called on Parnell to follow suit.

However, Leighow says Parnell swore an oath to uphold the state constitution and will continue with the appeal to the federal appeals court.

Lap pool reopened
Dimond Park Aquatic Center had to close the Lap Pool today.

A chlorine part broke. They had to shut down the pool until it was fixed. It has been fixed and replaced. This afternoon they had to wait for chlorine levels to return to normal before reopening.

Container ship on way from US to Russia loses power off British Columbia coast@
HAIDA GWAII, B.C. - A container ship on its way from Washington state to Russia lost power and was drifting Friday off the coast of British Columbia.

The Canadian Forces' joint rescue co-ordinationcentre in Victoria said the Simushir was about 10 miles (16 kilometres) off Haida Gwaii.

Acting Sub. Lt. Ron MacDougall said there were concerns the vessel could run aground in heavy winds. The Canadian and U.S. Coast Guards were responding.

MacDougall said there were 11 people on board. A helicopter was dispatched to remove the captain, who was injured.

The ship was carrying 440 tons of bunker oil and 55 tons of diesel.

US rig count down 12 to 1,918
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. declined by 12 this week to 1,918.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,590 rigs were exploring for oil and 328 for gas. A year ago there were 1,739 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas gained two rigs, while West Virginia and Wyoming each increased by one.

Oklahoma decreased by seven rigs, New Mexico was down four, Alaska was off two and Arkansas, California and North Dakota each dropped one.

Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah were unchanged.

The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.

Supreme Court denies Alaska's request for stay
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied the state of Alaska's request to put a stop to gay marriages pending an appeal.

Justice William Kennedy denied the request in a written order Friday morning.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Couples began applying for marriage licenses on Monday, beginning a three-day clock before ceremonies could be held. However, some couples received waivers to the wait period and married immediately.

The state filed notice of appeal to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and sought a stay while the appeal is being considered. The court only issued a stay until 11 a.m. AKDT Friday to give the state time to petition the high court.

Kosciusko is Alaska's newest city
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A small community in southeast Alaska is the state's newest city.

A state commissioner signed incorporation documents this week for Edna Bay, which has a population of 49.

The community is located on Kosciusko (kah-zee-UH'-sko) Island 90 miles northwest of Ketchikan.

Elections officials earlier this month certified results of an election involving locals in Edna Bay on whether to incorporate. State officials say residents voted 33 to 6 to incorporate.

Officials say the state is helping in establishing a new city council, and plans to work with it in coming months.

Arizona same-sex ruling follows the others
Within days of Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage being overturned by a federal judge, another federal judge from Alaska has done the same for Arizona.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick issued a four-page ruling today (fri) that found Arizona's same-sex marriage ban violates the constitutional rights of equal protection and due process.

Sedwick was based in the Alaska district until 2011, when he became a semi-retired senior judge within the 9th circuit, which includes both Alaska and Arizona.

In his ruling, Sedwick refused to issue a stay, adding that the Supreme Court was unlikely to intervene, given the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week against similar language in Idaho and Nevada.

Senator plans to investigate Guard situation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — State Sen. Lesil McGuire says the Legislature will hold hearings into the troubled Alaska National Guard, but she's getting push back from the Senate president.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports McGuire also will call for a special investigator into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Guard.

However, Senate President Charlie Huggins says he doesn't know if the Legislature will do anything but muddy the water.

After allegations of sexual assault within the agency, a federal report released Sept. 4 found evidence of fraud and ethical misconduct. Critics said Gov. Sean Parnell, who is seeking re-election next month, didn't act quickly enough.

Huggins says it doesn't make sense to hold hearings with the election next month. But he's not convinced hearing are the best approach later, either.

Pot-smoking teacher receives criticism, support
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A veteran Juneau elementary school teacher, who publicly acknowledged in a newspaper opinion piece that he smokes marijuana, will not be disciplined by school administrators.

Adam Berkley is receiving both support and criticism from parents, but that disciplinary measures are not planned.

Superintendent Mark Miller says moral turpitude regulations within the Professional Teaching Practices Commission specify that drug use at work is unacceptable.

Miller says that what employees do in their free time is up to them and that Berkley is within his rights.

Berkley possesses a medical marijuana license and says it's used to treat epilepsy.

He also supports recreational pot use by adults.

He plans to meet next week with parents who have expressed concerns about his use of marijuana.

Body of missing woman found in east Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The body of a woman reported missing in Anchorage has been found in the Mountain View neighborhood.

KTUU-TV reports the body of 54-year-old Irma Williams was found Wednesday.

Her family last saw were a month ago and reported her missing Sept. 15.

Police are asking the public for information regarding the death. The department's homicide unit is investigating.

Williams was a frequent visitor to Mizelle, Lions and Davis parks and often rode a blue bicycle that may have been equipped with a white basket.

Police spokeswoman Dani Myren says Williams was not considered a vulnerable adult and had not previously been reported missing.

Jury acquits man in pipeline false statement case
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A federal jury has acquitted a Fairbanks man of lying to the FBI as it investigated the 1978 bombing of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the jury returned a not guilty verdict Thursday on three counts in the trial of 62-year-old Phillip Martin Olson.

Prosecutors said Olson told investigators he had participated in setting off an explosion on the pipeline and that another man, identified as C.D. in charging documents, had also participated.

The other man denied any role in the explosion.

The statute of limitations had passed for prosecution of the bombing, which caused a crude oil leak of 12,000 to 14,000 barrels east of Fairbanks.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe Bottini (boh-TEE'-nee) says by email the verdict surprised him because evidence was strong.

Association seeks to reopen Bethel flight school
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The Association of Village Council Presidents is working on a new funding plan to reopen its flight school in Bethel.

The association closed the school last year, citing high operating costs and diminished federal funding. The school originally opened in 2003.

AVCP president Myron Naneng tells KYUK that reopening the school is part of an economic development strategy.

The association is pursuing a new plan for funding as a regional training center.

Naneng hopes to have funding in place to begin operations in early 2015.

Vilsack to headline Begich fundraiser
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is set to headline a fundraiser for Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday evening in Anchorage.

Begich is facing a tough re-election fight against Republican candidate Dan Sullivan, who topped Begich in fundraising during the last quarter.

[Thursday October 16th, 2014  11TH  EDITION 4:48 P. M.]

Waterline Break in Douglas
At 3:00 this afternoon a waterline break occurred between John St. and Lawson Creek Road.  Residences in that area are currently without water.

Kirk Duncan, Director of Public Works says crews are on sight and working to resolve the problem.  As of 4:30 pm there was no estimate of when water will be back on.  Please be cautious of crews working along the roadside.

Winter Forecast/Temperature Prediction
NOAA's Climate Prediction Center Thursday announced it's forecast for the winter months December through February. Director Mike Halpert, speaking at a teleconference, had this prediction on temperatures, "That outlook favors warmer than average conditions out west, along the U-S/Canadian border eastward into New York and New England and as well as for Hawaii and Alaska. Below average temperatures are favored in the south central and southeastern parts of the nation."

Halpert said an expected mild El Nino in the Pacific makes extreme cold in the northern sections of the US less likely. "Typically when we see El Nino even the weaker ones we see warmer conditions if not in the US we see it up on the parts of Western and Central Canada and Alaska. And so that again would make that really cold arctic air that would have to spill down through that area in our country less likely. So again the idea of seeing a repeat of last winter is just not particularly likely."

JPD Crime Line Crime of the Week: Gas siphoning in numerous neighborhoods
Between September 18th and the 24th, several Juneau residents reported gas siphoned from vehicles. There was 44 gallons taken from the 1900 block of Lemon Creek Road, 40 gallons from the 1700 block of Glacier Highway and 5 gallons from the 4200 block of North Douglas.

All of the vehicles involved were built in the mid-1990s. Vehicles built after 2000 often have a valve that shuts off gas if a vehicle rolls. The valve is a fire protection device that also prevents someone from pushing a hose into the gasoline. JPD recommends drivers of vehicles built before the year 2000 consider a locking gas cap, especially if gas has already been stolen. Thieves will tend to return to a vehicle where they have previously been successful.

Anyone with information is encouraged to log on to the Juneau Crime Line Web site and report their tip. You may also call JPD at 586-0600. You may be eligible for a reward.

Parnell: State at low risk for Ebola
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell says Alaska is at low risk for Ebola infections but he says the risk is real and the state is taking steps to be prepared.

Parnell held a news conference Thursday in Anchorage that included the state's chief epidemiologist, Joe McLaughlin, and epidemiologist Michael Cooper.

He said a task force has been created to coordinate planning and preparedness and that he's asked for regular updates. Parnell also said the health department has been directed to continue activities with health care facilities that include training and exercises.

Cooper said there has long been a quarantine station at Alaska's largest airport, in Anchorage, for infectious illnesses. He questioned the efficacy of enhanced screening for Ebola at airports, given that people can develop systems up to 21 days after exposure.

Man charged with vandalizing wildflower meadow
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — A 19-year-old Kasilof (kah-SEE'-lauf) man suspected of damaging city of Kenai land planted with colorful wildflowers has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The Peninsula Clarion reports a pickup driven by Josiah Mcelwain (MAC'-el-wayn) was found at 3:30 a.m. Monday stuck in a ditch near the meadow.

Kenai Police Sgt. Ben Langham says witnesses reported a truck driving back and forth in the 1.4-acre field along the Spur Highway, creating deep ruts.

Langham says the truck was still moving in the field when officers arrived.

City parks and recreation director Bob Frates (frayts) estimates half the field was destroyed.

Online court records did not list an attorney for Mcelwain.

Sitka tribe to develop shellfish testing lab
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — The Sitka Tribe of Alaska is planning to build a lab to test shellfish for naturally occurring toxins that could pose a health threat to subsistence harvesters.

The development of the lab is being funded by a $527,000 grant from the Administration for Native Americans, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Daily Sitka Sentinel reports the lab will allow the tribe and six other tribal organizations to assess vulnerability in their communities for health risks.

Sitka Tribe of Alaska's resource protection director Jeff Feldpausch says the lab won't certify beaches for shellfish harvesting. But he says it can "raise a red flag" about risks.

Feldpausch says the lab will serve as an early warning system about the presence of toxins.

Chief: Bad communication in notifying wrong family
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau police used the social media site Facebook to find the next of kin for a man killed in a car crash last week. But they used the page for the wrong Justin Priest.

Police identified the victim as 33-year-old Justin Priest and found a Facebook page for a man with the same name, from Anchorage.

Police asked Alaska State Troopers for help verifying the family's relationship. But a Troopers spokeswoman said the message they received was for a death notification. The wrong family was notified.

Police Chief Bryce Johnson called it a communication error. He said efforts will be made to prevent this from happening again.

He also said police would continue to use Facebook as a tool to help find next of kin.

Palmer police investigate body near fairgrounds
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Palmer police say a man found dead Tuesday night near the Alaska State Fair fairgrounds was apparently struck by a vehicle.

KTUU-TV reports police are releasing few other details about the death of 31-year-old David T. Beard.

Palmer Police Department Cmdr. Lance Ketterling says in a statement that Beard's body was found just before 10 p.m. Tuesday in grass off the Glenn Highway.

Ketterling says a Palmer police officer found the body. Police are examining the vehicle that they believe struck him.

Ketterling says police need to confirm "a lot of details" before more information can be released.

Senator takes blame for absence from pamphlet
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A candidate statement from a Fairbanks state senator is absent from the state informational pamphlet sent to voters, but he's not blaming the Division of Elections.

Republican Pete Kelly tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he missed messages from the Elections Division for submitting a statement and called too late to make its deadline.

He's running against Democrat Tamara Kruse Roselius.

The Division of Elections sends two letters to notify candidates of the opportunity to be in the pamphlet — most of the time.

The division acknowledges it failed to send proper notification to independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker.

He was not included in the pamphlet sent to voters last week. The division planned to print and send a supplemental pamphlet for gubernatorial and lieutenant governor candidates.

New Sullivan ad features Condoleezza Rice
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan's national security experience is the focus of a new ad featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Sullivan worked with Rice as an assistant secretary of state from 2006 until January 2009. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves.

In the spot, released Thursday, Rice says the nation and world face serious security threats. She says Sullivan's national security experience will make the country safer.

Sullivan is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in a race that could help decide control of the Senate.

Rice appeared in a similar ad earlier this year for the super PAC American Crossroads, attempting to swat down criticism of Sullivan's time away from the state.

Jury deliberates pipeline false statement case
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks jury has begun deliberations for a man charged with making false statements about the 1978 bombing of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Phillip Martin Olson ,if convicted, could face up to five years in prison.

The FBI says an agent interviewed Olson in November and January and that Olson acknowledged responsibility for the pipeline explosion on Feb. 15, 1978, east of Fairbanks.

The resulting small hole allowed 12,000 to 14,000 barrels of crude oil to spill before it could be sealed.

The statute of limitations had run out for charges in the bombing.

Federal prosecutors say Olson lied and said another man had assisted him in setting off the explosion, costing the FBI time and resources investigating.

Panel says SB 21 working
A new state panel appears satisfied that Alaska's oil production tax is working as intended. The Oil & Gas Competitiveness Review Board met for the first time Wednesday.

The board created as part of S-B 21, the tax law enacted last year, includes industry experts, state officials, and two members of the public appointed by the governor.

The panel heard Wednesday that the decline in production has slowed, and the state is collecting more revenue than under the previous tax system.

S-B 21 survived a referendum at the August election.

The review board is set to report its findings to the legislature before the start of the next session in January.

Appeals court halts gay marriages in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a temporary halt to gay marriages in Alaska.

The federal appeals court in San Francisco issued the stay late Wednesday afternoon. It's allowing the state until Friday to get a stay from the U.S. Supreme Court.

If that stay isn't issued, the federal court action dissolves at 11 a.m. Friday, when gay marriages will be allowed to go forward.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday struck down Alaska's ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional.

Gay couples began applying for marriage certificates Monday, beginning a three-day clock to when ceremonies could be held on Thursday. However some couples received waivers from judges and have already married.

Police name driver killed in crash with house
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police have identified the man who was killed when his sedan hit a house.

Police say the driver was 58-year-old Ralph Edward Lockhart of Anchorage.

He died after his car left the street early Tuesday morning, struck a tree and drove into a corner of a house.

No one in the home was injured.

Police say Lockhart was declared dead at the scene.

The investigation continues.

State to discuss Ebola preparedness
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — State officials are planning a news conference to provide an update on Alaska's Ebola preparedness plan.

Gov. Sean Parnell, health commissioner Bill Streur, chief epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin and epidemiologist Michael Cooper will hold the news conference on Thursday in Anchorage.

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make Ebola test kits available in Alaska as a precautionary measure. Earlier this week, he also called for the need for frequent communication with the public to ensure accurate information is available.