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[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.

Coast Guard Cutter SPAR crew invites public to open house in Juneau, Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska — The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter SPAR is hosting a free open house for the public Sunday, Oct. 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Coast Guard Pier in Juneau.

The tour of the SPAR is free to the public. All children must be accompanied by an adult and no pets are allowed aboard the cutter.

Coast Guard crewmembers will be available to answer questions about the cutter and their unique Coast Guard missions in Alaska.

The SPAR, nicknamed “The Aleutian Keeper,” is a 225-foot seagoing buoy tender homeported in Kodiak and is responsible for maintaining more than 150 aids-to-navigation throughout the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea.

For more information about SPAR please visit

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.

[Wednesday October 15th, 2014  14th  EDITION 7:16 P. M.]

Sullivan raises more than Begich in latest quarter
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan raised more money than Democratic Sen. Mark Begich during the latest fundraising quarter.

Sullivan raised $2.8 million for the period, which includes $264,000 reported in a July pre-primary filing. Begich reported raising $1.9 million, which includes $423,000 from the July report.

Begich and Sullivan each ended the quarter with about $1.2 million available. Sullivan reported $43,000 in debt, which the campaign said was from the primary.

The race's outcome could help decide control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans, hoping to pick up six seats nationally, consider Begich vulnerable.

Begich spokesman Max Croes says Begich has the cash and on-the-ground resources to make a strong push to the election.

Sullivan spokesman Mike Anderson says Sullivan's fundraising shows Alaskans are excited to support his candidacy.

Coast Guard rescues 2 boaters near Ketchikan, Alaska
KODIAK, Alaska — A Coast Guard Station Ketchikan Response Boat-Small crew rescued two boaters after their 53-foot vessel Night Rider capsized in Tongass Narrows near Ketchikan, Wednesday morning.

The Ketchikan boatcrew recovered the two mariners and transferred them to shore.

Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received notification from a 911 emergency call center reporting two boaters were seen sitting atop their capsized vessel. The watchstanders directed the launch of the Ketchikan boatcrew to the scene where the two boaters were located.

The capsized vessel has been towed to port for repairs by a local salvage company. There were no injuries reported.

“The Coast Guard would like to emphasize the use of safe boating practices,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Aguirre, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “Maritime accidents can occur quickly and without warning, so mariners should always be prepared before heading out on the water.”

The Coast Guard advises all mariners to have appropriate safety equipment aboard their vessels, to include life jackets, flares and a VHF radio. More information on boating safety can be found at the following link:

Window to sign up for Medicare prescription plans opens today
ANCHORAGE — The annual enrollment window for Medicare prescription drug plans runs Oct. 15–Dec. 7.
Alaska’s Medicare Information Office reminds Alaskans that like their needs, plan options change often, so it is worth reviewing the choices each year for the best value.

Medicare also charges its beneficiaries permanent late-enrollment fees if they do not sign up for Part D the first time they are eligible.

Alaskans do not need Part D if they already have prescription coverage through a health care insurance plan such as the military’s TriCare or most employer-funded retiree health plans.

Alaskans who receive Medicaid as well as Medicare must choose a plan, but are exempt from enrollment deadlines.
For local help from trained Medicare counselors, call 907-523-4431 in Juneau or visit

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for Americans 65 and older or with certain disabilities.

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

Audit team to review Alaska National Guard
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Auditors are set to review management of funds by the Alaska National Guard amid allegations of fraud and misuse of resources by Guard members.

Gov. Sean Parnell in a release Wednesday announced that three auditors from the National Guard Bureau had arrived in Alaska. A draft report on their findings is expected by mid-December.

Parnell said those found to have engaged in fraud or misuse of official resources "can and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent."

Critics say Parnell didn't respond quickly enough to allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct within the Guard. Parnell has defended his response.

The bureau's Office of Complex Investigations found victims didn't trust the system because they lacked confidence in the command. Parnell asked the adjutant general and a deputy commissioner to resign.

Study: Sleeper sharks may kill Steller sea lions
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A university researcher has a new suspect in the decline of protected Steller sea lions in the Gulf of Alaska.

A study by Oregon State University researcher Markus Horning says Pacific sleeper sharks may be contributing to the mortality rate of Steller sea lions.

The western population of Steller sea lions, which includes the Aleutian Islands, has declined to about 20 percent of the levels they were before 1975.

The cause is unknown, but federal fisheries managers have restricted commercial fishing in some areas to limit competition for fish eaten by sea lions.

Horning and colleagues used tags to track juvenile sea lions. He concludes some may have been killed by a cold-blooded predator.

Horning says in an announcement that he suspects sleeper sharks, which is usually considered a scavenger or a fish-eater.

Snack rules behind drop in school vending sales
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Healthy snacks are blamed for a drop in vending machine sales in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports both local and federal restrictions have contributed to a drop of 71 percent in revenue from vending machines since 2003. That translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars, money that mostly went to help pay for extra-curricular activities.

The district imposed stringent requirements on what can be sold in vending machines six years ago, and even more restrictive federal requirements went into effect this year.

The new guidelines restrict the sale of snacks that fail to meet specific nutritional requirements during the school day.

It also defines the school day as starting as midnight and ending a half hour after the final school bell.

Anti-immigration group starts ads in 10 states
WASHINGTON (AP) — An anti-immigration group is running more than $1 million in ads criticizing lawmakers for not stopping the flow of new workers into the United States.

NumbersUSA on Wednesday began a 10-state ad buy that pointedly asks viewers whether Americans or immigrants should get new jobs. The 30-second ad says immigrants are the ones finding work, while longtime residents are struggling to win jobs.

The ads will air in states with competitive Senate races: Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire and North Carolina.

NumbersUSA bills itself as a non-partisan grassroots group that wants to reduce the number of immigrants in order to help American workers. The group operates under part of the tax code that allows it to keep secret its donors.

Eaglecrest advances in "Throwdown"
Eaglecrest edged Bernie, B. C. yesterday in the first round of Powder Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown III.

Jeffra Clough reports the win advances Eaglecrest to the Sweet 16 round on October 27 against Red Mountain B. C.

You can get more information at  or

Fairbanks voters reject air regulation ban
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks North Star Borough voters have rejected a measure to continue banning borough government from regulating air pollution.

A final tally of nearly 1,500 absentee and questioned ballots extended the lead for "no" votes.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that means the borough for the first time since 2010 will have the ability to create regulations that could cut back on wintertime air pollution from wood stoves and other sources.

Clean air advocate Patrice Lee says it's a step in the right direction and that steps can be taken locally.

The Fairbanks area in winter months is regularly out of compliance with federal air standards because of particulate emitted from wood burned by people trying to use an alternative to expensive home heating oil.

Judge allows gay marriages to continue in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal court judge has denied a request from the state of Alaska to put gay marriages on hold until an appeal is heard.

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess denied the state's request for a stay on Tuesday, two days after he struck down the state's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.

The state intends to appeal that decision to the 9th Circuit Court. The state could also ask that court to delay gay marriages from going forward but the court has allowed marriages to continue in other states within its jurisdiction.

A message left with the state attorney's office after hours Tuesday wasn't immediately returned.

Gay couples began applying for marriage licenses on Monday, triggering a three-day wait period. But in at last two cases, couples were granted waivers of the rule and were married in Barrow.

Alaskans take part in earthquake drill
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Great Alaska Shakeout will take place at 10:16 a.m. on Thursday.

This a statewide reaction drill in case of an earthquake. State emergency officials in a release ask residents to practice the actions of "drop, cover and hold on."

Officials say the magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Southcentral Alaska last month indicates many residents didn't know what to do during or after a quake.

But they say the "drop, cover and hold on" is the best method. Authorities said students in schools that conduct routine drills knew what to do and reacted quickly during the Sept. 25 quake.

Southeast Alaska community gets new mayor
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The southeast Alaska community of Saxman has a new mayor.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports that 60-year-old Sylvia Banie became mayor after being elected to the position by the Saxman City Council.

The mayor in Saxman is not elected by popular vote.

Banie says she hadn't campaigned for the position. She says her selection Monday was a surprise.

City administrator Leona Haffner says Banie is the first female city council member in Saxman to be selected as mayor.

Late journalist honored by fishermen's group
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The United Fishermen of Alaska has inducted the late journalist Bob Tkacz (tuh-KOTCH') into its Hall of Fame.

Tkacz, who covered the Legislature and specialized in writing about the commercial fishing and seafood industries, died last May at age 61.

He was one of five inductees by the trade association. The others were retiring state Sen. Fred Dyson of Eagle River, Albert Ball Sr., Jim Kallander and Keith Jefferts.

The fishermen's group says Ball, Kallander and Jefferts died this past year.

[Tuesday October 14th, 2014  10th  EDITION 5:47 P. M.]

JEDC Releases Juneau Senior Housing and Senior Services Demand Study
JEDC has released the Juneau Senior Housing and Senior Services Demand Study completed by Agnew::Beck Consulting and Northern Economics last week. The report estimates current gaps and forecasts the demand for housing and services needed by Juneau's seniors in the coming decades. The study’s goals were to estimate the number of Juneau residents that need and are likely to move into assisted living if it were available, as well as educate the public about senior housing and services available in Juneau, waiting lists, costs, barriers to development, projected needs, and business opportunities to serve Juneau's retirees and elderly.

The six-month project determined the market demand for senior assisted living in Juneau supports an additional 56 units or beds today, with market demand for total beds projected to be 380 by 2042. Analytical factors included State of Alaska population projections, the current use of senior housing and supportive services by age ranges, personal and household income data for Juneau, cost sensitivity analysis, the results of a 2010 Senior Survey completed by the Juneau Commission on Aging, and real-time preference polling at a community workshop held in Juneau in July 2014.

An overview of the report and updates on other Juneau housing initiatives will be hosted by JEDC on October 15 at 3:00 PM at KTOO’s @360 room at 360 Egan Drive in Juneau.

Some of the report’s key findings are:

State of Alaska population projections show Juneau’s 85+ year old residents increasing from 285 in 2014 to 1,383 in 2042.
91% of Juneau’s current 85+ population use support services or reside in housing designed for the elderly.
The active wait list at the 48-bed Juneau Pioneer Home was 97 in May, with over 1500 on the inactive list.
All independent senior housing facilities have wait lists.
Juneau is estimated to have over 1,000 senior residents with Alzheimer’s disease by 2042.

The full report can be downloaded from

The report was commissioned by Senior Citizens Support Services, Inc. as part of its work to bring senior assisted living to Juneau, with financial support by the City and Borough of Juneau, the Alaska Mental Health Trust and with project management provided by JEDC.

Coast Guard locates overdue mariner near Bostwick Inlet, Alaska
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard located and assisted a man reported overdue near Bostwick Inlet off Gravina Island, Monday evening.

A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the man for transport to Metlakatla where he was met by emergency medical services.
Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a call from Metlakatla Fire Department that the man was reported several hours late to meet a friend after leaving Walden Point in a 16-foot pleasure craft. The watchstanders dispatched a Coast Guard Station Ketchikan 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and the Jayhawk helicopter crew to begin a search from Walden Point to Metlakatla and Gravina Island.

During a shoreline search of Gravina Island, the Jayhawk crew noticed a large fire built on the shore of the inlet and the survivor waving his arms. The man reported he had experienced engine trouble and drifted until his vessel reached the beach in Bostwick Inlet.

“The man was able to keep warm and help us locate him, which can be difficult to do in the dark winter nights,” said Lt. Cmdr. Lisa Aguirre, Sector Juneau command duty officer. “We’re glad we were able to assist the man and get him to the help he needed; however, we do stress that mariners be prepared for emergencies while underway by ensuring they have working radios, cold weather gear and a float plan.”

Weather at the time of the search was reported as 28-40 mph winds, 5-7 foot seas and 10-mile visibility.

Alaskan couple in remote town near North Pole has state's first same-sex marriage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A remote town on the state's Arctic Coast where people are used to doing their own thing has applied that independent streak to gay marriage.

A magistrate in Barrow, Alaska, the nation's northernmost community, has performed what is believed to be the state's first gay marriage ceremony ahead of schedule after a federal judge struck down the state's ban.

Couples lined up across the state to get licenses Monday morning, beginning the clock on a mandatory three-day wait until ceremonies could be performed.

However, in Barrow, Kristine Hilderbrand said Magistrate Mary Treiber agreed to waive the wait requirement and married Hilderbrand and Sarah Ellis during a ceremony late Monday afternoon.

Hilderbrand says gay marriage is not really an issue in Barrow. She says people in the community "accept you for who you are."

Man with stolen items arrested at burglary scene
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers investigating a home burglary east of Fairbanks were on hand to make an arrest when a man showed up with gloves and a handgun stolen from the home.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 35-year-old Levi Retynski of Two Rivers was arrested Sunday on theft charges.

He also was charged with attempted murder. Prosecutors say he pulled out a stolen gun and tried to shoot a resident who attempted to detain him.

Residents told investigating troopers Sunday a burglar had taken items, including a truck, and left behind another truck.

Retynski returned Sunday and said he was there to pick up the truck.

Residents attempted to detain him. Troopers say he pulled out the gun and attempted to fire but was subdued.

Alaska hockey coach gets 100th win
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — University of Alaska men's hockey coach Dallas Ferguson has reached a milestone.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Ferguson won his 100th game as Alaska's coach Saturday night with a 5-2 win over Maine.

He says he wasn't even aware of the milestone until the team presented him with the game puck. He says in a release that reaching the 100th win is an "incredible honor."

Ferguson was hired in 2008 to lead Alaska after serving four years as an assistant. In 2010, he took the school to its only NCAA tournament appearance.

The Wainwright, Alberta, native played for the Nanooks from 1992-96.

Pike poisoning begins in Soldotna waterways
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Alaska state biologists have begun the process of killing invasive northern pike in Soldotna lakes.

The Peninsula Clarion reports the goal of putting fish-killing poison into four lakes is to restock those waterways with native fish in coming years.

A team participated in the effort last week at the lakes treated by Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

In the plan succeeds, the Soldotna Creek Drainage should be free of northern pike by 2018.

The effort is expected to cost more than $1 million in state and grant funding.

Fish and Game also plans to monitor drinking water near Soldotna Creek.

Agency biologist Krissy Dunker says the poison, however, penetrates the soil about 1 inch. She says that's not a concern for nearby water wells.

Effort underway to get out the Native vote
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Nearly one in five potential voters in the state is Alaska Native, and a big push is underway to get them to the polls.

Alaska Native groups worked with state election officials to establish nearly 130 new absentee and early voting sites in villages across Alaska. In recent few months, the nonpartisan "Get out the Native Vote" has been working to mobilize Native voters.

Sarah Obed is vice president of external affairs for Doyon Limited, a Native corporation that has been involved in the get-out-the-vote effort.

She tells KUAC there is a huge population of Alaska Natives in the state that can make a difference at the polls, provided that voters turn out.

Statewide, "Get out the Native Vote" has registered more than 1,200 individuals this year.

Polar bear makes appearance in village home
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Ruby Kaleak's (KAL-ee-ak's) part-time job is keeping polar bears away from people in the village of Kaktovik (kak-TOH'-vik) on Alaska's Beaufort (BOH'-fort) Sea coast, so she was prepared when one of the biggest bears she's ever seen got inside a house.

Kaleak tells the Alaska Dispatch News she was on duty Friday and she got a call by VHF radio that a bear was inside an arctic entryway.

She and a co-worker spotted the bear just inside the door of the home. The bear was eating seal oil from a drum in the home of 81-year-old Betty Brower.

Kaleak carries a shotgun loaded with beanbag and firecracker rounds. She and a co-worker shooed the bear from the home.

Kaleak says she wishes she'd taken its picture.

Unemployment insurance tax down
The state's unemployment insurance tax will take a smaller bite out of paychecks.

Governor Parnell says the change will amount to a total savings of about 40 million dollars next year. That's money that would otherwise be automatically withheld -- one of the few state taxes most Alaskans pay.

The tax rate for 2015 is dropping to just over 2 percent from 2.59, split about 70-30 between employers and employees.
The rate had dropped for this year, reducing overall U-I tax collection by an estimated 89 million dollars.

Governor Parnell says the a new law allows the state to suspend tax increases when the unemployment insurance trust fund is solvent.

Calista Corp. to hold vote on adding shareholders
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Calista (Cha-LIS'-tuh) Corp. officials say the regional Alaska Native corporation will be reaching out to shareholders about whether to enroll descendants as shareholders.

Officials say shareholders will be asked to vote on a binding resolution on the subject at the 2015 annual meeting. The location and date for the meeting will be announced in February.

Officials say current shareholders last year authorized the effort for a vote.

The corporation plans to tour more than 20 communities and present information in English and Yup'ik.

Calista officials estimate that if the resolution vote passes, the new shares would be issued in 2017.

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

Feds seek dismissal of King Cove lawsuit
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Arguments have been scheduled on the federal government's request to dismiss a lawsuit over the Interior Department's refusal to allow for a road from King Cove to an all-weather airport at Cold Bay.

Government attorneys say the decision by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was reached after five years of environmental analysis and public outreach. They say in court filings that Jewell wasn't obligated to approve a road and her decision is owed deference by a federal judge.

The state joined the city of King Cove, tribal governments and individuals in challenging Jewell's denial of a road through Izembek (EYE'-zem-bek) National Wildlife Refuge that could improve access to emergency flights.

Arguments on the motion to dismiss are set for Monday in Anchorage.

Sealaska subsidiary lays off 3 in Kake
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A business in Kake has closed, putting three people out of work.

CoastAlaska reports Managed Business Solution is a subsidiary of the Juneau-based Sealaska, an Alaska Native regional corporation.

The Colorado-based MBS lost a major contact, and the workforce of about 200 was reduced by about 40 percent.

Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott declined to say which company dropped the contract.

The Kake office's three employees worked in marketing, administrative support and project documentation for the information technology business.

Mallott says the office was considered, at least partially, an experiment to see if Lower 48 subsidiaries could hire people in Alaska villages like Kake, which has a population of about 550 residents and high unemployment. He says in this case, the economics did not work.

[Monday October 13th, 2014  8th  EDITION 5:13 P. M.]

Alaska asks judge to stay gay marriage decision
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska has asked a federal judge to stay his decision allowing gay marriages to go forward.

The state on Monday filed its notice that it will appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. It also asked U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess to stay his opinion released Sunday, in which he found Alaska's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

The state's filing came hours after gay couples began applying for marriage licenses across the state. Because of a three-day wait, the first marriage ceremonies can't be held until Thursday.

In asking for a stay, state attorneys cite the likelihood that the 9th Circuit would grant the state of Idaho a hearing before the full court on its gay marriage ban being denied by a three-judge panel and used as a basis to strike down the Alaska law.

The state sought a stay during oral arguments on Friday if they were to lose, but Burgess didn't grant the delay with his Sunday opinion.

Judge sides with Anchorage in ride-sharing lawsuit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge says ride-sharing company Uber cannot offer transportation for hire in Alaska's largest city unless it complies with a local ordinance.

Superior Court Judge Michael Corey issued an order Monday barring the company from charging people for rides in Anchorage unless it uses regulated vehicles and otherwise complies with municipal law regarding for-hire vehicles.

Corey ruled in a case brought by the municipality of Anchorage.

Uber provides a smartphone app that allows people to order rides in privately driven cars instead of taxis.

Corey, in his order, said Uber had not been charging riders for transportation it arranged but had the capability to charge at any time before his ruling.

A phone listing for an Uber attorney rang unanswered Monday afternoon.

Alaska gay couples apply for marriage licenses
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Gay couples began applying for marriage licenses in Anchorage on Monday, 15 years after Alaska helped touch off a national debate with a ban on same-sex unions.

Ann Marie Garber and her partner, Koy Field, were among the first gay couples seeking a license to wed in Alaska.

Garber said she had no idea it would happen in her lifetime. She said they decided to apply immediately after the ban was overturned by a federal judge Sunday.

Alaska Republican Gov. Sean Parnell has promised to appeal the ruling, saying states should decide the issue, not courts. The Alaska attorney general's office planned to take its case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals within the coming weeks.

Alaska voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1998, defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

SarahPAC gives $45K to candidates in last quarter
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Sarah Palin's political action committee gave $5,000 to Alaska tea party favorite Joe Miller a day before the state's primary in August.

Palin endorsed Miller for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Mark Begich. Miller finished second in the GOP primary to Dan Sullivan, whom Palin appointed as Alaska's attorney general shortly before she resigned as governor in 2009.

In all, SarahPAC gave $45,000 to candidates between July and September, according to a Federal Election Commission filing. That includes $5,000 to Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who is in a closely watched race.

The filing shows the disbursement to Miller's campaign was made Aug. 18.

SarahPAC raised more than $430,000 during the period and spent about $480,000. The committee ended the quarter with nearly $930,000 available.

DOT asking for public input; meeting in Juneau tomorrow
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and DOT are asking for input from the public on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS).

An open house will begin a few hours prior to each hearing at all locations. The open houses will provide information about the Juneau Access Improvements Project DSEIS. The public hearings are to collect oral comments from the public about the Juneau Access Improvements Project DSEIS.

Written comments may be provided at any time up to the November 10, 2014 closing date. The Juneau Access Improvements Project open houses and public hearings will be at the following locations and times:
October 14 October 15 October 23


Centennial Hall Convention Center
101 Egan Drive

Open House 1:00 - 9:00 pm
Public Hearing 5:00 – 9:00 pm


Chilkat Center for the Arts
604 Haines Highway

Open House 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Public Hearing 6:00 – 8:00 pm


Skagway High School
Multi-purpose room
1563 Main Street

Open House 3:00 – 8:00 pm
Public Hearing 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Report details rural health care challenges
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A new report details the challenges involved in providing health care to rural communities in Alaska.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the study concludes there is a lack of professional expertise in the state's smaller communities.

The report — called "Alaska's Community Capacity Review: A Statewide Public Health System Assessment" — also notes that an aging health care workforce is a challenge as well.

State health promotion manager Jayne Andreen, who worked on the report, says there's a need for mentors to counter an aging workforce.

The report says northern and southwest regions of the state are most lacking in health care providers.

The report was released Oct. 1. It is based on a performance review the public health system earlier this year.

Plow trailer expected to cut snow-clearing times
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — State transportation workers in Fairbanks are waiting for a little more snow to break out their newest plowing equipment.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports both Fairbanks and Anchorage will see the debut of a new trailer that allows a truck to plow two lanes at once.

The new tool is the Viking Cives-brand tow plow. A conventional front-mounted snow plow truck will tow the trailer, which has a snowplow that can rotate to the right and plow along its side.

Together, the vehicles can make a 24-foot swath.

Equipment operator foreman Ron Davis says plowing times could be cut in half for some roads, such as the Richardson Highway between Fairbanks and Eielson Air Force Base.

FBI detains man suspected of calling in threats
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man suspected of calling in threats Saturday night for aircraft at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is in custody but has not been charged.

The threat briefly grounded flights.

KTUU-TV reports authorities are deciding whether to file charges in state or federal court.

Airport manager John Parrott says the arrest followed an investigation by Anchorage police and the FBI.

He says a man called a police dispatcher and said the next airplane to take off would blow up.

Law enforcement officers using cellphone towers tracked the location of the call.

Airport police and Anchorage police located a suspect, who was turned over to the FBI.

FBI spokesman Kevin Donovan says the name of the suspect will not be released until charges are filed. He says there's no reason to think there was a threat to the public.

Alaska's Senate candidates vie for veterans' votes
EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (AP) — Veterans are a big factor in Alaska's Senate race.

One-tenth of Alaska's population has served in the military. The state is a destination for veterans because of its adventurous lifestyle and its large number of military facilities.

Both Democratic Sen. Mark Begich (BAY'-gich) and Republican Dan Sullivan are competing for veterans' votes.

Begich can promote a program he helped pioneer that allows veterans in rural areas get treatment at local medical facilities rather than trekking to Anchorage — or Seattle, which has the nearest Veterans Affairs hospital.

Even Republicans say the incumbent has been good on veterans' issues.

Sullivan is a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve who likes to swing by American Legion posts while he's campaigning. Many veterans respond warmly to him.

[Sunday October 12th, 2014  9th  EDITION 10:13 P. M.]

Juneau man wins Alaska Travel Industry Association award
The 2014 Alaska Tourism “Good as Gold” Alaska Travel Industry Association Annual Convention in Fairbanks wrapped up last week.

Tim McDonnell, long time Juneau resident and operator of Temsco Helicopters, won "The Denali Award", presented to a living individual for his or her outstanding leadership, professional excellence, and personal contribution to the Alaska travel industry.

Nancy Woizeschke, president and executive director of the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, says, "Alaska continues to be a very desirable destination overall." She also says Juneau will host next year's convention.

Federal judge strikes down Alaska's marriage ban
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska will begin accepting marriage license applications from gay couples Monday.

Phillip Mitchell is with the state's Department of Vital Statistics.

He tells The Associated Press in an email that applications will be accepted first thing Monday morning.

This comes after a federal court judge on Sunday ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Five gay couples sued to overturn the ban.

One of the plaintiffs is Matt Hamby, who is married to Christopher Shelden. He says he was helping a friend paint his house when his attorney called with the good news. Hamby says he's elated by the decision, and will be at the courthouse first thing Monday.

The state of Alaska intends to appeal the ruling.

Federal judge strikes down Alaska's marriage ban UPDATE
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge on Sunday struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages, the latest court decision in a busy week for the issue across the country.

It wasn't immediately clear when marriage licenses would be issued to same-sex couples in the state, however the state does have a three-day waiting period between applications and marriage ceremonies.

The state intends to appeal the ruling. Gov. Sean Parnell says he has a duty to defend the law and the state consitution.

Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday ruled the ban violates both the equal protection and the due process proviions of the Fourteenth Amendment.

He wrote in the 25-page decision that "the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message that same-sex couples and their familial relationships do not warrant the status, benefits and dignity given to couples of the opposite sex."

Federal judge strikes down Alaska's marriage ban
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge has struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday said the ban violates the U.S. constitutional guarantee of due process and equal protection.

The state could appeal to the 9th Circuit Court, where chances of it winning were slim since the federal appeals court already has ruled against Idaho and Nevada, which made similar arguments.

Five gay couples had asked the state of Alaska to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

More background checks done by school district
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has begun conducting more background checks on volunteers who spend time alone with children.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports it's part of the school district's tightening up of some student safety procedures.

The action follows allegations that a Hutchison High School tutor, Claude Fowlkes III, sexually abused a student. Fowlkes has been jailed since March. He has denied the charges.

School district human resources director Traci Gatewood says the background checks for volunteers have been required for at least a decade. She says, however, that not all schools were following the procedure.

Comprehensive background checks already are required for teachers and staff.

Gatewood says volunteers who work in the presence of teachers or staff are not required to have background checks.

Harbormasters set to attend Ketchikan conference
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Ketchikan is hosting a conference for harbormasters and port administrators.

KRBD says the Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators' annual conference is set to begin Monday.

The conference is scheduled to run through Friday.

Ketchikan Port and Harbors director Steve Corporon says about 90 participants are expected from communities in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

Corporon says Ketchikan also was the conference host in 2006.

Shed fire melts siding on house
Capital City Fire Rescue received multiple 911 calls for a structure fire near 2.5 Mile Glacier Highway Saturday night around 11:20.

Crews arrived to find a shed fully engulfed. Captain Roy Johnson says the shed fire was so hot it melted the siding on the house next to it.

There were no injuries.

Ketchikan deals with abandoned boats
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Officials in Ketchikan say abandoned boats are an ongoing presence in the southeast Alaska town.

The Ketchikan Daily News says a 19-foot fiberglass boat that was stripped and recently abandoned on the airport tidelands is the latest example.

Ketchikan International Airport manager Mike Carney says he combed over the boat and there was no way to identify the owner.

Carney says he'll have to dispose of the boat at the borough's expense.

Officials say the abandoned vessel problem used to be much worse almost a decade ago. But the problem was tackled with a $125,000 grant and several years of volunteer work.

Borough code enforcement officer Jerry Cegelske says that effort ended up with 41 abandoned vessels being targeted.

Anchorage flights briefly grounded after threat
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials at Anchorage's international airport say flights were briefly grounded after someone called in a threat.

KTUU reports that the Saturday night incident is being investigated by the FBI and Anchorage police.

Airport general manager John Parrott says someone called Anchorage police dispatchers shortly after 9 p.m. and said the next plane departing from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport would explode.

Parrott says most airline crews quickly determined the threat was not credible.

Juneau ranks #1 in state capital

After collecting data on all 50 of America’s state capitals, the website ranks Juneau, AK as the capital with the highest quality of life.

The following factors were used in the analysis:
Violent Crimes
Property Crimes
Unemployment Rate
Discretionary Income
and Number of Dining and Entertainment Establishments

The report boasted, "Located in the Alaskan panhandle, Juneau is unique in a number of ways. Along with being the Northernmost state capital, it is the only capital city that is not connected to the rest of its state by direct roads—surrounded by glaciered mountains on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, Juneau is reachable only by ferry or plane. That inconvenience has played a role in a decades-long debate over the possibility of moving the Alaskan capitol to a different city. The numbers indicate that the capitol is fine where it is, however; Juneau ranks first out of state capitals for dining and entertainment establishments, and second for disposable income. It also has the sixth lowest unemployment rate."

The capital cities with the lowest scores include several southern capitals, a pair of Midwestern cities, one city from the Northeast and one from the Mountain West. See the complete report at

[Saturday October 11th, 2014  7th  EDITION 6:13 P. M.]

Begich signs pledge seeking campaign disclosure
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich has signed a pledge, calling for the rejection of outside money in the Alaska race unless the funding source is disclosed and can be traced to a person or an established entity.

The pledge is from a group that promotes transparency in campaign spending. But a spokesman for Begich's GOP rival said it wouldn't stop outside spending.

Before Sullivan was the Republican nominee, he urged Begich to sign a pledge asking outside groups to stop TV and radio ads supporting or attacking their campaigns. If they didn't stop, the candidate benefiting would have to contribute part of the ad buy to charity.

Begich dismissed that in favor of a long-term solution. A Begich spokesman says the new pledge is in line with disclosure requirements Begich favors.

Kodiak beach reopens 6 weeks after rocket explodes
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A popular recreation spot in Kodiak has reopened a month-and-a-half after it closed following the explosion of a rocket taking off from the Kodiak Launch Complex.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports Fossil Beach is fully open but people won't be allowed on some land next to part of the road.

Alaska Aerospace Corp. says a temporary safety exclusion zone has been established east of the road while work continues to ensure that this area is free of hazards.

Officials restricted access to the beach to allow debris to be removed after the Aug. 25 explosion.

The rocket was meant to carry a hypersonic glider into the upper atmosphere to test an experimental Army weapons system. Testers destroyed the rocket after they detected an anomaly.

Begich: Senate race not about Obama
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says the Alaska Senate race is about the state's future, not President Barack Obama's.

Begich spoke to volunteers in Juneau with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. Heitkamp praised Begich as a moderate who is unafraid to stand up to Obama.

Begich said there are people who are mad at Obama and want to transfer that anger to him. But he said Obama will be out of office in two years and this race is about a six-year Senate seat.

He said the race is about issues like veterans' care, reproductive rights and education. He said there are sharp contrasts between him and Republican nominee Dan Sullivan.

Republicans have sought to tie Begich to Obama, who lost Alaska by wide margins in 2008 and 2012.

Alaska former soldier says he reported allegations
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A former Alaska National Guard soldier says he told his chain of command about misconduct more than seven years before the federal Department of Defense issued a report detailing allegations of sexual assault, abuse of power and cover-ups.

KTUU reports Lt. Col. Kenneth Blaylock says his superiors failed to act on his concerns. So Blaylock says he summarized and submitted them to the governor's office and Anchorage police.

He says his concerns weren't taken seriously until he met investigators from the Department of Defense National Guard Bureau.

Blaylock was heading the recruitment and retention division when he noticed the Guard was paying for the same advertising twice.

He says he alerted the Guard's deputy chief of staff and Gen. Tom Katkus of suspicions soldiers were misusing recruiting and retention funds.

Anchorage police car hits, injures pedestrian
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A pedestrian was seriously injured after being struck by an Anchorage police vehicle.

Police say an officer was traveling southbound on Muldoon Road on his way to work just before 11 p.m. Friday. The pedestrian was walking on the sidewalk when he stepped into the road and was hit by the officer's car.

Police said Saturday the pedestrian was taken to a hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

A police statement said the pedestrian is suspected of having been under the influence of drugs and possibly alcohol at the time.

Spokeswoman Dani Myren says the pedestrian showed signs of alcohol and impairment.

Police say the officer's breath and urine was tested immediately after the collision in line with city policy.

Alaskans surveyed about secession
Would Alaska be better off as its own country? Slightly more than one-in-four Alaskans say yes.
Local pollster Ivan Moore included the secession question on a recent survey. Moore says he was inspired by the recent failed bid for independence in Scotland and a national poll that found 24 percent of Americans would like their state to secede.

Moore says the rate in Alaska was slightly higher, at 27 percent.

While those surveyed in Anchorage and rural Alaska were less likely to favor secession, Moore says the response was as high as 42 percent in the Mat-Su, Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, Valdez, and Cordova.

(southeast was in between, at 33 percent)

The latest actual attempt at secession, a proposed ballot initiative in 2007, was rejected as unconstitutional by then-Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

Engineer's Cutoff Road to be closed for Winter
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) Southeast Region maintenance staff will close Engineers Cutoff Road on Wednesday, October 15 for winter 2014-2015.

Winter weather can cause unsafe driving conditions on the extremely steep section where Engineers Cutoff Road connects to Fritz Cove Road. Drivers should expect the gate to be closed throughout the winter season.

It will reopen mid-April, once the steep road conditions improve for through traffic.

[Friday October 10th, 2014  14th  EDITION 5:12 P. M.]

Twin Lakes Tree Maintenance
Contractors will begin pruning and removing trees along the paved pathway at Twin Lakes Park on Monday.

Portions of the pathway will be closed until the project is completed. People are asked to please not enter the closed areas during this time, or approach equipment in the work zone.

Eaglecrest in Powder's Ski Town Throwdown III
Juneau, Alaska — Eaglecrest Ski Area will be featured as one of 32 ski resorts across North America in this year's Ski Town Throwdown, hosted by Powder Magazine.

Ski Town Throwdown III begins Oct. 13, with finals starting Nov. 10. Featured ski resorts are broken up into four divisions. Eaglecrest is bracketed as part of the Great White North division and scheduled to go up against Fernie, B.C. for the first round of voting on Tuesday, Oct. 14. Unlike last year, voting will take place on, instead of Facebook.

Last year, Eaglecrest — a relatively unknown ski area — became Ski Town Throwdown's "Cinderella Story," thanks to comments by Powder Editor John Davies. With the help of the Juneau community, Eaglecrest advanced to the top of the Great White North division and took second place overall.

"Eaglecrest is Juneau's community ski area and features amazing terrain, awesome scenery, and the best skiing and snowboarding anywhere. We are excited to be part of this nation-wide contest again," said Eaglecrest General Manager Matt Lillard. "This is a wonderful opportunity to highlight Eaglecrest and our stunning community!"

For more information on Eaglecrest, visit

SEARHC reminds everyone to get a flu shot
JUNEAU, October 09, 2014 – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) would like to remind everyone that now is the time to get vaccinated against the influenza virus.

Contrary to the belief by some that influenza is simply a bad cold, the influenza virus, commonly referred to as “the flu” is much more serious. Each year approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized from the flu and nearly 36,000 people die because of it. Elders and other high-risk groups are particularly susceptible to serious complications from the flu.

Another common misconception is influenza, or “the flu” is a gastrointestinal illness. The term “stomach flu” is often used to describe illness with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, but different viruses or bacteria most likely cause these symptoms. Influenza is a respiratory illness not a stomach or intestinal disease, so feeling sick to your stomach is rarely a symptom of influenza.

SEARHC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older receive a flu vaccine as early as possible as it may take up to two weeks for the vaccine to fully protect you from the virus. It is especially important if you are at higher risk for developing complications from the flu. Those conditions include medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or other chronic lung disease. Other at greater risk are pregnant women, children under 5 (especially children younger than 2), and people 65 and over.

People often mistakenly assume because they came down with the flu soon after getting the shot, the vaccine caused their illness. It is important to understand that the influenza vaccine given with a needle cannot give you influenza, as the vaccine is made from an inactivated virus that cannot transmit infection. Those that do become ill after receiving a flu vaccination were incubating the virus prior to the vaccine being administered. Any exposure to the virus in one’s environment prior to receiving the vaccine is what makes people ill.

Additionally, it must be understood that since the flu is a virus, not a bacterial infection, antibiotics are not effective as a treatment. However, there are anti-viral medications available that your medical provider can prescribe. These may help reduce the severity of the symptoms and shorten the time you are sick by a day or two. These medications may also prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia.

As important as it is to be vaccinated, some people should not be vaccinated, including children younger than 6 months of age, people who have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine or any of its components, and others with certain medical conditions or a history of certain medical conditions.

SEARHC has a supply of the vaccine at each of our clinics. Please contact your local clinic for more information about getting vaccinated, or to discuss whether or not the vaccine is appropriate for you.

Alaska man accused of killing parents with ax
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A 21-year-old man faces two counts of first-degree murder after officials said he killed his parents with an ax in a remote Alaska village.

Everett Semone of Shageluk was arraigned Thursday at the courthouse in Bethel, appearing via teleconference from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Correctional Center. Bail was set at $500,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled Oct. 20 in Anvik.

Alaska State Troopers said 46-year-old Flossie Semone and 57-year-old John Arrow were killed in Shageluk, a village of 83 people. Residents told troopers that the two were the man's parents.

Although the slayings happened Tuesday night, Alaska State Troopers were unable to reach the village, located about 350 miles west of Anchorage, until Wednesday. Meanwhile, residents had taken Semone into custody and were holding him in a town building.

Wasted Moose on Thane Road
Alaska Wildlife Troopers are investigating a report of wasted moose meat along Thane Road near the avalanche zone. Troopers say that a large portion of moose meat from a recent moose kill had been discarded along the roadway and left to waste.

Anyone with information regarding the waste is asked to call the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Juneau at 907-465-4000. Those who would like to remain anonymous can call the Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard hotline at 800-478-3377 and could be eligible for a cash reward.

Friday's Municipal Election Results
Today's review of absentee and questioned ballots for the October 7 City and Borough of Juneau Municipal Election shows voter turnout is up to 29.2%

On Tuesday, October 14, the Canvass Board will verify accuracy then election results can be certified and they will be official.

Find today's count of election results here.

Judge considers fate of Alaska gay marriage ban
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge in Alaska says he will consider the future of the nation's first gay marriage ban.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess on Friday said he will take a case on the issue under advisement.

Five gay couples have sued the state of Alaska to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman. They say it violates their U.S. constitutional guarantee of due process and equal protection.

The state says the question of whether to define marriage to include gay couples should be decided by citizens, not the courts.

JPD apologizes to family wrongly told son had died
After the fatal accident on Mendenhall Blvd., next of kin for the deceased driver were notified about the incident. The deceased driver is identified as 33 year old Juneau resident Justin Donald Priest.

While trying to identify next of kin for Justin D. Priest, JPD contacted the Priest family of Palmer and wrongfully told them that their son Justin had been killed in a motor vehicle accident.

JPD Chief Bryce Johnson contacted the Priest family and apologized for our error. JPD apologizes to the Priest family of Palmer for any anguish our mistake has caused.

US rig count up 8 to 1,930
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by eight this week to 1,930.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,609 rigs were exploring for oil and 320 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,743 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, New Mexico gained three rigs, Ohio, West Virginia and Wyoming each increased by two and Kansas, Texas and Utah each gained one.

North Dakota lost seven rigs, Louisiana and Pennsylvania each decreased by two and Arkansas, California and Oklahoma each lost one.

Alaska and Colorado were unchanged.

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

Alaska police apologize for informing wrong family of traffic death; family told son had died
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - An Alaska couple knocked on the door of their son's long-time girlfriend Thursday, intending to inform her that he'd been killed in a car accident.

Karen and Jay Priest instead were stunned when the son, 29-year-old Justin Priest, answered the door.

They had been told by Alaska police that he'd been killed in the crash.

Karen Priest says there are no words to describe their reaction. Her husband started sobbing. She says was in shock.

Justin Priest says he'd gotten up to let out his 9-week-old puppy and was near the door at 5:30 a.m. when his parents and brother knocked. They started screaming when he opened the door.

He says his thoughts are with the other family who lost a son.

Gamble asks chancellors for UA tobacco plans
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska will consider a ban on tobacco at all campuses.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports UA President Pat Gamble has directed chancellors at Fairbanks, Anchorage and Juneau to make recommendations.

Gamble says that if there's a workable proposal, he will present it to the Board of Regents.

Several regents in December requested a policy to consider. Students at recent regents meetings have testified in favor of a tobacco-free system.

Smoking already is banned inside UA buildings. A new policy could ban tobacco elsewhere on campuses or prohibit smokeless tobacco.

Gamble says he'd prefer a policy that could be applied throughout the state but will give chancellors a chance to speak on needs at their campuses.

JPD's Crime of the Week
On September 27, 2014, at about 10:15 in the evening, a woman reported someone had entered her vehicle and taken an Apple Macbook and a Yamaha trumpet. There were no signs of forced entry. The theft happened while the woman was at the movie theater at 9091 Cinema Drive. JPD would like to remind movie-goers that their vehicles are an attractive target since thieves know the person will be gone for a defined period of time.

Those drivers should take extra precautions to make sure vehicles are locked and not to leave valuables within view if someone were to look into the car. One option is to lock valuables in the trunk of a car, which is much more difficult for
thieves to access and usually won’t be accidentally left unlocked as can happen with passenger doors.

Anyone with information can logon to

You can also call Juneau Police at 586-0600.

You may be eligible for a reward.

Semi hits Anchorage pedestrian near Potter Marsh
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Seward Highway was temporarily closed Thursday night near Potter Marsh as Anchorage police investigated a pedestrian struck by a semi.

KTUU-TV reports the truck driver reported hitting the man just before 10 p.m.

Crash team investigator Douglas Henie says the pedestrian appeared to be critically injured.

The driver told police he was unable to avoid striking the man.

Police are asking witnesses to contact them.

JPD ID wrong victim in fatal wreck
After the fatal accident on Mendenhall Blvd., next of kin for the deceased driver were notified about the incident. The deceased driver is identified as 33 year old Juneau resident Justin Donald Priest.

While trying to identify next of kin for Justin D. Priest, JPD contacted the Priest family of Palmer and wrongfully told them that their son Justin had been killed in a motor vehicle accident.

JPD Chief Bryce Johnson contacted the Priest family and apologized for our error. JPD apologizes to the Priest family of Palmer for any anguish our mistake has caused.

Police: No charges filed in brawl at Alaska party attended by Sarah Palin's family
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Police in Alaska say no charges will be filed in connection with a fight that broke out at a party and involved members of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's family.

Police on Thursday released a report on its investigation into the Sept. 6 brawl in Anchorage, including transcripts of interviews with multiple witnesses who said Palin's daughter Bristol and son Track were in the thick of the brawl.

The night of the party, police responded to a report of a fight among about 20 people outside a home.

According to witnesses, 23-year-old Bristol Palin punched the homeowner several times.

The report says no arrests were made at the time of the incident because no one wanted to press charges.

Sarah Palin was the 2008 GOP vice-presidential nominee.

Gay marriage battle turns to Alaska courtroom
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The first gay marriage ban in the nation will be tested before a federal judge in Alaska on Friday. It's the culmination of a week that saw several more states have gay marriage approved because of action by the Supreme Court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Five gay couples have sued the state of Alaska to overturn a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 1998 that defined marriage as being between one man and one woman.

It wasn't immediately clear when Judge Timothy Burgess might rule.

But he told lawyers on both sides to be prepared to discuss the 9th Circuit Court's decision this week striking down similar bans in Idaho and Nevada and the implications of that for Alaska.

Alaska is in the 9th Circuit.

[Thursday October 9th, 2014  13th  EDITION 5:00 P. M.]

Rabies shot and microchip clinic not free as advertised
CBJ Docks & Harbors apologies for a misunderstanding. They had advertised a FREE rabies shot and microchip clinic for dogs at the Juneau Yacht Club for Friday from 11am-1pm but this is NOT a free clinic, and dog owners will be responsible for the following fees:

Microchip - $40.00
Rabies - $25.00
License (unaltered) - $35.00
License (altered) - $15.00

If they have not been licensed yet and have been in Juneau there will be a $5.00 late fee.

Coffee & Collections: A Dialogue with the Empty Chair Movers & Shakers
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s first Coffee & Collections presentation of the Fall season brings a panel of distinguished guests who are all “movers and shakers” instrumental in making the dream of a memorial honoring Juneau’s Japanese community incarcerated during World War II come true. The program takes place on Saturday, October 11th from 10:30-12 noon at the Museum, located at 4th and Main Streets. This is a free event.

Mary Tanaka Abo, Margie Alstead Shackelford, Karleen Alstead Grummett and other members of the Empty Chair Committee will share the back story of the memorial which is now installed at Capital Park. It is a fascinating and inspiring tale of friendship, determination, discovery and the power of community. The story begins with the long-time friendship between Mary and Margie, who became best friends in 1948 when they were 8 years old, several years after the Tanaka family returned from their internment in Minidoka, Idaho. In an essay about this friendship titled “My Indomitable Friend”, Margie writes, “(Mary) nor either of her parents ever spoke to me about that humiliating time while we were growing up in Juneau. I found out about it quite by accident after we were out of college, but conversations of any depth had to wait for three more decades.”

Join these indomitable folks for conversation and hot coffee, generously supplied by the Coffee & Collections sponsor Heritage Coffee. Also be sure to check out the Empty Chair blog at

For more information regarding this event or other upcoming exhibits or programs, please visit: or call 586-3572. The Juneau-Douglas City Museum’s Fall/Winter Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission is free during the month of October thanks to the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo #6.

Winter hours begin at Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is now operating on winter hours of 10am to 4pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The US Forest Service center is closed on federal holidays during winter. This schedule will continue through March 29, 2015. There is no charge during winter.

"Attend one of the many great events that occur throughout fall and winter, such as the upcoming Fall Fun Fest: Creatures of the Night”, says Assistant Director Nikki Hinds.

Creatures of the Night will stalk the visitor center on Saturday, October 25 from 10:00am to 3:30pm to help kick off National Bat Week. National Bat Week is a celebration of the value of bats. Fun fact: bats eat over half their body weight in insects each night! Educational and entertaining activities and crafts for families will focus on other nocturnal animals too, such as owls, and Irene Morris with the Juneau Raptor Center will present a live owl at 2pm. Discovery Southeast naturalists will guide groups on 30 minute nature walks at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm. Librarians from the Juneau Public Library will tell their favorite stories during Storytime from 10:15-10:45am and 11-11:30am. Of course, there will also be bat videos, crafts, and games. If you are interested in volunteering for the Fall Fun Fest or need more information, please contact Hattie Inman at the visitor center at 789-6639.

The popular winter Fireside Lecture series begins January 9, 2015. Programs will occur twice nightly on Friday evenings during January, February and March at 6:30pm and 8pm. For information call 789-0097.

Cessna from Juneau crashes, two men rescued
A Cessna flying from Juneau to Yakutat crashed near Chilkat Range, between Lynn Canal and Glacier Bay, approximately 23 miles north of Gustavus, Wednesday night. The two men in the plane were rescued by the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard 17th District command center watchstanders received a report from Alaska State Troopers that an emergency distress signal was reported from a Cessna 180. The watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and directed the launch of the Jayhawk crew to assist the Alaska State Troopers in the search. A Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew safely rescued the men and transported them to Juneau International Airport. Both survivors were located and found in good health.

"We were lucky they were safe, and are grateful we could get to them,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Belisle, rescue swimmer aboard the Jayhawk. “The weather was on our side and made the rescue easy and uneventful.”

Juneau man arrested in burglary of Costco jewelry
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A 31-year-old Juneau man has been formally charged with stealing $41,000 in jewelry from the local Costco store.

Joseph John Finn is charged with burglary, felony theft and misdemeanor criminal mischief.

The Juneau District Attorney's office also charged him with a felony drug count.

Police arrested Finn on Wednesday.

Police investigating a burglar alarm Sept. 17 at the store found a jewelry case smashed and jewelry missing.

Police said it was likely a thief hid in the store during customer hours and took the items after closing.

Police: No charges filed in brawl at Alaska party attended by Sarah Palin's family
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Police in Alaska say no charges will be filed in connection with a fight that broke out at a party attended by family members of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Police on Thursday released a report on its investigation into the Sept. 6 brawl in Anchorage. Late that night, police responded to a report of the verbal and physical altercation among about 20 people outside a home.

Palin's oldest daughter, Bristol Palin, was among partygoers who were interviewed in the police investigation.

Sarah Palin was the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee.

Feds review UA response to sexual violence
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Federal investigators are in Alaska this week to look at how the University of Alaska system responds to sexual violence.

Alaska Dispatch News reports that the UA system is among 64 higher education institutions being investigated or audited by the civil rights office of the U.S. Department of Education.

The federal agency is looking at the schools for compliance with Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination at institutions that receive federal funding. The agency is putting special emphasis on complaints of sexual violence.

UA attorney Mike O'Brien says UA is not being investigated in response to specific complaints.

Investigators visited the University of Alaska Fairbanks earlier this week and will be at the University of Alaska Anchorage through Thursday.

Visits to campuses in Bethel and Juneau also are planned.

AVCP re-elects Naneng as president
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The Association of Village Council Presidents has re-elected Myron Naneng as its president.

KYUK-radio reports Naneng narrowly prevailed Wednesday on the association's second round of balloting.

Candidates needed 23 votes to obtain a majority and Naneng on a 23-22 vote defeated Raymond Watson, the outgoing board chairman.

Naneng thanked others who ran and said he will continue working on behalf of all the villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.

The association is meeting for its annual convention in Bethel.

The first ballot split the vote three ways. Naneng received 21 votes and Watson and Johnny Evan received 12 each. Evan dropped out before the second ballot.

Naneng for all but two years has been president since 1990.

Henry Hunter was elected chairman.

Drug bust at Juneau International Airport
At about 9:00 last night (Wed) evening,) officers of the Juneau Police Department and state and federal drug officers, contacted a Juneau woman flying into the Juneau International Airport.

Following an investigation, 45 year-old Rayda Ardell Tegen (Tay gen) of Juneau was arrested for Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 2nd degree, a Class A felony, and Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 3rd degree, a Class B felony.

Tegen and her bag were searched as part of the execution of a search warrant. She was found to have in her possession approximately 344 grams of methamphetamine and 44 grams of heroin. The street value of the meth in Juneau is about $38,000 and the street value of the heroin is about $30,000.

Tegen was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Arctic Council members take testimony in Nome
NOME, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Native leaders are again urging federal officials to consider local viewpoints when making decisions in the Arctic.

KNOM-radio reports Kawerak Inc. chief executive Melanie Bahnke urged a federal panel meeting Wednesday in Nome to "make space at the table" for Alaska Native voices.

She spoke to three representatives of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental body that includes Canada, Norway, Greenland and Russia.

The three included retired Coast Guard Admiral Robert Papp, Rear Admiral Daniel Abel, and former Alaska Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer, the adviser to the secretary of State for Arctic policy and science.

The three are taking public comment to prepare for the United States' turn as chair of the Arctic Council, which starts in April.

Kawerak is a regional nonprofit corporation providing services to Bering Strait residents.

UPDATE: Parnell and National Guard fiasco
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Two local news organizations are suing for the release of documents related to the investigation of sexual abuse within the Alaska National Guard.

Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News filed the lawsuit after they and other media organizations were denied emails and other documentation last month.

The lawsuit says the Governor's office is not complying with the state's Public Records Act when it refused to release emails.

Meanwhile, Governor Parnell is reviewing an award given to a National Guard officer facing misconduct allegations.

Colonel Tim Dehaas, a former chief of staff for the Army National Guard, received the Legion of Merit Award from the Governor in 2011 upon his retirement. A group of three guard veterans told reporters Wednesday that federal investigators
had concluded that Dehaas violated ethical standards, and that the Governor knew it before the award was given.

Alaska Public Media reports that Dehaas denied all the allegations.

Don’t let winter catch you by surprise!
Winter has a way of sneaking up on us, and putting off winterizing your boat could have expensive consequences,
such as cracked engine blocks, frozen plumbing, and damage to your batteries.

Remember to avoid spills when winterizing.

The following links are to the clean boating tip sheets on winterization and clean oil changes

Traffic fatality on Mendenhall Blvd.
The Juneau Police Department (JPD) received a 911 report about a motor vehicle crash on Mendenhall Boulevard near Cedar Court Wednesday night around 9. The report stated a vehicle struck a tree with unknown injuries.

JPD officers and Capital City Fire and Rescue (CCFR) responded to the scene. The vehicle had three occupants. The 33 year old male driver was pronounced deceased at the scene. Next of kin has not been notified. A 30 year old female passenger was treated for minor injuries and walked from the scene. A 50 year old male passenger was taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital with apparent life threatening injuries.

The preliminary investigation reveals speed and alcohol may have been contributing factors.

Mendenhall Boulevard between Birch Lane and Poplar Avenue was closed for approximately four hours during the investigation.

The investigation is continuing.

Begich seeks federal review of 'Fairbanks 4' case
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is calling on the Department of Justice to review the convictions of four men in jail since 1997 for a murder in Fairbanks.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Begich made the request in a letter to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder last week. Begich asks for the review, citing allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, coercion and recently uncovered evidence.

The so-called Fairbanks Four were convicted in beating death of 15-year-old John Hartman.

Marvin Roberts, Eugene Vent, Kevin Pease and George Frese were convicted in trials held in Anchorage and are serving lengthy prison sentences. Many Alaska Natives say the men were wrongfully accused because of racial prejudice.

The Alaska Innocence Project also claims a California inmate has confessed he played a role in Hartman's death.

Institute receives grant for frozen tunnel project
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks has won a grant for a four-year permafrost education outreach project that will use an underground permafrost tunnel.

UAF officials say the $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will go to a project called "Hot Times in Cold Places: The Hidden World of Permafrost."

According to officials, the project will build on decades of previous climate-related education and outreach work at the tunnel, with exhibits and programs upgraded there.

The tunnel is operated in Fox by the Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.

Also, an exhibit will be created and share with museums, beginning in Portland, Oregon, at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

Officials say an OSMI employee is a co-investigator in the project.

[Wednesday October 8th, 2014  13th  EDITION 9:35 P. M.]

JPD: Arrest in Costco Burglary
The Juneau Police Department working with officers from other state and federal agencies arrested 31 year old Joseph John Finn of Juneau yesterday for burglarizing Costco on September 17th.

Finn allegedly took $41,000 worth of jewelry. He has now been charged with Burglary in the 2nd degree, a class C felony, and theft in the 1st degree, a class B felony in conjunction with that crime. Finn is also charged with Misconduct Involving Controlled Substances in the 2nd degree, a class A felony, for drugs in his possession at the time of arrest.

29 year old Daricka Clark, also of Juneau, was arrested with Finn. She is charged with Misconduct Involving Controlled Substances in the 2nd degree, a class A felony, again for drugs in her possession when contacted by officers.

Officers have recovered jewelry worth about $32,000 from the Costco burglary. Several pieces, including high end watches, are still missing.

Additional people will likely be charged.

JPD: Arrest for Two Burglaries
The Juneau Police Department arrested 18 year old Keith Joseph Nelson Jr. yesterday morning for two burglaries since Sunday. Nelson has recently lived in both Hoonah and Juneau.

Nelson is believed to have broken into the concession stand at Adair/Kennedy field on Sunday. Two hundred dollars in damage was done and dozens of drinks and snacks were taken.

Nelson appears to have broken into Heritage Coffee on Mall Road yesterday. He entered through the drive through window. The cash registers were empty and nothing was taken.

When Nelson was contacted he gave false information about his identity. It was later discovered he had an outstanding detention order indicating he was to be taken to a juvenile facility if contacted by law enforcement. Due to his age and new charges he was lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. Nelson is charged with two counts of Burglary in the 2nd degree, a class C felony, and Theft in the 3rd degree, a class C felony.

News organizations sue for sex-abuse records
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two Alaska news organizations filed a lawsuit late Wednesday against Gov. Sean Parnell over his office's refusal to release documents related to the National Guard sexual abuse investigation.

Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News filed the lawsuit after they and other media organizations were denied emails and other documentation last month.

The lawsuit says the governor's office is not complying with the state's Public Records Act when it refused to release emails.

The attorney for both media organizations is seeking an expedited trial ahead of the general election next month, when Parnell stands for re-election.

Emails sent to state officials seeking comment weren't immediately returned to The Associated Press after business hours Wednesday.

Alaskan Brewing Co. wins bronze at the Great American Beer Festival

Denver, CO - Alaskan Brewing’s Smoked Porter won a record-breaking 21st medal, a bronze, at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) competition in Denver. Presented by the Brewers Association, GABF is the largest national beer competition that recognizes the most outstanding beers produced in the United States.

“It is very rewarding to see that a beer that we have been making since 1988 is still recognized as one of the best in the world,” said Plant Manager Curtis Holmes, who was on hand with other members of the Alaskan Brew Crew to collect the award (pictured below). “We feel like it is a one-of-a-kind beer and we couldn’t be happier that the judges at GABF agree.”

Smoked Porter won in the Smoked Beer category of the competition, one of 90 categories of beer judged in Denver during the week. It is the 2013 Smoked Porter that was judged in this competition. The medal winners for the entire competition were selected by an international panel of 222 expert judges from the record number of 5,507 entries. This medal continues Smoked Porter’s run as the most award-winning beer in the history of the GABF. “We love the attention on the Smoked Porter because we are coming out with our 2014 Smoked Porter in November,” said Holmes. “And as a fun treat for our fans, this year we are also putting out a very limited edition of a vintage pack with specialty glasses that will have the award-winning 2013 with a bottle of the 2008. We think people will love being able to buy a vertical tasting for the holidays.”

Holmes said it was also great to see another brewing company in Alaska, Broken Tooth from Anchorage, receive a medal for their Belgian-style ale, Darth Delirium.

For more GABF competition information, including the 2014 winners list and photos, visit And for a complete list of awards for the smoked porter, go to


Foster son charged in death of radio host
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The 16-year-old foster son of a longtime Anchorage radio host has been charged with his murder.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that Peter John Henry has been charged as an adult in the shooting death of 64-year-old Marvell Johnson.

Johnson for nearly 40 years was host of "Soul to Soul," a music show on a public radio station.

Police said the boy was angered that Johnson had grounded him for using Spice, a synthetic drug, and had taken the charger to his vapor cigarette.

Police said the youth shot Johnson and staged a robbery by taking cash and leaving an empty wallet in front of the home. They said Henry threatened to kill another youth if he didn't help destroy evidence, police said.

Troopers investigating deaths in Shageluk
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska State Troopers are on scene in a western Alaska village to investigate reports of the deaths of two people.

KTUU reports residents in the village of Shageluk were holding a suspect until troopers arrived.

Shageluk, a village of 83 people about 315 miles west of Anchorage, has no police or medical personnel presence. Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters couldn't immediately confirm the deaths or other details until troopers investigated.

Troopers set up a medevac flight Tuesday after being informed two people had been injured. The flight was later canceled when troopers were told the people died.

Village officials on Wednesday said they were outraged at the slow response of troopers. Peters said troopers form Anvik flew to Shageluk on a chartered flight, and arrived as soon as they could.

Bethel homeless shelter won't open until December
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A winter homeless shelter in Bethel is not scheduled to open until later this year, despite dropping temperatures.

KYUK reports the Bethel Winter House is set to open Dec. 1.

Winter House Board secretary Ross Boring says shelter organizers are overwhelmed by work involved in running a shelter. He also sends it's been hard to find volunteers to work overnight.

Shelter organizers have applied for grants that would allow them to hire someone to run the shelter.

The emergency shelter concept is new in Bethel, where the Winter House made its debut last December, following exposure deaths.

The shelter was relocated from church to church last winter. Organizers would like to eventually find a more permanent location for a shelter.

Organizers started the shelter after forming a Lions Club.

Man sentenced for shooting woman in face
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks man who shot a woman in the face with what he said he thought was a replica lighter was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison with two suspended.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Edward Ginnis in June pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, a felony.

Ginnis on March 17, 2013, shot Teil Diaz between the eyes with a .22-caliber handgun. He told investigators it was an accident.

Diaz suffered serious, lifelong injuries.

Fairbanks District Attorney Michael says the charge was determined by culpable mental status.

He says if the state could prove Ginnis picked up the gun that looked like a lighter and aimed it at Diaz, he would have faced attempted murder charges.

Friends and family of Diaz said a two-year sentence was too short.

Fort Yukon man charged with felony assault
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fort Yukon man has been charged with felony assault in an attack that left a man with a seriously injured eye.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 31-year-old Lloyd James Luke is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center with bail set at $65,000.

A man told Fort Yukon police Luke broke into his home and began beating him for no reason. A witness backed up his story.

Police say the man was beaten so badly, his eye was swollen shut and its pupil did not react to light.

Luke is also charged with burglary and resisting arrest.

A judge ordered Luke to stay out of Fort Yukon unless a court order is changed.

Fort Yukon is a village of 600 about 145 miles northeast of Fairbanks.

Police identify shooting victim as radio host
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man found dead Tuesday in his east-side Anchorage home has been identified as a longtime radio show host.

Anchorage police say 64-year old Marvell Johnson was found shot to death in a bedroom at his home on Island Drive.

A 16-year-old Anchorage boy was arrested and charged with murder in Johnson's death.

Johnson was host of a show on Anchorage public radio station KSKA. The Alaska Dispatch News reports "Soul to Soul" has aired for nearly four decades.

Johnson's body was found just after 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Voter participation up slightly in Juneau Municipal Election
It's all over but the absentee vote count. Tuesday's Municipal Election in Juneau saw a 23% voter turnout.

Those precincts leading the way were Lynn Canal with 33%; Douglas 28.5%; Juneau #2-Northern Lights United Church 28.2% and North Douglas with 27.2%.

Last year's Municipal Election turnout was only 19%.

Guardsmen to return to Alaska from Africa
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AP) — About 20 Alaska Air National Guard members are coming home from Africa.

U.S. Army Alaska officials say in a release that they are expected to return in two groups Wednesday following a three-month deployment.

The guardsmen were deployed to Djibouti. They are from the 212th Rescue Squadron, 176th Operations Group and 176th Communications Flight.

New Alaska art exhibit to feature autistic artist
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — University of Alaska Fairbanks officials say a new art exhibit opening next week will feature the work of an artist with autism.

The exhibit, called "From Thomas The Tank Engine To The White Pass," is scheduled to open Monday at the UAF art department gallery in the Fine Arts Building.

The exhibit will run through Oct. 25.

Officials say the opening will include a reception and premiere screening of "Basically Me," a 10 minute film about artist and UAF employee Ryan Matthews.

Officials say both Matthews and the maker of the film, Leonard Kamerling, are scheduled to attend the opening and will be available for discussion after the film premiere.

Monday's opening is scheduled to take place between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

[Tuesday October 7th, 2014  11th  EDITION 9:27 P. M.]

Election Results for the CBJ Municipal Election
Voter turnout is slightly up this year to 23%. That percentage should increase once absentee votes are counted. In 2013's CBJ Municipal Election, 19% of registered voters voted.

Here were Tuesday nights unofficial results:

Maria Gladziszewski wins the area-wide assembly seat.

Jessie Kiehl kept his assembly district 1 seat as he was unopposed.

Debbie White had a close race but came out on top in district 2.

Brian Holst is the newest member on the Juneau school board.

Sean O'Brian keeps his seat on the school board.

Proposition One passes to allow the assembly to create an aquatics board.

The election will be officially certified in one week.

Renee and Laurie entering votes

First Returns

Missing vehicle recovered, no word of missing woman
The Juneau Police Department says the missing rental car has been recovered, but there's no official word on the missing Juneau woman.

On September 16th a 31 year old Juneau woman rented a 2014 white Chevrolet Impala from a company at the Juneau International Airport. The car rental was for one day. Tiffany Spaulding is woman who rented it .

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.

ACLU: Alaska should recognize same-sex marriage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Alaska says the state should stop defending its same-sex marriage ban after a federal appeals court ruled gay marriage is legal in Idaho and Nevada.

Tuesday's decision was issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction in Alaska and other states with marriage bans. Challenges in those states are pending in lower courts.

In Alaska, a federal judge is hearing arguments Friday in a case filed by gay couples.

ACLU of Alaska executive director Joshua Decker expects the judge to decide Alaska's ban also is unconstitutional.

Decker says there is no way Alaska can argue that it's not covered by the ruling.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Law said they were studying the ruling and wouldn't comment Tuesday.

Trooper hit 'dead end' in Fairbanks hit-and-run
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A month after a hit-and-run driver seriously injured a father and daughter riding mountain bikes outside Fairbanks, Alaska State Troopers say they're not close to finding out who is responsible.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports JP Smith and his 12-year-old daughter Amanda on Sept. 4 were riding on the shoulder of Sheep Creek Road west of Fairbanks when they were struck from behind.

A witness described the vehicle as a silver- or champagne-colored GMC or Chevrolet pickup.

Smith suffered a broken back and a traumatic brain injury. He must wear a back brace for another three months but can walk short distances.

Amanda Smith suffered a concussion. She spent a night in a hospital.

Trooper Edwin Anderson says investigators have hit a "dead end" in the investigation.

Anchorage police investigate suspicious death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police are investigating a death in which foul play is suspected.

Police say they responded at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday to a home in the 7500 block of Island Drive on the city's east side in response to a report of a death.

They found the body of a man inside.

Police say witnesses were questioned at police headquarters.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell tells KTUU-TV a suspect is in custody.

Sutton man dies in tractor accident
SUTTON, Alaska (AP) — A 68-year-old Sutton man died Monday when he became pinned beneath his tractor.

Alaska State Troopers say Marvin Baker was working on his property and lost control of his tractor on a hillside.

It flipped and he became trapped underneath the machine.

Troopers took a call on the accident just before 6 p.m.

Troopers say firefighters and emergency medical responders were unable to resuscitate Baker.

Sutton is 11 miles northeast of Palmer along the Glenn Highway.

Juneau considering upping tobacco products taxes
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — It might cost more to light up in Juneau.

A City and Borough of Juneau Assembly committee has forwarded the idea of an increased tax on tobacco products to the finance committee for further consideration.

This came after the committee received a presentation on the benefits of a higher tax.

Kristin Cox, a doctor at Rainforest Naturopathic Medicine, and Matt Felix, the former director of Juneau's National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, advocated for a higher tax before lawmakers.

Cox says a 20 percent increase in costs translates to a 10 percent reduction in the number of users. She says it also translates to a significant drop in youth smoking.

Such an increase would also bring in more than $4 million in city coffers.

Anchorage police investigate suspicious death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police are investigating a death in which foul play is suspected.

Police say they responded at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday to a home in the 7500 block of Island Drive on the city's east side in response to a report of a death.

They found the body of a man inside.

Police say witnesses were questioned at police headquarters.

Police spokeswoman Anita Shell tells KTUU-TV a suspect is in custody.

Sutton man dies in tractor accident
SUTTON, Alaska (AP) — A 68-year-old Sutton man died Monday when he became pinned beneath his tractor.

Alaska State Troopers say Marvin Baker was working on his property and lost control of his tractor on a hillside.

It flipped and he became trapped underneath the machine.

Troopers took a call on the accident just before 6 p.m.

Troopers say firefighters and emergency medical responders were unable to resuscitate Baker.

Sutton is 11 miles northeast of Palmer along the Glenn Highway.

Translators scramble to meet election deadline
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Translators are scrambling to meet a Friday deadline ordered by a federal judge to provide outreach and poll workers with election materials and voting information that have been translated into Yup'ik or Gwich'in.

KUAC reports that Gwich'in translators Allan Hayton and Marilyn Savage in Fairbanks are finding the work challenging.

Hayton says some of the language in election materials is very technical.

Adding to the challenge, there are no direct Gwich'in translations for some words appearing on the November ballot, such as 'commerce' and 'marijuana.'

University of Alaska Fairbanks linguistics professor Gary Holton says translating election materials is a big undertaking because Gwich'in cannot describe some of the concepts culturally.

The U.S. District Court ruling last month stemmed from a lawsuit alleging the state failed to provide complete translations.

Fairbanks man arrested on homicide charges
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 25-year-old Fairbanks man has been arrested in connection with a woman's death.

Troopers say Jason Gautam was arrested Monday on charges of first- and second- degree murder in connection with the death of 25-year-old Tamara Santori of Fairbanks.

Troopers say that earlier Monday they responded to a report of an incident at a McGrath Road home, where officers found Santori dead.

Gautam was arrested late afternoon.

Trooper hit 'dead end' in Fairbanks hit-and-run
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A month after a hit-and-run driver seriously injured a father and daughter riding mountain bikes outside Fairbanks, Alaska State Troopers say they're not close to finding out who is responsible.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports JP Smith and his 12-year-old daughter Amanda on Sept. 4 were riding on the shoulder of Sheep Creek Road west of Fairbanks when they were struck from behind.

A witness described the vehicle as a silver- or champagne-colored GMC or Chevrolet pickup.

Smith suffered a broken back and a traumatic brain injury. He must wear a back brace for another three months but can walk short distances.

Amanda Smith suffered a concussion and spent a week in a hospital.

Trooper Edwin Anderson says investigators have hit a "dead end" in the investigation.

Driver changes plea in crash that killed teens
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A driver who struck and killed two teenage girls walking on an Anchorage sidewalk has pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder.

KTUU-TV reports Stacey Graham pleaded guilty Monday to killing Brooke McPheters and Jordyn Durr.

The 15-year-old girls on Aug. 9, 2013, were returning from a back-to-school shopping trip to the Dimond Mall and were walking on the sidewalk along Abbot Road when they were struck.

Graham earlier in the day had attended a golf tournament hosted by his former employer. His pickup left the roadway and struck the girls.

Graham before the crash was seen speeding. Police said his blood-alcohol content was about three times over the legal limit for drivers.

He will be sentenced Feb. 12.

Health officials say Ebola threat low in Alaska
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — State health officials say Alaska is at a lower risk of an Ebola outbreak than the Lower 48 states but they're not taking the threat lightly.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Division of Epidemiology within the Department of Health and Social Services last week listed steps it has taken to prevent an outbreak.

They include distributing guidelines to health providers for early recognition of patients who may be infected.

The Ebola virus spreads through direct contact with blood or body fluids. It spreads only when a person is showing symptoms. It's not spread through food, water, air or casual contact.

Alaska health officials say the state's remote location, sparse population and few ties to affected countries put Alaska at a lower risk than other states.

Alaska to participate in earthquake drill
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska is taking part in an international earthquake drill.

The Great Alaska Shakeout will take place Oct. 16, at 10:16 a.m., as part of the larger event. At that time, participating Alaskans will practice dropping, covering and holding onto whatever is covering them.

According to the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, more than 100,000 Alaskans participated in a drill in March, to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Great Alaskans Earthquake.