The Juneau Daily News
News of the North Now
Listen to our latest full-length local
newscast right now, on-demand.
'News of the North’
content copyright of Alaska Broadcast Communications Inc. and Juneau
Alaska Communications LLC.
Any unauthorized use will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the
2nd, 2014 12TH EDITION 10:45 P. M.]
City's first 2015 baby
bounces into Juneau on the second day of the year
It's a boy! The first baby born in 2015 at Bartlett
Regional Hospital was at 12:07 Friday January 2nd.
Fanning measured 21" long and weighed 8lbs, 12oz. The proud parents are Luke
and Christine Fanning. Elliot's big bother is Logan and his big sister is
When asked about
the health of mother and new son, Luke told News of the North, "She's doing
great. Everybody's healthy. I was really proud of her."
Luke Fanning, Logan Fanning (brother), Christine
Fanning, Adele Fanning (sister), Baby Fanning
UPDATE: Crime of the
Week, a hit and run at the bank
Juneau Police say the woman in their Crime of the
Week photo has contacted them and taken responsibility. JPD also
acknowledges an exchange of information between the two drivers involved
in the incident and does not anticipate any charges.
on Friday released the picture of a woman accused of a hit and run in
the Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union parking lot.
The Juneau Police Department said they wanted to contact the woman who
is believed to have backed a red Toyota Tacoma pickup into a Mazda
Protégé on December 9.
Lt. Kris Sell tells us, "The damage to the Mazda was not extensive and
it is possible the woman driving the pickup was not aware she had
damaged a vehicle. Security footage does show the incident. The picture
being released is of the driver when she was inside the bank."
Anyone with information is encouraged to log on to
report any tips. You may also call JPD at 586-0600. You may be eligible
for a reward.
Juneau Douglas City
Museum First Friday exhibit features 12 guest community curators
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum along with the Friends
of the Museum invite you to celebrate the community-curated exhibit
Ordinary Things / Extraordinary Tales opening on First Friday, January
2nd, 2015, from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.
In an essay titled “Looking at Artifacts, Thinking About History”,
authors Steven Lubar and Kathleen Kendrick state, “Curators make it
their mission to discover and tell these stories, to put objects back
into history.” They suggest that there are five ways to think about
artifacts which, as it turns out, perfectly capture the points of view
of the twelve guest curators who were invited to select an object from
the Museum’s collection, looking through the lens of their professional
life and to write a personalized label in response to their selection.
“Artifacts tell their own stories” as Ferry Captain Wayne Carnes
illustrates in the label that accompanies his selection of a marine
compass. “Artifacts connect people” is clearly on display via the
Jensen-Peterson families’ table and chairs selected by CBJ Accounts
Payable Supervisor Sherry Patterson. Dr. Emily Kane’s poetic musing
about an empty tin of boric acid demonstrates that “artifacts mean many
things” while Physical Therapist Patrick Ripp’s word portrait of the
hands that made the spruce root basket he selected shows how “artifacts
capture moments”. Finally, Nurse Keith Goering’s selection of a head
used in the study of the pseudoscience of phrenology and Miner Jerry
Harmon’s powder punch both show that “artifacts reflect changes” while
at the same time reflect how things can also remain the same through
The curators mentioned above are joined by Chemist Michelle Bonnet Hale,
Mechanic Larry Blatnick, Editor Genevieve Gagne-Hawes, Massage Therapist
Melchi Nelson, Geological Engineer Mike Blackwell and Writer/Teacher Jim
Hale in the creation of Ordinary Things / Extraordinary Tales, which is
on display at the City Museum from January 2nd through Saturday,
information regarding this event, exhibition opportunities or other
upcoming programs, please visit:
www.juneau.org/museum 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 January in memory of Harold O. Fossum.
Kitchen Chair, selected by Sherry Patterson, JDCM 92.09.004
Phrenology Head, selected by Keith Goering, JDCM 88.37.001 A-B
Condensation Chamber, selected by Michelle Bonnet Hale, JDCM 2007.22.004
man sentenced for firing gun from pickup
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fairbanks man who fired a
gun from a pickup window has been fined and sentenced to community
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Craig Logan Lant was fined $300
and ordered to perform 250 hours of community service.
A driver in the Goldstream Valley west of Fairbanks called Alaska State
Troopers in August to report the shot fired from the truck.
He said Lant had fired across a road into trees.
A Fairbanks grand jury indicted Lant on a felony count of weapons
In an agreement last month with prosecutors, Lant pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor weapons misconduct.
symposium draws Alaska officials
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Law
enforcement officers and other public officials from Alaska will be
traveling to Colorado for a symposium on governing and marijuana.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports at least a dozen public officials
will attend the three-day conference that starts Jan. 14 in Lone Tree, a
suburb of Denver.
Alaska voters in November approved legalizing recreational use of
Fairbanks Police Department Deputy Chief Brad Johnson says he wants to
learn as much as he can from the Colorado experience with legalized pot.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough planning director plans to join Johnson
at the symposium.
Gov. Bill Walker's spokeswoman Grace Jang says representatives from the
Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the Department of Revenue, the
Attorney General's office and the municipality of Anchorage also will
Traffic deaths jump
to highest level since 2007
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state Highway Safety
Office says traffic fatalities climbed in 2014.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 65 people died in wrecks last
year, more than the previous six years and the most since 75 people died
Counting pedestrians and cyclists, 70 people died.
Highway Safety Office research analyst Miles Brookes says it's too early
to say precisely how many fatal wrecks involved drivers impaired by
alcohol or drugs.
Brookes says so far about 38 percent had been confirmed to have involved
drivers with blood-alcohol levels over the legal limit.
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Legislature's
http://akleg.gov, has a new look.
The Peninsula Clarion reports the updated site debuted Dec. 26. It's
been designed to be more user-friendly, and includes a new version of
the BASIS tool, which allows people to track a bill throughout the
The new website also includes a "Live Now" tab so people can watch
committee hearings online from the website. Previously, people had to go
to a different website for live TV.
The legislative website will be friendlier for smartphone and tablet
users as it automatically resizes to the user's screen.
The debut comes just ahead of the 2015 legislative session, which starts
3 men see snout, free moose buried in
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A moose buried by an
avalanche on an Alaska mountain had its luck changed by three men
passing on snowmobiles.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that the three Matanuska-Susitna
Borough residents spotted the animal's snout sticking out of the snow
and used shovels to free the moose.
Marty Mobley, Rob Uphus and Avery Vunichich were on at outing Sunday at
Hatcher Pass about 55 miles northeast of Anchorage when they passed a
small hillside that had both ski and moose tracks.
When they returned an hour later, an avalanche had covered the tracks.
Mobley says he saw something move in the debris and it turned out to be
a snout, not a skier.
After 10 minutes of digging, the moose stood up, towered over its
rescuers and ran off.
Only one arrested
for drinking and driving New Year's Eve
Juneau Police report only one driving while
intoxicated charge being issued on New Year's Eve.
A JPD bulletin says a 17 year old male was arrested for DWI after he
backed into a parked vehicle in Sealaska Plaza.
His passengers, 18 year old Zane Henricksen, 19 year old Demetrius
Campos, 18 year old Toriana Fogg, and 18 year old Andrea Gordon were all
cited and released for Minor Consuming Alcohol.
Inmate assaulted by
five at LCCC, sent to Anchorage for care
Alaska State Troopers say an inmate at the Lemon
Creek Correctional Center was transported to Anchorage for medical
treatment after he was assaulted by five inmates.
notified of the assault at the medium-security facility shortly before 5
Wednesday morning. Troopers say the inmate who was assaulted sustained
an eye injury. The assault is being investigated.
Kodiak bears mostly
laying low despite warm winter
Alaska (AP) — Despite Kodiak's warm winter, most bears around the
road system have been keeping to themselves — with one notable
Fish and Game
Department regional supervisor Larry Van Daele says one bear has been
making regular appearances around trash day in the Selief and Larch
Van Daele says
the bear seems to come out on Tuesdays, which is garbage day. The bear
hits the roll carts and trash bins and then goes away for a while.
the bear has not exhibited aggressive behavior toward people.
Van Daele says
the bear is a consistent nuisance, however, and the police department is
keeping a close eye on it.
1st, 2014 5th EDITION 4:36 P. M.]
Judge blocks termination
of Alaska National Guard officer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A state judge has temporarily
blocked the termination of one of three Alaska National Guard officers fired
in October by then-Gov. Sean Parnell.
Brig. Gen. Catherine Jorgensen sued this week to keep her job.
Alaska Dispatch News reports that Anchorage Superior Court Judge Andrew
Guidi agreed Wednesday to issue a temporary order barring the state from
carrying out the dismissal.
Jorgensen alleges Parnell fired her without cause in a "political Hail Mary"
to save himself.
Parnell ran an unsuccessful bid for re-election after the release of a
scathing report into allegations of sexual assault and other misconduct
within the guard. Critics said Parnell didn't act quickly enough in
addressing problems within the guard.
Guidi says his order will remain in place until a broader hearing, possibly
air-quality regulations to EPA
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska
environmental regulators have submitted the state's plan for addressing the
chronic pollution in the area during winters.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the state Department of Environmental
Conservation adopted new regulations Wednesday that tackle air-quality
The state had a year-end deadline set by the federal Environmental
Regulations combine existing rules, research and scientific modeling in
Alaska's State Implementation Plan.
The EPA requires such documents for states to prove they're serious about
cleaning up areas falling short of the federal Clean Air Act.
Collecting public input, the state has encountered pushback from
anti-regulation critics, as well as those who did not think regulations were
going far enough.
Alice Edwards with the DEC says the new rules are simplified, but more
Public comment period
begins for Kodiak composting proposal
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A public comment period has begun
for a proposal by the city of Kodiak to turn sewer sludge into compost.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the city's permit application has been
submitted to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, which is
proposing to issue the permit.
The public may comment to the DEC's solid waste program by 5 p.m. Jan. 20.
The location for the permit is borough property that would be transferred to
the city if the permit is issued.
The city has a contract with Quayana Development Corp., which is doing a
smaller-scale compost program at the landfill.
Application period for
Alaska dividend begins
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — With the new year, eligible
Alaskans can begin signing up for the 2015 Permanent Fund Dividend.
The application period begins on New Year's Day and continues through March
People can sign up online or pick up forms at designated distribution
Eligible Alaska residents received checks of nearly $1,900 in October when
the 2014 dividend was distributed. The money comes from investment profits
from the state's oil wealth savings account.
To qualify for a dividend, new residents must live in Alaska for a full
The fund was established in 1976 after North Slope oil was discovered. The
state began distributing dividend checks in 1982.
Alaska has no income tax. Residents, however, must pay federal taxes on the
North Dakota, Alaska
locked in rivalry for oil, population
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Forget South Dakota. North Dakota's
most similar sister state these days is some 2,000 miles away.
Alaska and North Dakota once had little more in common than wintry weather
and elbow room. But the two states have been in a rivalry over population
numbers and crude oil output for the past several years.
North Dakota is bettering Alaska on crude production and the number of
Recent Census Bureau data show North Dakota recaptured the 47th most
populous state from Alaska, which had held the ranking for the past decade.
North Dakota has a record of more than 739,000 residents, roughly 3,000 more
North Dakota passed Alaska in 2012 to become the second-leading
oil-producing state in the U.S., behind Texas.
December 31st, 2014 11th EDITION 3:52
Walker says no delay in
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says
he's confident the rule-making process for commercial marijuana sales can
proceed on time.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the announcement comes two weeks
after Walker said he was considering a 90-day delay in implementing a
regulatory system for legal marijuana sales.
Walker says in a statement issued Tuesday that officials assured him the
timelines can be met as outlined in the ballot initiative passed by voters
Ballot Measure 2 decriminalizes the possession, use and non-sale transfer of
up to an ounce of marijuana when the new law takes effect Feb. 24.
The initiative also set in motion the legalization and permitting of
marijuana sales. That is the process Walker discussed delaying earlier in
December at a Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Suspect plans guilty
plea in Homer harassment case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The attorney for a Homer man
suspected of harassing an intoxicated, unconscious teenager at a 2012 party
says his client will plead guilty to felony evidence tampering and hindering
Defense attorney Phillip Weidner says 22-year-old Anthony Resetarits also
will plead guilty to misdemeanor harassment and contributing to the
delinquency of a minor.
A Kenai grand jury indicted Resetarits and his brother in September 2013 on
felony charges of sexual assault.
A judge in August dismissed the charges, citing problems with information
presented to the grand jury.
New charges filed Tuesday say Anthony Resetarits deleted photos of the
incident and encouraged others to do so.
Weidner says Resetarits did not sexually assault the teen but acknowledges
responsibility for his inappropriate conduct, which was a product of his own
Fairbanks man convicted
of impersonating officer
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fort Wainwright man suspected
of pretending to be an Alaska State Trooper has pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor impersonation of a public servant.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 19-year-old Jake Taylor Crain reached
a plea agreement with prosecutors on the charge and was sentenced to 14 days
in jail, which he had already served while awaiting the outcome of the case.
Crain in November was arrested by Alaska State Troopers, who took complaints
that Crain had used police-style lights to pull drivers over on the
Prosecutors presented a case of felony impersonation to a Fairbanks grand
jury, but jurors declined to indict Crain.
Crain as part of the plea agreement forfeited his lights. He also was issued
a $300 speeding ticket.
Search continues for
Searchers have found more leads as they look for a couple who disappeared on
the Kuskokwim River.
Bethel Search &
Rescue discovered some eyeglasses, flashlights, and other items that may
belong to George Evan and Sally Stone. The couple was reported missing on an
ATV trip from Bethel to Akiak, December 11th. The ATV driver, Ralph Demantle,
was found dead about 10 miles from Bethel.
Sonar equipment is
allowing searchers to scan the riverbed under the ice.
Gas prices continue to
Gasoline prices in Anchorage have dropped below 3 dollars, on average.
Triple-A puts the
average price at $2.96 per gallon for regular, about 40 cents less than a
Alaska and Hawaii
are the only states with average gas prices above 3 dollars.
Missouri has the cheapest gas, averaging a dollar-92 per gallon.
Freedom Caucus in Alaska
A subset of the Republican-led majority is forming what they call a "Freedom
Chaired by Eagle
River representative Lora Reinbold, the group currently has three other
members: Representatives Wes Keller of Wasilla, Shelley Hughes of Palmer,
and newly-elected Cathy Tilton, whose district spans from Chugiak to
Reinbold tells the
Alaska Dispatch that the caucus meets for an hour each week, with the goal
of "defending freedom" -- specifically on ways to cut the budget.
other house members have been invited to join.
NANA names new chief
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — NANA Regional Corp. has named a
new chief financial officer.
Officials with the regional Alaska Native corporation say Jens Beck's
appointment will be effective Sunday.
Officials say Beck also will be the CFO for NANA Development Corp., NANA's
Beck has also served as CFO and senior vice president at Arctic Slope
regional Corp. Energy Services.
Kotzebue-based NANA has more than 13,000 Inupiat Eskimo shareholders.
NANA covers a 38,000-square-mile region in northwest Alaska.
Incoming GF&P head
cleared in ethics complaint
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The incoming secretary of the South
Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks was cleared of ethics allegations
in Alaska, though critics say it was due to a technicality.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard last week announced that South Dakota native Kelly
Hepler will replace Jeff Vonk, who is retiring in January after serving as
Game and Fish secretary since 2007.
Hepler works with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The Argus Leader
reports that he was among several public officials in that state accused in
August of not reporting gifts from a lobbying organization. The Alaska
Public Offices Commission determined last month that Hepler did nothing
A spokesman for Daugaard says Hepler was up front about the matter when
approached about the South Dakota job.
Christmas tree recycling
begins Friday, Jan. 2
Free Christmas tree recycling brought to you by CBJ & Capitol Landfill is
available January 2-31, 2015. Drop off location is at Capitol Landfill by
the metal recycling station. Please have the trees clean; no lights, tinsel
or flock. Last year trees had a lot of contamination, so help us keep this
program operating cost effectively by keeping the tree clean..
For more information you can logon to Juneau.org /Public works/ waste
management/recycling. Or you can call Solid Waste Coordinator Jim Penor at
CHARR gets you home free
and safe this New Year's Eve at participating businesses
Juneau Lynn Cannel CHARR is giving you a safe ride home
again this New Year's Eve. Leeann Thomas, Proprietor of the Triangle Club,
tells News of the North, "This is our 10th year and we have fifteen
participating businesses. You can find posters around town. When you're done
having fun on New Year's Eve, you have the server call you a free cab."
They have 25 cabs and a new vehicle to use this year, the van that will loop
around downtown and Douglas. If you don't live in those areas you can get a
free cab at participating establishments.
Baby orca born to
endangered whale population
SEATTLE (AP) — The Center for Whale Research says a baby
orca has been born to the endangered population of killer whales that
frequent Puget Sound.
Research center scientist Ken Balcomb says he and another scientist spotted
the new baby Tuesday in J pod. That's one of three families of whales that
spend time in the inland waters of Washington state and Canada.
He says the mother whale is J-16, a 43-year-old female that has had three
surviving calves and two non-surviving calves.
The new baby is estimated to be a day or two old and appeared healthy.
The baby orca was seen swimming with its mother and 8-year-old sister off
the Canadian Gulf Islands of British Columbia.
The news is being celebrated after the death of a 19-year-old pregnant orca
earlier this month.
The birth brings the Puget Sound orca population to 78.
December 30th, 2014 10TH EDITION 9:20
Alaska State Troopers say Wisconsin man missing since August
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers are
seeking the public's help in a search for a 72-year-old Wisconsin man who
disappeared in August.
Troopers say Roger Yaeger of Eagle River, Wisconsin, traveled to Alaska over
the summer to view wildlife. Family members last heard from Yaeger Aug. 8
when he visited a relative in Wasilla.
Troopers traced Yaeger's subsequent travel to Fairbanks, where he turned in
his rental car a day or two after his Wasilla visit.
Troopers were contacted a few weeks ago by relatives who said Yaeger didn't
return emails for an extended period of time. According to troopers, Yaeger
had told relatives he was going to travel around Alaska and would update
them around Christmas.
Troopers say there is no record of Yaeger flying in Alaska or leaving the
Northrim Bank employees
raise nearly $10,000 for Southeast Alaska's United Way
The 2014 Workplace Campaign at Northrim Bank to benefit
Southeast Alaska's United Way is being reported as a huge success and raised
more money than any previous year at Northrim Bank. Employees pledged
contributions of $5,145.52. The company match was $2,575.76. Special events
money for Southeast was $1,800 for a grand total of $9,521.28 raised by
Northrim employees in the Southeast branches. Employees raised 9% more in
2014 than they did in 2013.
United Way of Southeast Alaska CEO Wayne Stevens tells News of the North
that Northrim employees held fundraisers and made workplace pledges in
Sitka, Ketchikan, and Juneau, where Northrim has branches, and were very
successful in their efforts, raising almost $10,000. Stevens said some
employees made home-made dishes or knitted scarves to sell at their
Stevens added, "We appreciate the gracious employees that participate.I
encourage other employers to think about participating. Workplace Campaign
pledge is a great way to introduce employees to the art and act of
In accepting the check on behalf of United Way of Southeast Alaska, Campaign
Co-Chair Rustan Burton noted that 1 in 3 people in Southeast Alaska would be
impacted by a United Way partner agency at some point their lives.
Statistically speaking, this means virtually every family living here will
be touched in some way, shape or form by United Way of Southeast Alaska.
Air emergency canceled
Due to the increasing air movement in the Mendenhall
Valley, the City and Borough of Juneau has canceled its Air Emergency.
Woodstove and fireplace burning can resume.
would like to thank those residents affected by the Air Emergency for their
Lost hunter rescued in
Minto Flats Game Refuge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Responders say Alaska Air
National Guard members rescued a hunter who became lost in the Minto Flats
Alaska National Guard officials say the man was rescued uninjured on Monday.
His name was not disclosed.
The man was hunting with others over the weekend when his snowmobile
developed problems. Officials say the man stayed behind to work on the
machine and told the group he would catch up later, but he never showed up.
The group contacted Alaska State Troopers, who launched the helicopter
search until nightfall. They contacted the Rescue Coordination Center, which
has night vision equipment.
Responders found the man near a campfire. His snowmobile had broken down
Officials say the hunter was flown to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, where
he was released to troopers.
Alaska prepares to offer
grizzly license plates
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska is bringing back the bear
to license plates.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Alaskans next spring will be able to
choose license plates of blue and gold that reflect state flag colors or a
new version of plates last offered in 1976 that feature a grizzly bear.
Outgoing state Rep. Peggy Wilson sponsored a measure last session to bring
back the grizzly plates. House Bill 293 passed unanimously in the final days
of the 2014 session.
The old grizzly plates had red lettering, beige mountains and a brown bear
on its hind legs on a white background.
The new plates feature a darker bear on a fading blue background with a
silhouette of the Alaska Range.
Alaska fish and game
boards to vet applicants
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials involved in Gov. Bill
Walker's transition efforts say few people may have applied to become
Alaska's next Fishing and Game commissioner because the acting commissioner
is among the four applicants.
Ted Spraker, chair of the state Board of Game, says he would think twice
about putting his name in if the competition included someone already
selected by the governor. Sam Cotten was named interim commissioner on the
same day Walker took the oath of office.
By law, the governor must appoint a commissioner from a list of qualified
people nominated by the boards of fisheries and game, meeting in joint
session. The governor retains the right to request additional nominations.
Alaska Dispatch News says the boards are planning a joint meeting in January
to vet the four applicants.
2015 Inaugural Ball
Inaugural Ball Co-Chairs reflect on purpose of events and plans for
The nonprofit Alaska Inaugural Committee has announced
that seven communities have taken the initiative to plan and host inaugural
balls for newly elected Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron
Mallott. Inaugural balls are longstanding traditions and are typically held
in several locations around the state. Eight inaugural balls were held for
Governor Parnell, six for Governor Palin.
The Walker Mallott inaugural balls and related expenses are funded through
ticket sales and fundraising. No state funds are used for these
celebrations. Sponsorships and donations are accepted by the Committee to
help cover the costs involved. In most communities, the ticket price is
considerably less than the actual cost per individual as a result of private
donations that subsidize the expenses. As in the past, the Committee looks
forward to donating excess funds to charitable organizations.
Committee co-chairs, Lindsay Hobson and Mandy Mallott, have identified the
following dates and locations for the upcoming balls:
Jan. 3 - Valdez
Jan. 10 - Juneau
Jan. 17 - Nome
Jan. 24 - Fairbanks
Feb. 6 - Wasilla
Mar. 7 - Ketchikan
Date to be determined - Kenai
Up to date information can be found at
Lance Mackey enters 2015
Yukon Quest field
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — One of the biggest names in
long-distance dog mushing has signed up for the Yukon Quest, the 1,000-mile
race between Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and Fairbanks.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports four-time champion Lance Mackey
entered the race Monday.
He's replacing Jimmy Lebling, who had planned to run his first race with a
team from Mackey's Comeback Kennels.
Mackey says changes among his kennel staff led him to decide to enter the
race. The Fairbanks musher says the Quest is in his backyard and it's hard
not to want to be a part of that.
Mackey will race against three other former champions, including Allen
Moore, who has back-to-back titles the last two years.
Former champions Hugh Neff and Jeff King are also part of the 28-team field.
BLM seeks applicants for
White Mountains artist
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Candidates are being sought for
a federal Bureau of Land Management artist-in-residence program to take
place this winter at the White Mountains National Recreation Area.
BLM officials say the weeklong program is open to artists in nearly any
media, including photography, painting, writing, music and printmaking.
The artist would be expected to donate use of a piece of artwork inspired by
their time at the area north of Fairbanks. The artwork would be used to help
promote public lands.
Officials say the agency provides transportation between Fairbanks and a
rustic cabin in the area.
The recreation area includes a dozen recreation cabins and more than 240
miles of winter trails that are maintained.
The deadline to apply is Feb. 6.
Air Emergency issued by
Due to the temperature inversion which continues to exist in the Mendenhall
City and Borough of Juneau has issued an Air Emergency effective
The area covered by this Emergency extends from the Airport north to the
Glacier, west to Montana Creek, south along the east shore of Auke Lake and
the east half of the Mendenhall Peninsula.
The Air Emergency means that all
woodstove and fireplace burning is prohibited except for pellet stoves.
For an update
on the status of this Air Emergency, please call 586-5333.
December 29th, 2014 11TH EDITION 4:56
Woman dies in Koyuk
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say an
82-year-old woman has died in a house fire in the western Alaska village of
Troopers were notified Sunday afternoon that Ethel Adams was found dead in
her home after the fire was put out by firefighters.
Troopers say 42-year-old Dale Adams escaped the fire. He was flown to
Anchorage to be treated at a hospital for injuries.
A young boy escaped without injury.
Troopers say the cause of the fire will be investigated.
The state medical examiner's office will conduct an autopsy.
Koyuk is 90 miles northeast of Nome.
Lower 48 colder than
For the first time ever, Anchorage, Alaska will not have
a single day in a calendar year dip below zero-degrees, according to ABC
Rick Thoman of the National Weather Service says due to a shift in winds,
it's not uncommon for temperatures to drop in parts of the U-S: "When Alaska
is warm, it's often the case that somewhere in the lower 48 is unusually
cold." Frost warnings are in effect in Southern California. The last time
the official temperature dropped below zero degrees in Anchorage was
December 26, 2013.
Militia head seeks delay
in federal appeal
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Convicted militia leader
Schaeffer Cox is seeking a second delay in his appeal for a conviction of
conspiring to murder public officials, soliciting others to commit murder
and weapons charges.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in September granted an attorney for Cox a 90-day extension to file opening
Appeal attorney Myra Sun has requested another 30 days to prepare, citing
the volume of case material. Sun says the record in the case includes more
than 500 pages and hundreds of exhibits.
Prosecutors are not opposing the delay.
US rig count plummets 35
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes
Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S.
plunged by 35 last week to 1,840.
The Houston firm said Monday in its weekly report that 1,499 rigs were
exploring for oil and 340 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year
ago 1,757 rigs were active.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Oklahoma gained four rigs, Ohio
rose by two and Louisiana and Colorado were up one each.
California dropped by 17, Texas lost 16 and North Dakota and West Virginia
were down three apiece. Alaska, Kansas, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Wyoming
each fell by one.
Arkansas and Utah were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
Colorado company backs
out of Tulsequah agreement
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The company trying to reopen the
Tulsequah Chief Mine has lost a financial backer.
Colorado-based Royal Gold provided Chieftain Metals Corp. with a $10 million
advance in December 2011 but has backed out of the agreement.
Chieftain announced Dec. 23 that the company will use part of an $18.5
million bridge loan to repay Royal Gold.
The $10 million advance from Royal Gold was contingent on results of a
feasibility update. Chieftain filed its 2014 feasibility study Dec. 1.
The agreement had called for Royal Gold to invest an additional $45 million
No reason was provided in a company announcement for the termination of the
Development Organization Recognition
The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic
Development (DCCED) is pleased to announce that the Yukon-Kuskokwim Economic
Development Council (YKEDC) has fulfilled the requirements to be designated
Alaska’s newest Alaska Regional Development Organization (ARDOR).
YKEDC is the
state’s eleventh ARDOR and is supported by the Association of Village
Council Presidents (AVCP), which provides social and cultural services to 56
communities in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta Region. “The ARDOR designation is
especially helpful for this region of Alaska,” said AVCP president Myron
Naneng Sr. “YKEDC will connect economic development and support services to
this region and will be of great assistance in growing our community’s
program is in its 27th year, and continues to promote the development and
implementation of regional development strategies by local organizations
intimately familiar with the communities they serve. The State of Alaska
provides ARDORs with baseline funding support which is leveraged against
additional private and public funding sources. The ARDOR partnerships are
concrete examples of local communities leveraging state funds to create and
drive economic development.
UAF, Purdue students win
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Two University of Alaska
Fairbanks students and one from Purdue University have won an engineering
competition that sought ideas for extracting heavy oil from Alaska's North
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Max Martell and Stephen Nemethy III
of UAF and Sally Ann Keyes of Purdue will split a $2,000 prize offered by
the UAF eLearning and Distance Education program.
Heavy oil has the consistency of peanut butter. It's abundant on the North
Slope but challenging for producers to remove.
Heavy oil is commonly extracted by using heat, which creates problems in
areas laden with permafrost.
Martell, Nemethy and Keyes proposed using sub-freezing fluid, such as liquid
carbon dioxide, to keep nearby areas frozen.
The contest drew more than 75 submissions from 14 universities.
Woman killed in
Anchorage pedestrian crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say a woman
pedestrian died when she was struck by a vehicle on a rural city street.
KTUU-TV reports the woman was struck on O'Malley Road near its upper end in
the city's Hillside area.
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell says the woman was in her 50s.
The accident occurred just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday near O'Malley Road's
intersection with Main Tree Drive.
The name of the woman has not been released.
Police closed O'Malley Road afterward the accident and reopened it at 10:30
JPD responds to two-car
crash near airport
Around 2:30 Sunday afternoon, Juneau Police Department dispatch received a
report of a motor vehicle crash with injuries near 2200 Trout Street on
Glacier Highway. Personnel from the Juneau Police Department and Capital
City Fire/Rescue responded to the scene.
The investigation revealed a 2004 Dodge pick-up operated by a 35 year old
female Juneau resident was turning left off Trout Street from a stop sign
onto Glacier Highway towards Egan Drive. A 2007 Subaru Forester operated by
a 40 year old female Juneau resident was on Glacier Highway after turning
off Egan Drive with the right of way. The Dodge truck entered the road way
and was struck by the Subaru.
Two adult female passengers were transported to Bartlett Regional Hospital
for apparent non-life threatening injuries.
The driver of the Dodge pick-up, Christina Wheaton, was cited for failure to
yield when turning left and failure to carry proof of insurance.
Both vehicles sustained disabling damage in excess of $5,000.
Glacier Highway near Trout Street heading towards the airport was re-routed
onto Old Dairy Road for about 35 minutes during the course of the
Alcohol does not appear to be a factor in this case.
Kenai drop-off kennels
to be closed
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — The Kenai Animal Shelter is closing
its drop-off kennels used by the public after hours.
The Peninsula Clarion says the outdoor kennels will no longer be available
as of Wednesday.
The kennels have been available for more than 10 years and allowed people to
drop off cats and dogs when the shelter was closed.
Officials say the kennels are being removed because people provided
insufficient information about the animals and because weather conditions
could be dangerous for the animals.
According to the city of Kenai, the drop-off kennels were used to take in
326 animals in 2013.
Animal control officer Stacie Mallette says the kennels were originally
intended as a last resort, but they have become an easy way for people to
get rid of pets.
Oil-drilling camp on
North Slope hit by fire; no one hurt
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — KTUU-TV reports that an
overnight fire broke out at the campsite of an Italian oil company's
drilling project in the North Slope, but no one was injured.
Eni Petroleum spokesman Grande Whitney says everyone involved was safe after
the fire at the company's Nikaitchuq Operations Camp north of the Kuparuk
River unit operated by ConocoPhillips.
Whitney says the fire took place about midnight.
Petroleum News reported in August that Eni has been shifting the Nikaitchuq
site since 2007 from conventional onshore drilling to lateral drilling
targeting offshore oil deposits, reaching 25,000 barrels per day of
production in June.
Whitney says everyone displaced by the fire was housed at a nearby camp. Eni
Petroleum expects drilling work to continue without interruption.
December 28th, 2014 7th EDITION 3:30
Coast Guard rescues
couple near Sitka when skiff runs aground
The Coast Guard rescued a man and woman after their
17-foot skiff ran aground near Sitka Saturday.
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jawhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka
transferred both people to emergency medical personnel in Sitka.
Coast Guard command center personnel at Sector Juneau received a 911 call
relayed by the Sitka Fire Department concerning the skiff and its occupants
after it grounded near Kanga Bay 10 miles south of Sitka Saturday night. It
was reported that both passengers were ejected from the skiff when it struck
the shore and the male passenger had suffered injuries to his head and face.
The skiff then drifted away from the couple before they could secure it.
The Sitka Fire Department launched a boat to respond and Sector Juneau
watchstanders requested a helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka. The
helicopter crew arrived to the scene and hoisted both passengers, and the
Sitka Mountain Rescue vessel crew located the skiff.
“Our hoist capable helicopters are an ideal resource to respond to emergency
medical situations in Southeast Alaska,” said Lt. Jason Condon, Jayhawk
pilot, Air Station Sitka. “This case was a good demonstration of the
collective effort between the Coast Guard and Sitka Fire and Rescue to
effectively combine our skills and assets in order to render assistance to
The weather on scene consisted of 11-mph winds and clear skies at 29
A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoists a
couple after their 17-foot skiff grounded near Sitka, Alaska, Dec. 27, 2014.
The passengers were taken to emergency medical personnel in Sitka. U.S.
Coast Guard video provided by Air Station Sitka.
Few apply for Fish and
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — A meeting to review Alaska Fish and
Game commissioner candidates has been canceled after only four people
applied for the position.
The Peninsula Clarion says those who applied are acting Commissioner Sam
Cotten, United Cook Inlet Drift Association director Roland Maw and two
people from outside the state, Zachary Hill and Greg Woods.
The application deadline was Dec. 22.
By law, the governor must appoint a commissioner from a list of qualified
people nominated by the boards of fisheries and game, meeting in joint
session. The governor retains the right to request additional nominations.
The two boards are planning to hold a joint meeting to develop a list of
qualified people for the commissioner's position.
Search and rescue finds
overdue Sitka boater, man says he wasn't yet due back
Alaska State Troopers received a report of an overdue
boater in the area of Vitskari Island Friday night.
Leroy Hughes, age 52 of Sitka, had left in his fishing vessel on Tuesday and
was thought to be scheduled to return on Christmas Day.
The Coast Guard conducted an aerial search and they located Hughes' vessel
unoccupied and moored in the area adjacent to Goddard Hot Springs,
approximately 15 miles south of Sitka.
Two members from Sitka Mountain Rescue and a Sitka Police Officer boated to
Goddard Springs and located Hughes. Hughes stated that it was a
miscommunication with family on when he was to return to Sitka.
Sitka Assembly extends
loan to a hospital by $1 million
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — The Sitka Assembly has approved a
request to extend a line of credit for Sitka Community Hospital by $1
The Daily Sitka Sentinel says the hospital is out of cash and needs the
money to make payroll, cover health insurance for employees through January
and pay for other expenses.
The Assembly voted Tuesday to extend the line of credit from its current
level of $500,000.
Hospital CEO Jeff Comer says he did not know the full extent of financial
problems when he was hired in September. He says the credit-line extension
will give him "breathing room" to start working on solutions and pay bills.
Problems cited for the hospital's money woes include delays in collecting
accounts and funds owed to Medicare following a credentialing problem.
Walker orders new
spending on megaprojects halted
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has
halted new spending on six high-profile projects, pending further review.
Walker issued an order Friday and cited the state's $3.5 billion budget
deficit that's increase as oil prices have dropped.
Alaska Dispatch News reports the projects include a small diameter gas
pipeline from the North Slope.
The other projects are the Kodiak rocket launch complex, the Knik Arm
bridge, the Susitna-Watana hydroelectric dam, Juneau access road and the
Walker's budget director Pat Pitney says Alaska's "fiscal situation demands
a critical look."
According to Walker's order, the hold on spending is pending further review.
Pitney says the administration intends to decide on project priorities near
the start of Alaska's legislative session Jan. 20, and no later than a Feb.
18 legal budgeting deadline.
Rape conviction tossed
over bad jury instructions
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man convicted of rape will have a new trial after
his conviction was thrown out of court due to bad jury instructions.
Fifty-year-old Wilburn Dean Jackson was convicted of first-degree sexual
assault and fourth-degree physical assault for a 2009 incident in Sitka.
But KTUU reports the Court of Appeals ruled that he will face a new trial.
That's because the Superior Court didn't properly instruct the jury about
the need for unanimity.
The jury had unanimously agreed the incident qualified as rape. But the
appellate court says they weren't properly instructed on how to arrive at
At Jackson's trial, the defense and prosecution didn't object to the
process, and the court didn't catch the error.
Jackson could not immediately be reached for comment.
Alaska court rules bison
can roam freely on Kodiak
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The buffalo can roam freely again on Kodiak Island.
The state Board of Game had previously decided that free-ranging bison were
considered "feral" when the animals strayed from state or federal lands.
Then in 2007 the board authorized a hunt of escaped bison on Kodiak.
But a rancher sued to stop the hunt. He originally lost, but Alaska Dispatch
News reports the Supreme Court overturned a lower-court ruling against him
The court says the board was wrong when it deemed the bison feral. They say
the lower court hadn't properly considered that it was clear the bison
belonged to ranchers.
The rancher, Charles Dorman, died five months ago at age 78. His attorney
Tom Meacham says the outcome is bittersweet because Dorman isn't around to
savor the victory.
December 27th, 2014 4th EDITION 9:06
Icy roads led to single
vehicle rollover on Egan this morning
There was a one vehicle, rollover accident near the Hospital intersection on
Egan Drive Saturday morning. The female driver hit a patch of ice then hit a
light pole, slid off the road and rolled down an embankment. The driver was
taken to Bartlett Hospital as a precaution.
JPD Sargeant David
Wrightson says the driver was driving too fast for conditions. He urges all
drivers to slow down because of the scattered areas of "black ice" that
remain on area roads.
Man found dead in
At approximately 3:00 AM Saturday morning, Juneau Police contacted a man
sitting in an alcove on Front Street. Officers determined the man was not
breathing and began CPR. Capital City Fire and Rescue paramedics arrived,
and the man was later determined to be deceased. The man was identified as
45 year-old Stanwood Anthony Whitely.
Next of kin have
been notified, and the body will be flown to Anchorage for an autopsy.
The death appears
to be the result of natural causes, and alcohol appears to be a factor.
Alaska child struck by
all-terrain vehicle dies
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 6-year-old boy who had been struck by an
all-terrain vehicle died on Christmas Eve.
Alaska State Troopers say the boy from the Southwest Alaska village of
Akiachak (AK'-ee-ah-chak) had been lying on a trail in the dark when he was
Alaska Dispatch News reports the boy was identified as Zaret Wassilie.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says other children were
playing in the trail. She says Wassile was wearing dark clothing in an area
with no lights. She says the driver didn't see him until the last minute,
and didn't have time to avoid hitting him.
The driver was uninjured. No foul play is suspected, and alcohol was not a
The village is 18 miles northeast of Bethel and has about 675 residents.
December 26th, 2014 9th EDITION 3:57
JPD Crime of the Week:
Grinch steals disabled man's Christmas gift
The Juneau Police Department is looking for a Grinch who
stole Christmas, or at least stole Christmas gifts. A disabled man who lives
on a fixed income had saved up to buy his wife a pendant and matching
earrings for Christmas this year. The evening of Christmas Eve he went to
Fred Meyer and purchased the items. After the man paid for the jewelry he
was struggling with some mobility issues and either dropped the bag
containing the jewelry or looked away from the cart at the wrong time.
Someone then took the bag containing the jewelry, worth $700.
With the help of the receipt and Fred Meyer staff, a picture of a similar
pendant was located. The earrings match the pendant with a small diamond
above oval cut Tanzanite.
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
Crime Line is a non-profit organization composed of a cross-section of the
community and is designed to aid police agencies in their investigations.
Tipsters are guaranteed anonymity and given a number when claiming a reward
of up to $1,000.00. If you have information on this or any other crime, log
on to www.juneaucrimeline.com
Police say fatal
shooting started with argument
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks police say a fatal
shooting started over a woman's attempt to kick her younger cousin out of
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 25-year-old Emmalee Clark was
arraigned Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death
of 33-year-old Jeanelle Clark.
Emmalee Clark's bail was set at $500,000.
Fairbanks police detective Chris Nolan in a criminal complaint says Jeanelle
Clark asked her cousin to leave and a fight broke out.
He says Emmalee Clark one point pinned her cousin to the floor but let her
Nolan says Emmalee Clark told investigators Jeanelle Clark tried to kick her
and ordered her out, so she went to her suitcase, removed a .44-caliber
handgun and shot the older woman in the face.
Warrant issued in death
of Anchorage infant
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Anchorage Superior Court
judge has issued a $50,000 manslaughter arrest warrant for a man suspected
of involvement in the death of his 2-month-old daughter.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports 29-year-old Aaron Vanormer is being sought.
Anchorage police detective Deven Cunningham says in a criminal complaint
that Vanormer used Spice, or synthetic marijuana, causing him to hallucinate
and intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause the infant's death.
Police say Vanormer's wife was in jail for parole violations in June and
Vanormer was responsible for the baby's care.
The baby's grandfather on June 24 checked on Vanormer at the Spenard Motel
and found the baby motionless in the bathroom tub.
Police interviewed and released Vanormer in June.
Douglas Island hunters
discover giant spruce burl
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two hunters on Douglas Island made
a bulging discovering on a Sitka spruce tree last week — a burl estimated at
7.5 feet high.
Burls are growths caused when a tree is stressed or injured.
U.S. Forest Service research forest pathologist Paul Hennon says he's never
seen a bigger burl but the cause is unknown.
He says something triggers tree hormones to cause rapid cell division and
uncontrollable growth not unlike cancer.
He says some sort of an irritant probably starts burl growth in spruce
rather than a biological agent.
Burls are common in birch and redwood trees and prized by woodworkers for
bowls or table tops, if they're big enough.
Request Immediate Action on Spending
ANCHORAGE-Due to the urgency to reduce state spending in
light of falling oil prices, Senate and House Joint Leadership delivered a
letter to Governor Bill Walker (I-Alaska) this week, requesting immediate
budget implementations, including travel reductions and a freeze on hiring
new state employees. The letter also requests that amendments for the FY
2016 operating budget be delivered as close to the start of session as
possible, rather than waiting until the statutory deadline of February 18.
The letter was
signed by incoming Senate President Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), Speaker of
the House Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), as well the incoming Senate Finance
Co-Chairs Senators Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River/East Anchorage) and Pete
Kelly (R-Fairbanks) and House Finance Co-Chairs Representatives Steve
Thompson (R-Fairbanks) and Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake).
"For the past two
years, we have been focused on stabilizing and then reducing the budget,"
said Senator Meyer. "With the recent drop in oil prices and the fact that 90
percent of the state's discretionary budget is funded by oil production, the
need to cut spending has become even more urgent. That's why we are
requesting immediate action from Governor Walker on certain issues and
asking for him to expedite his submission of the budgets to the
suggested the following actions:
immediate hiring freeze including all department vacancies
travel to essential administrative duties or emergency response
departments produce FY 2015 accounting report for first six months of the
fiscal year to see which agencies are working within the budget structure,
which agencies are in danger of exceeding budget and thus requiring a
supplemental budget, and which agencies have far greater resources available
to them than necessary to carry out agency mission
reductions in discretionary agency operations, while preserving funding for
essential services and all ongoing gas line and other statewide projects
critical to education, energy security, infrastructure and the public safety
appropriations authorized more than five fiscal years ago and make
recommendations to re-appropriate funds for projects that have been delayed,
are not moving forward, or that should not move forward in this fiscal
environment because of the phased nature or cost of the project.
The letter continued:
understand you have suspended work on the statutorily required ten-year
fiscal plans, which
demonstrate how you intend to balance budgets for each of the next ten
years. Given the current fiscal
situation, we respectfully request that these fiscal plans are completed by
the beginning of the legislative
session to be used in the fiscal policy and budget discussions during the
upcoming legislative session."
that he's still settling in, assembling his cabinet and learning the scope
of his office," said Speaker Chenault. "At the same time, under today's
fiscal situation, we intend to hit the ground running once the gavel falls
in Juneau. We only have 90 days to enact a budget; our Finance Committee
Co-Chairs want departments before their subcommittees as soon as possible,
ready to begin the discussions and negotiations needed to bring down
No endangered listing
for prized pinto abalone
SEATTLE (AP) — The National Marine Fisheries Service has
decided not to list a prized 6-inch Pacific marine snail as endangered or
The federal agency said this week that its review found the pinto abalone is
not currently in danger of extinction and does not warrant federal
protection under the Endangered Species Act at this time.
The snail, valued for its delicate flavor and mother-of-pearl shell, were
once abundant from Alaska to Baja California.
Two conservation groups petitioned the agency last year to conduct a status
review for pinto abalone. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the
Center for Biological Diversity said they need protection because their
populations have plummeted due to historical overfishing, poaching, climate
change and other factors.
The agency said the shellfish will remain on the agency's "species of
2 injured when SUV
strikes disabled pickup
ANCHOR POINT, Alaska (AP) — An Anchor Point driver and a
passenger were seriously injured Thursday in a Sterling Highway crash.
Alaska State Troopers say a truck driven by 29-year-old Mathany Christine
Satterwhite broke down and was parked near Mile 145.5.
Anchor Point resident Nathan Sargeant came to Satterwhite's aid and pulled
his van in front of the pickup to jump-start it.
Just before 6 p.m., a sport utility vehicle driven by 29-year-old Larry
Pyatt of Anchor Point approached from the north.
Troopers say his SUV slid and struck the pickup.
The truck hit Satterwhite, who was trying to connect jumper cables. She was
thrown into the ditch and she suffered serious injuries.
Her passenger, whose name and age was not listed, was pinned between the
truck and van. Troopers say her injuries are life-threatening.
Longtime Barrow judge
prepares to step down
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A judge who has served in
America's northernmost community for more than three decades is retiring.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports the last day on the job for Barrow Superior
Court Judge Michael Jeffery will be Dec. 28.
Jeffery will be 70, the mandatory retirement age for judges.
Jeffery in 1977 began working in Barrow as a legal services attorney. He was
appointed Barrow's first Superior Court judge in 1982. Barrow previously was
served by a Fairbanks judge.
Jeffery is known for expanding awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum
disorders. He encouraged a change to state law that lets judges lower
sentences for people with FAS or related disorders.
Angela Greene, supervising public defender for Nome and Kotzebue, was
appointed to replace Jeffery. She will be sworn in Dec. 30.
Small fire but the stove
Capital City Fire Rescue put out a small Christmas
evening fire inside a stove in a home on Meadow Lane, Thursday night around
Captain Roy Johnston says the oven was removed and the cause of the fire is
Prosecutors say home
invaders were seeking drugs
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say the men
charged with a home invasion Monday night in Eagle River were seeking drugs
KTUU-TV reports one of the three suspects told the others that a resident of
the home had heroin and cash on hand that they could steal.
Thirty-five-year-old Ryan Duane Calhoun-Moudy, 34-year-old Matthew Fox and
28-year-old Brion Ingram were arraigned Wednesday on charges of felony
assault, robbery, weapons misconduct and theft.
Police say Ingram and Calhoun-Moudy knocked on the door and forced their way
into the home as Fox, a half-brother of the resident, waited outside in a
A man inside the home was hit in the head and shot in the leg. His wife
heard the shot and hid with her 3-month-old baby and another child.
December 25th, Christmas Day, 2014
5th EDITION 7:22 P. M.]
UAF appeals postseason
bans for 2 women's sports
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska
Fairbanks is appealing NCAA postseason bans for its women's basketball and
women's swimming teams.
The two sports were among the teams that received a postseason ban as part
of penalties for NCAA infractions. Infractions covered nine of UAF's 10
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Thursday Athletic Director Gary Gray
said the appeal for women's basketball and swimming was filed about three
weeks ago, making them eligible for postseason play.
Gray says university officials saw the NCAA's postseason bans as excessive.
The university says the infractions were a result of university errors and
not anything athletes did.
The sanctions cover such things as the university not identifying students
who hadn't earned the required number of credits or switched majors without
filing the proper paperwork.
Police: Fairbanks woman
shot, killed cousin
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks police say a woman
shot and killed her cousin on Christmas Eve.
KTUU-TV reports Emmalee Clark is charged with first-degree murder after
allegedly telling a police dispatcher that she had just killed her cousin,
Investigators believe the shooting happened early Wednesday at a building in
south Fairbanks. Police say they took the call at about 1 p.m.
Twenty-five-year-old Emmalee Clark couldn't be reached for comment Thursday
at Fairbanks Correctional Facility. It's not clear if she has an attorney.
An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Thieves target Anchorage nonprofit's
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An
Anchorage nonprofit that helps people with disabilities has been contending
with thefts and vandalism during the Christmas season.
The ARC of Anchorage says donation bins have been raided and delivery truck
fuel tanks have been trained.
It's been happening at least twice a week, most recently on Christmas Eve.
KTVA-TV reports the thefts and damage have run into the thousands of
Operations Manager Ian Casey says Anchorage police are investigating.
Casey says the thieves are taking donated clothes and other household items
away from people who have developmental disabilities.
Tools stolen from
Ketchikan AST received a report of a theft from a
business near the 1500 block of the North Tongass Highway sometime between
December 20-21. The business owner reported 2 Stihl brand chainsaws and a
Milwaukee brand cordless drill were stolen from the business warehouse.
Total value of the stolen items is estimated at $1200. Investigation will
continue, anyone with information is asked to call AST at 225-5118. Your
call may remain anonymous.
Expected snow turns to mostly rain
Mother Nature tried to deliver a blanket of snow for
Christmas morning, but she couldn't keep the temperature low enough for it
to last. The flurries fell Christmas Eve afternoon, creating a light dusting
in some areas of Juneau, as the National Weather Service predicted up to two
inches of the fluffy stuff. Forecasts say there could be some snow today,
but it's expected to turn to rain by afternoon. More snow mixed with rain
could come Friday. At least we can look forward to a dry, sunny Saturday
with a high just above freezing.
Troopers Midway Through
Holiday Anti-DUI Patrol Effort
(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – The Alaska State Troopers and
Alaska Wildlife Troopers have been decking the highways with lights and
sirens (falalalala la la la la) over the past two weeks. The high visibility
enforcement effort, which started Dec. 10 and lasts until Jan. 4, 2015, is
to ensure the safety of Alaskans while they participate in holiday
For the first half of this effort (Dec. 10 to Dec. 23), troopers have:
- Arrested 37 drivers for driving under the influence with two of them being
- Charged 42 drivers with driving with a suspended or revoked license.
- Received 248 REDDI reports with 26 drivers contacted that were ultimately
determined not to be DUI.
- Investigated 83 damage only crashes, 14 injury crashes and no fatal
- Of the 874 citations issued by Troopers, 346 were for speeding and 37 were
for seatbelt or other occupant restraint violations.
The Department of Public Safety realizes that alcohol is a part of many
festivities this time of year. If you plan on partaking, don’t be a
red-nosed driver. Please have a plan in place to not drive impaired. The
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is done annually around the
holidays to encourage the motoring public to keep safety in mind and to keep
this time of year from turning tragic. The focused enforcement by troopers
over the holiday is intended to prevent major injury and fatality crashes
through enhanced enforcement. While the troopers are out to curb DUIs, they
will also be on the lookout for additional driver behaviors that often
contribute to fatal crashes, such as speeding and driving too fast for
Please do your
part in keeping our roadways safe by not driving impaired. Additionally,
don’t hesitate to make a REDDI report by calling 911! (Report Every
Dangerous Driver Immediately).
Funding for the High Visibility Enforcement Campaign is funded by grants
distributed by the Alaska Highway Safety Office.
Kuskokwim River trails
marked from Bethel to villages
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Bethel Search and Rescue says
Kuskokwim River trails from Bethel to some villages are marked with stakes
and reflective tape where the ice is thick enough to support vehicles.
KYUK reports that responders emphasize that holiday travelers should stay on
the marked trails because there is still open water in some places, as well
as areas that froze over just recently.
Trails are marked downriver from Bethel to Napaskiak (nuh-PAHS'-key-ack),
Oscarville and Napakiak (nuh-PAH'-key-ack).
Trails also are marked upriver from Bethel to Akiak (ACK'-ee-ack) and
Saturday funeral for
former Washington lawmaker
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The funeral
for a former Washington state lawmaker who was fatally shot in Alaska
earlier this month will be held Saturday in Tacoma.
The News Tribune reports the funeral for Brian Sullivan will be held at 11
a.m. at Bellarmine Preparatory School.
Sullivan served two terms in the Washington Legislature and was working as
an assistant district attorney in Barrow, Alaska, at the time of his death.
He was shot and killed Dec. 8 in Barrow.
A man accused of shooting Sullivan in a jealous rage over a woman has been
indicted on murder charges by a grand jury. Forty-seven-year-old Ronald
Fischer was charged last week with first- and second-degree murder.
Woman dies in shooting in Fairbanks
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks police are
investigating the shooting death of a woman at a residence Wednesday
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says no one was immediately arrested after
the shooting in a building in south Fairbanks.
Fairbanks city spokeswoman Amber Courtney says the gunshot was not
She says police have been trying to determine whether the shooting was
accidental or intentional.
The woman's name was not immediately released.
December 24th, 2014 11th
EDITION 5:47 P. M.]
Mother Nature to bring
blanket of snow for Christmas in Juneau
Flurries began falling Christmas Eve afternoon and the
National Weather Service says it's the precursor to the front coming in
across Southeast Alaska.
Meteorologist Brian Bezenek expects it to start snowing more after midnight.
"There should be white on the ground all around town tomorrow when everyone
gets up in the morning. We're expecting one, maybe two inches if we're
Troopers say body of avalanche victim recovered
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say an
avalanche survivor and another man have recovered the body of a Delta
Junction man killed in the same avalanche.
Troopers say they were notified Tuesday over that the course of two days,
63-year-old Michael Hopper of Fairbanks and another man, Daniel Perpich, had
hiked in and recovered the remains of 35-year-old Erik Peterson.
Peterson was killed Dec. 6 after he was caught in the avalanche while skiing
in the eastern Alaska Range with Hopper.
The avalanche carried Hopper 150 feet down the slope, encasing all but his
face and right arm in snow. Peterson landed 10 feet up the slope.
Hopper dug himself out after two hours. Troopers say Hopper dug into the
snow where Peterson's glove was and found his friend dead.
The state medical examiner's office will perform an autopsy.
Soldier charged in
Fairbanks weekend robberies
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Fort Wainwright soldier
suspected of holding up several people at gunpoint has been charged with
robbery and misdemeanor theft.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 23-year-old Keith Downing was
arrested Sunday and police are seeking other suspects.
Police Sunday morning received several reports of pedestrians robbed at
gunpoint, including two at 1:17 a.m. outside a strip club.
The men told police that three suspects pulled up in a car and two got out
with guns, a shotgun and a handgun.
The witnesses told investigators the armed men stole their belongings and
drove off in a gray Volkswagen Jetta.
Downing was charged in the holdup outside the strip club and an earlier
Downing remained jailed Wednesday. Online court records did not indicate he
was represented by an attorney.
Grand jury indicts woman
on false tax claim counts
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska federal grand jury has
indicted a 58-year-old woman on charges of falsifying tax returns for
residents of American Samoa, claiming refunds for work done in the
Federal prosecutors say Pepe Anetipa was indicted on 28 counts of false
claims for refunds totaling $202,000.
Anetipa moved from American Samoa to Anchorage in 2011 and began a tax
service company in 2012.
Citizens of American Samoa can be issued Social Security numbers but are not
required to file tax returns if all their income was from employers in
Prosecutors say Anetipa altered documents to indicate clients earned income
in the United States instead of the territory and claimed refunds were owed.
Messages left with Anetipa's attorney, assistant public defender Jamie
McGrady, were not immediately returned Wednesday.
Charging Station at the Marine Parking Garage
Beginning Friday, December 26th, the electric vehicle
charging station at the Marine Parking Garage will be active and available
for use. The charging station is located on level one between spaces 24 and
25. The station will be active between the hours of 8:00am and 10:00pm. All
drivers parking in spaces 24 and 25 will need to pay the hourly parking fee
of 75? an hour, but there will be no additional fees for the use of the
charging station. Parking in spaces 24 and 25 is not limited to electric
spaces in the Marine Parking Garage will also be extended; currently, hourly
parking is only available in spaces 5 through 20. Beginning December 26th
hourly parking will be available in spaces 5 through 25.
information, please contact Parks and Recreation at 586-5226 Monday through
Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.
Audit finds room for
improvement in Corrections Department
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A yearlong audit of the Alaska
Department of Corrections has identified systemic problems, including an
inadequate system for reviewing inmate deaths and factors that could affect
the quality of health of those incarcerated.
The results of the $320,000 review comes at the end of a year the agency
came under scrutiny over the way it handled a series of inmate deaths.
Alaska Dispatch News says Corrections is the first selected under a 2013
state law mandating a performance and budgetary audit of state departments
at least once every decade.
The Legislative and Budget Audit Committee extended the scope of the audit
and paid an additional $23,000 for a deep look at the quality of inmate
The report says Corrections is "moderately effective" in primary functions
of confining inmates.
Bulldozer breaks through
thin ice on Nenana River
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Thin ice has claimed another
vehicle trying to cross a river in interior Alaska.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a bulldozer trying to cross the
Nenana River at the city of Nenana plunged through ice.
The engine and the top of the heavy machine's fuel tank remained above the
The bulldozer was crossing at a location that's traditionally used as an ice
Tom DeRuyter of the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the
bulldozer owner has reported no fuel entering the river.
Two vehicles last week broke through thin ice on the Chena River in
3 men charged in Eagle
River home invasion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police have arrested
three men suspected of an Eagle River home invasion.
KTUU-TV reports three adults and two children were in the home at 3:30 a.m.
Tuesday when armed men broke in.
A resident was hit in the head and shot in the leg.
Police say 35-year-old Ryan Duane Calhoun-Moudy was arrested 15 minutes
later when officers with a police dog tracked him down.
Officers later in the morning located a suspected get-away vehicle.
Police say 34-year-old Matthew Fox and 28-year-old Brion Ingram emerged from
an apartment, entered the compact sport utility vehicle and tried to drive
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell says officers blocked the SUV and it rammed
four police cars before the men surrendered.
They are charged with felony assault, robbery, theft and weapons misconduct.
Theater in Anchorage to
show "The Interview"
An independent movie theater in Anchorage plans to show a film that was
pulled from wide release due to violent threats.
The Bear Tooth in
Spenard said Tuesday it would show "The Interview," a comedy about a plot to
assassinate North Korea's leader, starting Friday, January 2nd. Last week,
Sony Pictures canceled the scheduled Christmas day release after receiving
threats against theaters that showed the movie.
This week, the
company decided to give the movie a limited release, and several independent
theaters around the country have scheduled showings.
The Bear Tooth
doesn't usually have first-run movies from major studios.
Alaska's population rank
gives way to North Dakota
Alaska's climb up the state population ladder has been knocked down a rung
thanks to North Dakota's oil boom.
Dispatch reports that North Dakota has bumped Alaska back to the 48th most
populous state -- with only Vermont and Wyoming having fewer people.
claimed 47th place by adding 16-thousand new residents this year, while
Alaska was one of six states to shrink, with a net population loss of 527.
That leaves Alaska with an estimated population of 736,732 compared to North
surpassed North Dakota in the 2010 census by about 40 thousand people, but
since then North Dakota has grown by about 70,000.
Fatal Vehicle Accident
on George Parks Highway in Denali National Park and Preserve
DENALI PARK, Alaska: Denali National Park and Preserve
rangers responded yesterday to a head-on vehicle accident involving two
vehicles and resulting in the deaths of both drivers. There were no
passengers in either vehicle.
Park rangers arrived on the scene, near milepost 236 on the George Parks
Highway, and found both vehicles engulfed in flames.
involved a pick-up truck traveling south and a sport utility vehicle heading
north on the two-lane highway.
The National Park Service (NPS) received a 911 call reporting the accident
at 10:08 a.m., park rangers and an Alaska state trooper arrived on the scene
at approximately 10:22 a.m.
The highway was
closed for most of the day, a state Department of Transportation vehicle
piloted motorist through the accident site periodically, and the highway
reopened just before 10:30 p.m.
Because the crash
occurred within park boundaries and on federal land, the NPS is leading the
investigation with assistance from the Alaska State Troopers investigative
unit which is based in Fairbanks.
The cause of the
accident is unknown at this time.
The identity of
neither victim will be released until the state medical examiner can make a
December 23rd, 2014 10th
EDITION 5:15 P. M.]
SEARHC Outpatient Clinic
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC)
outpatient clinics will be closed on Christmas Day, Thursday, December 25th,
and New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, so SEARHC employees can spend time
with their families during the holidays.
The SEARHC Ethel Lund Medical Center in Juneau will close at 3:00 pm on
Christmas Eve, December 24th, and at 5:00 pm on New Year’s Eve, December
31st. The Outpatient Clinic at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka will remain
open during regular business hours on those days.
As always, SEARHC
will have staff working during the holidays to take care of any inpatients
staying at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka, and there will be 24-hour
emergency room staff available at the hospital during the holidays.
AEL&P warns of scam
AEL&P is warning it's customers that they are receiving
from their commercial business clients reports of attempted scamming.
AEL&P's Debbie Driscoll says no residential clients have reported scammers
A caller will pose
as being from AEL&P and say that a check for an account payment was sent but
was not signed. Driscoll reminds customers to not give out account or
personal information and call AEL&P about any suspicious calls pertaining to
the company at 780-2222.
Police investigate Eagle
River home invasion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say they are
questioning a suspect in a home invasion early Tuesday morning in Eagle
Police say two intruders just before 3:30 a.m. entered a home on Caribou
Street, where three adults and two children were sleeping. The intruders
Police say one a man inside was hit in the head with an object and shot in
the leg. He was taken to a hospital.
The intruders fled after the robbery.
Police using a dog tracked one suspect and found him after about 15 minutes.
Police say a second suspect may have fled in a 2007 silver Ford Escape with
Alaska license plate FTX326.
Police are asking for a call if the compact sport utility vehicle is
The home intrusion was first reported by KTUU-television.
Walker signs LNG
agreement with Japanese energy company
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has
signed an agreement with a Japanese energy company formally declaring a
commitment to form a partnership in developing Alaska's liquefied natural
Walker called the memorandum of understanding signed with Resources Energy
Inc. Tuesday an important first step for the state's energy future. Under
the previous administration, the state and Japanese agencies agreed to keep
the lines of communication open over a proposed mega-LNG project.
Resources Energy CEO Shun Shimizu says the company will first focus on a
smaller scale LNG project in Cook Inlet and later would like to work on the
larger North Slope gas development.
Officials say Japanese prefectures have been considering LNG to replace
nuclear energy following the massive 2011 earthquake that shut down the
Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Senator Murkowski Wishes
Alaska Happy Holidays
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today shared
her thoughts on the holiday season with Alaskans.
“Ho ho ho, and
Happy Holidays, Alaska! “We’ve got a lot of snow-starved Alaskans had to
wait a little bit longer this year, but our state has finally turned into
the winter wonderland we’ve come to enjoy during the holidays. I may be a
little biased, but I think it’s the perfect setting to celebrate this
special time of year with friends and family.
“I’d encourage you all to take a moment – between the parties, shopping, and
hustle and bustle – to focus on the spirit of the season: generosity and
joy, both of which we have in abundance here in Alaska. Allow your inner
child to surface in smiles or song or pure simple enjoyment – whether out
and about with your kids, or with friends and loved ones. Focus on all the
blessings we enjoy.
“As you focus on what you have, remember also those who are in need. This is
the season to pitch in and lend a hand to those who perhaps have less. It
can be a simple gesture or a large donation - we all can help, even in the
smallest of ways.
“The men and women who protect our nation 24 hours a day should be in our
thoughts during the holidays, as they should be at all times of the year. To
those who serve and to their families: we thank you for your service and all
that you do for a grateful nation.
“From my family to each and every one of you: Merry Christmas, Happy
Holidays and let’s all have a great New Year! Take care.”
Donations Totaling $100,000 in Juneau, Alaska
SPOKANE, Wash. – Avista Corp. today announced that it is
making donations totaling $100,000 to benefit six organizations in the City
and Borough of Juneau, Alaska. These gifts come as the company celebrates
its merger with Alaska Electric Light & Power Company (AEL&P), which was
finalized on July 1, 2014.
The organizations to receive donations are the Juneau Arts & Humanities
Council, Juneau Salvation Army, The Glory Hole Shelter, United Way of
Southeast Alaska, the University of Alaska Southeast and Bartlett Regional
“We are very pleased that AEL&P has joined Avista. We look forward to a long
and productive working relationship with the company and the residents,
businesses and organizations of Juneau,” said Dennis Vermillion, senior vice
president, Avista Corp. and chairman of the board for AEL&P. “Avista has a
legacy of community support that dates back to the founding of our company
in 1889. We invest substantially in our communities because we care about
those who live in the places we all call home. It’s simply the right thing
for us to do.
“Avista and AEL&P hold similar values embedded in a culture of trust,
innovation and collaboration,” Vermillion continued. “We believe that being
active partners with those who serve the community strengthens the area’s
social, cultural and economic vitality and enhances the quality of lives of
the people served by our company.”
Avista Corp. 2014 Juneau Donations:
Juneau Arts & Humanities Council $ 4,000
Juneau Salvation Army
The Glory Hole Shelter
United Way of Southeast Alaska $12,000
Bartlett Regional Hospital Foundation $12,000
University of Alaska Southeast
Fairbanks borough mayor
to form marijuana working group
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A panel will be created in the
Fairbanks North Star Borough to guide development of rules governing
commercial marijuana enterprises.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that borough Mayor Luke Hopkins is
hoping to get regulations developed as early as February. The group is
expected to begin meeting in early January.
The effort follows the passage in November of Ballot Measure 2, which allows
the possession, use and non-sale transfer of marijuana in Alaska, beginning
Marijuana sales aren't likely to begin until at least May 2016. The measure
gives the state many months to develop and implement its own regulations.
Communities can opt out of allowing sales, but such bans likely would be
politically unpopular, with the measure approved by a wide margin of voters.
Minimum wage measure
could boost bus driver pay
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A decision by voters to increase
Alaska's minimum wage could bring a bump in the minimum that must be paid to
the state's school bus drivers.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a state law passed in 1989 requires
school bus drivers to be paid at least twice the minimum wage.
The law does not force employers to increase driver pay mid-way through a
contract but could kick in with new contracts.
The state's minimum wage since 2009 has been $7.75 per hour. That means
school bus drivers for five years have had hourly wages of at least $15.50.
Ballot Measure 3, approved in November, will increase the minimum wage by $1
per hour on Feb. 24 and by another dollar to $9.75 per hour on Jan. 1, 2016.
Anchorage negotiates for
police shooting range
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Municipal officials in Anchorage
have begun talks to acquire land for a new police training facility.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports the city will negotiate with Eklutna Corp.
for 34 acres of land that could be used for a planned South Central Law
Enforcement Tactical Range.
The land is next to the Birchwood Shooting Range. The facility is estimated
to cost $13 million.
A funding request to the Alaska Legislature describes it as a dedicated
outdoor shooting facility with four tactical shooting ranges.
A small-arms shooting range would mimic a city environment where officers
could practice tactics such as forced entry.
Eklutna Corp. had proposed a long-term lease for its land. Municipality
spokesman Bryce Hyslip says buying the property would save the city a
significant amount of money.
New species of bat
identified at UAF
Researchers at the U-A-F Museum of the North have discovered a species of
bat that no one had realized was native to Alaska.
Specimens of Yuma
bat were found in the museum's collection, but only recently identified by a
The Alaska Dispatch reports that a dozen specimens collected in the lower
panhandle in the 1990s had been misidentified as the most common bat species
in Alaska, the little brown bat.
The Yuma bat also
ranges in British Columbia, but its discovery in Alaska adds to the six
other bat species known to live in the state.
The study was
published in a special issue of Northwestern Naturalist.
Legislature looking at
The Legislature is reconsidering how to account for office allowances.
change would reclassify funds used for postage, stationery, and other office
expenses as income. That way, rather than itemizing each expense, lawmakers
would have more flexibility in how the money is spent -- though it would be
subject to income tax.
surfaced two years ago, before the change was put on hold. Now, Kodiak
senator Gary Stevens, as co-chair of the council that manages administrative
affairs, sent a survey to members about how to proceed.
majority leaders replied Monday that they prefer the current system, because
it requires members to be more transparent about their use of state funds.
allowances are 16-thousand dollars for house members and 20-thousand for
senators. The amounts would be reduced if income taxes are withheld.
December 22nd, 2014 6th
EDITION 4:35 P. M.]
At least 2 dead in crash
in Alaska's Denali National Park
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — At least two people have died in
a two-vehicle collision at Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve.
Park spokeswoman Kathleen Kelly says the Monday morning crash occurred on
the Parks Highway about 1.5 miles south of the park entrance. One of the
vehicles was fully engulfed in flames and the front of the other vehicle, a
pickup truck, burned.
Those killed were the two drivers, and Kelly said the bodies will be sent to
the state medical examiner's office for autopsies.
It's unknown if any others were involved in the crash. There are no known
witnesses to the accident, which Kelly said occurred on clear road
Because the crash occurred within park boundaries, the National Park Service
is leading the investigation rather than state troopers, who are assisting.
Woman arrested for
smuggling oxycodone from Seattle to Ketchikan
The Alaska Bureau of Investigation's Southeast Alaska
Cities Against Drugs task force and K-9 Lutri arrested 32 year old Terra
Adams of Hydaburg on Sunday night
for her role in the smuggling of 367 Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets from
Seattle to Ketchikan.
Conspiracy to Commit Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the
Second Degree and Attempted Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in
the Second Degree. The street value of each tablet in the Ketchikan
and Prince of Wales Island area is $100 per tablet making the total
estimated street value to be $36,700.
Sitka hospital to
request loan from city
SITKA, Alaska (AP) — Sitka Community Hospital
administrators are planning to go before the city Assembly on Tuesday to
formally request $1.5 million from the city in a 9-month line of credit to
address a cash flow emergency.
Hospital CEO Jeff Comer tells the Daily Sitka Sentinel that the hospital has
"zero days' cash on hand." Comer says the hospital is going to the Assembly
because it is getting into a crisis mode.
City administrator Mark Gorman says the city's financial help will not be an
outright grant to the hospital.
The loss in operations was $2.2 million between July 2013 and November 2014.
Comer says the hospital's financial situation is not affecting the quality
of patient care.
He says the city assistance will help the hospital through the next nine
Fire, looters add up to
bad day for Fairbanks store
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) A fire and would-be looters added
up to a bad day for a Fairbanks outdoors retailer.
Fairbanks police say a fire broke out early Sunday morning inside The
Prospector store, forcing a temporary closure.
Fire officials speculate a boiler malfunction caused the fire. The Fairbanks
Daily News-Miner reported smoke from the fire initiated the sprinkler
system, which doused the fire.
Then, as employees were cleaning up the mess, KTUU reports three looters
tried to sneak in a back door, which had been propped open.
KTUU says police were nearby investigating another complaint and saw a
commotion in the parking lot as employees tried to detain the suspects.
Police say the three attempted to flee, but were caught by police and
JPD Holiday caution:
drinking and driving
The Juneau Police Department asks all Juneau residents to be especially
careful while driving during the winter holidays. We recognize that
celebrating with family and friends may include drinking alcoholic
It is important for party goers to be safe and not put others at risk when
traveling to and from social gatherings. As a host you can help by
coordinating safe rides home for guests.
If you are driving over the holidays, don’t drink. Having alcohol in your
system can create a noticeable impairment. Be focused on your driving, avoid
distractions such as cell phones, always wear your seatbelt and ensure your
passengers are buckled up as well.
Please be careful and help us make this a safe and happy holiday season for
3 suspects arrested in
theft of metal at hatchery
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say
thieves stealing metal from the Eklutna Salmon Hatchery caused an estimated
$30,000 damage to the facility.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports three men have been arrested in the case
and six other suspects have been identified.
Troopers say the damage may have occurred over weeks.
The intruders cut through walls to reach copper wire in locked portions of
Steel and aluminum also were taken.
The hatchery is operated by a nonprofit group, the Cook Inlet Aquaculture
Association. The hatchery opened in 1982 and operated regularly until 1998.
It's now a backup facility for the Trail Lakes Hatchery in Kenai and is used
in summer by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to rear 400,000 king
salmon released in the Eklutna Tailrace.
Pedestrian dies in
Anchorage weekend crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police have released
the name of a 32-year-old man killed by a car while walking on a downtown
Police say Christopher Thompson died on west 12th Avenue when he was struck
by a car driven by a man delivering newspapers.
Police took a call on the accident just before 2:30 a.m. Saturday from a
Police say Thompson became trapped under a sedan driven by Rommel Ramos, who
remained at the scene.
Anchorage Fire Department responders were able to remove Thompson from under
the car but he was declared dead.
Police say the case remains under investigation.
December 21st, 2014 4th EDITION 4:17
Canadian mine near
Alaska border wins approval
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Canadian government is allowing
a proposed open-pit mine near the southeast Alaska border to advance.
Canada's Ministry of the Environment on Friday found the
Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell project is not likely to cause significant adverse
environmental effects when mitigation measures are taken into account.
The project, known as the KSM, is in northwest British Columbia. It is
northeast of Ketchikan and east of Wrangell.
Brent Murphy of mine owner Seabridge Gold says the project has won approval
of the provincial and federal governments and can move ahead with
CoastAlaska reports investors are being sought to develop the proposed
The KSM deposit is upstream of two rivers that enter the ocean within about
50 miles of Ketchikan.
Mine opponents fear the project will pollute rivers and harm salmon.
2 vehicles sink on ice
stretch used as a shortcut
At least two vehicles recently sank into the Chena River
on a section long used as an ice-covered shortcut between Airport Way and
Chena Small Tracts Road.
Bob Weaver, the owner of Ron's Towing, said a rented SUV driven by an
out-of-state motorist sank Dec. 15 after making a left turn onto the river
from Pike's Waterfront Lodge. No one was hurt.
The tow company was being followed by a camera crew, but Weaver told the
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner the incident was not staged.
Alaska State Troopers helped rescue the driver of another vehicle on
Tuesday. Sgt. Brian Wassmann said two troopers found a 20-year-old woman
standing on the roof of the vehicle helped her to shore. A dog trapped in
the vehicle died.
Man shot in downtown
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage
police say a man was shot outside a downtown bar early Sunday morning.
Police spokeswoman Anita Shell said the man suffered a non-life-threatening
gunshot to the torso. He was taken to a local hospital.
Shell told KTUU the incident occurred around closing time.
Police said there were several people in the area at the time of the
shooting, but they said early Sunday afternoon that they did not have a
suspect or motive in the case.
UPDATE: Holiday Cup scores from Saturday
Over 400 athletes are expected to
compete in the 22nd edition of the Holiday Cup which began Saturday and runs
until the 31st at Dimond Park Field House.
Marty McKeown with ReMax of Juneau, second-year sponsor of the free event,
brought us some scores from Saturday:
Elementary School Division:
Snowflake United vs. Jolly St. Kicks 3 -3
Reigning Snowballs vs. Real Frosty 6 - 0
Squad vs. Falconers 5-4
Wrecking Ball vs. BK Crew 3-0
Chipmunks vs. Roaring Chestnuts 6-4
Santa Slayers vs. Ringadingding 2-2
Nutcrackers vs. Spicy Nutmegs 3-2
Big Wergers vs. Wolfpack 5-3
Mistle Toes vs. Galaxy 6-2
Silent Knights vs. Dugs Dump 5-3
For more information you can logon to
Walker names Drygas as
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker is continuing to
fill out his Cabinet, naming Heidi Drygas to be state labor commissioner.
Drygas previously served as general counsel for the Alaska District Council
of Laborers. Walker said Drygas has extensive experience in labor relations
and will be an asset to his administration.
Drygas replaces Dianne Blumer. Her appointment is subject to legislative
Walker also announced that Larry Hartig would remain as commissioner of the
Department of Environmental Conservation. Walker cited Hartig's commitment
to public service and knowledge of environmental and natural resource
issues. Hartig has held the position since 2007.
Walker named Darwin Peterson as his legislative director. Peterson most
recently served as chief of staff to Republican Sen. Bert Stedman of Sitka.
Walker made the announcements by news release on Friday.
New director plans
Alaska's Medicaid expansion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's new Medicaid expansion
project director plans to extend health care coverage to some of Alaska's
Alaska Dispatch News reports Chris Ashenbrenner was appointed by Gov. Bill
Walker when he created the new position.
The planned expansion will extend Medicaid coverage to all Alaskans who earn
up to 138 percent of the poverty level. That amounts to about $20,120 per
Before that can happen in Alaksa, Ashenbrenner will have to work through a
series of hurdles. The state's Medicaid eligibility and payment systems have
been plagued with defects.
Medicaid expansion was one of the key points during Walker's campaign
against former Gov. Sean Parnell.
The state health department's commissioner Valerie Davidson says they needed
someone with a track record of taking on heavy projects.
December 20th, 2014 3rd
EDITION 4:36 P. M.]
Alaska airman gets
18-year sentence for DUI death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska airman has been
sentenced to 18 years in prison for a drunken driving collision that took
the life of a 20-year-old woman.
Alaska Dispatch News reports Lane Douglas Wyatt had pleaded guilty to
second-degree murder, first degree assault and drunken driving.
Citari Townes-Sweatt died in 2013 after Wyatt ran a red light in East
Anchorage and hit the car she was driving. Assistant district attorney Will
Taylor says friends tried to prevent Wyatt from driving.
Twenty-four-year-old Wyatt says there's nothing he can do to make things
right. He apologizes to the family and says he doesn't know if he can
Townes-Sweatt's mother says she truly forgives Wyatt and he should forgive
Wyatt was an Air Force airman at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
King Cove road lawsuit
A lawsuit over a proposed road out of King Cove may proceed on only two of
its five claims.
U-S District Judge
H. Russel Holland, this week, dismissed three of the claims in the lawsuit
filed by the City of King Cove and joined by the state. The judge disagreed
that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell's decision to block a land swap for a
road corridor through a wildlife refuge could be challenged under certain
However, the judge
found that plaintiffs could make a case that Jewell did not follow the
National Environmental Protection Act and that her decision did not meet
certain procedural requirements.
Congress and the
Alaska Legislature approved a land swap for an 18-mile road to connect King
Cove with the all-weather airport at Cold Bay. In August, Jewell repeated
her denial, on the grounds that the road might damage waterfowl habitat in
the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge.
Appointed Dean of School of Management
The University of Alaska Southeast (UAS) is pleased to
announce the appointment of Ms. Vickie Williams as the new Dean of the
School of Management. She replaces Mr. John Blanchard, who served as Dean
for three years and who has returned to a faculty role. The School of
Management offers associate and bachelor's degrees in business and
accounting and also offers the online Master's degree in Public
Administration online throughout the state.
Dean Williams is a highly qualified UAS faculty member whose academic
qualifications include MBA, CPA, and CGMA degrees and credentials plus
extensive public- and private-sector experience in business and accounting.
Dean Williams service as a faculty member at UAS dates back to 1995. She is
a tenured faculty member in Accounting and previously served as Chair of the
UAS accounting program. Previously she served as Treasurer of the City and
Borough of Juneau and as an accountant with both Citicorp and Arthur
Andersen of New York City.
"Over the years I have been able to pass on my passion for numbers to our
accounting students and have worked with many great faculty and staff," said
Williams. "I am thrilled to take on new challenges and work with all the
programs in the School of Management. We have a great family at UAS!"
"Dean Williams brings to this leadership position a wealth of experience and
exceptional dedication to student success," said UAS Provost Rick Caulfield
. She is widely respected by faculty and staff in the university system and
in professional business and accounting circles. Her successful teaching
experience and her community engagement will serve our students well."
The appointment, approved by Chancellor Pugh and UA President Patrick
Gamble, was made after broad consultation with School of Management faculty
and staff and community partners.
December 19th, 2014 14th
EDITION 11:37 P. M.]
Stranded hunter near
A stranded hunter was rescued from Chicagof Island near
Juneau Friday evening. Although separated from his hunting party, he was
able to communicate with them using his handheld radio. Petty Officer 1st
Class Georgette Lopez, watchstander, Coast Guard Sector Juneau, said, “The
radio provided us with a GPS location that aided us in quickly locating him
during night hours.”
Sector Juneau command center watchstanders received a report of a hunter in
distress and sent a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter
crew. They hoisted the hunter and transferred him to Hoonah.
The weather on scene was reported as 32 degrees with moderate rain.
Bomb threat in Anchorage
postpones JDHS game
A bomb threat called into East High School in Anchorage
this afternoon postponed the T-bird Classic basketball tournament.
Barrow and Juneau Douglas High School were to play at 3:00.
There were no
classes today, but the gym was open for the tournament. The school was
locked down briefly and evacuated. Anchorage police responded just before 2
Barrow won 78 to
49 kids to Shop With A
You could wake to lots of sirens Saturday morning, but
hopefully it's just the kids going out to Shop With A Cop.
The Capital City Chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association will
conduct its 4th annual Shop With A Cop outing Saturday morning and will do a
second outing on Tuesday, December 23. Due to the overwhelming generosity of
Juneau, donating over $10,000 to this event, officers will shop with a total
of 49 children between the two events.
APOA would like to warn the public, this party might get a little loud. Kids
like sirens and officers are going to indulge the kids. There will be a
marked car parade from Nugget Mall to Walmart Saturday, December 20th,
starting at about 10:30 in the morning. Tuesday’s event will feature a bus
carrying kids from the AWARE Shelter escorted by marked vehicles containing
other kids. There may be some lights and sirens noticed by the public on
December 23rd, at about 4:15 in the afternoon. Juneau Police Department
Chief Bryce Johnson has volunteered to ride on the bus and sing Christmas
songs with the kids. Organizers are saying that party bus will be rocking.
In addition to the children buying presents for their loved ones, officers
will buy the children presents they pick out that will be delivered
Christmas Eve, and 12 families will have Christmas dinner purchased.
APOA would like to thank the community for such a tremendous level of
Santa's coming to the Auke Bay Fire
Station Christmas Open House
Bring the kids to the Auke Bay Fire Station Christmas
Open House this Saturday afternoon 1:00 - 4:00. Assistant Chief Quinto will
be reading Christmas Stories and Santa is stopping by, to ride on board the
Auke Bay Fire Department Truck.
Santa's route starts at Gruening Park. He will travel to Berners
Ave/Radcliffe Road, continuing to Glacier View Trailer Park, traveling with
fire fighters and elves on to Portage Blvd and Aspen Avenue. From there he
will be visiting Thunder Mountain Trailer Park and then it's on to Montana
Creek subdivision, ending at the University Housing.
Fire Fighters and elves will be handing out candy canes on the route to all
Massive B.C. gold mine near Alaska border gets environmental
VANCOUVER - The federal government has approved the
environmental assessment application for the massive KSM gold and copper
mine in northwestern British Columbia near the Alaska border.
The mine, which is owned by Seabridge Gold Inc. (TSX:SEA), is considered the
largest undeveloped gold reserve in the world and also has copper, silver
and molybdenum deposits.
The project would be just 35 kilometres from the Alaska border, and in
August the state took the rare step of asking the Canadian government for
involvement in the approval process over concerns for its rivers and fish.
But the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency concluded in its report
that the KSM project isn't likely to cause significant adverse environmental
Seabridge CEO Rudi Fronk says the company was confident it would receive the
approval because it has spent six years and (Canadian) $200 million working
with government, the state of Alaska, and local First Nations.
Fronk says Seabridge is talking with several major mine companies to find a
partner to invest in the project, which will likely cost about (Canadian) $5
billion to build.
Arctic offshore drill
company enters guilty pleas
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A drilling company has pleaded
guilty to committing environmental and maritime crimes in Alaska's Arctic.
Bernie G. Wolford Jr., president of Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, appeared in
federal court in Anchorage on Friday after reaching an agreement with
prosecutors earlier this month.
Wolford said the $8.2 million fine and $4 million in community service
payments would be paid Friday. He declined to comment further after the
Noble operated the drill ship Noble Discoverer and the drill unit Kulluk in
support of Royal Dutch Shell PLC's offshore drilling efforts in 2012.
According to the agreement, Noble Drilling's violations included keeping
false records or failing to record details surrounding its handling of oil
on the vessels. The company also failed to notify the U.S. Coast Guard of
hazardous conditions aboard the Noble Discoverer.
FAA authorizing 1st
drone in Nevada test program
BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Federal Aviation
Administration is authorizing the first drone that will fly in Nevada as
part of the federal drone test site program.
Dignitaries including Gov. Brian Sandoval, Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Joe
Heck were on hand Friday for the ceremony in Boulder City.
The agency is issuing a Test Site Special Airworthiness Certificate to
"Magpie," a drone built by the company Sensurion.
Magpie was scheduled to take a test flight during the ceremony.
Nevada is one of six states chosen last December as national sites for drone
testing. Alaska, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia were the others.
The FAA does not allow commercial use of drones but plans to gather data
from test sites to develop operational guidelines by the end of 2015.
US rig count down 18 to
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes
Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S.
fell by 18 this week to 1,875.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,536 rigs were
exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year
ago 1,768 rigs were active.
Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, Arkansas gained three rigs,
Kansas and New Mexico each rose by two and Alaska and Pennsylvania were up
North Dakota declined by seven, Oklahoma by six, Texas down four, Louisiana
off three, and Ohio and West Virginia each decreased two.
California, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming were unchanged.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
UA President announces
plan to conduct a national search to fill UAS Chancellor position
President Patrick K. Gamble today announced the
university will conduct a national search to fill the University of Alaska
Southeast chancellor's position. Current Chancellor John Pugh will retire in
May. Gamble considered input from faculty, staff, students and community
members in making the decision. He noted, "We have some excellent in-state
candidates who will certainly be considered in the process. I spent a couple
of days meeting with various groups in Juneau, getting input on the search
process and the attributes needed for the position. The important
stakeholders expressed the opinion that a national search would provide an
opportunity to further deepen the pool of quality applicants."
Heading the search committee is University of Alaska Southeast Vice
Chancellor of Administration Michael Ciri. The committee will include
representation from the faculty, staff and administration. The job will be
advertised starting in January.
be accepted through February and reviewed during the first two weeks of
March. Telephone and in-person finalist interviews will take place in late
March and April.
will make the final decision, with plans to have a new chancellor selected
JPD's Crime of the Week
Between the night of December 16th and the morning of December 17th, there
was a burglary of a Juneau spa called “Rejuvenations” at 3017 Clinton Drive
The main door had a window broken which is how the suspect accessed to the
business. The safe at the business was taken, probably without being opened.
It is believed the suspect will need commercial grade tools to open the
safe. The safe is designed to need a combination put into a digital key pad
plus a key to open.
Witnesses say there has been a suspicious dark colored box van frequenting
that area over the last week. That van may be associated with this burglary.
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.
Ruling allows trust
status for Alaska tribal lands
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A court decision is allowing
Alaska tribes to apply for federal trust status for their lands.
The U.S. Department of Interior published a final regulation in a prolonged
dispute between tribes, the agency and the state of Alaska.
At issue was an interpretation of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement
Act that held that Alaska tribes had lost that right under the settlement
Four tribes and one Alaska Native individual filed a lawsuit in 2006 over
The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., rejected the state's position
that the settlement act mandated different treatment for tribes in Alaska.
The state is appealing.
Trust status means local and state governments cannot tax economic
development initiatives tribes may develop on their lands.
Walker considers delay
in legal marijuana sales
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker says
he's considering a 90-day delay in implementing legal marijuana sales.
Alaska voters in November approved legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Walker told the Fairbanks Chamber of
Commerce he's exploring a delay in the part of the measure that allows for
The ballot measure specified that adults no longer would be arrested under
state law for possessing up to an ounce of pot outside their homes, 90 days
after election results were certified. That date is Feb. 24.
The state has nine more months to produce regulations for commercial sales,
three months to begin accepting applications and three months after that to
Commercial growers could produce marijuana for sale in May 2016 under the
Weird weather lingers in
Alaska's largest city
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A week before Christmas,
Alaska's largest city should look like a postcard wonderland. It should be
the last place you'd expect to see equipment making snow.
A spate of weird weather is lingering in Anchorage, which is almost 2 feet
behind typical snowfall totals by this time of the coldest season.
With just days to go until solstice Sunday signals the official start of
winter, bare ground can be seen in places and temperatures have been
averaging in the 30s.
For the most part, it's even been too warm to make snow for local ski
haunts, although a slight dip in temperatures allowed the Nordic Skiing
Association of Anchorage to manufacture powder Thursday on some trails.
Temperatures are expected to be above or near normal through the end of the
Unemployment rate at 6.6
percent in November
Alaska’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.6
percent in November, down slightly from
October’s 6.7 percent. The comparable national rate was 5.8 percent.
The seasonally adjusted jobless rate has remained relatively stable in
Alaska for the past two years.
The national rate has continued to decline, and it’s not yet clear when it
will stabilize. In the 10
years before the most recent national recession, Alaska’s rate was usually
about 2 percentage
points higher than the national level.
not-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in November, up
three-tenths of a percentage point from October’s 5.9 percent. November’s
rate was essentially the same as the prior year’s 6.3 percent.
Around the state,
jobless rates increased in 24 out of 29 boroughs and census areas, typical
for November. The lowest rate was in the North Slope Borough, where winter
the normal statewide seasonal trend. Anchorage and Juneau also had low
rates, at 4.8 and 4.7
percent, respectively. The highest unemployment rate was in the Municipality
of Skagway at 19.2
percent, narrowly edging out Wade Hampton Census Area at 19.0 percent.
AMHS Fares to Increase
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Department of
Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) announced Thursday that fares
on the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will increase 4.5 percent for
travel beginning May 1, 2015.
The new fare
structure will go into effect January 1, 2015. The rate increase will not
affect reservations made prior to the effective date. Some fares will not be
affected by the new tariff structure. Fares that are disproportionately
higher than the majority of AMHS fares will remain unchanged.
“In 2005 AMHS
revenues accounted for nearly half of the system’s operating budget. Today
revenues cover less than one third of the operating budget,” said ADOT&PF
Deputy Commissioner Reuben Yost.
The fare increase
will help cover operating costs and meet revenue targets for AMHS. In 2013
revenues recovered approximately 31 percent of AMHS operating costs, which
required $119.3 million from the state General Fund. The fare increase is
the first since 2007 and is expected to generate an additional $1.8 million
The fare increase
is consistent with preliminary tariff recommendations that were presented to
the Marine Transportation Advisory Board on December 12, 2014. A copy of the
meeting packet, including the presentation, is available at
encouraged to make reservations in advance either online at FerryAlaska.com,
by calling 1-800-642-0066, or visiting ferry terminal staff throughout the
system. Making advance reservations is the best way to guarantee space for
passengers and vehicles, and it allows the system to operate more
efficiently. Fare information is available online or from reservations
December 18th, 2014 10th
EDITION 11:31 A. M.]
Gamble reflects after
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — University of Alaska president Pat
Gamble says he loves coming to work every day. But at age 69, and with the
university system in a position he feels comfortable with, Gamble says it's
time to retire.
UA announced Monday that Gamble will retire June 1, after five years.
In an interview, Gamble said his proudest point in the job has been bringing
the leaders of the three main universities together to work on issues across
the system rather than having the universities compete for resources.
Gamble plans to guide the university system through what is expected to be a
tough budget year, with the state facing deficits.
Gamble says the goal is for UA to get through the rough stretch without
losing the gains it has made in recent years.
Juneau officials cut
state funding request list
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Juneau officials are whittling down
a list of state funding requests amid potential state budget deficits of
more than $3 billion for both this year and next due to low oil prices.
The Finance Committee for the CBJ agreed Wednesday to prioritize five
projects out of an original list of 29.
The new list includes a water treatment plant, well improvements, a
communications tower update, a rebuild of the Douglas Harbor and additional
snow-clearing machines that could handle narrow sidewalks.
Assembly members agreed that airport and school officials would be consulted
for their top priorities, which would be added to a list for future years.
The city itself faces a $7.2-million deficit for 2016.
activist in dispute with business neighbor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A former Alaska television
reporter who quit her job on-air and vowed to work toward legalizing
marijuana is involved in a dispute with a business neighbor.
Alaska Dispatch News says marijuana activist Charlo Greene and neighbor
Sarha Shaubach have filed for seven restraining orders against each other
and associates within the past week.
Greene, founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club, shares the same downtown
Anchorage address as Shaubach, owner of the Alaska Center for Alternative
Shaubach says the dispute began when Greene would not allow a fire inspector
to enter Greene's portion of the building.
Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, declined to discuss the
allegations in detail.
Hose failure blamed for
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Army investigators in Alaska
have concluded that a corroded vent hose on a field stove caused carbon
monoxide poisoning that sickened 23 soldiers during a September exercise.
Army Alaska spokesman Lt. Col. Alan Brown tells the Fairbanks Daily
News-Miner that the carbon monoxide came from a gas-fueled oven used to heat
trays of food in a kitchen tent.
Investigators concluded the corroded hose was not properly connected and
kept gas inside the tent.
None of the soldiers in the incident Sept. 25 near Eielson Air Force Base
suffered life-threatening injuries. Nineteen were treated and released. Four
showed elevated carbon monoxide levels in their blood but recovered after
The soldiers were part of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne),
25th Infantry Division stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
Ambler road hearing
draws opposition, supporters
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A two-day hearing in Fairbanks
on a proposed 200-mile road to the Ambler Mining District brought out sharp
opposition from Alaskans who say traditional hunting grounds would be
threatened and wilderness values would be lost.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Alaska Natives and non-Natives
expressed concerns about increased access and industrial contamination at
the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority hearing.
Brooks Range lodge owner John Gaedecke (GED'-eh-kee) questioned whether the
state should be supporting foreign mining interests and neglecting its own
PJ Simon of the Allakaket (al-ah-KA'-ket) Tribal Council questioned whether
jobs would be forthcoming for villagers who now rely heavily on subsistence
NovaCopper, Inc. CEO Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse (NOO'-wen-heyes) says proposed
mines in the Ambler Mining District have the potential to create hundreds of
Government sues to
recover costs of sunken vessel
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The federal government is suing
the owner of a 117-foot boat that sank in Cordova and was cleaned up at
KTUU-TV reports the government seeks $1.6 million from John Mehelich, who
later appeared as a gold dredge captain on the Discovery channel show
"Bering Sea Gold."
The 147-ton vessel Sound Developer sank in August 2009 at its mooring in
Cordova Harbor. The lawsuit says the vessel leaked more than 450 gallons of
fuel and oils.
The lawsuit says Mehelich hired a company to raise and clean up the vessel
but then cut off contact with the company.
The federal government assumed the cleanup and the vessel was raised and
decontaminated by Dec. 20, 2011.
Federal attorneys say Mehelich has refused to reimburse the government.
Group to provide rural
dog care in YK villages
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — A nonprofit veterinary group will
provide free spay and neutering services for dogs in two Yukon-Kuskokwim
villages this week.
KYUK reports the Alaska Native Rural Veterinary group will be in Tuntutuliak
(tun-too-TOO'-lee-ack) and Kongiganak (kong-EE'-guh-nuk) on Wednesday and
Group leader Angie Fitch in Fairbanks says it's too expensive for people in
rural Alaska to fly dogs for care, and there are no vets in the villages.
So they try to visit about 20 villages a year to offer spay and neuter
services and vaccinations. Those include rabies and booster shots. They will
also provide shots for eligible cats.
Ketchikan City Council
to discuss possible tobacco tax
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The Ketchikan City Council is
set to begin a discussion on whether the southeast Alaska town should
implement an excise tax on tobacco products.
KRBD reports the council is scheduled to take up the matter at its meeting
Council member Judy Zenge requested the discussion and city finance director
Bob Newell worked on a report on the subject.
Newell looked at similar taxes in other communities in Alaska. He says as
much is $552,000 could be generated for city revenues annually from such a
31 mushers sign up for
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Thirty-one mushers have signed up
for the Kuskokwim 300 next month.
That's the largest field in two decades, according to race manager Zach
KYUK reports that Jeff King, DeeDee Jonrowe, Martin Buser and Lance Mackey
will be among the racers. Past champion John Baker and partner Katherine
Keith of Kotzebue also are set to race.
The number of dogs per team has been lowered, from a limit of 14 dogs to 12.
The race begins Jan. 16 in Bethel.
Public input process on
pot regulation to come
Dozens of Anchorage residents voiced their opposition
this week and swayed their assembly to kill a proposed measure that would
ban legal marijuana sales within that city's boundaries. Soon, you too
can throw in your two cents about how you'd like to see the selling of pot
regulated in Alaska.
Board Director Cindy Franklin tells News of the North, "There will be a
public input process. We're right now planning to follow the regular process
that already exists in state law for creating regulations, which requires a
public input period. We have some FAQ's up on our website relating to the
marijuana initiative. We have a sign up form on our website for anyone
that's interested in following the regulatory process. People can put their
emails in there and they'll receive updates if there are any additional
questions and answers added to the FAQ's. Ultimately, when the public
process for the regulations begins, they will receive an email." Link
to the website here.
The Alcohol Control Board has been tasked with developing the process of
regulation, unless the legislature creates a separate board.
Alaska voters approved legalization of recreational marijuana use last
month, however the law does allow cities to opt out of sales within its
December 17th, 2014 9TH
EDITION 5:56 P. M.]
Donations over the top for the 4th Annual
Shop with a Cop
Donations exceeded expectations this year, so kids from
at least 12 families will get to ride in a marked police vehicle and have a
uniformed officer to assist them this Saturday as they Shop with A Cop.
"The Alaska Peace Officers Association has been overwhelmed with generosity
from citizens of Juneau and even people out of town who have been so
generous that our total funds to go shopping is right around $10,000 right
now. So we are going to be able to take all the families who are on our
list.", said Capital City Chapter of the Alaska Peace Officers Association
Board Member Lt. Kris Sell. "These kids are going to have a really great
holiday. I never saw this coming when we put out this request of funds. I
completely underestimated the avalanche of goodwill that would come our way.
This is a community that really cares."
Donations were so great that the association is directing those that want to
donate to give to other charities, such as St. Vincent's. They are also
contacting the AWARE shelter to see if the kids there can be taken shopping
on a different day.
office to close
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The office of the federal
coordinator for Alaska gas pipeline projects is shutting down.
Federal coordinator Larry Persily says the office was not funded in the
budget passed by Congress last week.
The office was created in a 2004 law aimed at helping advance an Alaska gas
pipeline project that would serve North American markets. That project,
however, was scrapped amid changes in the market.
Currently being pursued is a liquefied natural gas project that would be
capable of overseas exports.
Persily said the lack of clear authority for his office to be involved with
a new project was becoming more of an issue. Congress did not act to address
He said the project ultimately, though, will live or die based on its
economics, not whether his office exists.
Names released in NW
Montana plane crash
POLSON, Mont. (AP) — Authorities have identified the
pilot killed in a plane crash in northwest Montana as 33-year-old Brett
Thoft, of Wasilla, Alaska.
In addition, a passenger injured in the crash was identified as Tim Schauss,
of Lake County. He is listed in critical condition at Kalispell Regional
The small plane crashed in Lake County near Flathead Lake at about 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday on a hillside northwest of Ronan.
Lake County authorities believe the two-seat Piper had taken off from the
Ronan airport on a sight-seeing flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
Man sentenced to 99
years in Anchorage hotel shooting death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A
50-year-old man has been sentenced to 99 years in prison for the fatal
shooting of his former supervisor at an Anchorage hotel.
Alaska Dispatch News reports Javier Martinez was sentenced Tuesday for the
October 2011 death of 55-year-old Kerry Fadely following his termination at
the Millennium Alaskan Hotel.
Fadely's death led to a new standard in Alaska when the state Supreme Court
ruled her same-sex partner was eligible for benefits. In July, the high
court rejected the denial of survivor benefits to Fadely's partner, Deborah
Martinez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, also was sentenced in federal
court last year to 65 years in prison for identity theft, weapon violations
and illegally entering the United States. The sentence imposed Tuesday will
run consecutive to the federal sentence.
Alaska ferry project
caught in flap over US steel
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. requirement that American
steel be used to update an Alaska ferry terminal is causing some tension
with Canadian officials.
The terminal is on Canadian soil, in British Columbia, but the land is
leased to the state of Alaska.
Under a 50-year lease signed last year, the state is to rebuild the terminal
facilities and docking structure on that land.
Most of the construction funding would come from the Federal Highway
Administration, which has "Buy America" requirements for steel, iron and
manufactured products used in projects it funds. The rest of the funding
would come from the state.
The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. says requiring the steel for the project
to be produced in America is unacceptable. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has
pledged to work toward a solution that benefits both sides.
Juneau clinic faces
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Juneau health center that faced
closure earlier this year over funding now is struggling to keep top
The longtime face of the Front Street Community Health Center, nurse
practitioner Janna Brewster, has left. The center does not have a dentist
and by month's end, the interim executive director will be gone.
The center provides health services to homeless and low-income individuals
in Juneau. It has a temporary contract with an Anchorage-based nurse
The clinic has been using an outside company to try to find and hire staff.
But the board's president said the board's preference would be to hire a
nurse practitioner and dentist from within the local area.
AIDEA may extend
deadline for natural gas project
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Industrial
Development and Export Board is considering an extension of a deadline for
the firm that wants to build a North Slope liquefied natural gas plant for
trucking gas to interior Alaska.
AIDEA (AY'-dah) in September signed an agreement with MWH Global for
ownership and operation of an LNG plant.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports MWH projected the plant's cost at
$185 million but the estimate is now $228 million.
The plant, at that price, would produce gas that community leaders say is
The AIDEA contract is due to expire at the end of the year. Two utilities
have requested an extension to allow MWH to bring down the project cost and
board member Gary Wilken says a short extension is in the works.
Man charged in death of
woman found near park
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Anchorage grand jury has
indicted a man in the death of a woman whose body was found near a municipal
The Alaska Dispatch News reports 46-year-old Michael Memeo is charged with
first- and second-degree murder and evidence tampering in the death of
54-year-old Irma Williams.
Police say Memeo was Williams' ex-boyfriend.
Williams was reported missing Sept. 30. Family members said they had not
seen her for two weeks.
Williams' body was discovered Oct. 15 near Lions Park in the Mountain View
neighborhood on Anchorage's northeast side. The state medical examiner
concluded she was the victim of a homicide.
Police spokeswoman Dani Myren says Memeo was already in custody Tuesday for
He was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.
Anchorage kills measure
to opt out of pot sales
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly has
rejected a proposed ordinance that would have banned legal marijuana sales
within municipal boundaries.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports assembly members listened to four hours of
testimony Tuesday and voted 9-2 to kill the measure proposed by
Assemblywoman Amy Demboski.
Alaska voters approved legalization of recreational marijuana use last
month. Demboski said she hoped the city would take a "wait and see approach"
before the Alaska Legislature created marijuana regulations.
Most people testifying Tuesday opposed the ordinance.
Medical marijuana user June Pittman-Unsworth said she has no legal way to
obtain marijuana. She called the ordinance premature and open-ended.
Assemblyman Bill Starr said he was fearful the "opt out" message would put
key Anchorage lawmakers on the sidelines during discussions of state
Soldotna man gets prison
time for tax evasion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 60-year-old Soldotna man gets
16 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for federal tax crimes.
The U.S. attorney's office says in a release James R. Back also paid over
$17,000 for costs of his prosecution and paid more than $113,000 in back
income taxes. He was convicted on the seven tax crimes in October.
Authorities said he earned more than $125,000 as a pipeline technician at
Prudhoe Bay. Yet he claimed his wages were zero dollars in 2006, '07 and
'08, and didn't file returns from 2009-2012.
Officials said during this time, he put more than $140,000 to a retirement
plan, had investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, owned real
estate and bought more than $400,000 in gold and silver bullion.
Some fees at state parks
rising Jan 1
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Fees for some activities at Alaska
state park facilities are set to increase on Jan. 1.
The Department of Natural Resources says fees will rise for overnight
camping and boat launching and for annual parking and boat launching passes.
Daily parking fees at trailheads or other developed areas won't change.
The department says the cost of an annual parking pass hasn't changed since
2004 while state park operational costs have risen over 20 percent.
The annual parking pass fee will increase by $10, with a second pass for the
same family going up by $5. Annual boat launch fees will go up by $25, with
a second pass for a family going up by $10.
Overnight camping and boat launch fees will vary but generally increase by
December 16th, 2014 13th
EDITION 5:22 P. M.]
Drill fluids released
after gasket fails
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — ConocoPhillips has reported a
3,500-gallon leak of a drilling mud, brine and diesel mixture following a
gasket failure at a Kuparuk drill site.
The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said the release was
discovered early Monday morning and reported to the state several hours
The department, in a report, says about half of the mixture spilled to a
gravel pit and the rest to a closed reserve pit. The department says the
spilled material had frozen and was not spreading.
ConocoPhillips Alaska spokeswoman Natalie Lowman says there were no injuries
or environmental impacts from the leaked waste drilling fluids. She said
there also was no production impact.
She said cleanup is progressing faster than expected and the spill volumes
are expected to be less than initially reported.
Obama withdraws Alaska's
Bristol Bay from drilling
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama is
withdrawing Alaska's Bristol Bay from consideration for oil and gas
The decision announced Tuesday under the federal Outer Continental Shelf
Lands Act means no leases will be sold for petroleum drilling in the area.
The bay provides 40 percent of America's wild seafood and supports up to $2
billion in commercial fishing every year.
Obama says in a video announcement that the natural resource is too precious
to be put out to the highest bidder.
Bristol Bay is north of the Alaska Peninsula, which juts out west from
mainland Alaska at the start of the Aleutian Islands chain.
Alaska's Republican U.S. senator, Lisa Murkowski, says the petroleum
industry hasn't shown interest in the region and she's not objecting to the
president's decision at this time.
Broker enrolls about 1K
Alaskans in latest signup
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A broker
established to help individuals sign up for private health insurance has
enrolled about 1,000 Alaskans in the first month of the latest open
That includes renewals and new sign-ups. Aimee Crocker, operations manager
for Enroll Alaska, says most of those enrolled by the broker this period
have been renewals.
Overall enrollment figures aren't yet available. Alaskans also can sign up
Monday marked the deadline for individuals to sign up for coverage beginning
Jan. 1. People have until Feb. 15 to sign up for 2015 coverage through the
federally run online marketplace.
Crocker says unlocking accounts for renewal clients has been frustrating.
She says website passwords were reset in April and some individuals have had
to get temporary passwords or find documentation with their identification
installed as Catholic bishop
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An active-duty military chaplain
has been installed as the bishop of the nation's northernmost Catholic
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Most Rev. Chad Zielinksi was
installed as bishop for the Fairbanks Diocese on Monday.
Pope Francis last month named the 50-year-old Zielinksi to the position. He
had been the active-duty chaplain at Eielson Air Force Base. He was deployed
to Afghanistan in 2011.
Zielinski is the sixth bishop for the 11,000-member diocese, which has been
without a local spiritual leader since Bishop Donald Kettler was appointed
to lead The Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota.
Zielinski is a native of Detroit. He attended seminary at Mount Angel
Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon.
Fort Greely to get $50M
under spending bill
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Congress has approved $50
million toward a ground-based missile defense system at Fort Greely.
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the funding was included in a $1.1 trillion
spending plan that passed last weekend.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports an effort is underway to increase
from 26 to 40 the number of interceptor missiles at Fort Greely as part of a
missile-defense expansion announced last year.
Murkowski spokesman Matthew Felling said the funding will help prepare a
previously mothballed missile field for the interceptors that will be added.
Troopers release names
of missing riders
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Bethel-area responders along the
Kuskokwim River report no new success in the search for a man and woman
missing on an all-terrain vehicle.
Alaska State Troopers say 26-year-old George Evan and 27-year-old Sally
Stone likely plunged into an open lead in the river near Kwethluk.
KTUU-TV reports the body of a third rider, Ralph Demantle, and an ATV were
pulled from the river over the weekend.
Troopers say alcohol was a factor in the accident and that Evan and Stone
were most likely on the ATV when it went into the water.
The three were traveling Thursday night from Bethel to Akiak. Searchers
found tracks leading to the ice hole.
Searchers used chain saws, ice axes and drag bars to search the edges of the
Due to severe weather in Prince William Sound additional Cordova - Whittier
- Cordova FVF Fairweather sailings for Tuesday, Dec. 16 are canceled.
Additional ferry service has been scheduled for Cordova - Whittier - Cordova
on Wednesday, Dec. 17, weather permitting. Additional Information will be
provided as necessary.
AMHS staff is
contacting affected passengers. For schedule information, please visit
www.FerryAlaska.com or contact your
local terminal by dialing 1-907-465-3941 or toll-free at 1-800-642-0066.
Fuel spills from tanker
crash on Dalton Highway
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A lane of the Dalton Highway was
closed when a tractor-trailer carrying a load of fuel slid off the roadway.
Fuel leaking from the tanker compartment was cleaned up but responders had
to deal with a fire that damaged the tractor-trailer.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Big State Logistics truck slid
off the roadway Sunday night north of Wiseman.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says about 1,200 gallons of
diesel fuel spilled from the rear tanker compartment.
Big State Logistics responders offloaded another 9,000 gallons and used
absorbents on the spilled fuel.
The tractor-trailer caught fire Monday and the cause is unknown.
The driver was treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for unspecified
Eyak to pay $2.5M fine
to settle fraud case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska Native village
corporation will pay the federal government $2.5 million and give up claims
to payments from a contract signed by subsidiaries tied to a fraud case.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that Eyak (EE'-ak) Alaska
Native Village Corp. agreed to the terms to settle the fraud case.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports Eyak subsidiary EyakTek from 2005 to 2011
held a $1 billion contract with the Army Corps of Engineers.
The company's director of contracts, Harold Babb, accepted kickbacks from
contractors from 2007 to 2011 and is serving a seven-year prison sentence.
Prosecutors say EyakTek and Eyak Services LLC submitted invoices for work
Eyak CEO Rod Worl says in a prepared statement the company wanted to resolve
all of the claims.
Tanana man gets 180 days
for assault of VSPO
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A 59-year-old Tanana man has
pleaded guilty to assault after threatening a village public safety officer.
Arvin Kangas entered his plea Monday for placing Sgt. Mark Haglin in fear of
physical injury. Officials say Kangas threatened to assault the officer, and
then later looked at Haglin while pointing to a weapon.
Kangas received a 180-day sentence, of which 150 days were suspended.
The threats against Haglin on April 30 led to the arrival the following day
of Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich to serve an
Kangas' son, Nathanial, is accused of shooting and killing both officers
while making the arrest.
The younger Kangas faces an April murder trial. Arvin Kangas remains in
jail, facing evidence tampering and hindering prosecution charges from that
Whittier tunnel to close
1 night for repairs
WHITTIER, Alaska (AP) — The tunnel taking vehicle and
train traffic to and from the port town of Whittier will be closed Thursday
Officials with the Alaska Department of Transportation say in a release that
the closure is necessary to make repairs to the rail line running through
The 2.5-mile long Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel will close at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday and reopen at 7:30 a.m., Friday.
Appeals court to
reconsider Tongass case
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A federal appeals court is set to
review a decision that allowed the Tongass National Forest to be exempt from
federal restrictions on road-building and timber harvests in "roadless"
An 11-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to
hear arguments Tuesday.
In March, a divided three-judge panel sided with the state of Alaska and
found the U.S. Department of Agriculture had legitimate grounds in 2003 to
temporarily exempt the Tongass from the Roadless Rule.
The court in August granted a request for an 11-member panel to reconsider
The case is scheduled to be argued in a courtroom in California.
Construction and trades
opportunities in Juneau, including FREE training
There's construction and trades career opportunities in
Juneau on Wednesday.
Come learn about and apply for FREE training with the Juneau Construction
Academy. Classes include: carpentry, welding, electrical, plumbing, drywall,
and safety trainings.
Meet representatives from the Building Trades unions and learn about
apprenticeship opportunities. Meet construction and home builder employers.
Meet UAS Construction Technology and Career and Tech Instructors.
It's sponsored by: Juneau Construction Academy, Juneau Building and
Construction Trades Council, SEABIA, SERRC-The Learning Connection and UAS
Career and Tech Programs.
This session on construction and trades opportunities will be from 5:30-7:00
at SERRC-The Learning Connection, 210 Ferry Way, downtown across from Marine
information call 907-586-5718 or visit
December 15th, 2014 12th
EDITION 4:00 P. M.]
pared-down capital budget
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker has submitted a
stripped-down capital budget that mainly includes projects with federal or
other match funding.
Walker submitted the budget Monday, along with an operating budget developed
by his predecessor, former Gov. Sean Parnell, that Walker has not endorsed.
The Walker administration plans to submit revised versions of both budgets
The capital budget submitted was pared-down from what Parnell proposed to
include $106.7 million in unrestricted general funds.
Walker's budget director, Pat Pitney, said any add-ons will be closely
Even with the pared down capital budget, the state is looking at a potential
$3.2 billion budget deficit if operating levels are consistent with those
proposed by Parnell. The budget deficit for the current year is projected to
be $3.5 billion, amid much-lower-than-expected oil prices.
Powdered alcohol? Not so
fast, lawmakers say
DENVER (AP) — States are moving to ban alcohol in
powdered form before the product goes on sale out of concern it will
increase underage drinking.
The product, called "Palcohol," is touted by its inventor as a convenient
way to mix a drink. But lawmakers nationwide say that convenience will only
make it easier for children to access alcohol.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says Alaska, Delaware,
Louisiana, South Carolina and Vermont have already banned powdered alcohol.
And Minnesota, Ohio, and New York are also considering outlawing it.
Colorado Republican Rep. JoAnn Windholz is introducing a bill to ban
Palcohol in the session that begins next month.
Lipsmark, the company that owns Palcohol, notes that federal regulators have
determined the product to be safe. However, the company is waiting for
Eaglecrest Ski Areas
announces Hilary Lindh scholarship winners
Scholarship winners were chosen based upon scholastic
achievement, competitive spirit, and financial need.
Two Eaglecrest season passes were awarded in each division; kindergarten
through fifth-grade, and sixth through twelfth-grade. This year’s winners
are Maddy Roemeling, Krishna Bathija, Sierra Coronell, and Cain Ramsey.
“Despite the fact that we received fewer applications this year, the quality
of all of the applications was very high making the final selection
difficult.” said Julie Jackson, Community Outreach Supervisor at Eaglecrest
Ski Area. Eaglecrest received eleven applications for this year’s
Maddy Roemeling is a student with the Raven Homeschool program. She applied
for the Hilary Lindh Scholarship so she could ski more, as skiing is her
favorite sport. Her goal this season is to challenge herself on new runs and
she can always be counted on to take “one more run”.
Krishna Bathija is a student at Harborview Elementary who recently learned
to ski and “absolutely loved it”. His teacher described him as a “first rate
scholar with a great competitive spirit”. Krishna’s goal is to get better so
he can ski down the Ptarmigan Chair.
Sierra Coronell is a student at Juneau Douglas High School who enjoys
snowboarding but hasn’t had many opportunities to get to Eaglecrest. With
this scholarship she plans to use it every chance she can. Sierra’s
competitive spirit has allowed her to become an academic scholar.
Cain Ramsey is a student at Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School who is described
as a bright student with a willingness to learn and improve. His passion is
snowboarding and his goal is to improve snowboarding skills and remain
The Hilary Lindh Scholarship was established in 1992 in recognition of
Lindh’s Silver Medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics. She competed on the World
Cup circuit for twelve years, competing in three Olympics. In 1997 Lindh won
the World Cup Downhill Championship. Lindh was inducted into the U.S. Ski
and Snowboard Hall of Fame in April 2006 and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame
in February 2009.
Located on Douglas Island just 12 miles from downtown, Eaglecrest is
Juneau’s community owned ski area offering 4 chairlifts, and over 640 acres
of skiable terrain. The area includes a professionally staffed Snow Sports
School, a full-service Rental and Repair Shop, the Eaglecrest Grill, and
groomed Nordic Trails.
Murkowski, Sullivan get
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski has
retained her spot on the Senate Appropriations Committee, while incoming
senator Dan Sullivan was assigned to several committees he had hoped to
Senate Republicans announced committee assignments Monday. The assignments
are subject to approval by the GOP conference and the full Senate.
Sullivan, who will take office next month, had expressed interest in serving
on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, given the importance
of fisheries to Alaska, as well as on the Environment and Public Works
Committee and the Armed Services Committee.
He was assigned to all three, plus Veterans' Affairs. Sullivan is a Marine
Murkowski is expected to chair the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
She will also serve on Indian Affairs and on the Health, Education, Labor
and Pensions committees.
Sealaska land transfer
bill passes Congress
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Officials with Sealaska Corp. are
pleased by passage of federal legislation that will transfer about 70,000
acres within the Tongass National Forest to the Alaska Native corporation.
The provision, included within a defense bill, passed Congress late last
week. It represents a compromised worked out by Sen. Lisa Murkowski and is
intended to make final the land claims owed to Southeast tribes under the
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
The land transfer includes more than 68,000 acres available for logging, as
well as land for renewable energy and tourism projects and cemetery and
historic sites. It also includes about 150,000 acres of old-growth timber in
new conservation areas.
Sealaska says its current land base, along with the acreage in the
legislation, represents less than two percent of the Tongass.
University of Alaska
President sets retirement date
University of Alaska President Patrick K. Gamble informed
the Board of Regents on Friday that he plans to retire June 1, 2015. Gamble
was appointed president, following a national search, on June 1, 2010.
Under Gamble's leadership, the university developed "Shaping Alaska's
Future", an initiative to address 23 issues identified through an extensive
outreach effort, and the effects or outcomes the institution is working to
achieve to ensure UA is serving the learning, research, economic, social and
cultural needs of Alaska and Alaskans. UA is already seeing positive results
in a number of key areas including improved graduation rates, more degrees
and certificates being awarded, and increases in numbers of degrees in high
demand areas like engineering, health disciplines and teacher education.
Gamble noted, "We are up and running in moving the University of Alaska
forward on a path that builds on excellence and enhances its sustainability.
We have a solid team of strong leaders...the chancellors, provosts, and
other system executives, as well as highly-engaged faculty and staff...who
are working together and coming up with innovative ways to advance the
According to Board of Regents Chair Jo Heckman, "President Gamble has been
the right leader to guide the University through a period of rapid change in
the higher education landscape. While it is hard to see him leave, the work
he's done makes the University of Alaska highly attractive to potential
candidates for the position."
The Board of Regents will discuss the process for filling the president's
position at a scheduled board retreat in January. Heckman went on to say,
"President Gamble's commitment to the university and its students is a deep
and genuine one. It capstones a lifetime of serving our country and our
state. He deserves the time that retirement will allow to enjoy family and
explore personal interests."
Permanent Fund Board
approves private equity commitments
The Alaska Permanent Fund Board of Trustees adopted
changes to the Corporation’s investment regulations, reviewed Fund
performance and heard presentations on expected global stock performance and
new investment strategies at its meeting on December 10 and 11 in Anchorage.
In addition, the Board made two commitments to Dyal Capital Partners for
investments in established private equity firms.
“It is to
Alaskans’ advantage when we are able to make these sort of direct
investments because the management fees are much lower than if we relied on
an intermediary manager,” said Bill Moran, Board Chair. “Over the years we
have increased the Board’s knowledge of private equity investments and built
up the Corporation’s internal capability, so we are comfortable taking on
Board-approved investment is in two parts: $50 million is committed to Dyal
Capital Partners III, a fund that focuses solely on acquiring strategic
minority positions in established private equity managers, and an additional
$500 million is committed to a pool with which Dyal makes co-investments
alongside the Dyal III fund. The advantage to the second commitment is that
it is at a lower fee structure for the Permanent Fund, leveraging the
research and due diligence of the primary fund to grow the allocation with
adopted amendments to the regulations list of allowed Permanent Fund
investments, after putting the comments out for public notice prior to the
meeting as required by state law. The amendments included changing the
requirements for outside advisors on new investments to conform to industry
changes that have occurred since the regulations were first adopted, and
moving asset class restrictions to the Board-adopted Investment Policy,
where they should more appropriately reside. In 2005 the Board was first
granted authority by the Legislature to create a list of allowed investments
in regulation, replacing the list that had been in statute since the
creation of the Corporation.
meeting, the Board’s general consultant Callan Associates provided an
overview of the Fund’s performance by asset class and individual mandate. In
addition, AEW Capital Management provided a review of the real estate
investment trust portfolio (REIT) that the firm manages on behalf of the
regular meeting is scheduled for February 25 and 26 in Juneau.
Due to severe weather in Prince William Sound FVF
Fairweather sailings for today are canceled.
service has been scheduled for Cordova - Whittier - Cordova on Tuesday, Dec.
16. Additional Information will be provided as necessary.
AMHS staff is
contacting affected passengers.
information, please visit FerryAlaska.com or contact your local terminal by
dialing 1-907-465-3941 or toll-free at 1-800-642-0066.
Bethel shelter reopens
with new rules
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — The only homeless shelter in Bethel
has reopened with more stringent rules for clients.
KYUK reports Bethel Winter House reopened late Friday. The shelter had
opened for the season on Dec. 1 but was closed just over a week later after
a person who coordinated volunteers quit and clients were found to have
alcohol inside the shelter.
The all-volunteer shelter board has reorganized as a Lion's Club chapter.
And they've instituted new rules for anyone wanting to spend the night.
Volunteers will search backpacks and coats, looking for alcohol or other
One woman refused to go through the search Friday night and was turned away.
The shelter opened last year after six people died from exposure the
previous year in the southwest Alaska hub community.
Village fuel company
reports 900-gallon gas leak
PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) — Responders pumped an estimated
1,700 gallons of oily water from a secondary containment area after a fuel
spill last week in the southeast village of Kake (KAYK).
KFSK-radio reports 900 gallons of unleaded gasoline spilled Dec. 7 at a tank
farm owned by Kake Tribal Fuel.
Kake is a village of 600 on northwestern Kupreanof (koo-pree-AN-off) Island.
The leak was discovered when a resident smelled a strong fuel odor. The
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says a thumb-size hole was
found in the tank.
The DEC found no effects on wildlife from the leak and detected no gas
flowing into Keku Strait.
An estimated 5,500 gallons of gas leaked into saltwater a year ago when a
fuel line broke at Kake Tribal's dock.
Juneau woman seeks
answers after dog electrocuted
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A Juneau woman is seeking answers
after her pug was electrocuted on a city sidewalk.
Cheryl Buchanan was walking her dog, Siri, earlier this month when the dog
stepped on an electrically charged junction box. A junction box encloses the
junction of electric wires and cables. This one had a metal lid over it.
The city's risk manager, who is investigating liability, said the
investigation could be concluded by early next week.
Buchanan says she was handcuffed by police at the scene for threatening or
intimidating an officer. She said she was upset but not a threat. She was
not arrested and is not facing charges.
hearing on marijuana sales ban
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage Assembly will take
testimony Tuesday on a measure to ban marijuana sales within municipal
Alaska voters last month approved a ballot measure to legalize recreational
use of pot. The measure included a provision allowing municipalities to
prohibit businesses that sell marijuana.
An ordinance opting Alaska's largest city out of legal marijuana sales was
introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Demboski, who wants to be Anchorage's next
She says the municipality should take a wait-and-see approach and shouldn't
be a guinea pig for commercial marijuana in Alaska.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports pro-marijuana forces are hoping to organize
a large turnout in opposition to the ordinance sponsored by Demboski and two
other assembly members.
Searchers recover body
from Kuskokwim River
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The body of a southwest Alaska
man has been recovered from the frozen Kuskokwim River.
KTUU-TV reports searchers Sunday found the body of Ralph Demantle, one of
three people who disappeared while traveling by all-terrain vehicle from
Bethel to Akiak (AK'-ee-ak).
Searchers continue to seek another man and a woman.
The three were last seen Thursday night in the Kwethluk area. They were
reported overdue early Friday night.
Members of Bethel Search and Rescue over the weekend discovered tracks
leading to an open lead in the river. The hole was marked but the three were
traveling in the dark on flat, smooth ice with snow falling.
At ATV was recovered from the river Saturday before Demantle's body was
Murkowski Lauds Alaskan
Priorities in 2015 Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several provisions championed by
Senator Lisa Murkowski are included the federal spending bill that passed
the Senate today and heads to the President’s desk. The bill to fund the
federal government operations for Fiscal Year 2015 – with the exception of
the Department of Homeland Security, which is funded through March –
includes vital items related to the Arctic, military rural infrastructure,
transportation, energy, education, and veteran support.
“This bill is not perfect, but it is the product of bipartisan negotiations
and directs resources critical to our state – protecting the health and
well-being of Alaskans and our fisheries, prioritizing our defense and
investing in infrastructure for our state’s needs and America’s Arctic
future,” said Murkowski. “I thank my colleagues for coming together to avoid
another unnecessary government shutdown, and I thank them for recognizing
the importance of these provisions for Alaska.”
December 14th, 2014 4th
EDITION 1:20 P. M.]
Medicaid expansion could
be months away in Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — State health commissioner Valerie
Davidson says it could be July before the state is in a position to begin
enrolling Alaskans under expanded Medicaid coverage.
Davidson said issues need to be worked out with a Medicaid eligibility
system as well as with a Medicaid payment system that has been plagued by
problems since going live in 2013.
She also said Gov. Bill Walker's administration needs legislative approval
to receive and spend federal dollars that will serve as an underpinning to
Walker, who took office Dec. 1, campaigned on expanding Medicaid coverage,
something his predecessor resisted, citing cost concerns.
Walker has said he considers his appointment of Davidson — a vocal proponent
of expanded Medicaid — a big step toward the state accepting expanded
3 missing after
four-wheeler pulled from water
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three people are missing after
authorities say their four-wheeler was recovered from the Kuskokwim River.
Alaska State Troopers, in a dispatch, say the missing — two men and a woman
— were reported overdue at about 5 p.m. Friday. Search efforts also began
Bethel Search and Rescue, on its website, said a set of all-terrain vehicle
tracks were seen leading to an open hole. It said a four-wheeler, matching
the description of the vehicle that the missing individuals were using, was
recovered from beneath newly formed ice.
KTUU reports the search and rescue agency previously issued warnings about
travel on the river due to thin ice and areas of open water.
Borough makes second
attempt at ride-share program
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The Fairbanks North Star Borough
is taking another shot at establishing a ride-share program as a way to
reduce vehicle emissions.
Car rental company Enterprise Holdings has a $300,000 contract with the
borough to operate the program, which launched in late September. No one has
signed up yet.
The cost for a newer-model, all-wheel-drive vehicle would be $900 a month,
plus gas, which Enterprise officials say would be divided among as many as
Enterprise director of sales Robert Lerch says the company wants to make
this a sustainable business.
In 2010, the borough used grant money to buy four passenger vans and hired a
contractor from Anchorage to operate a ride-share program.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the effort faltered. The vans are
being given to Anchorage.
Due to severe weather in Prince William Sound FVF
Fairweather sailings for Sunday, Dec. 14 are canceled. The ferry has been
rescheduled to sail Cordova - Whittier - Cordova on Monday, Dec. 15.
AMHS staff is
contacting affected passengers. For schedule information, please visit
FerryAlaska.com or contact your
local terminal by dialing 1-907-465-3941 or toll-free at 1-800-642-0066.
Hawaii's high gas prices
dip below $3 a gallon, Alaska 2nd highest
HONOLULU (AP) — Gas prices are
dipping below $3 a gallon in some parts of Oahu for the first time in seven
years. But the state still has the highest gas prices in the nation,
followed by Alaska and New York.
Chevron station owner Barney Robinson says prices haven't come down as
quickly in Hawaii as the mainland because it takes longer for oil to get to
the islands by ship. He says Hawaii is still burning through older, more
Hawaii motorists also pay high gas taxes. Robinson says they pay about 70
cents a gallon in taxes.
Hawaii News Now reports Hawaii has the highest average price of $3.75 a
gallon. Alaska and New York are the only other states where the average
price tops $3 a gallon.
Anchorage school board
weighs charter loan program
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The
Anchorage School Board is scheduled to consider a proposal aimed at
addressing facilities needs for charter schools.
The resolution, on Monday's agenda, would establish a $5 million fund from
which charter schools could borrow to help deal with space concerns. The
money would come from the Anchorage school district's unassigned fund
The resolution was proposed by board member Natasha von Imhof, who has had
two children go through a charter school that houses students between
several facilities, including portable classrooms.
Other charters face similar concerns.
Mike Abbott, the district's chief operating officer, told the Alaska
Dispatch News the district has tried to give charter flexibility in
acquiring and maintaining facilities.
Charter schools are public schools run by outside groups.
December 13th, 2014 7th
EDITION 7:32 P. M.]
arrested for child pornography
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Prosecutors say an Anchorage
teaching assistant arrested on child pornography charges admits he
routinely traded pictures of children being sexually exploited.
KTUU reports that Brown worked with special education students at
Huffman Elementary School for about seven years.
Prosecutors said in charging documents Friday that 33-year-old Daniel
Alan Brown started downloading illicit images of children about a decade
FBI Special Agent Angela Strouse says Brown primarily used a
Russian-based website and Yahoo to locate child pornography.
The Anchorage School District and court documents suggest there's no
evidence of Brown sexually abusing children.
An investigation is ongoing. Brown faces a count each of felony
distribution and possession of child pornography.
District spokeswoman Heidi Embley says the school's principal and nurse
are available to talk with concerned parents.
Man sentenced in Anchorage police dog stabbing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who stabbed an
Anchorage police dog was sentenced to four years in prison.
Alaska Dispatch News reports Noel Hommerding was charged with
first-degree assault on a police dog and in July and sentenced Friday.
At the time of the incident, the canine— named MP — was months from
Officer Nathan Keays had heard there was a man wielding a machete so he
went to the scene with the dog.
Keays sent his four-legged partner after the fleeing suspect, and the
dog bit Hommerding's arm.
Hommerding pulled a pocketknife and sliced MP three times in the head
and neck. The dog survived after surgery.
Prosecutor Daniel Shorey says the long sentence reflects the community's
strong disapproval of the attack.
Shorey says Hommerding apologized during the sentencing.
Sea lion's head goes missing from Alaska pier
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A sea lion head has
disappeared from a pier in Ketchikan, Alaska.
The head had belonged to a massive male sea lion that was found dead in
The Ketchikan Daily News reports the head had been dangling from the
pier into the water so it could be examined after it was cleaned by
Scientist Gary Freitag of the University of Alaska Fairbanks had
examined the animal's other tissues over the summer for clues to its
cause of death. He was planning to examine the head after it was
submerged for about six months.
But within two weeks the head was missing. Freitag says it looks like
the rope was cut through.
Freitag says he can't imagine anyone taking it, because it was probably
2 Alaska ferries under construction in Ketchikan
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Two new Alaska Class Ferries
are officially under construction in Ketchikan.
Gov. Bill Walker was on hand Saturday for the Laying of the Keels
ceremony at the Vigor Alaska's Ketchikan Shipyard. The ceremony marks
the official start of construction for the newest ferries in the Alaska
Marine Highway System.
Spokesman Jeremy Woodrow of the Alaska Department of Transportation &
Public Facilities called it a historic moment for Alaska.
In December 2012 then-Gov. Sean Parnell canceled a 350-foot Alaska Class
Ferry in favor of smaller boats because of cost overruns. He ordered a
new, smaller design for the Alaska Class Ferry and limited the budget to
$120 million for two 280-foot boats.
The two boats will be steel-hulled, twin-screw, diesel-powered passenger
and vehicle ferries.
Delivery is expected by 2018.
Sen. Murkowski Applauds Final Passage of
Sealaska Lands Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski,
R-Alaska, Friday secured final Senate passage of legislation supporting
Southeast Alaska’s struggling timber industry and completing the federal
land conveyance owed to the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian tribal
shareholders of the Sealaska Native Regional Corp.
“It has taken
seven years, but I’m proud to say that we finally completed the land
conveyance for Southeast Alaska’s nearly 20,000 Native shareholders, and
at the same time ensured that the region’s remaining timber mills have
timber,” Murkowski said.
Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs
Protection Act, which she originally introduced as S. 340, was included
in the bipartisan package of lands bills approved Friday as part of the
National Defense Authorization Act.
The measure provides Sealaska, the Alaska
Native regional corp. for Southeast Alaska, with 70,075 acres to
finalize transfer of land owed to its Native shareholders under the 1971
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).
“Some 43 years after passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act,
the federal government will finally finish paying the debt we owe
Natives for the settlement of their aboriginal land claims,” Murkowski
Under a compromise worked out by Murkowski, Sealaska will receive 68,400
acres for timber development, 1,099 acres for renewable energy resources and
recreational tourism projects, and 490 acres of Native cemetery and historic
Sealaska’s forested acreage is key to the
survival of the local timber industry and the U.S. Forest Service’s
efforts to successfully transition toward young-growth and away from
old-growth logging in the Tongass. Sealaska currently produces about 40
percent of the Tongass’ timber and without the infrastructure the
corporation funds, the rest of the industry might not be able to
The measure also places 152,067 acres of
old-growth timber in new conservation areas to protect salmon and
“Passage of this agreement is absolutely
vital because an integrated timber industry is crucial for the economics
of a timber industry, and for other industries that Southeast depends
upon,” Murkowski said. “This bill also will allow Sealaska to transition
from timber to promoting renewable energy development and tourism – all
positives for the region. This is a good early Christmas present for the
economy of the entire Panhandle.”
Coast Guard conducts medevac near Cold Bay,
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard medevaced a
23-year-old man with an injured hand from the 120-foot fishing vessel
Trailblazer approximately 75 miles north of Cold Bay, Thursday.
A Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60
Jayhawk helicopter crew forward deployed in Cold Bay safely hoisted the
man and transported him to Anna Livingston Memorial Clinic in Cold Bay
for further medical assistance.
Coast Guard 17th District command center
watchstanders received the call for assistance from the operator of the
Trailblazer that a deckhand had crushed his hand in a crab pot launcher
and needed immediate medical attention. The duty flight surgeon
conferred with contacts at the clinic and recommended a medevac. The
watchstanders then dispatched the Jayhawk helicopter crew to the scene.
“Having assets in forward operating
locations like Cold Bay during the busy fishing seasons is beneficial to
mariners in times of distress,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Francell
Abbott, watchstander, Coast Guard 17th District.
Weather on scene was reported as 17-mph
winds, 10 miles visibility and a temperature of 37 degrees.
UA Board of Regents addresses teacher prep,
rural education and adopts new policies
Rural education, teacher prep and teacher retention were
topics of significant discussion during the University of Alaska Board
of Regents meeting in Anchorage, Dec. 11-12. Regents heard from the
deans of education from UAA, UAF and UAS on a collaborative plan to
revitalize teacher education in Alaska. This ambitious plan will help to
meet some of Alaska’s most pressing needs, while continuing to improve
the quality of teacher education in Alaska. The plan can be found at
Also on the topic of education in Alaska, the Board heard an update on
Shaping Alaska’s Future Theme II: Productive Partnerships with Alaska’s
Schools. Board members reported on their “homework assignments” to each
talk with two superintendents at schools across Alaska. The progress
report of Productive Partnerships can be found at
The UA Board of Regents adopted two new two policies, an employee
furlough policy and a systemwide smoke-free, tobacco-free policy, during
its two-day meeting in Anchorage. The smoke-free, tobacco-free policy is
a revision to existing policy that will require all UA campuses and its
statewide offices to be smoke-free, tobacco-free by Dec. 1, 2015. With
this change in policy, UA joins more than 1,000 other universities that
have developed similar smoke-free, tobacco-free policies.
Lt. Governor Byron Mallott presented an overview of the new
administration and their vision for working with the University to
address several challenges facing Alaska in the future. Governor Walker
will name four new regents to the Board.
In addition to approving several resolutions of appreciation for
departing staff and outgoing regents, the Board elected a new slate of
officers, including new Chair Jo Heckman, Vice Chair Mike Powers,
Secretary Kenneth Fisher and Treasurer Gloria O’Neill.
Regular university business included updates on state and federal
relations, audit reports and construction reports. The regents approved
the purchase of the Delta Mine Training Center. This productive
partnership will help in meeting the demand for trained mining
professionals in Alaska.
Find the complete board agenda at:
December 12th, 2014 14th
EDITION 3:58 P. M.]
JPD Crime of the Week:
Juneau Police say numerous items were stolen from the
business, Nana’s Attic at 205 Seward Street, sometime between the night of
December 10th and the morning of December 11th.
The main door had been pried open and display cases were shattered. The
suspect or suspects took dozens of items including costume jewelry, antique
fishing equipment, foreign and collectable coins and currency, native style
carvings, and silver-spoons. The total volume of property would be
substantial to carry. The total value of the property is well over $5,000.
The suspect left behind sleeping bag stuff sacks. Two of the stuff sacks
were blue and tan and were a Walmart brand called Ozark Trails. One stuff
sack was orange and was a Fred Meyer brand called Glacier Edge.
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
Student at Thunder
Mountain High charged after found with knife on campus
The Juneau Police Department School Resource Officer
received a phone call from Thunder Mountain High School staff Thursday
morning advising a student may have knives in his backpack.
Officers immediately began an investigation and attempted to locate the 15
year old male student.
At about 10:30am, the School Resource Officer was advised that the student
was at Thunder Mountain High School. Prior to the officer’s arrival at the
school, the student had been escorted to the office.
School staff had discussed the issue with the student and located a sheathed
knife, drug paraphernalia and a plant substance resembling marijuana in his
The student was placed under arrest for Misconduct Involving a Controlled
Substance 4th degree and Misconduct Involving Weapons 4th degree. He was
transported to and lodged at the Johnson Youth Center.
City Manager to
reorganize 3 city departments to save money
City Manager Kim Kiefer announced today that she is
reorganizing three city departments.
The first change will involve the merging of the Departments of Engineering
and Public Works. Rorie Watt, the current Engineering Director, will take
over management of the newly combined department.
Kirk Duncan, who is the current Public Works Director will be reappointed to
manage the Parks and Recreation Department.
Ms. Kiefer also announced that the Parks and Rec Department will reorganize
to merge the current Buildings Maintenance and Parks and Landscape Divisions
into a single entity.
Brent Fischer will take on the newly merged division.
The department and division reorganizations go into effect on January 5,
2015. The restructuring of the departments will decrease staff by two, full-
time positions. The anticipated savings will be approximately $275,000.
Ms. Kiefer hopes the CBJ can minimize the effects of any service reduction.
Lockheed Martin wins
Alaska spaceport contract
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Lockheed
Martin has been awarded a contract to reconfigure a launch pad for medium
lift rockets at the state of Alaska-owned Kodiak Launch Complex.
Alaska officials said in a release ahead of a Friday news conference that
Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services will modify an existing
small-lift launch pad to accommodate an upgraded version of Athena rockets.
Alaska Aerospace Corp. officials also said they will begin working with
Lockheed Martin on details, but construction won't interfere with plans to
have a damaged launch pad reconstructed by October.
Much of the design work for the medium launch facility is completed and will
just need to be tweaked to meet the needs of the Athena IIS rocket.
Butler to return as
Alaska's top doctor
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Jay Butler
is returning to his job as the state's top doctor.
Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson says in a release
that Butler will be both the state's chief medical officer and director of
the Division of Health.
Davidson also announced Jon Sherwood will be deputy commissioner for
Medicaid and Health Care Policy.
Both appointments are effective immediately but subject to legislative
Butler was previously the chief medical officer from 2007-09. He left to
work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before returned to the state position, he was senior director of the
Division of Community Health Services at the Alaska Native Tribal Health
Consortium in Anchorage.
Sherwood is a 25-year veteran of the state health department.
Submarine thriller to be
filmed in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A small Alaska port town will
stand in as a Russian naval base in a new movie.
KTUU reports about 90 percent of the movie "Hunter Killer" will be filmed in
Whittier officials said Friday that three months of pre-production will
begin in January, followed by three months of filming.
The film is based on the 2012 novel "Firing Point" by George Wallace and Don
Keith, about a standoff between American and Russian submarines.
Producers say Whittier was chosen because it resembles a Russian base. The
town, with a population of 229, is located 30 miles southeast of Anchorage.
The cast hasn't been announced, but Martin Campbell will direct. His credits
include "Casino Royale" and "Green Lantern."
The last major motion picture filmed in Alaska was "Frozen Ground," starring
Nicolas Cage and John Cusack, in 2011.
Kodiak to close landfill
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — An incinerator used to burn
everything from medical waste to sensitive documents, not to mention
cremating pets, will close in Kodiak.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the incinerator at the landfill will close
The Kodiak Island Borough says it would be too costly to bring the
incinerator into compliance to meet new state and federal regulations. The
age of the 21-year-old incinerator is another concern.
Medical waste will have to be shipped to Anchorage for disposal. There's a
shredding service available in Kodiak for document destruction, and the
landfill will bury euthanized pets at the landfill that haven't been sent to
Anchorage for cremation.
commercial pot operation
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say they
discovered 200 marijuana plants at a home in Wasilla.
Troopers Thursday were investigating a theft of $1,358 in power reported by
Matanuska Electric Association and served a search warrant on a home.
Troopers say the marijuana plants found were in various stages of growth.
Investigators say the homeowner was cooking crack cocaine as officers
investigated. The 44-year-old man was found hiding behind marijuana plants.
He was jailed on suspicion of felony theft and drug misconduct at Mat-Su
Online court records Friday did not indicate he had been formally charged.
State launches program
to track firewood moisture
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — State officials trying to combat
polluted wintertime air have launched a program to document moisture content
of firewood sold in problem neighborhoods.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports state air quality program manager
Cindy Heil and other state officials met Thursday with woodcutters in
Fairbanks to discuss the voluntary program.
It calls for customers to sign a form noting the moisture content of wood
Using green wood with high moisture content can lead to incomplete burning
and more air pollution.
Heil says reporting moisture content could become mandatory if smoke
pollution problems get worse.
State officials are attempting to address chronic fine particulate pollution
in Fairbanks. Particulate is linked to heart attacks and decreased lung
Alaska regents OK
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska is
KTUU reports the university's regents voted Thursday to make all campuses
smoke- and tobacco-free by Dec. 1, 2015.
The regents are meeting this week in Anchorage. All three chancellors of the
UA system supported the ban.
The resolution bans cigarettes, cigars, hookahs, water pipes, e-cigarettes,
e-cigars and vape pens. It also forbids their use anywhere on a campus,
including trails, parking lots and university-owned streets and sidewalks.
People will be allowed to smoke in their cars as long as they are not parked
in a university-owned parking garage.
University of Alaska President Pat Gamble says giving people a year before
the ban goes into effect gives them time to adjust.
math credits to graduate
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state board of education has
adopted regulations requiring public high school students to complete three
math credits in order to graduate.
According to the department of education, the requirement will begin with
the current freshman class.
The department says 47 of Alaska's 54 school districts require more than two
credits of math, as do most states.
The regulations were adopted last week.
Alaska Aerospace to
announce Kodiak expansion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska could be ready to get
back into the space business.
Alaska Aerospace Corp. officials are expected to announce an expansion at
the Kodiak Launch Complex.
The winner of competing proposals to build a pad to launch medium-lift
rockets is expected to be revealed Friday afternoon during a news conference
The project was shelved last January when the corporation didn't receive a
federal grant to build a dock in Pasagshak, which would be needed to
transport rockets by barge from Kodiak.
Officials also said at the time that they didn't want to expand until a
launch was contracted and scheduled.
How to Draw Plants with
The Juneau-Douglas City Museum is hosting Constance
Baltuck’s exhibit of new paintings during the month of December. Constance’s
academic background in botany and science informs her passion for drawing
and painting nature, which is the primary subject matter of her work.
She will be
talking about this link between art and nature during a Coffee & Collections
program this Saturday, December 13th from 10:30 to 12 noon. Joining
Constance in conversation on the topic will be artist and naturalist Kathy
Hocker and educator Mark Standley. Both of these individuals are equally
passionate about linking the study of nature with other disciplines, about
place-based education and about using art as a tool for discovery,
understanding and appreciation.
On Sunday afternoon, from 3 to 5, Constance will teach a class called How to
Draw Plants. In this workshop, she will share with participants some of her
tricks and techniques for looking at and capturing on the page the endlessly
fascinating shapes and textures of plants. She will also share resources to
help participants continue their study of drawing and painting from nature.
Adults and children aged 10 and older are welcome. The cost is $35 or $25
for those aged 10-12. All materials are included. Registration and payment
are required to confirm a spot, and space is limited to 15 participants.
To register for the drawing class, or to learn about other upcoming
programs, please visit: www.juneau.org/museum or call 586-3572. The
Juneau-Douglas City Museum is located at 4th & Main Streets. Winter hours
are Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. Admission is free during the month of
December thanks to the generosity of Michelle and Robert Storer.
It’s not too late to
vaccinate – Get your flu shot today!
JUNEAU – It's National Influenza Vaccination Week and the
SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) would like to remind
people of the importance of getting their flu shot.
Flu season typically peaks between December and February but significant
activity can occur as late as May. As long as flu viruses are spreading,
it’s never too late to get a vaccine to protect yourself and your loved
ones. SEARHC is encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this
season to get vaccinated now.
Flu symptoms may include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose,
muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. On an average, more
than 200,000 people are hospitalized in the United States from flu
complications each year. The flu also can be deadly. Estimates of yearly
flu-associated deaths in the United States have been as high as about 49,000
people during the most severe season. This is why CDC recommends an annual
flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.
People at higher risk for serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia,
can lead to hospitalization and even death, including young children,
pregnant women, people 65 and older and people with certain medical
conditions, like asthma, diabetes or heart disease. If you fall under this
category, getting the flu vaccine is especially important. It’s also
important to get the vaccine if you care for anyone at high risk, including
babies younger than 6 months because they are too young to get the vaccine.
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations such as, SEARHC clinics, doctor’s
offices, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers. Most
health insurance plans cover the cost of recommended vaccines, so check with
your insurance provider for details of coverage.
For more information about influenza or the flu vaccine, contact your local
clinic. Just be sure to get your flu vaccine and encourage your friends and
family to do the same.
Robots Return to Juneau
for the 8th Annual FIRST? LEGO? League Robot Jamboree
Juneau, AK — Juneau hosts its 8th annual Robot Jamboree
Saturday, where sixteen teams from around Southeast Alaska compete for a
spot in the Alaska’s FIRST LEGO League (FLL) championship. Kids show their
programming, engineering and math skills by building autonomous robots to
perform specific missions.
All FLL Challenges are based on a real-world topic that is universally
relevant. Kids will explore the topic of Education in this year’s “World
Class” Challenge. Teams are hoping to teach adults about the ways that kids
need and want to learn. Teams are also asked to learn and embrace FIRST LEGO
League’s Core Values, which include treating others with respect, finding
answers on your own, and having fun while you’re doing it.
The event will be held at Centennial Hall on Saturday, December 13 from 8:00
AM – 5:00 PM with prime viewing activity from 12:45 – 2:00 PM. The public is
encouraged to attend and cheer for the teams.
FIRST activities in Alaska are coordinated by the Juneau Economic
Development Council’s STEM AK program with statewide funding from BP, Alaska
Communications, and Alaska Airlines. The Juneau event is sponsored by the
Rotary Clubs of Juneau, Imagination Station, Southeast Conference, and
Behrends Mechanical with in-kind support from Alaska Robotics and Boreal
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was
founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest
and participation in science and technology.
It's HoopTime: The
Harlem Ambassadors vs KINY's Lynn Campbell
The Harlem Ambassadors are coming for HoopTime’s
fundraiser on Sunday at 3:00 at TMHS, and KINY’s very own Lynn Campbell will
be playing in the game too. Men's Coach at JDHS, Rob Casperson, says he's in
as well. "It's been awhile since I've played but I'm looking forward to it.
It should be a great experience. I've seen their stuff online. I've watched
their videos. They do a lot of great things for bringing in kids and getting
them excited. It's just a lot of fun."
The Harlem Ambassadors bring their own announcer with them so they will
begin setting up in the school at 1:00. They will also have merchandise for
sale. Ticket purchasers who attend the game will be placed in a drawing for
an autographed basketball and there will also be an autograph session after
Tickets can now be purchased at both locations of Hearthside Books. Tickets
can also be bought through our board members and tickets may also be
purchased online with a credit card at:
will go to HoopTime’s high school aged team that will be chosen in the
HoopTime also invited the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams from JDHS and
TMHS to conduct their own food fundraisers. TMHS girls will run the
concession stand; JDHS boys will hold a bake sale; and TMHS boys will have a
spaghetti feed. Each team gets to keep all their profits for their
December 11th, 2014 10th
EDITION 5:13 P. M.]
Coast Guard, Sitka Fire
Department assist vessel taking on water near Sitka
KODIAK, Alaska — The Coast Guard assisted a mariner
aboard the 43-foot fishing vessel Stardust, which was taking on water
southeast of Japonski Island in Sitka, Wednesday evening.
A Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team 38-foot Training Boat Special Purpose
Craft crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew
along with a team from the Sitka Fire Department transferred dewatering
pumps to the Stardust and escorted the vessel to Sitka Harbor.
The operator was able to control the flooding with one of the pumps and had
a friend tow him back to Sitka as the SPC-TB crew provided an escort.
“Our assets are always ready to respond to any situation, even when the
crews are conducting training evolutions,” said Lt. Jason Condon, Jayhawk
pilot, Air Station Sitka. “This case was a good demonstration of the
collective effort between the Coast Guard and Sitka Fire and Rescue to
effectively combine our skills and assets in order to render assistance to
Weather on scene was reported as 15 to 20-mph winds, cloudy and a
temperature of 41 degrees.
Forest fire in Lemon
Capital City Fire Rescue was dispatched for a tree on
fire Wednesday afternoon. Captain Roy Johnson says the fire was
approximately 100 feet into the woods down the trial at the end of Lund
Street. It was extinguished using a 2 1/2 gallon water can.
Pictures were taken for evidence. The Fire Marshal and Forest Service Law
Enforcement were notified.
S. Korean vessel heads
to Bering Sea where 27 died
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A South Korean vessel is on pace to
arrive Friday in the west Bering Sea, where a fishing ship sank, killing at
least 27 people.
The commander of the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska, Rear Adm. Dan Abel, said
the Sambong was moving toward the area faster than expected.
The Coast Guard has been on the scene and involved in the search effort
since Dec. 1. It plans to remain involved in search and rescue planning once
South Korean officials take over.
South Korea also is basing search planes out of Joint Base
Elemendorf-Richardson in Anchorage.
survived the sinking of the Oryong 501. Abel said the remains of 27 people
have been recovered, while another 26 remain unaccounted for.
Adm. Dan Abel, commander, 17th Coast Guard District, and Moon Duk-ho, consul
general of the Republic of Korea in Seattle, discuss the search for the
South Korean fishing vessel Oryong 501 during a meeting at the 17th District
Headquarters in Juneau, Alaska, Dec. 11, 2014.
Coast Guard will provide search and rescue planning assistance to South
Korean search and rescue crews as they search for survivors and debris.
Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Grant DeVuyst.
Falling oil prices raise
new concerns for states
Lower oil prices are raising new financial worries in
some states that rely on oil taxes to pay for roads and other government
With oil prices around a five-year low, budget officials in about a
half-dozen states have begun paring back projections for a continued gusher
of revenues. Spending cuts have started in some places, and more reductions
could be necessary if oil prices remain at lower levels during the coming
How well the oil-rich states survive the downturn may hinge on how much they
have saved and how greatly they depend on oil revenues for basic services.
Texas has diversified its economy since oil prices crashed in the mid-1980s
and isn't expressing concern. But Alaska remains heavily dependent on oil
and will have to tap into savings.
Begich bids emotional
farewell to US Senate
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Democratic Sen. Mark Begich has bid
an emotional farewell to the U.S. Senate.
In a floor speech Thursday, Begich choked up talking about the history of
the place and about his wife, Deborah Bonito.
He said it had been an honor to serve and that he was proud of the work
accomplished during his term.
Begich lost his bid for re-election to Republican Dan Sullivan as part of a
national wave that saw the GOP regain control of the Senate.
Begich, a leader in the Democratic conference, cast himself as an
independent voice for Alaska, willing to work across party lines. Democratic
colleagues praised him as a pragmatist who knows his state well.
California man pleads
guilty to failed gold theft
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) A California man has pleaded
guilty to attempting to steal gold from a mine at Manley Hot Springs.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 33-year-old Shaun Timothy Hull of
Pollock Pines called in his plea to misdemeanor attempted theft from
California and was sentenced to four years' probation.
Fairbanks Assistant District Attorney Joe Dallaire says the plea agreement
was worked out in part because of the difficulty of extraditing Hull.
Hull's boss on July 19 reported that a gold nugget worth $1,900 went missing
but was recovered when he asked Hull to turn out his pockets.
Prosecutors say bottles of gold concentrate were found in Hull's luggage.
After he was released on bail, he left for California.
Defense attorney JoyAnna Mickels says Hull doesn't plan to return to Alaska.
suggestions for cleaner air
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Nearly 50 people testified
Wednesday that they want measures put in place by the Fairbanks North Star
Borough to clean up the area's chronically polluted wintertime air.
Jimmy Fox says his dream is for children to breathe clean air but closing
the gap between the dream and reality will require "carrots and sticks."
Fairbanks and North Pole have struggled to meet federal standards for fine
particulate, which is linked to heart attacks and decreased lung function.
Burning of wood to heat homes is a major source of particulate.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a municipal vote in October will
again allow the borough to address air pollution.
People Wednesday suggested bans on outdoor wood hydronic heaters, subsidized
in-home air filtration systems, incentives for not burning wood and other
Teaching assistant held
on pornography charge
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who worked as a teaching
assistant at an Anchorage elementary school has been charged in federal
court with distributing and possessing child pornography.
KTUU-TV reports David Alan Brown worked with special education students for
seven years at Huffman Elementary School.
The FBI says activities that led to the charges did not involve the school
or its students.
The school Tuesday sent a letter to parents announcing the arrest. Principal
Darrell Vincek says he and the school nurse are available for discussing the
matter with parents or students.
Juneau in running for Best Travel-Worthy State
Juneau is in the running for the USA Today/10Best.com award for ‘Best
Travel-Worthy State Capital’, but we’re currently behind Sacramento, CA and
Carson City, NV is also making a big push.
You can help put
Juneau on top of the heap by voting here:
Greens Creek Mine gets
permit for a decade
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Wednesday applauded the U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers for finalizing a waste-water and tailings disposal permit that
will allow the Greens Creek Mine in Southeast Alaska to continue to operate
for the next decade.
“Approval of this
permit is good news for Southeast’s economy and provides greater certainty
for the 410 employees who depend on paychecks from Greens Creek Mine to
support their families,” Murkowski said.
The Corps of
Engineers on Tuesday issued a Section 404 permit under the Clean Water Act
to Hecla Mining Company allowing the company to expand its silver mining
operations on Admiralty Island.
Peninsula voters will
decide winter grocery tax
KENAI, Alaska (AP) — Voters in the Kenai Peninsula
Borough will decide if a tax on grocery items during the winter months
should be rescinded.
The Peninsula Clarion reports a petition has been filed to repeal a 2008
borough ordinance that requires cities in the borough to collect the tax
between Sept. 1 and May 31. That ordnance requires big box retailers like
Wal-Mart, Fred Meyer and Safeway to collect the tax in cities like Soldotna
Initiative backer James Price of Nikiski says the tax is proportionately
harder for families and people on a fixed income. He adds it's not best way
to fund municipalities.
The petition was certified last Friday, and will appear on the Oct. 6
Applications sought for
Fish and Game commissioner
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Applications are being requested for
those interested in serving as commissioner of the Department of Fish and
By law, the governor must appoint a commissioner from a list of qualified
people nominated by the boards of fisheries and game, meeting in joint
session. The governor retains the right to request additional nominations.
Applications are due Dec. 22.
Sam Cotten is serving as acting commissioner.
December 10th, 2014 12th
EDITION 9:00 P. M.]
State faces larger
deficit amid lower oil prices
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska is facing a
$3.5 billion budget deficit this year, $2.1 billion more than when lawmakers
left Juneau in April, amid slumping oil prices.
The price of oil, forecast at $105 a barrel in the spring revenue forecast,
is now expected to average about $76 a barrel for the rest of the fiscal
year, ending June 30.
The price is forecast to dip to $66 a barrel during fiscal year 2016, before
The fall revenue forecast expects unrestricted general fund revenue of $2.6
billion this year, down from $5.4 billion in 2014.
Deputy Revenue Commissioner Jerry Burnett said that, combined with about
$200 million in oil and gas credits, accounts for the budget deficit.
The forecast expects increases in oil production starting in 2016 and 2017.
Hash oil explosion,
fire, damage North Pole rental home
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An
explosion and fire Monday that shifted a North Pole house wall off its
foundation occurred as residents extracted hash oil from marijuana.
North Pole Fire Department Chief Buddy Lane tells the Fairbanks Daily
News-Miner that the two people inside acknowledged what they'd been doing
when firefighters showed up.
Firefighters were able to limit the fire to the kitchen. Damage was
estimated at $40,000.
The home's renter and a visitor told responders they had extracted hash oil
in the bathroom and had moved to the kitchen to boil it down when the
The extraction of hash oil, sought for its increased potency, typically
involves passing liquid butane through a tube filled with marijuana.
Lane says the process likely left pockets of butane in the air that
Former police officer
indicted on identity theft counts
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A
Fairbanks grand jury has indicted a former North Pole police officer on
identity theft charges.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 33-year-old Ryan D. Webb is charged
with four felonies, including two counts of criminal impersonation and one
each of theft and fraudulent use of an access device.
Prosecutors say Webb used another man's personal information to obtain a
Webb joined the North Pole Police Department in February 2009.
He was fired in February 2011. Police would not release the reason for the
termination, citing confidentiality requirements.
Officer Chad Rathbun says the identity theft case occurred in January 2013,
nearly two years after Webb left the department.
Police say the victim of the identity theft was Webb's former roommate.
Trial set for man
charged in deaths of troopers
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Trial has
been set for a Tanana man accused of killing two Alaska State Troopers last
Nathanial Kangas has been charged in the deaths of Fairbanks-based Sgt.
Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich last May in Tanana. A judge on Tuesday
set trial in the case for April.
Superior Court Judge Paul Lyle also suggested a simulcast of the trial that
could be shown in a Fairbanks courtroom.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that troopers who served with the
slain officers have been a regular courtroom presence during hearings.
But one of the defense attorneys has raised concerns that their presence
could intimidate a jury.
S. Korea to take over search after fishing
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — South Korean
officials are expected to take over on-scene control of search efforts
following the deadly sinking of a fishing vessel in the western Bering Sea
The U.S. Coast Guard has been overseeing the effort. Rear Adm. Dan Abel said
with the scheduled arrival of the South Korean vessel Sambong this weekend,
the Coast Guard plans to take on a role of search and rescue planning.
Seven people survived the sinking of the Oryong 501, which occurred in
Russian waters. Abel said the remains of 27 people have been recovered.
Another 26 remain unaccounted for, he said.
The commander of the Coast Guard in Alaska said two South Korean aircraft
have been based out of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage as part
of the response.
BBB's 12 Schemes of
It’s the most wonderful time of the
year, and potentially the most profitable for scammers. Better Business
Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington has put together a list
of 12 common Christmas schemes to help consumers stay safe this holiday
surveys: In an effort to take advantage of cash-strapped holiday shoppers,
scammers pose as popular retailers, e-mailing fake surveys to consumers and
promising a credit to their accounts. Links to the “surveys” are often
Santa sites: Steer away from “Santa” websites that request unnecessary
personal information. Be especially wary of sites that fail to disclose
contact details and privacy policies.
10. Puppy scams:
Be careful about buying pets online. Consumers may be unwittingly buying
from a puppy mill where dogs have health problems, or they may send money to
a scammer and get nothing in return.
9. Fake charities:
The holidays create a great opportunity for scammers to solicit donations to
fill their own pockets. Beware of solicitations from charities that cannot
deliver on their promises or pretend to be representing victims that do not
really exist. Review charities first at give.org.
Crowded malls and the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season make
it easy for thieves to grab purses and wallets.
7. Fake coupons:
Be cautious when downloading coupons. Make sure you are on a trustworthy
website. Be suspicious of coupon sites that ask for personal information.
“grandkids”: The classic grandparent scam is still ongoing. Consumers should
be suspicious of phone calls from a “family member” claiming to need help
and asking for money to be wired overseas.
e-cards: Links or attachments in e-cards could contain malware. Consumers
should make sure their spam filters are set and up-to-date.
gifts: Be suspicious of sites that offer the “must have” toys, gadgets or
luxury goods at prices that are too good to be true. These deceptive deals,
pop-up ads and social media posts often take consumers’ money but leave them
3. Stolen gift
cards: Buy gift cards only from reputable dealers, not online or from
individuals. It is easy for scammers to sell a card and pull out the funds
before consumers can even give it as a gift.
2. Travel scams:
Watch out for unexpected hotel and flight “confirmation” or “cancellation”
notices, which trick consumers into clicking unsafe links to stop unreal
deliveries: Do not accept notices about delivery delays or confirmations on
unordered packages. Scammers often pose as well-known retailers or shipping
companies to gain false credibility and access to consumers’ computers.
Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is one of 112
in North America and the largest BBB by geographical service area. BBB is a
neutral not-for-profit public reporting agency committed to trust in the
marketplace. For more information on ethical business standards and BBB
Accreditation, or to access free BBB Business Reviews, Charity Reviews, scam
alerts or find local event information visit
Alaska Airlines 2nd,
Delta 4th for on-time rankings
The federal government is out with a new ranking of the
airlines that arrive on time most often.
Alex Stone, ABC
News says, "If you were on Hawaiian Airlines in October, the Department of
Transportation says you had the best chance of arriving on time. Hawaiian,
Alaska, and Air Tran Airways - which is now owned by Southwest - take the
top three spots. Followed by Delta, JetBlue, and Virgin America. The worst
for on time arrivals? Envoy - which until recently was called American
Eagle. Only 66 percent of its flights arrived on time in October."
Juneau coaches attend
media training seminar
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The Juneau School District has
spent $11,000 to teach its coaches how to work professionally with the
Coaches and staff were instructed during a two-day seminar on ways to use
effective language in handling tough questions and ending uncomfortable
They also were instructed on proper usage of social media and were
encouraged to teach students how to properly use social media. Another topic
discussed was whether coaches should "friend" students on their personal
The training sessions held in early December by Anchorage-based Gonzalez
Marketing weren't a result of a specific incident.
The training came after several high-profile incidents, including
allegations of hazing of athletes by upperclassmen and an assistant football
coach who was accused of punching a player during an out-of-state camp.
Police: Felon killed
prosecutor in jealous rage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police in the
country's northernmost community say a convicted felon shot and killed a
state assistant prosecutor in a jealous rage over a woman.
Murder charges were filed Wednesday in Barrow against 47-year-old Ronald
Fischer in the death of 48-year-old assistant district attorney Brian
North Slope Borough police say Sullivan was killed Monday night in the
Barrow home of a woman who had a past relationship with Fischer.
Investigators say Sullivan was unarmed and seated on a couch when he was
struck twice with blasts from a 20-gauge shotgun fired by Fischer.
They say security video from a nearby store shows Fischer entering the home.
Online court records did not list a lawyer for Fischer. Attorney Robert
Campbell represented him this year in a felony case, but says he won't be
handling Fischer's murder charge.
Sullivan was an Army veteran and former Washington state House
FAA issues commercial
drone permits to 4 companies
WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says it is granting four
companies permission to use drones for aerial surveillance, construction
site monitoring and oil rig flare stack inspections, bringing the total
number of companies granted permits for commercial operations to 13.
The drones weigh less than 55 pounds and the firms have said they will they
will keep the unmanned aircraft within line of sight of the operator.
Previously the only permits the Federal Aviation Administrational had issued
were to two oil companies in Alaska and five aerial photography companies
associated with television and film production.
The FAA said it has received 167 requests for exemptions from commercial
The agency is under pressure from Congress to speed access to the U.S. skies
for companies that want to operate drones.
Libertarian APOC seats
Governor Bill Walker's independent campaign is giving a boost to the Alaska
to name two members to the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The Alaska
Dispatch reports that the five APOC Commissioners have four seats reserved
for the top two parties in the gubernatorial election. Alaska Democrats
didn't run a candidate, backing the "Unity Ticket" of Walker and Byron
Mallott. That means the distant third-place finish by the Libertarian
candidate lets the party split four APOC seats with the Republican party.
The Governor will
choose from a list of four Libertarian nominees when the term of a Democrat
on the Commission expires in March. Another seat opens up in 2017.
Party spokesman Zack Fields tells the Alaska Dispatch that supporting Walker
for Governor was more important than winning APOC seats.
Alaska heroin and TV
Two people were arrested in Nome and charged with distributing heroin.
Troopers say 22-year old Kevin Beamish and 22-year old Yvonne Adkison were
taken into custody last Thursday as part of a year-long investigation.
Troopers say a search of a home turned up 10 grams of suspected heroin,
as well as scales, packaging material, and over 1-thousand dollars cash.
Dispatch reports that Adkison had been featured in the Discovery Channel T-V
series "Bering Sea Gold" as a dive tender on her family's gold dredge.
T-V viewers are getting a different view of Alaska.
The B-B-C show
"Extreme School" featured Anchorage's Holy Rosary Academy. The episode that
aired November 24th showed two British students, considered underachievers,
immersed in the school's traditional Catholic curriculum.
Camera crews filmed the episode at the school for one week last December.
On U-S T-V dials,
the Sportsman Channel is promoting its Alaska material. In addition to
airing a full season this week of its "Project Alaska" series, Sportsman
Channel announced a second season of "Amazing America with Sarah Palin,"
with the former Governor going to Texas to hunt feral hogs.
We're #26 !!!
According to the special 25th Edition of America’s Health Rankings, Alaska
ranks 26th this year when compared with other states. The 2014 report
illustrates Alaska has its share of strengths and challenges.
Among the state's
? Low levels of air pollution: Alaska ranks 1st in the country, with 4.9
micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter.
? Low prevalence of low birthweight: Alaska ranks 1st in the U.S. with 5.7
percent of live births considered underweight.
? Low infant mortality rate: Alaska ranks 2nd in the country, with 4.5
deaths per 1,000 live births.
? High incidence of infectious disease: Alaska ranks 46th for its combined
score of Chlamydia, Pertussis, and Salmonella
? Low immunization coverage among teens: Alaska ranks 48th in the U.S., with
only 52.2 percent of teens receiving immunizations.
? Low immunization coverage among children: Alaska ranks 46th in the U.S.,
with only 63.9 percent of children receiving immunizations.
The data in the
report come from well-recognized outside sources, such as the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, American Medical Association, FBI, Dartmouth
Atlas Project, U.S. Department of Education and Census Bureau.
Group plans 41-unit
senior complex in Juneau
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — New affordable housing units will
be built in Juneau for low-income seniors.
The Alaska Housing Finance Corp. has awarded $9 million in financing for a
It will be built by the Juneau nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul and partner
agency GMD Development of Seattle. The complex will include studio and one-
and two-bedroom apartments with retail space for St. Vincent de Paul's
thrift store on the ground floor.
It will sit on 1.3 acres of land located near Juneau International Airport.
Officials hope to break ground late next summer.
The charity organization also wants to renovate its two other Juneau
properties along with another one in Haines.
Judge asks if settlement
possible in voting case
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge has asked the state
and the Alaska Native plaintiffs who sued over the translation of voting
materials to see if they can reach a settlement.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason in September ordered the state to take
additional steps to provide voting materials to Alaska Native voters with
limited English ahead of the November elections.
Last week, she said had begun reviewing the state's compliance report and
asked that the plaintiffs and the state discuss whether a full or partial
settlement of the case was possible.
Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, who took office Dec. 1, said he hadn't looked at the
case in detail. But he said his desire would be to settle the case in a way
that meets the needs of the Alaska voter.
December 9th, 2014 12th
EDITION 9:24 P. M.]
New governor means high
expectations for attendance at Holiday Open House
With a new governor, expectations
were high Tuesday afternoon at the 2014 Governor's Holiday Open House.
KINY Radio asked Lisa Boman, Executive Residence Manager, about how many
people usually attend, "Typically 3000 to 3500 ... This year with the
new governor, I'm anticipating just over 4000."
Boman said they
began work on the event in September, two months before the election that
found Bill Walker the winner in Alaska's race for governor. The group
of around 100 volunteers lined up entertainment with the schools in early
fall, so that the music teachers and students would have plenty of time to
practice Christmas carols.
As for the final
tally on treats, Boman said they ordered 25,500 cookies plus 220 pounds of
fudge and candy. This was the first year they offered a gluten-free cookie.
courtesy of KINY's Kendall Weaver - Pictured L to R: Mrs. Toni Mallot,
Lt. Gov Byron Mallot, Governor Bill Walker, First Lady Donna Walker}
Walker hopes to have
appointments in place in weeks
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Bill Walker hopes to have all
his appointments in place in the next several weeks.
Walker took office Dec. 1, and so far has named a handful of permanent
department heads, including Gary Folger, a Public Safety commissioner under
former Gov. Sean Parnell kept on by Walker.
Walker was asked Tuesday whether he planned to keep Mike Hanley in place as
Education commissioner and Larry Hartig as head of the Department of
Environmental Conservation. Both also served under Parnell.
Walker said he wouldn't read too much into Hanley and Hartig remaining in
place but said he would consider retaining both.
If Hanley is not asked to stay, the board of education would get involved.
By law, the board would pick a new commissioner, subject to approval by the
Board of Fisheries
increases Chitina dipnetter bag limit
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Bag limits will increase next
year for dipnetters seeking salmon in the Copper River at Chitina
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the Alaska Board of Fisheries over
the weekend in Cordova voted to increase the take to 25 salmon for permit
holders plus 10 more salmon for each person in their household.
Chitina Dipnetters Association President Chuck Derrick says it's the first
bag limit increase in memory.
The 2014 bag limit was 15 salmon for a household of one and 30 salmon for a
household of two or more.
The change will allow more fish to be caught by permit holders with large
Derrick says the association advocated for the change with large families in
Suspect arrested in
Alaska prosecutor death
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A former Washington state
representative working as an assistant district attorney in Alaska was
killed Monday night in a shooting.
KTUU-TV reports 48-year-old Brian Sullivan died Monday night in a shooting
at a home in Barrow, the northernmost community in the United States.
North Slope Borough officials say a man was taken into custody. The
suspect's name was not immediately released.
Interim North Slope Borough Police Department Chief Darryl Holman requested
that Alaska State Troopers assist in the investigation and Fairbanks
troopers were preparing to fly to Barrow.
Sullivan on his website described himself as a military veteran who served
as an Army judge advocate general.
Sullivan served in the Washington state House from January 1997 to January
Tribes could issue
protective orders against non-Natives
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Senate has passed
legislation that would allow Alaska tribes to issue and enforce protective
orders against non-Natives.
Sen. Mark Begich's office said the provision passed as a pared-down version
of a safe families' bill, through a legislative maneuver known as unanimous
There was no floor vote, but Democrats and Republicans agreed to let it
The provision would repeal what has been referred to as the Alaska exemption
to the Violence Against Women Act.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the measure would be taken up by the
House before the holiday recess.
A spokesman for Rep. Don Young said the House also has the ability to move
fast and that the hope was to get the bill passed.
Sale pending for Kodiak
seafood processing plant
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — A fish processing plant in Kodiak
is changing owners.
KMTX-radio reports Trident Seafoods will buy the Western Alaska Fisheries
processing plant from Westward Seafood, which is owned by Maruha-Nichiro.
Trident in an announcement Monday says it has signed a letter of intent to
purchase the plant. A purchase price was not announced.
Trident expects to complete the deal by Dec. 31.
The processing plant handles pollock, cod, salmon and other species. The
location about a half mile from Trident's Kodiak plant.
Western Alaska Fisheries merged with Westward Seafoods in 2001. It processes
45 million pounds of seafood per year. Westward's main plant in Dutch Harbor
handles 245 million pounds per year.
Dog in Juneau
electrocuted on city sidewalk
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A dog has died after stepping on a
charged junction box on a Juneau city sidewalk.
The city and borough's engineering director, Rorie Watt, said the junction
box is city property. Watt said the matter is being investigating.
He said all of Juneau's street lighting wires are located underground in
conduits, protected by junction boxes on the sidewalk with metal lids over
A Juneau Police spokesman said a woman was walking her dog around midnight
Saturday when the dog stepped on a metal lid and was electrocuted. The
woman, whose name was not released, wasn't injured.
City and borough risk manager Jennifer Mannix said she called the dog's
owner to apologize.
Mannix said she had never heard of something like this happening in Juneau
Canyon river runner
fined in trash, firewood case
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A Grand Canyon river runner from
Alaska has been fined $1,500 and ordered to pay roughly $1,000 of court
costs for dumping trash into the Colorado River and for illegally collecting
driftwood for campfires.
A federal magistrate in Flagstaff on Dec. 1 sentenced 75-year-old Nels
Nichols Niemi (KNEE'-me) of Haines on two misdemeanor convictions stemming
from an Oct. 29 trial.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says evidence showed that Niemi was a trip leader
for a group that dumped trash and garbage into the river daily during a
12-day trip and that he also collected driftwood to make fires each night.
U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo said the prosecution and sentence should
remind Colorado River users that rules and regulations protecting the Grand
Canyon National Park will be vigorously enforced.
Avalanche survivor says
mountain gave warning sign
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man who survived an avalanche
in mountains south of Delta Junction says he and his partner heard warning
signs of snow pack instability but concluded they could continue skiing
Mike Hopper tells the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner he may have been too
confident on a route he had taken many times before.
The 63-year-old Hopper was buried for more than two hours Saturday, but dug
The avalanche killed 35-year-old Erik Peterson, a former coach at West and
Dimond high schools in Anchorage who had recently moved back to Delta
Hopper says they heard the "whomp" of snow settling as they crossed a gently
sloping valley but concluded that snow higher up would be more stable.
The avalanche hit in steeper terrain.
Man dies of gunshot
wound at Mat-Su hospital
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man who showed up last week at
a Palmer hospital with a gunshot wound has died.
KTUU-TV reports 24-year-old Forrest Bieber of Anchorage was one of two men
who on Dec. 1 drove to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center to seek treatment for
gunshot wounds. The second man was treated and released.
Alaska State Troopers took calls of two home invasions that day but
spokeswoman Beth Ipsen says investigators don't have concrete information to
link the cases.
In the first, a woman living in a home outside Wasilla said two men broke
into her home and beat her.
In the second, a resident living near Wasilla said he exchanged gunfire with
two men who invaded his home.
The resident was treated for a gunshot wound at Mat-Su Regional.
Volunteers bring Santa
to remote Alaska village
SHISHMAREF, Alaska (AP) — Volunteers in the Operation
Santa Program and the Alaska National Guard brought Christmas to the remote
Inupiat Eskimo community of Shishmaref, on Alaska's western coast, over the
Children received toys, coats, school supplies and the rare treats of apples
and oranges along with ice cream.
Why ice cream in a town 25 miles south of the Arctic Circle? Shishmaref
senior Cheyenne Nayokpuk says the answer is simple: "'Cause everybody loves
It's the 58th year for the program to bring a little holiday cheer to remote
Alaska villages, where poverty is widespread and these may be the only toys
children will receive.
Different villages are chosen each year to spread the wealth. Operation
Santa last made a visit seven years ago to Shishmaref, which is located
about 600 miles northwest of Anchorage.
Fee changes proposed for
Mendenhall Glacier area
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service is
considering raising the fee to enter the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center
The agency also is considering expanding the fee area beyond the visitor
center to areas popular with tourists, such as the Steep Creek and Photo
Point trails and restroom facilities.
It cites as reasons declining budgets and an effort to improve the visitor
experience. Visitation has more than doubled since 1999, when the agency
began collecting fees.
The proposal would raise the daily fee to enter the center from $3 to $5 for
those 16 and older. Season passes would go from $10 to $15.
The agency, in a release, said it planned to continue not charging fees in
If approved, the fee increase would begin in May 2016.