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[Monday September 22nd, 2014  16TH  EDITION  6:07  P. M.]

Fishing vessel sinks in rough waves
The commercial fishing boat Kyra Dawn sank Sunday night around 8:45 just off William Henry Bay.

Coast Guard Petty officer Benjamin McCarty says the boat started taking heavy waves and began taking on water.

A nearby Good Samaritan vessel pulled the fisherman out of the water.

UPDATE:  Alaska TV reporter quits on air to promote pot
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The news director at the Anchorage television station where a reporter quit in a four-letter word flourish has apologized for the reporter's actions.

Charlo Greene reported Sunday about the Alaska Cannabis Club. At the end of the report, she disclosed that she was the owner of the club, and vowed to lead the fight to legalize pot in Alaska. Voters will decide whether to decriminalize in the November election.

She then issued the four-letter sign off before walking off the set.

KTVA news director Bert Rudman posted an apology Monday on the station's website. He says Greene had a personal and business stake in the issue she was reporting but didn't disclose that to management. He says that betrayed the basic bedrock of journalism, and that breach is unacceptable and can't be tolerated.

Greene told The Associated Press that she had planned this exit for about a month, and no one at the station knew about it.

State files complaint over Medicaid system
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state has filed an administrative complaint alleging unfair or deceptive practices by the vendor it hired to implement a new Medicaid payment system.

The claim against Xerox State Healthcare LLC was filed with Alaska's commissioner of Administration. It follows an unsuccessful attempt at mediation.

It seeks compensatory, punitive and other damages and an order requiring a plan from Xerox by Oct. 15 to resolve problems with the system.

The state, in its complaint, also reserves the right to go to court.

An after-hours email was sent to a Xerox spokeswoman.

The system has been plagued by problems since going live last year. The state said the department was aware of problems but believed Xerox assurances that the system was operational and there was a plan to resolve remaining issues.

UPDATE: Michaud found alive on Mt. Roberts
Bruce Bowler with Seadogs told "News of the North", a missing hunter, 20 year old Kevin Michaud, was found today on Mt. Roberts.  Bowler says Michaud was "dazed, hypothermic, confused but alive."

The Associated Press reports, Michaud was found after a man reported seeing and talking to someone matching Michaud's description near the Last Chance Mining Museum today.

A scent dog led a rescue team to Michaud. He was taken away by ambulance.

Alaska State Troopers say Michaud and a friend set out to hunt ptarmigan on Mount Roberts on Sunday morning. They got separated and Michaud told his friend he had slid off the trail and was trying to find his way back.

Family members aided in the search before calling authorities.

Study links changing winds to warming in Pacific
A new study has found that warming temperatures in Pacific Ocean waters off North America over the past century closely follow natural changes in the wind, not increases in greenhouse gases related to global warming.

The study was released Monday by the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It compared ocean surface temperatures from 1900 to 2012 to surface air pressure, a stand-in for wind measurements, and found a close match.

Several mainstream climate scientists questioned how the authors could claim that changes in wind direction and velocity were natural, and unrelated to climate change.

The authors countered that one steep ocean warming period from 1920 to 1940 predates the big increases in greenhouse gases, and an ocean cooling period from 1998 to 2013 came while global average temperatures were at or near all-time highs.

Reporter-Quits-On-Air
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A reporter for an Alaska TV station revealed on the air that she owns a medical marijuana business and was quitting her job to advocate for the drug.

After reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night's broadcast, KTVA's Charlo Greene identified herself as the business's owner and said she would be devoting all her energy to fighting for "freedom and fairness."

Greene is the professional name used by Charlene Egbe. She told The Associated Press that she knew about a month ago that she would be leaving the way she did. She said no one else at the station knew anything about it.

She then used an expletive to quit her job, and walked off-camera.

In a statement on KTVA's website, news director Bert Rudman apologized for Greene's "inappropriate language" and said she was terminated.

Alaska voters decide Nov. 4 whether to legalize recreational pot. Measure 2 would be similar to Washington and Colorado's legalization laws.

Southeast Alaska population on slight upswing
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An economic report shows a slight population growth in southeast Alaska in 2013.

The report, called Southeast Alaska by the Numbers, was recently presented at the annual Southeast Conference Membership Meeting in Wrangell.

The region continued an upswing with a growth of 19 people.

The region's population has been rebounding since 2008. Since that year, it has grown by 4,200 people. The economy and population in Southeast had been declining after 1997 because of shrinking timber and fisheries industries.

The economy grew by 19 jobs, but report authors say that is entirely coincidental to the number of people in the population growth.

The report by Rain Coast Data says the largest sector of the region's workforce, government employment, shrank by 163 jobs.

Judge rules in Alaska Native voting rights case
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge has ordered the state to take additional steps to provide voting materials to Alaska Native voters with limited English.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason ordered the state to distribute translated announcements that include information on early voting, races and initiatives on the November ballot.

The state must post on its website Yup'ik translations of election material and provide to outreach workers translations of candidate statements, initiative summaries and pro and con statements on the initiatives. The Division of Elections is to provide translations to the plaintiffs in the case to get their input.

The lawsuit brought by several Native villages alleged that the state has failed to provide accurate, complete translations of voting materials in Native languages. The state said it has taken reasonable steps.

Lost hunter on Mt. Roberts
Sunday night around 11, the Juneau Police Department notified Alaska State Troopers that 20 year -old Kevin Michaud of Juneau was lost on Mount Roberts, after Ptarmigan hunting.

Michaud contacted a family member in Juneau at approximately 8 pm, reporting he had slid off of the trail and was trying to find his way back to the trail.

A small group of Michaud's family and friends went up Mount Roberts to look for him prior to calling for assistance.

Juneau Mountain Rescue has been notified and mobilized search parties with assistance from SEADOGS.

A Juneau Wildlife Trooper is also assisting.

Around 5 AM this morning, , JMR and SEADOG searchers returned off of Mount Roberts without locating Mr. Michaud.

The United States Coast Guard has joined the search with aerial assets.

Absentee voting stations open for CBJ municipal elections
Today marks the beginning of the absentee voting period for the CBJ municipal election that takes place Tuesday, October 7. Absentee votes will be accepted through Monday, October 6, 2014.

Juneau residents wishing to cast an absentee ballot for the Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 Municipal Election may do so at City Hall or at the Mendenhall Mall. Any voter registered to vote in Juneau may cast an absentee ballot for any reason.

Voting Hours at the Mendenhall Mall are weekdays from 10a.m. - 6:30p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the Mendenhall Mall station will be open from Noon - 4pm.

Voting hours at the City Hall Assembly Chambers are Weekdays only, from 8 am - 4:30 pm, through October 6.

Absentee ballots are also available through by-mail or by-fax voting.

For more information on how to vote absentee, or to request special assistance for voting, check the website, www.juneau.org/clerk/elections
 or contact the Municipal Clerk's office at (907) 586-5278.

Japanese planning their own LNG terminal in Cook Inlet
A Japanese firm is planning its own terminal for liquified natural gas in Cook Inlet, in a race against a north slope gas line to reach the export market.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that a start-up venture called R-E-I Alaska is working on plans for an L-N-G terminal at Point Mackenzie.

The plant would be about the same size as the Conoco-Phillips facility at Nikiski. which exported Cook Inlet natural gas to Japan for decades. The smaller size means the new plant could be operational years ahead of a new terminal planned at Nikiski --by 2020, compared to 2024 for the larger north slope gas line.

The R-E-I project would export Cook Inlet gas, but would be positioned to tap L-N-G being shipped through the Mat-Su Borough across Cook Inlet to the Nikiski terminal.

Window washer falls from UA Fairbanks building
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A man washing windows on a University of Alaska Fairbanks building survived a fall.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the man fell Friday afternoon from the side of the seven-story Elvey Building.

The Elvey Building houses the UAF Geophysical Institute.

University police and firefighters responded and say the man was conscious when they arrived.

Fire Capt. Forrest Kuiper says there was nothing visible on the side of the building to indicate from where the man had fallen.

He told paramedics he had been cleaning windows on the third story.

Paramedics took him to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

Kuiper says the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

The man's name was not released. UAF spokeswoman Marmian Grimes says window washers are contract workers and not employees.

School districts add security cameras
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The number of security cameras in Alaska schools is going up.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports video cameras are being installed in Fairbanks middle and elementary schools and it's part of a statewide trend aimed at making schools safer.

Fairbanks technology director Janet Cobb says a $4 million, multi-year state project is paying for technology and security upgrades.

Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District spokeswoman Catherine Esary says local officials want the community to know that school safety is the No. 1 priority for the district in the wake of school shootings elsewhere.

Anchorage School District chief operating officer Mike Abbott says the district is wrapping up a project to install surveillance cameras at all schools.

Power outage; strong winds; Fall weather
Alaska Electric Light and Power Company reported a couple of power outages last night due to high wind gusts knocking down trees.

According to Debbie Driscoll, Director of Consumer Affairs for AEL and P, one of the problems was "out the road" past mile 20; there was a tree on a line affecting Tee Harbor, Randal Road and the Amalga Harbor area.

The other outage was in the Mendenhall Loop area between Cinema Dr. and the Glacier. Service was restored to both areas within a couple of hours.

We talked to Meteorologist, Brian Bezenek with the National Weather Service in Juneau Monday morning.

He reported that a front moved through the panhandle on Sunday. He says there was a strong low level jet stream associated with the front that produced the strong winds. At the Juneau International Airports top gusts were reported at 55 mph.

Really strong winds were recorded in the Lynn Canal area; up to 60 mph and through Cross Sound up to 72 mph.

Bezenek says with Fall beginning this evening, as strong fronts come through the area, it's not unusual to see strong winds associated with those fronts, so we can probably look forward to seeing more of the same through the next season.
 


[Sunday September 21st, 2014  8th  EDITION  8:16  P. M.]

UPDATE: All power back on in CBJ
According to Debbie Driscoll of A E L & P, all power outages due to high winds have been repaired.

A E L& P says loop substation back on
According to Debbie Driscoll, Director of Consumer Affairs with AEL&P, the loop substation is back on power. However, the "out the road" outage still exists. There has been a report of "sparking" around the Governor's mansion.

Power outages in CBJ due to high winds
There have been some power outages around the area this evening due to HIGH wind. Debbie Driscoll, Director of Consumer Affairs, for AEL and P confirms two outages; one is out the road past mile 20; there is a tree on a line affecting Tee Harbor and Randal Road and the Amalga Harbor area.

There is another outage in the Mendenhall Loop area between Cinema Dr. and the Glacier maybe another tree not sure at this point.

It's a windy night tonight and we may have more trees coming down, so it's a good idea to keep a flashlight and candles on hand.

Pete Boyd with the National Weather Service in Juneau says expect no real break from the heavy winds until around midnight tonight.

Man who escaped from Fairbanks halfway house found
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A 39-year old man who escaped from a Fairbanks halfway house has been captured after police found him hiding in an apartment closet.

The Daily News-Miner says Fairbanks police arrested Jonathan T. Harris, of Delta Junction, on an escape charge after he walked away from North Star Center.

Police were responding to a disturbance call in the area and talked to 59-year-old Charles Rutan at the apartment. Police reports say Rutan had allowed Harris to hide in his closet and told police he wasn't there. Rutan was arrested on a charge of hindering prosecution.

Police also arrested another man at the scene who had an active warrant for failing to appear in court.

Court records show Harris was wanted on charges of theft, assault, criminal mischief and reckless driving.

All three men were transported to Fairbanks Correctional Center.

Teen shot during Anchorage house party
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say a 17-year-old girl was shot in the lower back during a disturbance at a house party Sunday morning.

Police said they received several 911 calls just after midnight reporting gunshots heard outside a home.

Police say their investigation revealed that a group of people who were not invited tried to crash the house party. When they weren't allowed inside, one of them pulled out a handgun and began firing into the home through the front window. Witnesses say the suspect left in a red passenger car.

The 17-year-old was inside the home when she was struck by a bullet. She was taken to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Man accused of shooting black bear in closed area
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A 42-year-old Douglas man has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly shooting a black bear as it rummaged through trash in his yard.

James Houck is set to be arraigned Oct. 2 in Juneau District Court for shooting in an area closed to hunting.

Police began investigating after a homeowner reported a wounded black bear dragging itself through his yard. Police euthanized the partially paralyzed bear.

Alaska Wildlife Troopers said last week that its investigation showed Houck shot the male black bear on Sept. 8 as it was going through his unsecured trash.

Houck is not listed in the phone book and did not respond to messages from the newspaper on Facebook. It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Douglas Island is open for black bear hunting, but hunters must stay a quarter of a mile from roads.

Man stabbed in Lemon Creek, no one talks
A 911 caller reported a stabbing in the area of Montgomery Street Saturday morning around 12:25. Juneau Police say the the caller then hung up the phone.

Officers arrived and found a 36 year old male Juneau resident, lying on the ground with a stab wound.

Capital City Fire Rescue and EMS transported him to the Bartlett Regional Hospital for a medical evaluation. His injuries appeared to be non life threatening.

According to a release from JPD Sgt. Krag Campbell, all witnesses were very intoxicated and uncooperative.

At the hospital, the victim refused to speak with police about the incident.


Who wins Senate control? Nov. 4 might not decide
WASHINGTON (AP) — A suspenseful election night is one thing. But what if it stretches out for a month or more?

A few tight races in states with quirky election laws make it possible that voters on Election Day won't decide which party controls the Senate.

Louisiana's election laws are a chief reason. Strategists expect a Dec. 6 runoff.

They say Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu (LAN'-droo) and top Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will struggle to exceed 50 percent on the crowded, all-candidates Nov. 4 ballot.

Control of the Senate could hang on a Louisiana runoff.

Republicans need six more seats to rule the chamber. Several possible scenarios get them to five pickups without Louisiana.

The possibility of a Georgia runoff and a late vote count in Alaska could further complicate the outcome.

 

[Saturday September 20th, 2014  9th  EDITION  3:33  P. M.]

Regents nix tuition hike for University of Alaska
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The University of Alaska Board of Regents gave thumbs down to a proposal to boost tuition by 4 percent.

UA President Pat Gamble proposed the increase for the 2015-16 academic year, saying the move would raise about $4 million as the system navigates tight budgets.

The university faced a $26 million budget gap this year amid rising fixed costs and lower legislative funding.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that seven of the 11 regents voted against the proposal on Friday.

Some said more needed to be done to cut costs within the UA system, while others worried about the long-term impact of frequent tuition increases.

Deal inked for North Slope LNG plant
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — The effort to truck North Slope natural gas to the Fairbanks area for home heating and electricity generation is a step closer to fruition.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority and project development firm MWH signed an agreement outlining the construction, ownership and operation of the liquified natural gas plant that's central to the Interior Energy Project.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the state agency will own the plant while an MWH subsidiary will build and operate it.

The subsidiary, Northern Lights Energy, will also sell the LNG produced by the plant to Interior buyers.

Northern Lights can start entering contracts with Fairbanks-area utilities, outlining the volume of gas and how much it will cost.

The Fairbanks area is expected to start receiving the gas late next year.

Parnell says 2 new Alaska ferries to be built
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell has announced that two Alaska Class Ferries will be built in Ketchikan.

Parnell made his announcement on Saturday, saying that the state and Vigor Industrial reached an agreement to build the ferries at the company's Ketchikan shipyard.

The governor's office says the two ferries would be the first vessels in the state fleet to be built in Alaska.

The two ferries will cost about $120 million to build and are scheduled for delivery in 2018.

The ferries will be 280 feet long and seat up to 300 passengers and carry 53 vehicles.

Man dies in Anchorage hit-and-run; driver arrested
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say a 54-year-old man was struck and killed in a hit-and-run early Saturday.

Police say a red Honda Civic struck and killed Guy Merculief as he walked across an avenue. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers obtained witness accounts of the car and were able to find the Honda parked. They also spotted the driver walking away from the car.

The suspect was identified as 22-year-old Pao Yang. He was arrested on charges of operating under the influence and manslaughter.

Police say the driver provided a breathalyzer sample two times the legal limit for alcohol.

Two VPSOs fired for domestic violence
The southwest Alaska village of New Stuyahok lost both of its public safety officers, who are accused of domestic violence.

The Alaska Dispatch reports that VPSO's David Eneyuk and David Walcott were both dismissed last week. That leaves one village police officer in the community of about 500 residents.

Alaska State Troopers charged both VPSO's with domestic violence assault for separate incidents September 6th. In both cases, the men were drinking alcohol and allegedly assaulted their wives during arguments.

Bristol Bay Native Association, which manages the VPSO program for the region, fired both officers.

Russian planes intercepted again
Russian war planes flying in international airspace over the Arctic west of North America were intercepted in two separate incidents this week.

Canadian and American fighter jets were scrambled to intercept the Russian aircraft -- a military exercise that has become relatively common.

Norad spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Jazdyk (JAZZ'-dihk) says Canadian or American fighters have intercepted some 50 Russian planes over the last five years.

The first incident occurred Wednesday night west of Alaska when American fighters intercepted six Russian aircraft, and then early Thursday morning two Canadian CF-18's intercepted two Russian bombers over the Beaufort sea.

The Air Defence Identification Zone, jointly administered by Canadian and American civil and military air authorities, rings most of North America.

Aircraft that enter it are required to radio their planned course and destination, and those that don't can be intercepted by military aircraft.

2 reported hurt in Alaska small plane crash
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Authorities say two of the four people aboard were injured when a small plane crashed Friday in a remote area of Alaska's northeast Brooks Range mountains.

A spokesman says the Alaska Air National Guard sent a Pave Hawk helicopter to transport the two to a Fairbanks hospital.

A National Transportation Safety Board aviation accident investigator, Andrew Swick, says the two suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says a Fairbanks Memorial Hospital spokeswoman says there's no record that the two were admitted, so it's likely medics checked and then cleared them.

The two others stayed behind to await a charter.

The group reportedly had been moose hunting.

Parnell signs resolution backing King Cove road
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Sean Parnell says he believes Interior Secretary Sally Jewell is capable of changing her mind on allowing for a road to be built from King Cove to an all-weather airport at Cold Bay.

Jewell rejected a proposed land swap with the state to build the road through Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, which shelters millions of migratory waterfowl. The city of King Cove, tribal governments and others sued, and the state joined in.

Parnell, in a release, said Jewell's decision "put people in peril." But he said his respect for her leads him to believe "she simply doesn't understand."

Parnell signed a legislative resolution in King Cove on Friday, urging Jewell to reconsider. Parnell's signature wasn't necessary; a spokeswoman said a signature on resolutions means the governor has reviewed them.

[Friday September 19th, 2014  10TH  EDITION  5:25  P. M.]

Coast Guard rescues person in the water near Juneau, Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska — Coast Guard Station Juneau crewmembers rescued a woman from the water in Gastineau Channel near downtown Juneau early Friday morning.
  The woman was transferred to emergency medical personnel for transport to Bartlett Regional Hospital.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Juneau Command Center watchstanders received notification from Juneau Police Department that a 35-year-old female jumped in to the water at Steamship Dock near the cruise ships in downtown Juneau. Soon after entering the water, she became unresponsive.

The watchstanders immediately directed the launch of a Station Juneau 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew. The boat crew located and successfully recovered the woman. The crew initiated first aid and the woman became responsive.

“As we move into the fall and temperatures are dropping, it becomes increasingly dangerous to enter the water without appropriate cold weather gear,” said Cmdr. Patrick Hilbert, deputy commander, Sector Juneau. “Stay alert and watch out for each other when near the water.”

The weather on scene at the time of the rescue was reported to be 52 degrees water temperature, 35 mph winds, and rain.

Costco burglary JPD's Crime of the Week

On September 17th, at about 10:34 in the evening, officers of the Juneau Police Department (JPD) responded to an alarm at Costco. Responding officers found the jewelry case inside Costco had been broken open and about $40,000 worth of jewelry taken. A witness reported seeing a male suspect wearing a green Carhartt style coat and having short, brown hair fleeing the area carrying items in his arms.
 

Officers searched the area and found a new watch, apparently dropped by the suspect, between Costco and a building containing two businesses near the automotive service end of Costco.

The first alarms went off when the suspect broke into the jewelry case. It appears the suspect had hidden inside the store prior to closing.

JPD is releasing several pictures of the stolen jewelry, including a photo of a $4,000 dollar men’s watch.

A Juneau woman did post watches for sale on a Facebook page called Juneau Buy-Sell-Trade within hours of the burglary. A JPD Detective has examined those watches and they are not from Costco and were legitimately acquired. No further tips about that posting are needed.

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.

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 http://juneaucrimeline.com.

Alaska unemployment rate rises to 6.8 percent
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska's unemployment has risen to its highest level since October 2012, but the state Labor Department says it's too early to tell whether that signals a new trend.

The preliminary unemployment rate stood at 6.8 percent in August. That compares to the seasonally adjusted rate of 6.5 percent in July and 6.7 percent in August 2013.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.7 percent was the highest unemployment reached in Alaska in 2013. The state Labor Department says the figure since early last year has tended to be around 6.5 percent.

The national unemployment rate for August was 6.1 percent.


Mott to lead Alaska Guard response team
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Brigadier General Jon K. Mott will lead a team charged with implementing recommendations for restoring confidence in the leadership and structure of the Alaska National Guard.

Mott, who serves as the assistant adjutant general for the Connecticut National Guard, was recommended to Gov. Sean Parnell by the National Guard Bureau.

The bureau's Office of Complex Investigations looked into allegations of sexual assault and fraud in the Alaska National Guard and found that victims do not trust the system because of a lack of confidence in the command.

Parnell released the report earlier this month and also called for and received the resignation of Alaska's adjutant general.

Parnell said Guard members have his commitment that all steps necessary will be taken to restore trust and confidence in Guard leadership.


Judge to hear arguments in Pebble lawsuit
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging it overstepped its bounds by taking steps that could result in the restriction or prohibition of development of the proposed Pebble Mine.

Arguments have been set for Sept. 26.

Earlier this year, EPA invoked a rarely used process under the Clean Water Act to protect the Bristol Bay salmon fishery from large-scale mining. The agency recently extended to Feb. 4 the timeline for deciding its next step in the process.

Attorneys for EPA say the lawsuit is premature. Environmental and tribal groups also want the lawsuit tossed.

The group behind the mine project and the state worry that EPA will move to veto the project before it goes through permitting. They requested that arguments be held.


Anchorage's Loussac Library getting overhaul
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Loussac Library in Anchorage is getting a $15-million makeover.

Prior to this, director Mary Jo Torgeson says the only major work the library has had done in its 30 years is a new roof.

The project, scheduled to take 18 months, will including moving the building's entrances and making heating and cooling upgrades.

Torgeson told the Alaska Journal of Commerce the main entrance on the second floor will be done away with and moved to ground level. The idea is to eliminate confusion for first-time visitors and to get rid of a long flight of stairs that have been a safety concern. She says the goal is to create a welcoming, safe and more energy efficient building.

State money will cover nearly the entire project cost.


Uber ride-sharing service kicks off in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The popular ride-sharing service Uber has added Anchorage to its worldwide list of cities where it operates.

KTVA (http://is.gd/zpjP21) reports local taxi companies are trying to figure out a way to keep up with the new service, whose app links passengers with drivers using their own cars.

Cab company Yellow Dispatch is among those watching closely. CEO Sloane Unwin says he has problems with the fact that Uber drivers don't have to pass the same regulation and licensing standards other drivers have to go through in Alaska.

Uber spokesman Steve Thompson says the company wants to ensure it is in compliance, and it is working with local transportation agencies to ensure that.

Yellow Dispatch, meanwhile, has launched its own app with the intention of holding on to its customer base.

CBJ Municipal Election absentee voting begins Monday
The CBJ Regular Municipal Election will be held Tuesday, October 7.

In-Person Absentee Voting is available to qualified voters beginning Monday, September 22 to Monday, October 6.

Absentee votes can be cast at City Hall in Assembly Chambers Monday through Friday from 8am-430pm.

You can also absentee vote at Mendenhall Mall Monday through Friday from 10am-630pm; and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon-4pm September 27th and 28th and October 4th and 5th.

US rig count unchanged at 1,931
HOUSTON (AP) — Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. was unchanged this week, holding at 1,931.

The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,601 rigs were exploring for oil and 329 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,761 active rigs.

Of the major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota gained four rigs, Oklahoma increased by two and California, Colorado and New Mexico each gained one.

Texas declined by five rigs, West Virginia dropped three and Louisiana was down two.

Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wyoming all were unchanged.

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

Northrim takes over Alaska Pacific Bank branches
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — New owners of Alaska Pacific Bank are promising a smooth transition and more services for customers.

Executives from Anchorage-based Northrim Bank spoke in Juneau as new signs were erected outside former Alaska Pacific Bank branches.

Northrim BanCorp Chairman Marc Langland says Northrim has been attempting to enter southeast Alaska since before the bank was founded in the 1980s.

The sale was announced in October.

Langland says the acquisition by a community bank such as Northrim is the best-case scenario for minimal attrition. Twenty of 20 of 60 Alaska Pacific Bank employees in Juneau likely will be cut.

Northrim officials say customers will see more services such as options in online banking, greater options for loans and the ability to deposit a check with a smartphone.

Wasilla police release name of officer in shooting
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Wasilla Police Department has released the name of the officer who shot and killed a man at a home early Monday.

KTUU-TV reports Officer Andrew Kappler fired the shot that killed 23-year-old Michael Bonty.

The 28-year-old officer has been with the police department for two years.

Kappler and another officer responded to the home on Jack Nicklaus Drive in response to a 911 hang-up call.

Officer Rick Manrique says the officers "immediately forced entry" and were confronted by an armed man.

He says efforts to stop the situation were unsuccessful and Kappler shot and killed the man.

Manrique said earlier this week the shooting occurred because officers feared imminent life-threatening injury to themselves or others.

Alaska State Troopers are reviewing the shooting.

9-year-old wounded in accidental shooting
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A 9-year-old Delta Junction boy is recovering from a gunshot wound suffered in an accidental shooting.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the boy's 15-year-old brother was handling a .22-caliber rifle Wednesday afternoon inside a home and the gun fired.

The younger boy was driven to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.

He was reported as stable Thursday.

Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says the injury was not life-threatening.

She says no adults were at the home when the rifle fired.

Driver fleeing troopers dies in stolen car crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a driver fleeing from troopers in a stolen car has died in a crash.

KTUU-TV reports that troopers responded Thursday afternoon to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked at a construction site in Anchorage and realized the vehicle had been reported stolen.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says the driver took off when troopers tried to make contact.

Peters says troopers report the chase did not involve high speeds.

Troopers say the vehicle rolled over within two minutes. Medics pronounced the driver dead.

The driver was not immediately identified.

Denali rangers investigate illegal moose killing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — National Park Service officials say charges are pending in connection with two hunters who illegally shot a moose at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Rangers investigated the shooting after it was reported Sunday evening as taking place in an area where sport hunting is prohibited.

Officials say the two hunters are men from the Matanuska Valley, who said they did not know they were in the park.

Officials say the man had a map, a regulation book and a global positioning system unit.

Sport hunting is allowed only in the Denali National Preserve at the western corners of the park.

[Thursday September 18th, 2014  13th  EDITION 5:04 P. M.]

Burglar hides in Costco, gets away with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry
Juneau Police say evidence in Wednesday night's Costco burglary suggests the burglar waited inside the store until after closing and then stole over $40,000 worth of jewelry. Juneau Police responded to the alarm sounding at Costco around 10:30 last night.

JPD's Lieutenant David Campbell said, "Officers arrived within minutes and contacted a witness, who reported seeing a man running away from Costco toward Hidden Valley. The man was described as being a white male adult, smaller stature, with short brown hair, and possibly wearing a green Carhart style jacket.

Officers checked the area and there were no signs of forced entry into the business. Costco staff arrived and officers check the inside of the business. A jewelry case had been smashed and over $40,000 in jewelry was missing. Stolen items included watches, rings, and necklaces.

JPD is seeking assistance from anyone in the area that might have witness any suspicious activity, or anyone in the area who has a video surveillance system, to contact JPD or the Juneau Crime Line immediately."

State proposes plan for road from Juneau
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state Transportation Department is proposing a $570-million road project that would help connect Juneau to Alaska's main highway system.

It is the department's latest stab at the long-simmering project; a prior plan was knocked down by the courts for not looking at a fuller range of alternatives.

The road would not be a direct link to highways out of Skagway or Haines. Motorists would still have to hop ferries for part of the trip.

State Transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp says the goal is to provide more opportunity to travel to the capital city at a lower cost. Juneau is accessible only by air or water.

Critics say the money would be better spent on critical infrastructure upgrades and maintenance throughout the state.

Anchorage police name pedestrian killed on street

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police have released the name of a pedestrian who was struck and killed on a busy street.

Police say 43-year-old Craig McCarty was struck by a Honda Accord Wednesday morning on Muldoon Road in east Anchorage.

McCarty was declared dead at the scene.

Police say their investigation continues. No citations have been issued.

Anchorage police name pedestrian killed on street
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police have released the name of a pedestrian who was struck and killed on a busy street.

Police say 43-year-old Craig McCarty was struck by a Honda Accord Wednesday morning on Muldoon Road in east Anchorage.

McCarty was declared dead at the scene.

Police say their investigation continues. No citations have been issued.

Rescued harbor seal pup released on Kodiak Island
KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — An abandoned harbor seal pup that narrowly avoided death by seagull was returned to the wild off a Kodiak Island beach.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the seal was released Wednesday by representatives of the Alaska SeaLife Center.

A kayaker in June spotted the seal on an island in Kalsin Bay. Gulls were pecking at the 4-day-old pup, which still had its umbilical cord attached.

The SeaLife Center's Halley Werner says the pup would not have survived. It was skinny, dehydrated and wounded when it reached the center in Seward.

The seal was treated with antibiotics and fed formula until it could eat fish. In mid-summer, it was placed in pools with other seals to learn how to compete for food.

The seal grew from 25 to 57 pounds.

Fast ruling sought in Alaska ballot lawsuit
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Anchorage judge is moving quickly on a lawsuit challenging an emergency order that allowed two Alaska gubernatorial candidates to fuse their campaigns into one ticket for the November general election.

Judge John Suddock has scheduled arguments for Sept. 26.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday by Steven Strait, a district chair in the Alaska Republican Party, against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and elections director Gail Fenumiai (feh-NEW'-me-eye).

Strait says Treadwell erred in his Sept. 2 decision permitting candidates affected by the merger to officially withdraw from their respective races.

That order allowed Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott to join campaigns with independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker and serve as Walker's running mate.

Assistant Attorney General Margaret Paton-Walsh, representing the defendants, says more than 2,300 overseas ballots were mailed Wednesday.


EPA extends decision-making on mining proposal
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will take more time to review comments on a proposal that would restrict large-scale mining near the headwaters of a world-premier salmon fishery.

The decision could have implications for the proposed Pebble Mine. A lawsuit seeking to stop EPA from vetoing the project before permits are obtained is pending.

EPA received more than 155,000 written comments and expects to receive thousands more before the public comment period ends Friday. EPA also heard from hundreds of people in hearings.

Under regulations, EPA's regional administrator is to withdraw the proposal or advance a recommendation to headquarters within 30 days of public hearings ending, but not before the comment period closes. Hearings ended Aug. 15.

EPA is extending the timeline for determining its next step to Feb. 4.


Interior Alaska hay harvest dampened by wet summer
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Hay farmers in Alaska's interior are frustrated that their plentiful crops have been dampened by record-breaking rainfall, providing few opportunities for harvesting.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that it's the second consecutive year that poor weather conditions have put a crimp in the interior hay crop.

Wet hay is susceptible to mold or fire, but farmers have to wait for the right moment to harvest it for storage.

A dry, hot summer last year hurt production, resulting with hay prices climbing for Alaska horse and livestock owners.

Alan Tonne, who manages the University of Alaska Fairbanks experiment farm, says that during normal years, the price of hay ranges from $200- to $300- per ton.

Tonne figures this year's prices per ton could be in the $400 range.

UA to undergo sexual violence complaint review
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Federal officials will visit four University of Alaska campuses next month to review how the university handles sexual violence complaints.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office will make the visits.

The university is one of 79 post-secondary institutions being investigated.

Rules on sexual violence complaints fall under Title IX (nine), the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender in education programs that receive federal funding.

An attorney for the University of Alaska, Michael O'Brien, says the university is not being investigated because it did anything wrong.

He says there's no active violation and federal officials are reviewing the university for compliance.

O'Brien says the university since 2011 has had 257 complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, mostly in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Eagle River accidental shooting
An Eagle River man died in an accidental shooting at a remote cabin.

Alaska State Troopers responded Monday afternoon to the incident at Bulchitna Lake, south of Skwentna.

Fifty-nine year-old, Stephen H. Hager, a pilot for Alaska Airlines, had been at the cabin with family.

KTVA-11 reports that troopers found Hager dead outside; witnesses said a firearm inside the cabin had gone off accidentally.

Troopers say foul play is not suspected. The body was taken to the state medical examiner for autopsy.

Multi-state fishing group wants tougher laws
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Regional fishing associations are uniting in an attempt to strengthen the laws that govern fisheries in federal waters.

The groups describe themselves as "small boat commercial fishing groups" from around the country. They sent a letter to Congress this month calling for laws that strengthen requirements to reduce bycatch, require more comprehensive catch information and maintain rebuilding timelines for fish stocks.

The groups in the Fishing Community Coalition include the Alaska Marine Conservation Council; Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association; Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance; the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association; and the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholder's Alliance.

Body of missing man recovered east of Cordova
CORDOVA, Alaska (AP) — The body of a 32-year-old Minnesota man missing east of Cordova, Alaska, has been recovered.

Scott Bell was found Tuesday by searchers.

His hometown was not immediately available.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday asked Alaska State Troopers to assist in an aerial search for Bell, who was reported missing near Controller Bay.

Troopers were told Bell was last seen Monday night and that he may have been using a kayak.

Bell's body was found at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on a sand bar.

The body has been sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

Tribal organizations asking for bycatch limits
Two tribal organizations are asking federal fisheries managers for an emergency order to limit the bycatch of salmon by the Bering Sea commercial fleet.

The Alaska Dispatch reports that the Association of Village Council Presidents and Tanana Chiefs Conference filed a petition this week with the Secretary of Commerce and North Pacific Fishery Management Council. They want a lower limit on the number of king salmon accidentally caught by pollock fishermen in the Bering Sea.

The current limit is 60-thousand kings; the petition wants the bycatch limit lowered to 20-thousand, in order to let more salmon return to the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.

The subsistence fishery for king salmon was closed on both rivers this season due to low returns.

Commercial fish boat explodes in Valdez; 1 injured
VALDEZ, Alaska (AP) — A Coast Guard spokesman says a 30-foot commercial fishing boat exploded and burned Wednesday evening in the small boat harbor in Valdez, Alaska. The lone person on board was able to walk off and was taken to a hospital.

Lt. Ben Bauman says Valdez firefighters and police responded, as did Coast Guard personnel. They found the vessel Fireman afloat, with the majority of its wheelhouse torn apart by the explosion.

The small boat harbor is adjacent to a Best Western Hotel.

Once Valdez firefighters said the area was safe, Bauman says Coast Guard officers were able to board the boat to begin a pollution investigation.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Senate candidates unite over arming Syrian rebels
WASHINGTON (AP) — Candidates in some of the most contested Senate races have found something to agree on — giving President Barack Obama the authority he's asked for to train and arm Syrian rebels taking on brutal Islamic State militants.

Democratic congressman Bruce Braley and Republican opponent Joni Ernst, battling for a Senate seat from Iowa, are in agreement. So are opponents in Colorado, incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and Republican congressman Cory Gardner.

Opposing the commander in chief on a question of fighting terrorists poses risks for candidates in tough races in November. Yet standing with an unpopular president seeking to broaden a dangerous conflict carries hazards, too.

Some Senate challengers avoid questions on the topic, while at least one endangered Democratic incumbent, Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, plans to vote "no."

Park Service plans Denali transportation meeting
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — National Park Service officials say a public meeting is scheduled to take place next week to discuss the long-range transportation plan for Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve.

The meeting next Wednesday is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the McKinley Village Community Center on the Parks Highway.

Officials say planners will be providing information about the plan and they also will seek public input.

Denali road open to private vehicles at season end
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Visitors can now drive their private vehicles into Denali National Park and Preserve, weather permitting.

The park says the 92-mile road will be open to private vehicle traffic up to mile 30, the Teklanika Rest Area. But park officials urge visitors to call ahead for conditions because weather this time of year can change quickly.

Shuttle buses operate during the busy summer season, providing the primary means by which visitors can see the park. The buses recently stopped running for the year.

The park says vault toilets will be available at the Mountain Vista Trailhead, Savage River parking area and Teklanika but other facilities west of headquarters, including campgrounds, will be closed for the season.

The Bear Loop of the Riley Creek Campground will be open for camping.

[Wednesday September 17th, 2014  13th  EDITION 4:50 P. M.]

Lawsuit: Alaska official erred in campaign action
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A civil lawsuit alleges Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell erred in issuing an emergency order that ultimately allowed two gubernatorial campaigns to merge.

The lawsuit filed in Anchorage Wednesday challenges Treadwell's Sept. 2 emergency order that permitted candidates affected by the merger to officially withdraw from their respective races.

Treadwell's decision came on the day Democratic gubernatorial nominee Byron Mallott and independent gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker joined tickets, with Mallott now running for lieutenant governor. Treadwell didn't seek re-election as lieutenant governor in favor of an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in the Republican primary.

Margaret Paton-Walsh, an assistant attorney general, is representing Treadwell and elections director Gail Fenumiai (feh-NEW'-me-eye), who are named in the lawsuit. Paton-Walsh says the state stands behind Treadwell's decision.

Plaintiff Steve Strait is a district chair in the Alaska Republican Party.

Sullivan ad calls out Begich snowmachine riding
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An X Games snowmachine rider calls out Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich's riding skills in a new campaign ad from Republican Dan Sullivan.

Cory Davis is a four-time X Games medalist. He says he had a "good laugh" watching Begich "pretending" to ride a snowmachine during one of Begich's spots. Davis says he's tired of "phony politicians."

Begich road a snowmachine in the Arctic in an ad touting his efforts to build a bridge across the Colville River to reach oil leases within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

Begich spokesman Max Croes says there was no pretending. He says the drilling site is seen over Begich's shoulder.

Begich told Politico he rode for a long time that day and got frostbite on his ear.

Proposal to raise state minimum wage debated
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — An economics professor says a ballot initiative that would raise Alaska's minimum wage may sound good to voters but her background convinces her it is not a good thing.

University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Sherri Wall debated a sponsor of the initiative, former state labor commissioner Ed Flanagan, in Fairbanks this week.

The initiative would raise the minimum wage of $7.75 an hour by $2 an hour over two years and adjust it for inflation after that.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that Wall called raising the minimum wage "an infringement upon liberty."

Flanagan said an academic approach to pay doesn't recognize the reality that low-income or entry-level workers often don't have much say in what they're paid.

Juneau to participate in PARK(ing) Day 2014
[Juneau, AK] September 16, 2014 — On Friday, September 19th, in cities around the world, artists, local businesses and citizens will temporarily transform public parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called "PARK(ing) Day."

Originally developed in 2005 in San Francisco, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way urban streets are used. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape through the creation of public parks, art installations and spaces that allow pedestrians to engage with their neighborhoods.

Park(ing) Day in Juneau will be hosted by Corvus Design, an Alaskan based landscape architecture and planning firm. The local Juneau office of Corvus Design is partnering with the Rookery Café and Alaska Robotics to convert two on-street parking stalls into a public space that will include an outdoor patio and seating area within a landscaped pocket park. Local organizer Christopher Mertl of Corvus Design calls the installation, “An opportunity to allow residents and visitors to interact with each other in a pleasant temporary park setting.” Mertl then goes on to say, “While parking is an essential component to a community so is the need for public open spaces and streetscapes that supports local businesses, makes our downtown attractive and provides economic opportunities.”

The one day installation can be found on Front Street adjacent to Seward Street and the public is invited to use the space this Friday. The event is sponsored in part by the Downtown Business Association. Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide community event. The first event was hosted by Rebar, an internationally recognized art and design studio, in San Francisco. PARK(ing) Day 2011 – the last year statistics were collected -- included 975 “PARK” installations in more than 160 cities in 35 countries on six continents. The project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe. A map of all participating cities and more information can be found at the PARK(ing) Day website, at parkingday.org.

Coast Guard suspends search for missing man near Auke Bay, Alaska
JUNEAU, Alaska — The Coast Guard suspended the search for 52-year-old Paul Keithahn in the vicinity of Coghlan Island near Auke Bay Tuesday.

Crews from Station Juneau, the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, Air Station Sitka, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Juneau S.E.A.D.O.G.S. and the Alaska State Troopers searched a total of 190-square miles for approximately 32 hours before suspending search efforts.

Watchstanders at Sector Juneau received the initial report Monday from a good Samaritan who reported seeing the Keithahn's vessel, the 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound, operating unmanned. When contacted by Coast Guard watchstanders, the man's wife said she hadn't heard from her husband since Saturday. A 25-foot response boat crew from Station Juneau investigated the vessel and found it to be unoccupied with the man's cellular phone still aboard. The vessel was towed to Auke Bay and secured in Juneau Police Department's custody while an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Sitka commenced a search for the man. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Liberty joined the search Monday evening.

“The decision to suspend our active search efforts is always difficult,” said Cmdr. Marc Burd, chief of response, Coast Guard Sector Juneau. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family members of Mr. Keithahn.”

Marine Parking Garage closing this weekend for painting project
The Marine Parking Garage will be closed this weekend for a painting project and will be unavailable for parking beginning at
6:00pm on Friday, September 19th and will re-open for use at 6:00am on Sunday, September 21st.

The Parks & Recreation Department will make every effort to contact current permit holders this week; however, it will be necessary to tow any
vehicles that have not been moved once the contractor is ready to begin painting.

Alternate downtown parking will be available on-street and at the Downtown Transportation Center Parking garage, the North Franklin lot
and the Shopper’s lot.

If you have any questions, please contact Parks and Recreation at 586-5226, Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Most Alaskans to get nearly $1,900 in oil money
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Most Alaskans will receive nearly $1,900 for this year's share of the state's oil wealth that's distributed annually to residents just for living here.

Gov. Sean Parnell announced the amount of the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend on Wednesday. The payout set for Oct. 2 is more than double the amount of last year's $900 checks, but short of the record payout of $2,069 in 2008.

The amount of each person's check is based on a five-year average of the fund's investment earnings, which included the recession years that were more widely felt outside Alaska.

Last year's average included 2009, a recession year that dropped off from the 2014 equation.

Dividends have been distributed since 1982.


Pedestrian struck, killed on Anchorage street
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A pedestrian attempting to cross a busy east Anchorage street was struck and killed.

The man was struck by a compact car at about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday on Muldoon Road near Muldoon Town Center.

An officer who responded tells KTUU-TV the man appeared to be in his 40s.

The man died at the scene.

Man charged with filing fake robbery report, theft
HOMER, Alaska (AP) — A Homer man who claimed he was robbed at gunpoint at his employer's store has been charged with misdemeanor theft and making a false report.

The Homer News reports 19-year-old Tommy Lee Neal was arrested Thursday. He pleaded not guilty at arraignment.

Homer police say Neal on Sept. 4 reported being robbed by a man who bought a piece of licorice and then brandished a gun.

Neal told officers the man wore an Oakland Raiders hooded sweat shirt, took money from the till and drove off with a blonde in a white sedan.

Police say Neal's story fell apart. Twelve minutes passed between the licorice sale and the 911 call and surveillance video showed no white car.

Police say Neal used part of the missing $716 to pay rent.

2014 Permanent Fund Dividend is $1884
Anchorage, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell today announced that the 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) will be $1,884.00. The first dividends will be paid on October 2, when approximately 510,731 applicants will receive a direct deposit into their bank account, and 88,186 will be mailed a check. Paper checks will enter the U.S. mail system on October 2 from Juneau.

674,538 Alaskans applied for the 2014 dividend this year – an increase of approximately 1,587 applications from 2013.
More than $944.4 million will be directly deposited into Alaskans' bank accounts this year, with a total distribution, including checks, of $1.1 billion. Beginning October 2, and continuing monthly thereafter, applications that become eligible will be paid either by check or direct deposit.

Alaskans wondering about their application status may use the “myPFDinfo” online portal. It is a quick and easy way to review current and prior year application information. To use this feature, applicants should visit pfd.alaska.gov and click on the blue “myPFDinfo” button. To log in, applicants will need an Alaska driver’s license, Alaska ID, or myAlaska credentials.

The Pick.Click.Give. program had 26,850 applicants go online and pledge 44,693 individual charitable contributions, amounting to approximately $2.8 million, the highest totals since the program began six years ago. 511 nonprofit organizations benefited from the voluntary program this year.

The fund has recovered from the losses of 2009. Following the Great Recession, on June 30, 2009, the fund had a balance of $29.9 billion. By June 30, 2014, the corporation had rebuilt and grown the fund to $51.2 billion – a 71% increase.
“I want to congratulate the staff and trustees of the Permanent Fund Corporation on meeting the financial challenges of the last 5 years and for building Alaskans’ fund into a legacy we can all be proud of. I also want to extend my thanks to the Department of Revenue staff who processed the many applications,” Governor Parnell said.

This year marks the 33rd dividend paid to Alaskans. An individual who qualified for all of the Permanent Fund Dividends to date has received $37,027.41. Following the 2014 dividend payment, the total funds disbursed to Alaskans by the division since inception of the dividend program, including the Resource Rebate, will total more than $21.9 billion.

Engine sounds heard before Alaska plane crash
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two witnesses described hearing a high-pitched sound from the engine of a small, for-hire airplane before it crashed last year on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, killing all 10 people aboard.

Another reported seeing a puff of black smoke from the air taxi's engine area.

The witness statements were included in investigative documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board on Wednesday.

The documents do not provide any theories or analysis of what investigators believe might have caused the crash in Soldotna. A final report on the July 2013 accident that killed the pilot and two families from South Carolina is pending.

A weight and balance study looked at different scenarios, including one described as closely approximating the weight and balance of the plane during the flight. It calculated the plane as slightly over the maximum gross weight for which it was certificated.

Pro-Hillary Clinton group helping Senate Democrats
WASHINGTON (AP) — A pro-Hillary Rodham Clinton super PAC is dispatching staffers to key states before the fall elections and helping Senate candidates with fundraising.

The group, Ready for Hillary, says it would send more than two dozen staffers to 14 states key to Democrats' prospects in the November mid-term elections.

The states include Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, home to competitive Senate campaigns, and the early presidential voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The moves are aimed at helping a potential Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016.

Teen charged with sexual abuse of 13-year-old
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a Juneau teenager suspected of having sex with a girl more than four years younger than he is.

The grand jury last week indicted 19-year-old Michael Conkle on one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

Conviction for the Class B felony can carry a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years.

Prosecutors say Conkle was 18 when he had sex with a 13-year-old Aug. 29 and that he knew her age.

Under Alaska statutes, a crime is committed if a person 17 years old or older has sex with a child age 13, 14, or 15 and the child is at least four years younger than the older person.

Conkle was arrested Sept. 4. He turned 19 Sunday.

Woman injured in Anchorage home invasion
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 63-year-old Anchorage woman is recovering from a severe beating she suffered in a home invasion and robbery.

KTUU-TV reports three men on Monday afternoon forced their way into the woman's east-side home.

Anchorage police say the men beat the woman and stole her television.

They fled in a gold sport utility vehicle.

The suspects are described as black adults.

The woman skull fractures and possible internal injuries. Police say she was cut in multiple locations and her face was swollen.

She was treated at a hospital.

Spruce cones harvested for Alaska reforestation
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Division of Forestry officials say thousands of white spruce cones have been harvested in the Fairbanks area for future timber sale stock.

Officials say the recent harvest will yield seeds to be planted in areas where state timber sales have been held.

The cones are dried and tumbled for the seed extraction, then tested to see if they have a germination rate of at least 70 percent.

The seeds are sent to a nursery specializing in trees from northern climates.

Officials say 500,000 seeds were sent last winter to a nursery in Alberta, Canada. About 44,000 seedlings sent back to Alaska were recently planted on more than 176 acres in the Fairbanks area.

Officials say the Kenai Peninsula received another 60,000 seedlings.

Board of education to consider regulations
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The state board of education will consider regulations surrounding how students can test-out of courses they have mastered.

Lawmakers this year passed legislation allowing secondary school students to test-out of and receive credit for courses offered in math, language arts, science, social studies and world languages.

The proposed regulations would require districts to provide testing at least twice a year and develop standards regarding the degree of mastery needed.

In public comments, Ron Fuhrer, president of NEA-Alaska, said the regulations, if implemented properly, would allow students to take more advanced classes.

But he said if the testing requirements are too lax, it won't prepare students for long-term success. He also said he didn't want new testing days added to the school calendar.

The board meets this week in Anchorage.

[Tuesday September 16th, 2014  14th  EDITION 6:30 P. M.]

Douglas apartment fire
Capital City Fire Rescue was dispatched to 1617 Douglas Highway, Geneva Woods Apartment C-2 for an apartment fire on Tuesday at approximately 7:41 AM.

Fire personnel arrived on scene within 5 minutes of the alarm to find a two story apartment full of smoke. The fire was quickly extinguished and a search for occupants was conducted and no occupants were inside at the time of the fire.

The apartment sustained approximately $50,000 in damage. Working smoke alarms alerted neighbors to the fire who called 911. The fire marshal's office has conducted a fire origin and cause investigation and determined the fire to have started in the kitchen area involving the stove.

The tenants did not have any renters insurance. There were no injuries reported. Capital City Fire Rescue reminds everyone to be sure they have working smoke alarms in their home.

Boat found empty going in circles, Juneau man presumed missing
Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a Good Samaritan call about an empty 32-foot recreational vessel doing circles just outside of Auke Bay yesterday just after noon.

Bruce Bowler with the Sea Dogs says they were called yesterday to search the beach areas around Lena between Lena and Bear Creek on Admiralty Island. They are putting out three dog teams today.

The Coast Guard identified the missing Juneau man as Paul Keithahn. Scott Giard, Command Duty Officer, Coast Guard Sector Juneau, said the man was supposed to be on the vessel and is presumed missing at this point. Giard added that they searched yesterday and all last night and are continuing to search today.

The 32-foot pleasure craft Spellbound rests at a dock in Auke Bay, Alaska, Sept. 15, 2014. Coast Guard Sector Juneau released this image as part of a search for the vessel's owner after it was discovered operating unmanned in the vicinity of Coghlan Island near Auke Bay, Sept. 15. U.S. Coast Guard photo provided by Sector Juneau.

The "Supe" is on at Thunder Mountain High, meet the new superintendent
The Juneau School District announces "the Supe is on" at Thunder Mountain High School on Thursday night from 6:00 – 7:00.  Juneau School District Superintendent Mark Miller is hosting an open forum about Juneau’s Schools.

Kristin Bartlett, Juneau Schools Chief of Staff, has says, "Community members can meet the new superintendent and new directors of the district. The team will talk about student achievement, instruction, special education, student services and more. The public is encouraged to drop by to ask questions, get answers, share ideas and be a part of this community conversation."

6th Annual Discover Eaglecrest Day is Saturday, September 20
Juneau, AK - Sept. 15, 2014 – Winter is just around the corner and that  means it is time for the 6th Annual Discover Eaglecrest Day. The community is invited to Eaglecrest Ski Area Saturday, September 20, for a full day of all-ages activities and events, including Season Pass and Snowsports School sales. The day kicks off at 10:30am and finishes up at 3:30pm

“We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the mountain for our annual start of fall and the coming winter” said General Manager Matt Lillard. “Discover Eaglecrest Day is a great way to get excited for winter and check out what is new at Eaglecrest!”

Season Passes and Snowsports School products will be on sale for the 2014-2015 season at the lowest prices of the year. PFD prices are available now through Oct. 5.

The Alpine Barbeque and Beer Garden, presented by the Westmark Baranof, will have food and beverage available for purchase. Porcupine Chairlift will be spinning from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for any guests interested in a free ride to the top of Dolly Varden.

Alaska Zipline Adventures are offering zip tours at $50 per person. See the mountain from a different view! Advance reservations are required and space is limited so make your booking today. To reserve your spot, call Alaska Zipline Adventures at 907-321-0947.

The Eaglecrest Foundation will be selling retired Black Bear chairs for $100 with funds raised going to the Books 2 Boards program. New this year will be a historic silent auction featuring old trail signs and blueberry bubble chairs. “We are excited to be giving Eaglecrest supporters a chance to own a bit of Eaglecrest history!” said Jim Calvin, president of the Eaglecrest Foundation.

Other organizations that will have activities and information include SAIL/ORCA, Wells Fargo Dimond Park Field House, Juneau Ski Club, and Discovery Southeast.

Visit skijuneau.com for a complete list of Discover Eaglecrest Day events.

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 Grill at Eaglecrest, and groomed Nordic Trails.

Soldotna man dies after pinned under 4-wheeler
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 63-year-old Soldotna man died after he was pinned under a 4-wheeler on a rough trail in the Ninilchik area.

Troopers say they were notified Monday evening that a deceased man was pinned under the 4-wheeler in the Caribou Hills trail system.

Troopers say Donald Burns Jr. had been riding on the Waterhole Trail and was trying to avoid deep mud by high-marking a muddy hill.

According to troopers, the vehicle slid on top of Burns, who was not wearing a helmet.

The body was transported to the state medical examiner's office.


Questions raised about Bristol Bay initiative
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Questions have been raised about when the Legislature would get involved in approving a large-scale mine in the Bristol Bay region if a ballot initiative passes this November.

The initiative says in addition to permits, a final authorization would be needed from the Legislature for any large-scale metallic sulfide mining operation within the watershed of the Bristol Bay Fisheries Reserve. The measure would have implications for the proposed Pebble Mine.

At a hearing Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell asked when lawmakers would get involved and what would happen if additional permits were needed after the Legislature acted.

Initiative supporter Anders Gustafson, with the Renewable Resources Coalition, said he expected legislative involvement after the major permits were secured. He said the intent was not to go back to the Legislature repeatedly.

Moda: Extending policies creates divided pool
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A spokesman for Moda Health says it doesn't make sense for the company to continue to extend health insurance policies that are not in compliance with the federal health care overhaul.

Jonathan Nicholas says the company will not extend past this year such policies in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. The company offers policies on insurance exchanges in all three states.

President Barack Obama last year announced that insurers could extend through 2014 plans that otherwise would have been canceled, a timeline that was later extended.

The other insurer on Alaska's exchange, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield, plans to extend the older plans through 2016.

Nicholas says allowing for older policies to be extended created a divided risk pool. He says Moda has chosen to focus on one risk pool.

Police seize meth from couple exiting Alaska ferry
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — A California man and his fiancée have been charged with trying to smuggle methamphetamine into Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports 52-year-old William Riggs and 55-year-old Lisa Soares were searched and taken into custody Sunday as they got off an Alaska state ferry. Both are from Winton, California.

Prosecutors say they were found with 52.7 grams of methamphetamine, worth $21,000 to $26,000 in the southeast Alaska community.

Soares and Riggs boarded a ferry in Bellingham, Washington. Police in Ketchikan were waiting for them with a search warrant.

Police say they found small plastic bags containing methamphetamine in Soares' purse and bags, along with a digital scale, empty bags and used meth pipes.

Officers found more small bags in Riggs' truck.

They were arraigned Monday with bail set at $50,000.

Man arrested after high-speed highway chase
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — North Pole police say they pursued a man whose speed reached 120 mph before he drove into a ditch and was arrested.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 44-year-old Noel Alan Swanson is charged with driving while intoxicated and felony failure to stop for a peace officer.

Police spotted Swanson just before 2:30 a.m. Sunday speeding and not using his turn signal on Santa Claus Lane. An officer attempted a traffic stop but Swanson fled.

Police say Swanson drove the wrong way on roundabouts and reached the Richardson Highway, where he accelerated to 120 mph.

Swanson called police dispatchers during the chase and said he didn't intend to go to jail.

He drove into a ditch and was arrested in nearby woods. He's being held on $5,000 bail.

State joins timber lawsuit
The state is asking to intervene in lawsuits challenging a timber sale on Prince of Wales Island.

The Big Thorne sale, approved by the U.S. Forest Service last month, is facing two lawsuits, filed by Earthjustice and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

The groups had opposed the sale due to the impact on old-growth timber and wolf habitat.

Governor Parnell said Monday the state filed motions to join the lawsuit on the side of the federal government. The state is also asking to join a third lawsuit against the Tongass National Forest Management Plan.

A contract for the Big Thorne sale is scheduled to be awarded this month.

The Forest Service says the sale will include about 98 million board feet of timber, with another 40 million board feet intended for later sales.

Woman charged with stabbing man in south Anchorage
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 22-year-old woman has been charged with stabbing a man in south Anchorage.

KTUU-TV reports Alison DelaRosa is charged with felony assault.

Anchorage Police Sgt. Jason Allen says the man suffered a stab wound to his chest but that the injury did not appear to be life-threatening. The man was taken to a hospital.

Police took a call on the incident at about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

Trial begins for dentist charged with sex assault
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A trial has begun in Anchorage for a former Glennallen dentist charged with sexually assaulting a woman incapacitated by alcohol.

The Alaska Dispatch News reports 44-year-old Kevin Brent Shedlock is charged with four felony counts.

Defense attorney Wallace Tetlow says Shedlock for 14 years was the sole dentist at the Wrangell Mountain Dental Clinic operated by the Copper River Native Association.

He says evidence will show Tetlow and the woman engaged in voluntary and consensual sex.

Shedlock and the woman were part of a group that drank heavily on Aug. 25, 2013, before an annual conference of the Copper River Native Association.

Prosecutor Clint Campion says the woman became ill from drinking. Campion says Shedlock escorted her to her room and sexually assaulted her.

Sullivan says he backs state minimum wage measure
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Dan Sullivan says he doesn't support raising the federal minimum wage but supports a state initiative to raise Alaska's minimum wage.

Sullivan, in a statement, said he believes Alaskans know best when it comes to strengthening the state's economy and supporting its workers and businesses. Sullivan said he also backs efforts to support Alaska's energy sector and streamline regulations.

His position was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Voters in November will decide a ballot measure that would raise Alaska's minimum wage of $7.75 an hour by $2 over two years.

During rapid-fire questioning during a primary debate, Sullivan said he didn't support the initiative. Critics on Monday accused him of flip flopping.

A Sullivan spokesman said Sullivan came to his position after hearing from Alaskans.

Bethel church destroyed by fire
BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Authorities are investigating an early morning fire that destroyed a church in Bethel.

KYUK says no injuries were reported in the fire that broke out Monday.

Acting Fire Chief Bill Howell says the blaze involved at least 50 percent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church when firefighters arrived in response to a call shortly after 6:15 a.m. Monday.

Howell says he arrived on scene about 10- to- 12 minutes after the first firefighters arrived.

He says flames were coming out of the windows on the east side of the building and the fire had just started to breach the roof. He says authorities don't believe anyone was inside the building at the time of the fire.

Howell believes the church is a total loss.

[Monday September 15th, 2014  11TH  EDITION 6:04 P. M.]

Alaskans receiving unemployment benefits must file work search reports
JUNEAU, Alaska—Under new federal legislation, Alaskans filing for unemployment insurance benefits must report their work search efforts beginning with the week of Sept. 21- 27.

Most UI claimants must make and report two valid employer work search contacts for each week that benefits are claimed, under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Not conducting and reporting a valid work search may result in a denial of benefits.

Claimants currently filing for UI benefits will be notified of the number of required work search contacts they must make and report each week.

More information about unemployment insurance benefits and work search requirements is available online http://labor.alaska.gov/esd_unemployment_insurance/faq.htm.

Alaskans are urged to contact the nearest Job Center for job search assistance, resume building assistance and other employment services to aid in a transition to sustainable employment. For a list of Alaska Job Centers go online at Jobs.Alaska.Gov or call toll-free 877-724-2539.

Health Insurance open enrollment approaches, free online presentation to help
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace is November 15th – February 15th, so now is the time to start thinking about changing your plan, updating information and considering options. If you haven’t signed up for insurance through the Marketplace, you can set up a new account on www.healthcare.gov in preparation for open enrollment.

Only people that meet specific criteria are eligible to enroll in health insurance for 2014. These include: losing your health insurance, divorce, marriage, having a new baby and other special circumstances. Alaska Native and American Indian people can enroll any month of the year. Those that do not have insurance will face a tax penalty filing next year’s taxes.

SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) is hosting a free presentation on Tuesday, September 23rd, from noon to 1:00pm at Kettleson Memorial Library in Sitka (temporary location at the Stratton Library, 831 Lincoln St) to help people understand the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace and how to prepare for the upcoming open enrollment. For those unable to attend, this presentation will be offered on the OWL (Online With Library) system and may be viewed after the presentation on the state library website at http://library.alaska.gov/dev/owlArchives.html.

Some individuals may receive an exemption from the tax penalty due to lack of affordability, tribal coverage, and hardship by submitting appropriate forms by the end of the year. SEARHC offers free assistance to all Sitkans to apply for exemptions, create new accounts, sign up for insurance, and answer questions.

“Health insurance is very confusing. The presentation will help people get a better understanding of how to make educated decisions for their healthcare needs.” says Andrea Thomas, Outreach & Enrollment Manager for SEARHC. “There will be lots of time for questions.”

BP Alaska plans layoffs following Hilcorp sale
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — BP Alaska, a major player in the state's oil industry, is planning to lay off 275 employees and contractors early next year.

Spokeswoman Dawn Patience says the business in Alaska will be smaller due to the previously announced sale of interests in four North Slope oil fields to Hilcorp.

Patience says the layoffs, combined with the 200 individuals who have accepted jobs with Hilcorp., represents about 17 percent of the total number of BP employees and contractors in the state.

The company's regional president, in announcing the sale in April, said it would allow for BP to focus on maximizing production from Prudhoe Bay and advancing plans for a major liquefied natural gas project. BP is working on the latter with the state, Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and TransCanada Corp.

Wasilla police involved in fatal shooting
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Wasilla police say they are investigating an officer-involved shooting that left a 23-year-old man dead.

Two officers responded to a home after a 911 hang-up call early Monday morning, but authorities are not saying how many officers actually fired weapons.

Police are releasing little information about the shooting at a home on North Jack Nicholas Drive.

Officer Rick Manrique says police have requested that Alaska State Troopers investigate.

Manrique says he cannot discuss specifics, but adds the shooting occurred because officers feared imminent life-threatening injury to themselves or others.

Manrique says one other person was at the scene when the shooting occurred.

He says the officers have been placed on administrative leave for 72 hours, according to department policy. The names of the officers were not immediately released.

Pitkas Point woman dies in ATV crash
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 21-year-old Pitkas Point woman has died in an all-terrain vehicle crash in western Alaska.

Troopers say Pulcheria Yapanik was the only person on the ATV in the crash, which was reported Sunday. The accident occurred on the Saint Marys airport road.

Troopers say the body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.Pitkas Point woman dies in ATV crash

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 21-year-old Pitkas Point woman has died in an all-terrain vehicle crash in western Alaska.

Troopers say Pulcheria Yapanik was the only person on the ATV in the crash, which was reported Sunday. The accident occurred on the Saint Marys airport road.

Troopers say the body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Coast Guard rescues three hunters near Kodiak, Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Coast Guard rescued three hunters from dangerous weather conditions at Windy Lake near Kodiak Sunday.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Kodiak safely transported the men to Air Station Kodiak where they were examined by waiting emergency medical personnel.

Watchstanders at the 17th District command center in Juneau received a request for assistance from Sea Hawk Air and Alaska State Troopers to rescue the hunters when weather conditions became too dangerous for the men to remain at their campsite. The men's tents were blown away by 30-40-mph winds Saturday night, and there were concerns they might become hypothermic. The helicopter crew launched from Kodiak and managed to land near the men, allowing them to board the helicopter and be flown to safety.

"These men did the right thing by planning ahead, maintaining contact with their charter agency and rescuers and, most importantly, not overestimating their ability to endure the elements," said Lt. Cmdr. Doug Watson of the Coast Guard 17th District response management department. "As we get closer to autumn and the weather becomes colder, it becomes more important for hunters to plan for rain, heavy winds and other dangerous conditions."

The Coast Guard reminds hunters to leave a travel plan including campsite locations and estimated trip duration with family or friends before beginning any hunting trip. It is also recommended to bring more than one means of communication when possible and to always carry a signal device such as a mirror or flares for the event of a rescue.

The weather on scene at the time of the rescue was reported to be 45-degrees Fahrenheit with intermittent showers and up to 46-mph winds.

Refinery closure leads to higher asphalt expense
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The closure of the North Pole Refinery is leading to higher road construction costs north of the Alaska Range.

The general manager of Exclusive Paving, Travis Cline, tells the Alaska Journal of Commerce that the price of asphalt oil has increased by about 20 percent, or about $150 per ton.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reports that's because asphalt oil now has to be trucked up from the Tesoro refinery in Nikiski (ni-KIS'-kee) for road projects in Fairbanks and sites to the north.

Contracts for summer road projects were awarded last winter or in early spring. Flint Hills Resources Alaska announced it would close the refinery June 1.

Frank Ganley of the Department of Transportation estimates the Northern Region will use 25,000 tons of asphalt oil this year.

Young announces plans for 3 House debates, forums
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — U.S. Rep. Don Young has agreed to participate in three debates and forums in the lead-up to the November general election.

Young's campaign says he'll participate in a Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce forum on Oct. 28 and an Alaska Public Media debate on Oct. 30. His campaign had previously said he would take part in a debate on fisheries issues in Kodiak on Oct. 1.

Young spokesman Matt Shuckerow says these are debates or forums that Young has traditionally attended.

Young, who has served in Congress since 1973, is facing Democratic political upstart Forrest Dunbar.

Anchorage surveys to look at transportation habits
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage transportation planners are hoping two surveys this month will give them a better idea of transportation habits among commuters.

Alaska Dispatch News reports that one of the surveys asks households that have been randomly selected to record travel diaries, while another starting Wednesday will look at bus commuters.

The survey using commuter diaries is called the Regional Household Travel Survey, and it's the first time the federally funded survey has been conducted since 2002.

Anchorage transportation planning manager Craig Lyon says it's an opportunity for people to share where they go.

For bus commuters, surveyors will be asking questions, such as why and how often the bus is used.

Anchorage transportation director Lance Wilber says the goal is to get a picture of travel habits.

Lake Louise man dies after boat capsizing
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska State Troopers say a 61-year-old man died and two other men were rescued after their boat capsized in strong winds and large waves at Lake Louise northeast of Anchorage.

Howard W. Jaidinger of Lake Louise was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday after resuscitation efforts failed.

Troopers say they received a report at about 8:40 a.m. Sunday of a personal locator beacon being activated at the lake.

The beacon was registered to 42-year-old Brian Johnson of Anchorage. Searchers found him and 45-year-old Jeffrey Watson of Anchorage floating about a mile offshore.

Troopers say the two men were wearing life vests and were safely rescued. Jaidinger, who also was wearing a life vest, was found floating in the late at about noon.

Ketchikan considers loan to mariculture group
KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — The Ketchikan Gateway Borough is deciding whether to loan $600,000 in federal economic development money to a nonprofit group that wants to advance the local mariculture industry.

The Ketchikan Daily News reports the loan would be used to pay operating expenses of Ketchikan-based OceansAlaska.

The marine science center is shifting its focus to production of oyster and geoduck (GOO'-ee-duk) seed.

Geoducks are highly prized, large burrowing clams that can fetch up to $50 a pound in Asian markets.

The city already granted money to the group. Under the latest proposal, that money and another $441,000 would be combined into a 20-year loan.

The proposed loan could come up for a final vote Monday night.

Fairbanks, Delta see record high temperatures
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Fairbanks has been known to have snow by September but that's not the case this year.

Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday broke or tied record highs.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the thermometer hit 76 degrees just before 4 p.m. Sunday. That beat the old record for the day of 73, set in 1938.

On Saturday, the temperature reached 74, which tied the record high for Sept. 13 set in 1965.

A new temperature record was also set Sunday in Delta Junction at 70 degrees.

Normal temperatures for the interior Alaska communities range from the mid-30s to the low 50s.

The National Weather Service says the unseasonable warmth should carry into Monday. Temperatures are forecast to cool Tuesday.

Anchorage condominium fire sends 2 to hospital
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two people are recovering from smoke inhalation after a west Anchorage fire.

KTUU-TV reports the fire started just before 11 a.m. in the living room of a condominium off International Airport Road. The home was one of 20 in the condominium complex.

A home oxygen unit caused the fire to grow and fire department Capt. Barry Clark says the fire got big fast.

One unit was destroyed and other had smoke damage.

The two injured people were taken to a hospital.

The fire killed two cats.

The cause has not been determined.

[Sunday September 14th, 2014  5th  EDITION 5:50 P. M.]

Pedestrian hit
Juneau Police issued a bulletin early Sunday stating that a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle in the 4500 block of North Douglas Highway.

EMS transported the 33 year old female to Bartlett Regional Hospital for a medical evaluation. Her injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

Neither the 52 year old male driver, nor his 49 year old female passenger, was injured.

Following an investigation, the driver was placed under arrest for DUI and was later taken to the BHR for an independent test of his level of intoxication. The driver was then released. Charges are pending against the driver for DUI.

According to JPD's Sgt. Krag Campbell, alcohol appeared to be a factor with the driver and the pedestrian.

JPD looking for witnesses to multiple vehicle wreck
Juneau Police responded to a motor vehicle collision involving multiple vehicles at the corner of Mendenhall Loop Road and Egan Drive on Saturday night at 8:54.

A Chevrolet truck, driven a 19 year-old man,collided in the intersection with a GMC Yukon, driven by a 33 year-old woman. The collision caused both vehicles to roll. The GMC then struck a Subaru driven by a 22 year-old man. The Subaru was pushed into a Mazda Protégé, driven by a 24 year-old man.

Several of the involved occupants sustained minor injuries and were treated at the scene. A five year-old gil and a two year-old boy who were riding in the GMC were transported to the Bartlett Regional Hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries.

The Chevrolet, GMC, and the Subaru were all totaled. The Mazda received minor damage. Traffic was shut down on Egan Drive for about an hour during the investigation.

The driver of the Chevrolet was cited for Failure to Maintain Liability Insurance. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor.

Anyone who witnessed the incident should contact Sergeant Chris Gifford at 907-500-0619.

Health officials warn of Sea-Tac measles exposure
SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Public health officials are warning that people may have been exposed to measles at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

In a news release, Public Health-Seattle & King County officials say a passenger who contracted a confirmed case of the disease — likely outside the United States — was contagious when he or she was at the airport. The passenger was at the north satellite terminal, on the inter-terminal train and at baggage claim between 8:10 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 6.

The traveler also went to The Bistro, a restaurant at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way hotel that night.

Officials say most people have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously. But if not, and if they may have been exposed at those locations, the most likely time they would become sick is between Sept. 13 and 27.

Possible patients are asked to call a doctor if they develop an illness or fever with unexplained rash. To avoid exposing others they should not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first.

People at highest risk are those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 6 months old and those with weakened immune systems.

Police: 6 hurt in shooting outside Alaska bar
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Police say six people were injured, one critically, in a shooting outside a bar in Alaska, and the suspects remain at large.

A group of family members and friends was outside the Kodiak Bar and Grill in Anchorage at 4:25 a.m. Sunday when one of the family members and the suspects began arguing. Moments later shots were fired.

Of the six shot, police said only 20-year-old Jonah Silva suffered a life-threatening wound, a gunshot to his abdomen.

The suspects were described as two men in their mid-20s. Detectives spent the morning interviewing victims and witnesses.

Police asked anyone with information about the identity of the suspects to call the department.


3 rescued after plane goes down in Alaska
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Air National Guard says it rescued three people after a small plane went down near Beluga Mountain, northwest of Anchorage.

The plane's emergency locator beacon sent a signal to the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Air National Guard's rescue helicopter headed for the coordinates transmitted from the beacon and found the plane 1.2 miles away.

The three people who had been onboard were taken to Providence Medical Center in Anchorage. They were released shortly after 5 p.m. in good condition with no reported injuries.

It wasn't immediately clear what caused the plane to go down or whether it sustained damage.

Health centers get money for expanded services
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — More than two dozen health centers in Alaska will receive federal funding to hire additional doctors and expand primary care services.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the $5.3 million in funding through the federal health care law will help the centers reach more than 7,700 new patients.

The department estimates the funding will allow for longer hours and expanded services, including dental, vision or mental and behavioral health services. It also will allow for the hiring of 40 additional staff members.

The funding will go to 27 centers statewide.


Group seeks to restore old Cripple Creek
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Cripple Creek used to wind and snake its way down Chena Ridge near Fairbanks, until a mining company cut a ditch in the 1930s to create a straighter channel it needed to support its operations.

Now a conservation group is seeking to restore the original flow of the old Cripple Creek.

The Interior Alaska Land Trust has been meeting with local, state and federal agencies hoping to dovetail the project with other planned construction to save money and headaches.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that the old creek's path is still visible, and parts have standing water. The conservation group hopes revitalizing the creek would improve fish and bird habitat in the area.