August 2021

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Climate Change | Environment | WeatherAlaska logs 200 days of above normal tempsSeptember 7, 2016 by Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk Share:Almost every day of 2016 has been above normal in Alaska. (Graphic courtesy of Brian Brettschneider)Tuesday marked the 200th day in a row of above normal temperatures for Alaska. Even in a string of unusually warm years for the state, that’s a remarkable run.Brian Brettschneider is a climatologist in Anchorage who closely tracks Alaska climate data and trends. Alaska’s Energy Desk is checking in with him regularly as part of a new segment- Ask a Climatologist.The daily average statewide temperature is based on an index of 25 cities across Alaska.Interview transcriptBrian: Individual cities may have a few below normal days sprinkled in here and there, but on the aggregate it’s been above normal every single day of 2016 except for one and that was Feb. 9.Annie: And how unusual is that?Brian: The last two years, 2014 and 2015, were the two warmest years on record, dating back to 1925, when they started keeping stats. Each of those two years had at least 60 days that were in the lowest third of temperature categories. And this year we’ve had no days in the lowest third of temperature categories and only one day that was even slightly below the normal. So it’s almost a near certainty that 2016 will be the warmest on record for Alaska.Annie: And we keep talking about these warm ocean temperature around Alaska. How much is that a factor?Brian: Well it’s definitely a factor. You’ve got this unlimited reservoir of warm ocean water which facilitates warm temperatures in the air right above that water, so it really acts as a floor for how low temperatures can go.Annie: And what are you seeing in the August data for those ocean temperatures?Brian: For the ocean temperatures surrounding Alaska, and I’m talking mainly south- so Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea- the summer of 2016 was the second warmest on record. Last year was the warmest on record. And 2014 was the third warmest on record. So it really goes to show how anomalously warm the atmosphere and the environment is around Alaska that really is preventing us from having even normal temperatures. Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgLocal Government | SouthcentralAnchorage may get a 4% sales taxNovember 22, 2016 by Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media Share:Alaska’s largest city could see a sales tax.Anchorage Assembly member Bill Evans is readying a measure that could bring a 4 percent tax on goods and services.“People have been pretty upset about the rising property taxes. There’s a limit to what I think you can bear in property taxes in a municipality this size,” Evans said by phone Tuesday. “So diversifying the revenue stream, I think, makes a lot of sense, and takes in some people that currently aren’t paying taxes in Anchorage, people that are commuting here, tourists, things like that.”Evans said the sales tax is designed to offset property taxes “dollar for dollar.” By shifting the city’s revenue sources without expanding the size of the budget, the measure is designed to stay below the municipality’s “tax cap.”“If property taxes in the city start to decline, which is a very real possibility given the state’s situation, the city could be in a huge problem because everything is just so loaded onto those property taxes,” Evans said.“It would be much more sensible to have at least a couple irons in the fire as far as how you determine your revenues,” he added.Evans acknowledges that with legislators in Juneau also floating the idea of a state-wide sales tax there’s the possibility of double-burdening Anchorage residents.In order to “combat the regressive nature of a sales tax” Evans is including provisions to exempt essential goods like “food, prescription medicines, utility payments, gasoline and heating fuels, child and adult care services,” as well as rent payments, according to a draft of materials to be submitted with the ordinance.“I think one of the hardest hit groups right now are people that are the more or less ‘working poor,’ who have a house but that increasing property tax that they can’t get out from almost threatens their ability to keep their house,” Evans said.The measure has a long way to go. Evans hopes to file it within a week, bringing it before the Assembly for action in December or January after public testimony. If the 11-member body passes it, then the measure would go before Anchorage voters in the April municipal elections — where it would need to get at least 60 percent approval in order to pass.There has never been a sales tax in the municipality. A 2006 measure to introduce one failed.Evans, a fiscal conservative from South Anchorage, is not running for re-election once his term ends in 2017.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgBusiness | JuneauJuneau Empire publisher departs abruptlyJanuary 4, 2017 by Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska Share:The Juneau Empire on Channel Drive. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)There’s been more turnover at the top of Juneau’s daily newspaper. Publisher Rustan Burton has left the Juneau Empire after nearly four years at the helm, according to a brief article posted Wednesday afternoon on the newspaper’s website.His departure follows the managing editor and two reporters in recent weeks. Top editor Charles Westmoreland left at the end of December after five years at the paper. And reporters Lisa Phu and Sam DeGrave also left at the end of last month.The Juneau Empire article gave no reason for the publisher’s departure. The article said he’d left to take an unspecified job in the Midwest. Burton said he was on a family vacation and declined further comment.Deputy editor Emily Russo Miller has been serving as interim managing editor since Christmas Eve. A new cops reporter started work this week.The article quoted Burton as saying he was “grateful” for the opportunity at the Empire. The Juneau Empire is owned by Georgia-based Morris Communications. The article said Kenai-based group publisher Deedie McKenzie will serve as publisher in the interim.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgAlaska’s Energy Desk | Energy & Mining | Environment | Fisheries | State GovernmentJudge overrules state, says salmon initiative can go forwardOctober 9, 2017 by Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk Share:A ballot initiative aimed at making salmon habitat protections more stringent will likely result in a fierce fight over the right use of state resources. (Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)A controversial ballot initiative intended to protect salmon habitat has cleared a major hurdle, setting up what could be an intense political fight.A judge in Anchorage on Monday ruled that Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott was wrong to deny the initiative, organized by the nonprofit Stand for Salmon.Mallott rejected the ballot measure in September, arguing it would tie the state’s hands and prioritize salmon habitat over other potential uses of state land, like mining or oil development. The state says if it’s enacted, the measure could complicate efforts to build projects like roads, pipelines and the proposed Pebble Mine. The initiative is also opposed by a wide range of industry groups.At a hearing last week, Valerie Brown with Trustees for Alaska, who represented Stand for Salmon, argued the ballot initiative isn’t aimed at prohibiting development, though it would add to the permitting process.Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner agreed. In his ruling, he called it “pure speculation” to predict the impact of the initiative.“The court has no competent evidence regarding the impact of the initiative,” Rindner wrote. “Nor does such evidence exist.”Rindner said the initiative leaves enough room for the legislature to decide how resources are used.“Because the impact of the initiative can only be determined after legislative action occurs, the court finds, as a matter of law, that the initiative is not an allocation and is thus constitutionally permissible,” Rindner wrote.Mike Wood, one of the ballot measure’s organizers, applauded the decision.“I think the ruling that the judge had was awesome,” said Wood. “Set politics aside and read it for what it is. And I think he did that.”Wood, a commercial fisherman, was involved in opposition to the Susitna Dam. Two of the initiative’s other organizers, Gayla Hoseth and Brian Kraft, have been involved in fighting the proposed Pebble Mine.Marleanna Hall is executive director of the Resource Development Council, one of the groups opposed to the ballot initiative. Hall said she’s disappointed, and her group is asking the state to appeal.“Unfortunately, this initiative, as it is, poses a grave threat to community and resource development,” said Hall. “It puts economic activities highly at risk.”Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar said the state is evaluating whether to appeal the decision to the Alaska Supreme Court.“Clearly we disagree with the court’s legal conclusion that the measure is a constitutional use of the initiative,” Bakalar wrote in an email. “…Whether to appeal to the Alaska Supreme Court includes an evaluation process that will take several weeks to complete, and that process is underway. In the meantime, we are complying with the superior court’s order and working on printing petition booklets for circulation as quickly as possible.”Stand for Salmon can now begin collecting signatures. It aims to get the initiative on the ballot in 2018.Barring a Supreme Court decision blocking the initiative, “the next decision is whether this is a good idea or not,” said Brown of Trustees for Alaska. “That’s the decision of the voters, not of the Lieutenant Governor.”The initiative isn’t the only effort to make state laws protecting salmon habitat more stringent. It’s similar to a bill introduced in the state House by Kodiak Republican Louise Stutes, and co-sponsored by Anchorage Democrats Andy Josephson and Les Gara.Correction: An earlier version of this story said the bill was introduced by Reps. Stutes, Josephson and Gara. In fact, the legislation was introduced by Rep. Stutes and later co-sponsored by Reps. Josephson and Gara. Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgExecutive Director Jixeik Gerry Hope has ideas for how healing for Williams’ negative feelings might begin.“If I were to see a vision, it would be a number of things. One is acknowledgements from the dominant society that wrongs were committed against the first people. Another outcome that I’d like to see is a healthy dialogue in how we proceed from that. It doesn’t have to be demands. It doesn’t have to be any necessarily big news events that are conflict based. … As long as it is constructive and safe, and health-based,” said Hope.That fits with the this year’s conference theme, “Our History, We Are Healing Ourselves.”Share this story: “As a child growing up here, born and raised, who doesn’t like a parade? … Parades encourage fun and happiness and that’s hard to resist. As I got older into my young adulthood is when I started hearing some of the frustrations, some of the anger, and some of the resentment,” said Hope.“I have had for quite some time negative feelings about the holiday,” said Kaasáank’ Andrew C. Williams, who was among the conference presenters.“It’s associated to the defeat of our people in this area. It’s associated to an idea that it’s OK to take control of somebody else’s stuff as long as you have the latest technology to stomp them down and control of the history of those people,” said Williams. Alaska Native Arts & Culture | KRNN | KXLL | SoutheastTlingit tribal conference in Sitka leans into cultural contrast with Alaska Day holidayOctober 18, 2017 by Scott Burton, KTOO Share:Sharing Our Knowledge: A Conference of Tlingit Tribes and Clans took place in Sitka over the weekend. The biennial conference began in 1993 as a way to document customs and traditions and includes lectures, ceremonies, and hands-on art and technology demonstrations.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.This year’s gathering, at the historic Sheldon Jackson College campus, was scheduled to coincide with Alaska Day celebrations.On the the front lawn, participants hurled spears at an elk target using Alaska Native spearthrowing boards.Inside, master weavers and aspiring artists’ fingers spidered across Chilkat and Raven’s Tail-style works.“I’m weaving again!” said Liana Wallace who was among the weavers gathering sitting in a large, windowed foyer. Abundant natural light illuminated a welcoming smile and her work.Liana Wallace works at the weavers gathering. (Photo by Scott Burton/KTOO)“I’m from Juneau. I’m Aak’w Kwáan from the Big Dipper house,” said Wallace who admitted she hadn’t woven in some time.“I’ve been inspired by my sisters who are all weaving in honor of our teacher,” she said referring to the late master weaver and multi-disciplinary artist Clarissa Rizal.“And so I am working with Lily, her daughter, and I’m working with Irene, her sister. And yes, it makes it more powerful to begin again,” said Wallace.Elsewhere on campus, scholars and experts presented with titles like “Tlingit-Russian Interpreters Before and After 1867,” “Misconceptions about Alaska Natives,” and “The Seward Pole: Indigenous Claims in Alaska’s Sesquicentennial.”Jixeik, or Gerry Hope, is the conference’s Executive Director. He’s Sik’nax.ádi from Wrangell. He said that he and the organizing committee decided to schedule this year’s symposium now, just before Alaska Day. For Hope, it’s been a long time coming.last_img read more

first_imgFederal Government | Military | NPR NewsFallen soldier’s mother says Trump disrespected her son and familyOctober 18, 2017 by Don Gonyea and Brian Naylor, NPR News Share:A man holds a sign supporting Donald Trump at a rally at Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona, in June 2016. (Creative Commons photo by Gage Skidmore)Updated on Oct. 18 a 4:25 p.m. ETThe pushback — and the outrage — began immediately.Trump was asked on Monday why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four U.S. soldiers who were ambushed during a mission in Niger on Oct. 4. In his answer, Trump turned attention to the policies of past presidents and their contact with families of service members who have died.On Tuesday, he followed his initial comments with more assertions, offering a specific example. That prompted further rebuttal from staff of previous administrations.Meanwhile, a congresswoman said Trump told the widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger that he “must have known what he signed up for.”Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., tells NBC6 that she overheard the call to Myeshia Johnson on Tuesday on a car speakerphone, as the two women were heading to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson.In a tweet Wednesday morning, Trump denied he said that, calling Wilson’s account “fabricated” and adding, “I have proof.” Press secretary Sarah Sanders clarified that there was no recording of the call, but that there were several people in the room at the time, including retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff.Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2017Yet by midday Wednesday, the soldier’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, had backed up the congresswoman’s account. Jones-Johnson said she was also in the car listening to the call and told The Washington Post, “President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband.”At a Rose Garden news conference on Monday, a reporter had asked Trump: “Why haven’t we heard anything from you so far about the soldiers that were killed in Niger? And what do you have to say about that?”The president responded, “I’ve written them personal letters.”But as he continued, his response got less clear.“They’ve been sent, or they’re going out tonight, but they were written during the weekend,” Trump said.Then came a promise of more.“I will, at some point during the period of time, call the parents and the families — because I have done that, traditionally,” he added. He spoke of how making such phone calls is a “difficult thing.”Then came the moment that is vintage Trump. He turned it into an attack on his predecessors in office.“If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls,” he said. “A lot of them didn’t make calls.”The facts simply don’t support such a statement.Trump’s words prompted measured responses from the offices of the past two presidents.A former Obama White House official told NPR on Monday, “President Trump’s claim is wrong. President Obama engaged families of the fallen and wounded warriors throughout his presidency through calls, letters, visits to Section 60 at Arlington, visits to Walter Reed, visits to Dover, and regular meetings with Gold Star families at the White House and across the country.”On Tuesday, George W. Bush’s spokesman wrote in an email, “I don’t have a statement from President Bush; I can only confirm that of course he wrote, called, and visited privately with hundreds if not thousands of families of the fallen.” Twitter was also full of reaction from former Bush and Obama White House staffers, including photographs and emotional stories of meetings with soldiers’ families at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and of the former commanders in chief being present for the arrival of the remains of soldiers at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.Many also used social media to share former President George W. Bush press secretary Dana Perino’s past recollections of visiting troops and their families in the hospital — some were gravely wounded; some wouldn’t survive their injuries. In April 2015, Perino shared that scene with NPR’s Morning Edition:“Most every family was just delighted that the president was there and so honored that the commander in chief would stop by. I wasn’t sure what it would be like, and on my first trip there, I witnessed that for about the first 25 people he visited. And then we went in to this room, and the mom and dad were there and the mother was distraught.“Her son was on life support, and from what I gathered and could tell, that his prognosis — that it was unlikely he would survive. And the mother was very distraught and she’s crying and the husband was trying to calm her, and the president was there and he also tried to calm her. And then she yelled: ‘Why are your children OK, but my son is here?’ And the president stopped trying to comfort her because she was inconsolable.“But he didn’t leave. He stood there, almost as if he needed to absorb it and to understand it. Commanders in chief make really tough decisions, and we went on to the next rooms, and I remember those being experiences where the families were very happy to see him. But when we got on Marine One to fly back to the White House, the president was looking out the window, and then he looked at me and he said, ‘That mama sure was mad at me.’ And then he looked out the window and he said, ‘And I don’t blame her a bit.’ And a tear rolled down his cheek, but he didn’t wipe it away, and then we flew back to the White House.”On Tuesday, the White House remained on the attack on this issue, defending Trump’s initial comments, but also including a specific example of his own chief of staff.Kelly lost his son in Afghanistan in November 2010. Second Lt. Robert Michael Kelly was killed when he stepped on a land mine while on patrol with his platoon of Marines. He was posthumously promoted to first lieutenant.In an interview with Fox News Radio on Tuesday morning, Trump implied that former President Barack Obama never called Kelly after his son’s death.“I said it very loud and clear yesterday. The hardest thing for me to do is [make those calls],” Trump said. “Now, as far as other representatives, I don’t know. I mean, you could ask Gen. Kelly did he get a call from Obama?”He added, “I’m not speaking for other people. I don’t know what Bush did; I don’t know what Obama did. You could find out easily what President Obama did. All you have to do is ask the military people, but I believe his policy was somewhat different than my policy. I can tell you my policy is I’ve called every one of them.”After the interview, a current White House official told NPR that Obama did not call Kelly after his son was killed in action.In May 2011, the Obama White House did host a breakfast for Gold Star families, families who lost a loved one serving in the military. A source familiar with that breakfast confirms not only that Kelly attended but also that he and his wife were listed as being seated at a table with the first lady at that event.On Tuesday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had spoken to the four families of the soldiers killed in Niger.“He offered condolences on behalf of a grateful nation and assured them their family’s extraordinary sacrifice to the country will never be forgotten,” the statement said.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit this story:last_img read more

first_imgEconomy | Interior | Politics | Southcentral | State GovernmentFor third straight year, Gov. Walker proposes budget drawing from Permanent Fund earningsDecember 15, 2017 by Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO and Alaska Public Media Share:Alaska Gov. Bill Walker talks about his budget proposal in Anchorage on Friday as Revenue Commissioner Sheldon Fisher and budget director Pat Pitney look on. The budget for the fiscal year that begins in July 2018 would draw from Permanent Fund earnings. (Photo by Wesley Early/Alaska Public Media)For the third straight year, Gov. Bill Walker has proposed a budget that would draw money from Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to pay for state government and reduce the permanent fund dividend. But this time, Walker left a nearly half-billion dollar gap to be filled with other savings.Gov. Walker proposed a slightly smaller budget for this fiscal year that begins in July, with the portion of the budget that lawmakers focus on falling from $4.2 billion to $4 billion. Nearly half of the budget — or $1.9 billion — would be paid with Permanent Fund earnings.But for the first time, administration officials said the earnings draw is necessary because the state’s other piggy bank, the Constitutional Budget Reserve, is running low.The budget does add funding in one area — $34 million for public safety.“Alaskans don’t feel safe, you know? They just don’t feel safe with what’s happening with crime,” Walker said. “And so our goal is to improve that and increase their level of safety.”Walker proposed a permanent fund dividend of $1,216, which is more than the last two years but less than the amount previously set by the state law.The governor kept a proposal for a 1.5 percent tax on pay from employment. But he limited the tax to the next three years. And he said all of the money would be spent on deferred maintenance on public facilities.Walker also proposed some changes to how the state sets its budget.“There’s no question the process is broken that we use in Alaska on budgeting,” he said.Per diem payments to lawmakers would stop if they don’t pass a budget in the 90-day session set by state law. Lawmakers’ salaries would also be delayed if they miss this deadline, as would the governor’s if the administration misses its Dec. 15 deadline to propose a budget.“I think we need to give ourselves a pink slip before we give pink slips to other people,” Walker said.Another change would shift the state to a two-year budget, in which the Legislature would pass two budgets in one year, and then make amendments to the second budget the following year.And administration officials proposed some accounting changes that they say will make the sources of the money that pay for the budget more transparent.Walker also proposed paying off the tax credits the state owes oil and gas companies by selling bonds.The Legislature will begin work on the budget when the new session starts on Jan. 16.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgFisheries | Nation & WorldAtlantic salmon grower calls effort to ban fish farms in Puget Sound ‘foolishness’February 12, 2018 by Tom Banse, Northwest News Network Share:Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon farm near Bainbridge Island, Washington. (Photo courtesy Washington Department of Natural Resources)The head of Cooke Aquaculture says he’s furious about “scare tactics” that he says are driving a push to end Atlantic salmon farming in Puget Sound.Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.The Washington Senate voted 35-12 Thursday to phase out aquatic leases for net pens holding non-native fish.The August collapse and massive escape from Cooke net pens near Anacortes, Washington, energized Atlantic salmon farming opponents at the Washington Legislature.Cooke Aquaculture CEO Glenn Cooke and other company leaders watched from the Senate gallery as a bipartisan majority effectively voted to boot the company’s operations out of Washington waters.The charge was led by Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker.“If we want to talk about protecting jobs, what we need to do is protect our Salish Sea and get these net pens out of the water,” Ranker said.“It was foolishness,” Cooke said. “It was incredible, some of the charges and comments.”Cooke flew in from New Brunswick, Canada, where his family’s multinational seafood company is based.“Think of this, this is the United States of America and you’re banning an industry?” he said.Cooke said the net pen failure off Cypress Island last August was an aberration for his company. He disputes that escaped Atlantic salmon pose a risk of colonization or competition with native Pacific salmon.He also disputes the frequent charge that net pens spread disease or pollution.Cooke said about 180 jobs in fish production and processing are at risk if the state of Washington terminates all of Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon farm leases.The lively state Senate debate Thursday centered on the potential risks to struggling wild salmon stocks posed by farming Atlantic salmon in Pacific Northwest waters.The legislation sponsored by Ranker would ban new aquatic leases for farming of non-native fish and forbid the renewal of existing state leases when they expire.“In the months since the escape of hundreds of thousands of invasive Atlantic salmon from the net pen failure, we have learned the extent of the mismanagement and negligence of Cooke Aquaculture,” Ranker said. “This sort of careless behavior is unacceptable for any company in Washington state. The state ban is a strong stance to ensure the protection of our marine environment and native salmon populations in the Salish Sea.”Senators on the losing side argued that the ban is based on questionable science and ignores less punitive options such as requiring non-native fish aquaculture rear only a single sex to eliminate the possibility of reproduction by escapees.“I am very, very disappointed that the path forward today is the closure of an industry that has been very good to the state of Washington,” Republican state Sen. Judy Warnick said.The Senate legislation now goes to the state House for further consideration. Various state representatives previously introduced a range of proposals from more severe to less ambitious, none of which have advanced very far.Gov. Jay Inslee went on the record Thursday in support of the state Senate’s approach to ending leases for Atlantic salmon farms. He said he was motivated to speak out after reading the state’s investigative report on the Cypress Island net pen collapse.“What we saw is a catastrophic failure due to a, in my opinion, very negligent failure to maintain these pens,” Inslee said. “What it told me is that we are going to see failures in the future if we continue down this road. They are inevitable given the tides, and the consequences of lack of maintenance, and the fact that we can’t have inspectors out there every single day.”Western Washington tribes are also actively advocating for an end to Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the state.Cooke raises Atlantic salmon at four locations around western Washington, as well as in Maine, Canada, Chile and Scotland.The family-owned Canadian company took over the Washington locations in 2016 after buying Seattle-based Icicle Seafoods. Cooke is now the only commercial-scale operator of Atlantic salmon net pens in Washington waters.Washington’s Department of Natural Resources is in the midst of reviewing all of Cooke’s leases in local waters. After inspecting the Port Angeles and Cypress Island facilities, the agency notified Cooke that it would terminate those leases as soon as the company could safely wind down operations. The termination letters cited numerous breaches of the lease terms including another net pen allegedly “in danger of catastrophic failure” off Cypress Island.“We have fish there to grow out and harvest and we’re going to be allowed to do that,” Cooke said in an interview Thursday. “In the end, I am hoping that we can come to some kind of resolution with the commissioner of public lands and her department that she can live with, feel happy with and we can.”Cooke said many of the existing net pens his company inherited from Icicle Seafoods are slated to be replaced and upgraded.Oregon, California and Alaska effectively ban saltwater fish farms in their waters.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgCrime & Courts | InteriorSix suspects in custody in connection with North Pole murderJuly 31, 2018 by Dan Bross, KUAC-Fairbanks Share:Several suspects are in custody in connection with a North Pole murder.Alaska State Troopers report that a multi-agency investigation resulted in the arrest of six people, including two juveniles, related to the fatal July 22 shooting of Charles Baptiste, 60, at a North Pole residence.Troopers say the six were involved in a plot to rob Baptiste.Baptiste was killed and another man at the residence sustained a non-fatal gunshot wound.The suspects face murder, assault and other charges.Share this story:last_img read more

first_imgJuneau | Local Government | PoliticsDon Habeger files to run for Juneau AssemblyAugust 10, 2018 by Jacob Resneck, KTOO Share:Don Habeger has added his name to the list of contenders vying for two District 2 Juneau Assembly seats.Don Habeger, pictured on August 10, 2018, is running for a District 2 seat on the Juneau Assembly. (Photo courtesy Brice Habeger)The 62-year-old had several high-level jobs in the administration of Gov. Sean Parnell and is treasurer of the Capital City Republicans.More recently, he’s headed the Juneau Reentry Coalition which helps released convicts get basic services and reduce the likelihood they’ll re-offend.Habeger said this experience would help the Assembly improve public safety by, “being cognizant of our returning citizens, having a community re-entry plan, and making sure that they have a access to affordable housing or those kinds of supports to help them be more successful.”Habeger also has private sector experience, working for a cruise lines agency. He said he’d like to ensure Juneau remains attractive to businesses.“Juneauites themselves have suffered employment loss,” he said. “Particularly at the state level. Being more pro-active in envisioning in what we want as a community and position ourselves to attract new business and to be competitive so that we continue to prosper is important.”There are two open District 2 seats and at least three other candidates: Wade Bryson, Michelle Bonnet Hale and Emil Mackey.The top vote-getter will win a full, three-year term; the runner-up will finish the term of Assemblywoman Beth Weldon, who’s resigned to run for mayor.The municipal election is Oct. 2.Share this story:last_img read more