Last Thursday, 26 new officers graduated from the Anchorage Police Department Academy. Anchorage has had a rise in crime this year and APD has been highly understaffed. Mayor Ethan Berkowitz has promised to raise the number of sworn officers to 400. This is the fourth academy to graduate since he took office. The department has…
Category: News Briefs
Local news: Governor Bill Walker announced Friday that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, the governor says that the cancer is treatable and won’t affect his performance. “It is anticipated I will need no further treatment post-surgery,” Walker said in a statement. “This diagnosis has not and will not impair my ability to…
After two budget drafts released Thursday, President Jim Johnsen proposed ways of saving money for University of Alaska’s next fiscal year, starting July 1. This draft included hundreds of staff cuts across all campuses and a tuition increase between 10 to 15 percent, on top of the already approved five percent tuition increase scheduled for this coming fall semester. Multiple budget scenarios are being considered to be introduced to the legislature. Other cuts that are up for consideration include cuts to some athletic programs at UAA and UAF. The board of regents anticipates a complete and revised budget by early June.
First National Bank Alaska opens new branch First National Bank Alaska held its ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 18 at its newly constructed branch on Providence Drive. The branch is the first bank located adjacent to campus. In celebration of the new branch, FNBA donated $89,000 to Alaska Pacific University and the University of Alaska…
Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab threatens more attacks in the future
Al-Shabaab, the terrorist organization that attacked the upscale Wesgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, several weeks ago, has stated the attacks are “not over.” Dozens of people were injured in the massacre, and 67 people were killed. There is evidence that some of the victims were tortured before they died. Kenyan forces claim they have killed at least five members of Al-Shabaab and taken 11 members of the group into custody.
Obama speaks by telephone to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
President Obama spoke with Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, last week about a resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program. This is the first time since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 that the two countries have spoken directly. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned President Obama “not to be fooled by overtures from Iran that have led the administration to pursue talks aimed at resolving the standoff over the country’s nuclear ambitions.”
Vladimir Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The International Academy of Spiritual Unity has nominated Russian President Vladimir Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in stopping a United States air strike in Syria earlier this year. The letter stated, “Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquility not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”
Tropical storm Karen forms off the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical storm has formed off the Gulf of Mexico, causing hurricane warnings from Louisiana to Florida. This is the first tropical storm of the season. The storm is located 485 miles south of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.
Road rage incident involving SUV and motorcycles leaves one man seriously injured
Video of the incident shows the motorcycle group assaulting the driver of the SUV in front of his wife and child. The driver then tries to escape, but during the escape runs over one of the bikers, who is now in serious condition at a local hospital and may never walk again. Some of the bikers are from a group called Hollywood Stuntz, which holds an event to ride through Times Square on an annual basis. They had no permit this year, and the NYPD received over 200 calls of reckless behavior by the group prior to the incident.
National Toy Hall of Fame
My Little Ponies, the Magic 8 Ball and Fisher-Price Little People are among others have been announced as finalists in this year’s competition to make it into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York. Each year, this organization recognizes toys that have “engaged and delighted multiple generations, inspiring them to learn, create, and discover their play.” Two winners will be announced Nov. 7.
The first of Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividends were issued last week through direct deposit. State officials say the roughly 593,000 Alaskan’s received the direct deposit of the $900 check and another 86,000 Alaskans will receive a paper check later in the month.
Anchorage crime rate has risen
The FBI has reported that the number of serious crimes reported in Anchorage has risen in 7 out of 8 categories since last year. There has been a recorded increase in murder, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and larceny.
Former Tatitlek Village president guilty of stealing money
Former Tatilek Village President, Lori “Sue” Clum, 45, of Anchorage has admitted in U.S. District Court of stealing over $100,000 from the village. Funds were distributed to herself and her brother James Edward Kramer, 48. The thefts occurred between 2008 and 2009.
At approximately 8 p.m. Sept. 16, someone slipped an anonymous note under the University Police Department door. The note described the whereabouts of an Anchorage teen who had been badly beaten and left for death. The UPD alerted the Anchorage Police Department, which investigated and found James Clinton, 18, unconscious in an abandoned house.
The house was owned by Covenant House, a local charity, and was set to be demolished the next day to make space for a parking lot. Clinton was taken to a local hospital, unconscious and in critical condition.
No arrests have been made at this time.
Anchorage police are currently investigating who assaulted Clinton and why.
If you have any additional information, call the police at 907-786-8900 or Crime Stoppers at 907-561-STOP. There is a cash reward up to $1,000 for any information.
Motion filed to free the Fairbanks Four
This week the Alaska Innocence Project filed a motion to clear the Fairbanks Four of murder charges. These are the four Alaska Native men charged in the 1997 murder of teenager John Hartman. The men have been serving lengthy prison terms, mostly in out-of-state prisons far from home or family contact and have maintained their innocence. Bill Oberly, executive director of the Alaska Innocence Project, has conducted independent investigations, and has garnered confessions from several other men who are currently serving prison terms for other Alaska murders.
Homeless housing proposed near Kincaid Park
Mayor Dan Sullivan has proposed using federal land near Kincaid Park to build housing for the city’s homeless population. The site would be called Raspberry Court and would include temporary housing for over 90 people.
Anchorage man fatally beaten outside mental health clinic
Four men have been charged in the beating death of fisherman and seasonal worker Ferdinand Marquez this week outside of Anchorage Community Mental Health. David Wallent, 24; Jerrick Blankenship, 18; Mat Martin, 22; and Lewis Martin, 33, received charges ranging from murder to manslaughter.
Princess Cruise Lines, Holland America Line donate money to UAA
The cruise lines have donated $1 million to the University of Alaska Foundation for research and education. The money will be used for research and scholarships critical to the health of the sea, tourism and the hospitality industry in Alaska.
UAA students plant trees
UAA Student Volunteers met on Friday to plant trees in the Mat-Su Valley. Volunteers have planted over 6,000 seedlings on the Kenai Peninsula, and plans are in the work to plant 500 seedlings in the Mat-Su Valley.
Senator’s speech against Affordable Care Act lasts 21 hours
Congress met last week to discuss the future of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Senator Ted Cruz spoke in protest of the bill for 21 hours, one of the longest Senate speeches in U.S. history.
Quake creates new land mass
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Pakistan created a new island. Witnesses to this event stated that it did not occur suddenly, but was a gradual process. Thirty-nine lives were lost in this quake.
One step closer to a lightsaber
MIT physicists Mikhail Lukin and Vladan Vuletic discovered a way to make subatomic light photons stick together. These particles that make up light have no detectable mass the way most matter does, and they usually don’t stick together. However, Lukin and Vuletic discovered a way to make light form into molecules. Their work was published this week in Nature, an academic natural sciences journal.
Keith Hackett was officially introduced as the new athletic director at a press conference Friday afternoon. He used the event to share his vision for UAA athletics and to address some lingering questions. Hackett’s plan for the department is a three-headed monster.
The first step is ensuring they are always in alignment with the educational mission of the university. He wants to stress the “student” aspect of being a student-athlete.
In the wake of former USUAA President Andrew Lessig’s resignation, former Vice President Drew Lemish has taken over the position. Lemish explained the transition at a press conference on August 29th.
Andrew Lessig had cited an inability to keep up with the demands of being USUAA president as a reason for stepping down.
The University Police Department is seeking the community’s assistance in locating Stryker L. McLane. McLane (pictured below) is charged with Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the 4th Degree, a Class C Felony. He is also charged with Resisting a Police Officer, a Class A Misdemeanor. McLane is a 20 year old male with a dark complexion. He…
Briefs for the week of March 18-24 include: Police ID 2 Anchorage officers in shooting, Body found in Alaska not missing barista, Documents show NYPD infiltrated liberal groups, and French spymaster: Gunman didn’t plan school attack.
Heard about a “mental subject” running around campus? How about that animal attack? Or even missing something? Do you suspect larceny…? Find out in this week’s UPD Crime Blotter! All the suspicious shenanigans that happen on campus brought to you for your viewing pleasure. UPD Crime Log 2.10.12
Curious if that kid in your building got caught for their housing violation? If that shady character you saw was ever questioned by the police? If that larceny was reported? Look no further! It’s all here, in this weeks UPD Crime Bulletin! UPD Crime Log 2.3.12
Anchorage police investigating the abduction of a barista are asking for the public’s help. Police ask anyone who was in the parking lot of the midtown Alaska Club on Tudor Road last Wednesday night between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to call them. Samantha Koenig was abducted from the Common Grounds Espresso coffee shack located…
Breakdown of the shady happenings around UAA campus between 1.26.12 and 2.03.12. Over 22 calls were investigated in the span of one week. Wondering if anything happened near you? Curious if that cop car you saw was investigating something? Figure it out in this weeks Crime Bulletin! Crime Log 1.26.12 Includes simple assaults, larcenies, hit…
Crimes that occurred around UAA campus on 1.20.12 through 1.26.12 investigated by UPD
Includes incidences of assault, larceny, a housing violation, and traffic accidents.
June 6, 2011
The following article was compiled from information gathered before, during and after the June 1-3 Board of Regents (BOR) meeting.
Student government budgets approved
The BOR approved the budgets of all the student governments within the UA system. The Associated Students of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (ASUAF) budget for FY 11-12 will be just over $532,000. The Regent vote was unanimous at 10-0 in favor.
UAF dining and residence hall RFP approved
The Regents unanimously approved a request for proposal (RFP) for UAF to look into expanding it’s dining and housing options for students. The RFP covers a possible dining addition to the Wood Center, a repurposing of the Lola Tilly Commons and the construction of new dorms for students. According to Chancellor Brian Rogers, “the facilities we have for housing are quite dated.” Rogers intends to have the new dorm facilities available by 2019.
During a discussion with the Facilities and Land Management Committee, the chancellor mentioned to those present what UA President Patrick Gamble had told him during a tour of the Lola Tilly last year. The president remarked that he recognized much of the equipment being used by dining services as equipment he had seen used over 30 years ago in the military.
UAA revamps health programs
The BOR unanimously approved a reorganization of the health programs at the University of Alaska – Anchorage (UAA). The College of Health and Social Welfare was renamed the College of Health.
The WWAMI program was moved out of the College of Arts and Sciences and into the newly named college. According to the WWAMI website, the program “ is a collaborative medical school among universities in five northwestern states” – Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho.
The Division of Allied Health was also moved from its original college (the College of Career and Technical Education) to the College of Health. The division will be renamed the School of Allied Health.
UAF to see new power plant
Also unanimously approved by the regents was a plan to maintain and eventually replace the Atkinson Heat and Power Plant. The plant, built in 1964, provides heat, light and water to the UAF campus. Maintaining the plant while a permit and financing are secured for a new facility will cost an estimated $40 million over the next five to seven years.
The current plant, labeled the “house of horrors” by Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Scott Bell, will eventually be replaced by a new facility. The new facility is estimated to cost between $140 million to $180 million. According to Chancellor Rogers, if UAF can construct the new facility within the next seven years, the campus may be able to avoid spending the entire $40 million allotted for maintenance. Both the improvements and an addition would be completed by 2017.
UAA gets expanded sports arena
The board authorized UAA to begin developing a 5,600-seat sports arena. The project will not exceed $109 million. The vote was 9-1 in favor of the arena, with Regent Kirk Wickersham voting against it.
Part of the projects funding comes from the legislature’s Capital Budget ($34 million according to the Juneau Empire) that Governor Parnell has yet to sign.
Juneau and Kenai to get new halls
The board unanimously approved $16 million for a student-housing complex at Kenai Peninsula College.
The board also approved an addition to Banfield Hall, a student housing facility located on the University of Alaska – Southeast (UAS) campus. The addition will cost approximately $8.5 million and is subject to FY12 legislative appropriation and the governor’s approval of the Capital
Chancellor Fran Ulmer cuts the ribbon at the unveiling of the name of the Amenities Building Coffee Shop September 15. The winning entry was “Fireside Cafe,” submitted by Maunch Garhart. Fireside Cafe is locates near the CPISB, Administration Building and new parking garage. Garhart was awarded $100 in Wolfbucks. There were also runner-up prizes awarded.
Racism, despite substantial progress over past decades, still permeates the landscape of American culture. It has existed throughout human history and many people around the globe still have a long way to go before diminishing thoughts of hatred based on skin color, language and customs. Young debaters at UAA are not retreating from discussing race-based…
Obama to stop in Alaska Wednesday on way to Asia
President Barack Obama will visit Alaska as he begins a longer trip to Japan, China, South Korea and Singapore.
The White House said Obama will stop Nov. 11 at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage to refuel Air Force One. Obama will mark the Veterans Day holiday with military personnel at the base.
The visit will be Obama’s first trip ever to Alaska. He never made it to the 49th state during the 2008 campaign
Alaska Army posts stay open after Texas shootings
An Army official said Forts Richardson and Wainwright remain open following the mass shootings at Fort Hood in Texas.
Maj. Bill Coppernoll said the Alaska posts are “not in lockdown” mode as a result of the shootings Nov. 5 that left 12 people dead and 31 wounded.
Coppernoll, however, declined to say if any special security precautions have been implemented at Richardson or Wainwright.
He said the Army continually reviews its security environment and takes “appropriate, prudent precautions to protect our soldiers, civilians and family members who live and work on our installations.”
Bear hunters stranded when bear shreds raft
Sometimes you get the bear and sometimes the bear — shreds your raft.
Alaska State Troopers said several members of a bear-hunting party found themselves stranded early Nov. 4 near Klukwan in southeast Alaska after a sow bear with two cubs shredded their Zodiac inflatable raft.
None of the hunters were injured.
Troopers said the hunters walked upriver toward Klukwan and fired rifle shots to attract attention. A Klukwan resident took a canoe across the Chilkat River after hearing the shots and yells from the other side. The hunters were given a ride back across the river in the canoe and returned to their vehicles.
Alaska officials release pipeline progress report
Alaska state officials said they continue to be optimistic about the chances for a large-diameter natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Lower 48 markets.
A state report completed to meet a legislative deadline concluded that TransCanada Alaska, which holds a state pipeline license, is on target to complete an initial open season by the end of July.
An open season is the period when natural gas producers can commit to reserving space on a proposed pipeline. The Alaska gas pipeline is estimated to cost $26 to $40 billion.
Mark Myers, the state’s Alaska Gasline Inducement Act coordinator, said the state’s expectations are being met.
He said TransCanada has expanded its project management team to 100 full-time employees and the state is seeing “a considerable uptick in activity.”
Alaska charities get $550,000 from Permanent Fund
More than 300 charities around Alaska received a total of $550,000 that was pledged by state residents from their Permanent Fund dividend payments.
The Anchorage Daily News reported this was the first year of the campaign called “Pick. Click. Give.”
Some of the biggest recipients: the Food Bank of Alaska, $29,000; Alaska public radio and TV network, $19,000; and Alaska Dog and Puppy Rescue, a Mat-Su charity, $15,755.
“It’s a nice surprise,” said Marleah LaBelle, spokeswoman for the Food Bank of Alaska.
That could allow the food bank to buy 2,800 more turkeys for needy families during the holiday season, she said.
Donations are unrestricted, so donors can’t require the nonprofits to use the money for a specific purpose.
– Compiled by Kam Walters
The CBR Gold Corp. said gold exploration will resume early next month at the Niblack project on Prince of Wales Island.
Derek Iwanaka, manager of investor relations for CBR Gold, says equipment and supplies have been barged to the Moira Sound site about 30 miles of southwest of Ketchikan.
The 25,000-foot drilling program will assess the gold, silver, copper and zinc resources.
No actual mining is planned.
Iwanaka says exploration could last through December.
The Federal Elections Commission has found that former Gov. Sarah Palin’s political action committee gave excessive contributions to two well-known Republicans.
The problem is highlighted in a letter sent to SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.
Crawford told the Anchorage Daily News that the problem has been fixed.
He said SarahPAC has sorted out the $5,000 contributions to Sens. John McCain and Lisa Murkowski, and the campaigns have already refunded $200 each.
Crawford blamed the problems on election software used to deal with required disclosures.
Federal law allows political action committees to give candidates up to $5,000 per election if they meet certain conditions. Lower limits of $2,400 per election can apply.
Crawford said SarahPAC has redesignated the $5,000 going to the McCain and Murkowski campaigns so that each received $2,400 for the 2010 primary and another $2,400 for the general election.
The FEC wants a response by Sept. 24. It says an audit or enforcement action is possible if the deadline is not met.
A very expensive tree-thinning project in the Tongass National Forest is receiving more than a half-million dollars in federal stimulus money.
It will cost $2,800 to thin each acre of the 238-acre Ocean Boulevard project in southeast Alaska. That’s nearly three times as much as some other tree-thinning projects.
Tongass Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the $677,000 project’s true value may be in what it reveals about future management of the 17-million-acre Tongass.
He says there are about 450,000 acres of second-growth trees, and the key is to find viable uses for the wood.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District says more than 200 students have been absent with flu-like symptoms and there are at least 35 confirmed cases of swine flu.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the school district will provide shots to all students and staff when the vaccine arrives.
The district’s head nurse, Maureen Kauleinamoku, says a total of more than 1,300 students have complained to school nurses about flu-like symptoms – fatigue, nausea, fever, sore throat, congestion or body aches. The majority were sent home.
She says the flu is unusually early. The typical flu season runs from October to April.
A serial burglar first convicted of the crime in 1981 has been found guilty of committing nine burglaries in the spring of 2007.
A jury in Anchorage on Aug. 21 convicted 50-year-old Robert Hernandez on nine counts of first-degree burglary, 18 counts of second-degree theft and two vehicle thefts. Sentencing has been scheduled for Jan. 8.
Anchorage police spokeswoman Anita Shell says Hernandez stole a variety of items during the 2007 crime spree, such as guns, jewelry and prescription medications.
Cordova is one of five communities in Alaska participating in a program to recycle nylon gillnet and seine web.
Nets tossed in Dumpsters and sent to the baler get tangled in city refuse equipment, increasing city operating costs. And they don’t decompose anytime soon.
The Cordova Times reports that under the new program, the nylon is shipped to Washington and sold to a recycler. Baled web sent overseas is melted into items such as car parts, gun barrels and tool handles.
Rochelle van den Broek, executive director of Cordova District Fishermen United, says the program makes sense because the local landfill has limited space and the city baler is not equipped to handle the amount of waste discarded by fishermen.
The net recycling program is aided by a grant from the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.
Fairbanks officials want to see more recycling and less trash.
Mayor Jim Whitaker and Borough Assembly member Mike Musick have lined up a plan to pay people or groups who recycle paper, plastics, glass and other materials before they reach the landfill.
Assembly member Nadine Winters wants to charge big chain stores, such as Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart, 5 cents for each disposable plastic bag given to customers. The money would fund recycling programs and encourage residents to shop with reusable bags.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the recycling and bag tax proposals are being advanced side by side.
The Borough Assembly has scheduled public hearings Sept. 10 on the plans.
The strike for bus mechanics, radio technicians and warehouse workers at Denali National Park is over.
IBEW 1547 Business Manager Larry Bell says the 17 employees voted by a 2-to-1 margin July 16 for the new four-year contract with Doyon/ARAMARK, the park concessionaire.
Bell says the workers voted for the deal because it was collective and fair, the monetary increases in each of the four years recognizes the high cost of living in Interior Alaska and the employees now have formal representation in the workplace.
Contract terms were not released.
The strike started July 1, just ahead of the busy holiday weekend. The employees returned to work July 20.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin plans to stay in touch using Twitter even after leaving office on July 26.
In a tweet posted July 17, Palin indicates that when she’s out of office, she’ll use a personal account on the social networking site to stay in touch.
Palin’s tweet said, “elected is replaceable; Ak WILL progress! + side benefits10 dys til less politically correct twitters fly frm my fingertps outside State site.”
The governor says in another message that in the meantime, “it’s a pleasure to update interested folks on State biz!”
Palin, who was visiting the coastal town of Unalakleet, is believed to be eyeing a 2012 run for the presidency.
She routinely posts messages on Twitter, a social-networking site where posts are limited to 140 characters. Her postings on July 17 included news about planning for the inauguration for Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who Palin wrote would have the same cabinet with the “same positive pro-AK agenda it’s all good.”
A federal magistrate judge has told defense attorneys they can’t question FBI agents who scoured the laptop of a University of Tennessee student charged with improperly accessing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel said U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley ruled Thursday that he must first decide if the search itself was legal before deciding whether to examine what agents did once they seized David Kernell’s computer.
Kernell, the son of a Democratic Tennessee legislator, is accused of gaining access to Palin’s account in September by correctly answering a series of personal security questions. He has pleaded not guilty.
Kernell’s attorneys have sought to exclude evidence seized from the computer from Kernell’s trial. Palin was the Republican vice presidential candidate at the time.