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Juneau Empire
First special session concludes

Just as legislative leadership hinted over the past week, the Alaska Senate ended Gov. Bill Walker’s special session Thursday morning and called a new one right away, this time in Anchorage.

The House majority put out a press release soon after that said it would do the same.

The Senate came to order a little after 11 a.m. in Anchorage’s new legislative information office. Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, acting as the minority leader, stood right away and called for an adjournment. He asked that the Senate come back to order in Juneau later this week.

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Celebrate Juneau grads this weekend

Sunday is a day for celebration for many in Juneau as all three high schools celebrate graduation commencement.

Yakoosge Daakahidi Alternative High School will hold its ceremony at 1 p.m. at Centennial Hall. Thunder Mountain High School’s ceremony will be at 4 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. Likewise, Juneau-Douglas High School’s ceremony will be held in its gym at 7 p.m.

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Beyond Cheech and Chong

Though he opened with humor when presenting at Thursday’s Juneau Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Assemblyman Jesse Kiehl takes the legalization of cannabis very seriously, and he asks that others who take the issue seriously get in touch.

Kiehl was tasked with providing an update on where the city stands with its policy planning.

“We’re going from just about full-tilt prohibition — nothing’s legal, forget about it — to retail storefronts in 16 months,” Kiehl said. “That’s the challenge.”

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Around town Friday, May 22

Storytime, 11 a.m., Mendenhall Valley library. Details: 586-5267.

Organ concert, noon, State Office Building. Concerts on the Kimball Theatre Organ at the State Office Building take place most Fridays during the noon hour.

Brown Bag Lunch, noon-1 p.m., KTOO. A presentation by Flying Karamozov Brother and Founder of New Old Time Chatauqua; Paul Magid. Paul and 55 members will be coming to Juneau for the 4th of July celebrations with parade participation, a show, workshops and more.

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Police blotter for Friday, May 22, 2015

This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Domestic dispute

• At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Juneau Police Department responded to a report that a 34-year-old man had punched a 27-year-old woman in the Juneau area. Investigation continues.

Drunken driving

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Police and Fire for May 21, 2015

This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Assistance requested

• At 9:53 p.m. Tuesday, the Juneau Police Department received a call for assistance in the 3200 block of Hospital Drive.

Burglary

• At 9:11 a.m. Wednesday, JPD investigated the burglary of a business on St. Ann’s Avenue. Three cameras, a TV and $1,000 cash were stolen.

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Around town Thursday, May 21

Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club meeting, 7 a.m., every Thursday, The Prospector Hotel.

Women, Infants, and Children walk-in clinic, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 3245 Hospital Drive, first floor. Free nutrition services for income-eligible women who are pregnant, breast-feeding or just had a baby, and for infants and children up to age 5. Details: 463-4099.

Storytime, 11 a.m., Douglas library. Details: 586-5267.

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Fun run will close Glacier Highway

Harborview Elementary School’s annual fun run will close a portion of Glacier Highway from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, May 22.

In an email, the Juneau Police Department announced that Glacier Highway will be closed between Ross Way and the end of Channel Vista. All drivers are advised to avoid the area during the run.

Anyone with questions about the event should call Zach Stenson at 209-9833.

Dimond hot tub to be closed

The Dimond Park Aquatic Center’s hot tub will be closed Friday through Tuesday for maintenance.

The City and Borough of Juneau announced the closure by email last week.

The leisure pool and the lap pool will remain open.

Police to increase road presence for graduation, Memorial Day

The Juneau Police Department will be keeping a closer eye than usual on capital city roads this weekend.

JPD said in a news release Wednesday that in light of three high school graduations on Sunday, and Memorial Day the day after, it will amp up its police presence starting Friday.

Police will place an emphasis on lesser-used roads and will focus on drunk drivers, minors consuming alcohol, reckless driving and disorderly conduct, JPD said. Officers also will be present at the high school graduation ceremonies.

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Photo: Fishing among the water lilies

LaClair Stevenson flyfishes along the water lilies in Auke Lake on Wednesday.

DOR: Perm Fund draw wouldn't impact 2015 PFD checks

After weeks of stalled budget negotiations, legislative leaders seem more and more likely to find an alternative to a Constitutional Budget Reserve draw, which requires some votes of the House minority and associated add-backs to the operating budget.

But the minority said in a Wednesday news conference that it worries a draw from the Permanent Fund earnings reserve — one of the options available to the majority to circumvent a CBR vote — could hurt Alaskans’ Permanent Fund Dividend checks.

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Building a bridge to a better Juneau

First lady Donna Walker wants to build bridges across the state — no infrastructure mega-projects here, just community groups bringing together the state’s diverse citizens.

Walker is proud of the state of Alaska and its diversity. She thinks it’s something to embrace and celebrate. She also recognizes that racial and cultural prejudices remain a problem.

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Photo: Hiding in the harbor

Odin Kirby, 6, takes refuge under a towel while paddling with his mother, Sharon, in the Douglas Harbor on Tuesday.

Coast Guard floats boating safety guide

Juneau’s usual rain showers feel like a thing of the distant past, but the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Juneau is asking boaters to remember that while the weather is warm, the water isn’t.

In the middle of National Boating Safety Week, members of the local Coast Guard station staged a test response boat run. While cruise ships docked and float planes landed Tuesday morning in Gastineau Harbor, members of the Coast Guard threw out flotation devices to an invisible man overboard.

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Anchorage Daily
School District proposes reinstating 86 classroom positions

There's going to be 57 fewer classroom teachers in the Anchorage School District if the school board moves forward with budget adjustments announced Friday by Superintendent Ed Graff.

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Kicking off Native Youth Olympics

2014 Native Youth Olympics gallery: Hunter Wilson, left, and Wyatt Knowles of Valdez play hackeysack outdoors while awaiting the Grand Entry of Teams at the 2014 Native Youth Olympics on…

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Spring cleanup is dirty work

Workers kick up a cloud of dust, illuminated by the setting sun, while cleaning a parking lot south of 15th Avenue. The weather is moving into a cloudier pattern, but…

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Conference committee set to resolve education bill versions

The Senate finally passed the education bill Monday afternoon, little changed from the version on its agenda since last week.

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Photos: Seahawks Super Bowl MVP visits College Gate school

Seattle Seahawk linebacker and Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith does warmup exercises with sixth-graders at College Gate Elementary School on Friday.

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Wayne and Wanda

Unlucky in love? Wayne and Wanda offer their advice in matters of the heart.

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US soldier buried with Germans at end of WWII may finally be coming home

Mistaken for a German soldier and buried with the enemy at the end of World War II, a U.S. soldier may finally be coming home thanks in large part to…

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Alaska National Guard members face accusations of sexual misconduct

A dozen members of the Alaska National Guard face charges of sexual misconduct in what members of the guard call a severe problem in the ranks.

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Conway Seavey nabs another Junior Iditarod crown

Following in his family's paw prints, Conway Seavey of Sterling claimed his second Junior Iditarod championship Sunday, outdueling Ben Harper for a two-minute victory in the 132-mile sled dog race.

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Reynolds repeats as Fur Rondy sled dog race victor

Accepting his trophy with his lead dog, Guts, Arleigh Reynolds told the crowd that this would be his last Rondy race.

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Blues Central owner looks back at shift in Anchorage nightlife

As he prepares for Blues Central's last jam session, this weekend, Frank Dahl reflects on a career in restaurants and bars across Alaska, and how the nightlife scene has changed…

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Health insurer that refused federal HIV/AIDS payments sued by advocates

An advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force insurance companies in Louisiana to take payments from a federal program that helps HIV and AIDS patients.

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Lawmaker warns of legalized marijuana's social costs

House majority members on Thursday were asked about the potential tax revenues for the state should voters approve an initiative this summer legalizing the recreational use of marijuana.

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Feds: No more false starts on Alaska gas pipeline

Federal agencies are ready to work on an Alaska liquefied natural gas project but don't want another false start, state lawmakers were told Wednesday.

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Buccaneer seeks state rebates after Homer gas well comes up dry

Buccaneer Alaska LLC plans to plug and abandon a closely watched natural gas exploration well near Homer that came up dry despite a $9 million drilling program. Now Buccaneer wants…

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What Alaska's top state officials were paid in 2013

Top executives in state government made very good money in 2013, and University of Alaska officials were among those at the top of the list, according to a newly released…

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Market Fresh: Ninilchik smoked salmon takes top prizes in seafood contest

Tilgner's ruby red smoked sockeye, a new product from Ninilchik, took the grand prize, people's choice award and first place in the smoked seafood category at last week's Alaska Symphony…

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Minimum wage initiative makes August ballot

An initiative letting voters decide whether to raise the minimum wage in Alaska has met the minimum signatory requirements to be on the Aug. 19 ballot.

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Student debt may hurt housing recovery by hampering first-time buyers

The growing student loan burden carried by millions of Americans threatens to undermine the housing recovery's momentum by discouraging, or even blocking, a generation of potential buyers from purchasing their…

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Lawmaker challenges Parnell administration on commitment to renewable energy

In 2010, the state adopted an energy policy that, among other things, set a goal of having 50 percent Alaska's electric generation come from renewable and alternative energy sources by…

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