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Juneau Empire
Skagway floating dock sinks

The floating dock in Skagway, the same one which serves as a loading ramp for ferry passengers, is now on the bottom of the sea floor today, officials with the Alaska Department of Transportation confirmed.

Information officer Jeremy Woodrow said the cause of the malfunction of the float is unknown at this time, but two state engineers are currently on their way to Skagway to meet a diver in an effort to identify the problem and establish a game plan for repairs.

He said ferry service to Skagway is currently not available.

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Photo: Sign of the times

An anti-Koch brothers sign decorates a downtown Juneau lamp post on Wednesday. Billionaires David and Charles Koch, whose Koch Industries announced the closure of the Flint Hills Resources Refinery in North Pole in February, have been financing attack ads against Democrats across the nation including Alaska Sen. Mark Begich.

Police canvas Riverside for assault suspect

Police canvassed an area of the Mendenhall Valley early Tuesday evening in search of an unknown man who allegedly tried to assault a teenage girl.

The 14-year-old reported she was walking between Mendenhall Mall Road and the Alaska Club on Riverside Drive when another pedestrian passing by reached out and tried to grab her, according to police.

The girl elbowed the stranger, ran away and told her parents, who then called police a little after 5 p.m., police said.

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Bartlett board calls new CEO's pay average for Alaska

The Bartlett Regional Hospital board of directors met with the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on Wednesday to justify the salary and bonuses it agreed to pay its new CEO. 

Charles “Chuck” Bill will be paid $315,000 per year, plus a signing bonus of $31,500 and relocation compensation of $31,500.

The hospital’s former CEO was paid thousands less: $260,000 per year and a relocation package of $23,027.

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JPD responds in force to plea for help in Douglas

Juneau police officers raced to the scene of a Douglas apartment complex early Tuesday evening after receiving a troubling 911 call from a woman who reported her boyfriend had a gun.

Unsure if it was an incident of domestic violence, JPD responded in force. Five or six police cars sped over the Juneau-Douglas Bridge one after another with sirens wailing, an unusual sight in the capital city.

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Juneau Assembly votes to give schools at least $24 million

After months of talks and votes, the school budget process didn’t get any less contentious in the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly.

At a special meeting Monday evening, the assembly set a funding floor of about $24 million for the Juneau School District in fiscal year 2015 — after a lot of back and forth. 

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State makes medevac insurance legal again

The Lubins consider themselves to be very, very fortunate.

On April 5, their 13-year-old daughter Ella fell off a spooked horse running at a full gallop and hit her head on the concrete ground.

Her injuries — which included skull fractures and other breaks near her eyes — were well beyond the scope of care offered at Sitka Community Hospital.

Just hours after the fall, the family was medevaced to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for further treatment — a trip with a price tag of more than $82,000.

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Clearing the PATH to independence

Nobody is more enthusiastic about the idea of working another decade than 63-year-old Mike Ricker, who dreams of driving the ice roads of the North Slope until he’s at least 73. For now, Ricker is one of many in Juneau experiencing long-term homelessness because his Social Security benefits aren’t enough to cover basic expenses.

Ricker is part of the PATH Program at the Glory Hole, Juneau’s emergency shelter. Because it is an emergency shelter, residents can stay only 60 days in a year. Not everyone finds steady housing in that time period.

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Police & Fire for Thursday, April 24, 2014

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.

Assault

• At 5:13 p.m. Tuesday, a 14-year-old girl reported being assaulted near the 3100 block of Riverside Drive. Investigation continues.

Child abuse

• At 4:38 p.m. Tuesday, the Juneau Police Department investigated a confidential report of child abuse in the Juneau area.

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Around town for Thursday, April 24

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.

Senior Center lunch, noon, Douglas Methodist Church. Free. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Details: 463-6175.

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Schedule change for National Police Week events in Juneau

One of the events scheduled for National Police Week in Juneau has been moved to a different day.

The Juneau Police Department said Wednesday that the May 9 ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery has been moved to May 8. It will still take place at noon.

As the Empire reported Tuesday, the Alaska Peace Officers Association Capital City Chapter is hosting two events locally to honor fallen law enforcement officers for Peace Officers Memorial Day.

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Juneau Assembly talks hospital CEO salary tonight

The Juneau Assembly will hear Bartlett Regional Hospital board members explain the hospital’s new CEO’s salary during its finance committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the city hall assembly chambers.

New CEO Charles “Chuck” Bill will be paid $315,000 per year, plus a signing bonus of $31,500 and relocation compensation of $31,500, according to a hospital news release. Former CEO Christine Harff made $260,000 per year and received a relocation package of $23,027, according to her employment contract.

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Add medicine cabinet to spring cleaning list with drug take-back day

Doing some spring cleaning and don’t know what to do with the expired prescription pills in your medicine cabinet?

Drop them off Saturday at the Nugget Mall. Alaska State Troopers and Juneau Police Department officers will be collecting unwanted medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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JPD finds $158K worth of narcotics during arrest

The Juneau Police Department seized approximately $158,000 worth of narcotics from a Juneau home where officers arrested a suspected drug dealer on Tuesday, according to the department.

Officers confiscated 155.4 grams of heroin (about a third of a pound) and 8.7 grams of methamphetamine from a home in the 1900 block of Lemon Creek after arresting a local 45-year-old man on an outstanding warrant, JPD Lt. Kris Sell said Wednesday.

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Coaches come to Juneau to fight domestic violence

From northernmost city in the state to the southern tip of the panhandle, athletic coaches from across Alaska converged Tuesday in Juneau — and not for a tournament or competition.

The coaches gathered at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center for an all-day training conference on “Coaching Boys Into Men.” It’s national program aimed at getting coaches to talk to their teams about domestic violence and sexual assault.

With some 50 coaches in attendance, it was the largest training session the program has ever seen in Alaska.

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Anchorage Daily
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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Fire damages South Anchorage townhouses under construction

An eight-unit townhouse building on East 79th Avenue caught fire Monday night and burned for about an hour, damaging several units.

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Native Americans vow a last stand to block Keystone XL pipeline

Faith Spotted Eagle figures that building a crude oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast would bring little to Indian Country besides more crime and dirty water, but…

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