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Juneau Empire
Switch to diesel will only cost you 'fractions of a cent'

Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. customers will only see ‘fractions of a cent’ in added cost to their monthly electric bill as a result of this morning’s area-wide power outage, according to a company spokeswoman.

When power went out at about 8:45 a.m. Friday, AEL&P switched from hydroelectric to diesel to supply power to its 16,000 customers in Juneau.

AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll told the Empire that all power was restored before 10 a.m., and the back-up diesel generators were not on for long.

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Police need help ID'ing this man

Police are searching for a man who allegedly pocketed a gold nugget worth almost $5,000 from a jewelry store in downtown Juneau last week.

The Juneau Police Department and the Juneau Crime Line released two pictures of the suspect on Friday in hopes that the public could help identify him.

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Rotary club to host mass ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Following a fundraising trend gone viral, Juneau Rotary will host a community ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23 at the parking lot of Elgee Rehfeld Mertz at 9309 Glacier Highway.

The challenge hits close to home, as Rotarian and Juneau resident Lloyd Johnson died Saturday of ALS — also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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Motorcyclist clocked going 95 on Egan

Police say they clocked a motorcyclist going 95 miles per hour on Egan Drive at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday morning.

Police cited for driver, identifed as 52-year-old Jerry L. Taton, for speeding in excess of the posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour.

Police said Taton also did not have insurance or the proper MC (multi-combination) vehicle license, and his motorcycle was impounded.

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Power being restored after area-wide outage

Power is slowly being restored to Alaska Electric Light & Power customers after an area-wide outage Friday morning.

The power went out at about 8:45 a.m., affecting all of AEL&P’s 16,000 customers, said AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll.

Driscoll said in a phone interview that power has already been restored to some areas, and they’re “picking up customers one at a time.” She expects power will be returned to everyone within the hour.

AEL&P is firing up their diesel units to supply power, she said.

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Photo: One foggy day

A float plane sits at a foggy Auke Lake on Monday.

Photos: Sailboat Club

Members of Southeast Alaska Sailing practice their skills aboard  the sailboat Optiminium, Wednesday.

Kito, Dukowitz face off at Chamber debate

Democrat Rep. Sam Kito III and Republican Peter Dukowitz are vying to represent downtown Juneau and Douglas in the Alaska House of Representatives. But both seemed a little hazy on the issues as they attempted to answer questions from the Juneau Chamber of Commerce and the public at the Chamber’s Thursday luncheon.

Chamber President-elect Lance Stevens posed about 20 questions to the two candidates, who each had 30 seconds or a minute to answer each one. He asked Kito and Dukowitz to explain their stances on the upcoming ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the state.

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Recovery: A lesson in perseverance

Addiction doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t let go — ask Kara Nelson. She came from a good, supportive family, she said, and she tried many times to prevail over her disease.

She was a seemingly normal mother of three when things spiraled out of control, but trauma struck young and her attempts to find some kind of escape with substances began at age 13.

Nelson grew up in Southeast Alaska, mostly in Ketchikan. Her father was a logger and raised his family mostly in logging camps across the region.

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School enrollment slightly higher than expected

The numbers are in from the first day of school, and students in the Juneau School District’s 13 schools surpassed enrollment projections — but just by a hair.

The district was anticipating a total enrollment of 4,790 students. The number at school Wednesday was 4,797, district Director of Administration David Means said.

That’s slightly less than last year’s 4,863, but the district anticipated a decline, he said.

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State amplifies response to KSM mine

In comments issued Wednesday on Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell, a proposed mine in British Columbia’s transboundary Unuk River watershed, the state of Alaska asked that Canada either conduct the more in-depth review Alaskan fishermen, Native groups, tour operators and organizations have been calling for, or take another approach to address Alaskans’ concerns.

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Help firefighters 'fill the boot'

Capital City Fire/Rescue firefighters will be asking Juneau to help “fill the boot” with donations on Friday as they strive to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Firefighters will be at the Superbear parking lot on Mall Road and the Anchor Electric parking lot near Costco from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, with boots in hand.

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'Suspicious' lightsaber draws police

A person in a Mendenhall Valley neighborhood must have had a bad feeling about an unidentified object on the side of the road because it was reported as a suspicious device.

The report on Tuesday afternoon prompted a police officer to respond to Threadneedle Street to check it out — he didn’t know what it was, either. Police then dispatched an officer who specializes Explosive Ordnance Disposal to investigate. The officer didn’t have to use the force to realize what it was: a plastic Star Wars lightsaber toy.

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Fred Meyer recalls organic peanut butter

Check your pantry. Fred Meyer is recalling 15 types of organic peanut and almond butter due to salmonella contamination.

Customers who used their Fred Meyer Rewards Card to purchase one of the items received a call yesterday informing them of the recall. The affected products — organic almond and peanut butter by Kroger, Maranatha and Arrowhead Mills — might be contaminated with salmonella, and, “if eaten, could result in severe illness,” a release about the recall stated.

The nut butter can be returned to Fred Meyer for a full refund.

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Grab 'coffee with a cop' on Wednesday

Ever had a question you wanted to ask a police officer?

Now’s your chance.

The Juneau Police Department is inviting the public to come to Heritage Coffee on Second Street on Wednesday morning to share a cup of coffee with a police officer.

The department says “Coffee with a Cop” is an opportunity for citizens to interact with officers in a relaxed setting. Bring the questions, and they’ll supply the answers.

Coffee with a Cop is a nationwide program whose motto is “Building partnerships one cup of coffee at a time.” This will be JPD’s first time participating.

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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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