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Juneau Empire
Meals with moms

Matilda Higdon visits her mom almost everyday at work for lunch. It’s a tradition they’ve had for most of her life, all eight months of it.

Christal Higdon, Matilda’s mother, is part of an expanding movement by working moms to bring breastfeeding into the office. Higdon works for the U.S. Forest Service as a geospatial data specialist. Her husband, a stay-at-home father, brings young Matilda to the Federal Building for lunch after her morning nap.

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Soggy July sets wet record in Juneau

July started with a bang. It ended with a fizzle.

After Juneau celebrated its Independence Day weekend with blue skies and warm weather, consecutive weeks of rainy days and a soaking two inches of rain in a single day have gave the capital city a lamentable mark: July 2015 was the wettest July in its history.

According to measurements kept by the National Weather Service at Juneau International Airport, 10.4 inches of rain fell last month, beating the record 10.36 inches recorded in July 1997.

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When the landing gear won't go down

Imagine the dread.

You’re in a car, sitting at a stoplight. In your rearview mirror, you notice an oncoming truck. It’s moving quickly — too quickly. It won’t stop in time.

On July 11, Tim Hlavnicka had that feeling — or something like it — as his 1962 Cessna 210C lined up to land in Hoonah. He set his flaps and moved the landing gear lever.

It didn’t work.

The nose gear fell into place and locked, but the main gear didn’t.

“We got to Hoonah and went to put the gear down, and I think we blew a hydraulic line,” he said by phone from a job site Wednesday.

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First Nation elders blockade Taku tributary mine exploration

Elders from the Tahltan Nation blockaded a mining company’s access to a tributary of the Taku River in early July — and after speaking with the protesters, mine officials have promised they will not drill or explore for the rest of the summer, a release from the Tahltan Central Council said. The mining company said the stop is temporary and that it is consulting with its lawyers to figure out the best way to move forward.

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Police and fire dispatches for Aug. 2, 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.


• At 6:29 p.m. Saturday, Juneau Police Department officers arrested Louie Dulier in the 100 block of Franklin Street for second-degree assault. Alcohol was involved.

• At 9:06 a.m. Sunday, a 36-year-old woman reported being punched and spit on by a 60-year-old woman in the 200 block of Franklin Street.

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Around Town for Monday, Aug. 3

Tai Chi class for ages 60 and older, 9:45-10:45 a.m., Gruening Park, community room. Enrollment is based on a first come, first served basis. Details: Josielind, 463-6181.

Senior ceramics, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Senior Center. Details: Diane, 463-6176.

Toddlertime, 10 a.m., Downtown Library; 11 a.m., Mendenhall Valley Library. Details: 586-5267.

Life Ring meeting, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Northern Light United Church. A weekly gathering for women. All are welcome. Details: 780-4918.

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Photo: En route to victory

A young man competes in the Kake Dog Salmon festival’s watermelon-eating contest, en route to a victory on Saturday. In order to win, competitors had to eat everything down to to the rind, seeds and all. Find more in this week’s CCW.

A young man competes in the Kake Dog Salmon festival’s watermelon-eating contest, en route to a victory on Saturday. In order to win, competitors had to eat everything down to to the rind, seeds and all. Find more in this week’s CCW.

Pole fire cuts power downtown

A power pole caught fire at dinnertime Sunday in downtown Juneau, leaving much of the capital city’s core without electricity for several hours.

About 6 p.m., Alaska Electric Light and Power reported that a pole at the corner of Sixth and Gold streets had caught fire. To safely extinguish the flames, AEL&P had to shut off power to much of the downtown area.

“We attempted to isolate it … but due to the location, we’re not able to isolate it,” company spokeswoman Deb Driscoll said Sunday night.

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Coast Guard invades Juneau for 'roundup'

The Coast Guard is coming.

Starting today, expect to see Juneau’s downtown waterfront crowded with ships bearing the crossed anchors and red stripe of the U.S. Coast Guard. For the first time since 2012, the Coast Guard is hosting its Buoy Tender Roundup in the capital city.

From Monday through Friday, the crews of ships from across Alaska, Washington state, Oregon — even a Canadian coast guard ship — will participate in drills, perform maintenance and attend training sessions here.

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William Morris IV named CEO of Morris Communications

Augusta, Ga. — William S. (Will) Morris IV has been named chief executive officer of Augusta-based Morris Communications Co. Morris is the parent company of the Juneau Empire.

The appointment was announced Saturday by his father, William S. (Billy) Morris III, 80, and is effective immediately.

Will succeeds his father as CEO, while his father continues as chairman of the board. His father also will continue as publisher of the Augusta Chronicle until April 12, 2016, when he will complete 50 years in that role.

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Heat lamp causes fire at Super 8

A fire early Saturday morning caused about $25,000 in damage to Juneau’s Super 8 motel, and one motel guest was injured as the building’s occupants fled in the night.

According to an account provided by Capital City Fire/Rescue assistant chief Ed Quinto, firefighters responded to an alarm just before 3 a.m. Saturday. When the first engine company arrived, it found smoke coming from the end of the building facing McDonald’s.

“Even though it was dark, I could see the smoke,” Quinto said.

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Photos: Fun in the sun at the Southeast Alaska State Fair

Teegan McNeel, 3 of Juneau, dances as the Wet City Rockers perform at the 47th Southeast Alaska State Fair on Saturday in Haines. The fair, whose theme this year is “Fair Necessities,” runs through today.

At National Guard reunion, veterans reminisce, swap stories

Morris Carrillo missed his fellow Alaska Army National Guard members, whom he served with every day for 27 years, after he retired in 2007.

On Thursday, he was surrounded by them at a steak dinner in the Juneau Arts & Culture Center.

“I haven’t seen him in years,” he said, giving the man sitting next to him at a table, State Command Chaplain Lt. Col. Rick Koch, a friendly pat on the back. “It’s good to see my comrades again.”

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Police & Fire for Sunday, Aug. 2, 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.


• At 5:18 p.m. Thursday, a 58-year-old woman reported the theft of gasoline and someone trespassing on her property in the 9700 block of NineMile Creek Road.

• At 9:06 p.m. Thursday, a 43-year-old woman reported the theft of money from her apartment in the 9200 block of Cinema Drive.

Conditions violation

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Around Town for Sunday, Aug. 2

Open trap shooting, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Juneau Trap Club, 1 Mile Montana Creek Road. The Juneau Trap Club is open to members and public trap shooting year-round. Loaner shotguns are available. Details: 789-9844.

Adult Children of Alcoholic or Dysfunctional Families and Codependents Anonymous meeting, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Assembly Chambers, across from Marine Park.

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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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