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Juneau Empire
UPDATE: Man claims to have bomb, robs Mendenhall Valley bank

UPDATE: Police are still actively searching the man who robbed Northrim Bank about four hours ago. No arrests have been made yet, JPD spokesman Lt. David Campbell told the Empire at about 3 p.m.

JPD has received "lots of feedback" from the public after it released security camera footage of the suspect inside the bank. They're following up on the leads one by one.

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Man wanted for theft, fraud arrested in Ketchikan

A 29-year-old man wanted for theft and fraud in the capital city was arrested Thursday trying to leave the state by ferry and traveling under a false name.

Craig Allan Porter was found on the ferry M/V Kennicott as it was docked in Ketchikan at about 12:45 p.m. Thursday, and he was arrested without incident, according to the Juneau Police Department.

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Empowered pool board may answer to Parks and Rec.

Although the Assembly agreed to the voter-approved empowered pool board earlier this month, the decision may see compromise. At a Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, Assemblyman Loren Jones proposed an amendment to the ordinance that would place Parks and Recreation Director Kirk Duncan in the manager position overseeing the pool board.

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Around town for Friday, April 17

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.

Adult Children of Alcoholic or Dysfunctional Families and Codependents Anonymous meeting, noon-1 p.m. every Friday, Northern Light United Church, 400 11th St. Details: 789-0965.

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Saturday carnival to support residents with autism, disabilities

The Capital City Council of the Autism Society of Alaska is hosting its 6th annual Autism Awareness Walk & Carnival from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Nugget Mall.

The event, held in conjunction with Autism Awareness Month (April), is being billed as a “family friendly” gathering for all ages, featuring door prizes, free T-shirts to the first 50 participants, carnival games with prizes that can be won, a silent auction and other activities. Proceeds will go toward supporting autism and disability awareness in the community.

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Photo: JDHS automotive team

Juneau-Douglas High School junior Wyatt Nicholson, left, and senior Quincy Gregg are flying to Anchorage to compete on Friday against eight other schools in the National Automotive Troubleshooting Contest sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and the American Automobile Association. The team has been studying a Ford Fiesta on loan from Stanley Ford, the same car used in the competition.

Police & Fire for Friday, April 17, 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.

Criminal mischief

• At 6:01 a.m. Thursday, a 33-year-old woman was arrested for domestic violence criminal mischief. She was taken to LCCC.

Disorderly conduct

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Big Thorne timber injunction denied

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an injunction requested by environmental groups, allowing the Big Thorne timber sale on Prince of Wales Island to move forward Saturday.

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Jackson resigns from Planning Commission

Gordon Jackson has announced his resignation from the city’s Planning Commission to accept employment outside of Juneau.

Jackson submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor Merrill Sanford on April 14, with an effective date of May 31. He has served on the commission for a year and a half — “Not long enough, as I enjoyed the work,” he said.

It’s Jackson’s hope that his place on the commission will be filled by another Alaska Native member.

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Small fire, big save

Juneau firefighters responded to a report of a house fire in the Mendenhall Valley Wednesday night and extinguished a small fire found in the home’s garage.

Responding fire crews doused the flames in the Sesame Street home’s two-car garage fire before it spread to the single-story home.

Fire officials say the quick discovery of the fire by one of the home’s occupants — who smelled something burning, found the garage full of smoke and promptly called 911 — saved about $175,000 worth of property in the garage and home.

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JPD looks for man wanted for theft, fraud

Juneau police are searching for a man wanted for a string of thefts and fraud in the capital city.

The Juneau Police Department and Juneau Crime Line released a statement Thursday saying they are looking for 29-year-old Craig Allan Porter. Porter has a $5,000 warrant out for his arrest for two counts of forgery, and he is a person of interest in several additional cases.

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Juneau flyer's carry-on includes a loaded pistol

A 64-year-old man attempting to board an Alaska Airlines flight at Juneau International Airport forgot he had something in his carry-on bag that’s a big no-no: a loaded gun.

Police interviewed the man at the Juneau airport Wednesday morning and confiscated the small handgun, a Beretta 950B, which was loaded with seven rounds of ammunition.

Juneau Police Department Sgt. Chris Gifford said they were notified about the incident by the Transportation Security Administration at about 6 a.m. The TSA found the semiautomatic pistol inside the man’s bag at the screening checkpoint.

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JSD hopes to beat deadline with $20M bond

The Juneau School District is hopeful it can squeeze in a special election for a school bond measure before the state imposes a five-year moratorium on reimbursement.

Senate Bill 64, which has passed the legislature and sits on the desk of Gov. Bill Walker, will likely go into effect 90 days after its signing — it did not receive enough votes to go into effect immediately or retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015.

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Pick a summit, gear up and climb on

John Beede’s Mount Everest — his loftiest goal and childhood dream — was actually summiting Mount Everest, a feat he accomplished May 21, 2013.

The climber-turned-motivational speaker on Wednesday regaled the 200 Juneau teens and 230 community members packed into Centennial Hall with true tales about ascending 29,035 feet to the top of the world.

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Kensington Gold Mine announces big new gold deposit

A century after the Jualin Mine closed down amid World War I, new drilling at the site promises to extend the life of Kensington Gold Mine.

On Tuesday, Coeur Mining announced it will develop the Jualin zone, a rich deposit of gold that may lengthen the life of Kensington by two years.

“There’s a lot more drilling that has to happen, a lot more development that has to happen, and hopefully it will continue to grow,” said Wayne Zigarlick, general manager of the Kensington mine.

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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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