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Juneau Empire
Police: Arson suspect is 13-year-old girl

Police believe a 13-year-old girl may be responsible for starting a fire inside a women’s public bathroom at the Merchants Wharf on Monday night.

Juneau Police Department spokeswoman Erann Kalwara said Wednesday that police identified the girl after she was captured on surveillance cameras outside the bathroom.

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Treadwell comment period skates to a close

One resident spoke his mind at the last public forum on the management structure of the Treadwell Ice Arena. Chris Myrtle, an advisory committee member for Juneau Parks and Recreation, spoke on his own behalf as an avid user of the ice rink.

“I’m trying to figure out how an empowered board will meet your three goals,” Myrtle said.

He reiterated the public’s concerns previously mentioned in testimony that the purpose of an empowered board was questionable.

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Photos: Dads and doughnuts

Anthony Middendorf, right holds out a box of donuts to sixth-grader Hayden Lachester during a Dads & Doughnuts event before school at Floyd Dryden Middle School on Tuesday. Principal Jim Thompson brought the idea up from the pervious school he works for. "I want fathers, mothers, grandparents to feel welcome in this school and feel connected to it," said Thompson. "My goal is to get the community involved and I want the kids to know they have men in their lives who care about them."

Photos: T-Bot teams

Two teams of eighth-grade students concentrate on passing and stacking blocks using hydraulic robots in a technology class at Floyd Dryden Middle School on Tuesday. Left to right the students are: Trevor Thomson, Connor Guizio, Gabe Loseby, Kallan Stephens, Natalie Mauricio, Shaylin Cesar and Nicole Woodland. The robots are called T-Bot II and were bought through a grant provided by Hecla Mining.

Family hosts ceremony for lost hiker

A dear friend and an energetic co-worker. A great card player. An adventurous outdoorswoman.

Those are some of ways Sharon Buis, a 48-year-old local resident who went missing while hiking in Juneau’s rugged backcountry this past summer, was remembered during a celebration of life ceremony Monday night.

Dozens of people filed into a room at the Goldbelt Hotel one by one, signed a guest book and shook hands with some of Buis’ family members who traveled to Juneau from Aylmer in Ontario, Canada to host the event.

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Around Town for Wednesday, Nov. 26

Parks and Recreation Wednesday hike, 9:30 a.m., call for location. Details: 586-0428.

Day of quilting, sewing and good fellowship, 10 a.m. every Wednesday, Resurrection Lutheran Church. Quilts donated to Lutheran World Relief. Details: 586-2380.

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

“Write For Your Life” group, 10-11 a.m. every Wednesday, Mendenhall Valley library. Share a journal, memoir, a letter or poetry. Details: Dixie, 789-2068.

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Police & Fire for Wednesday, Nov. 26, 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.

Criminal trespass

• At 8:05 a.m. Tuesday, Alan Lee, 28, was arrested for criminal trespass in the 11100 block of Glacier Highway after returning to a building after being served a criminal trespass letter. He was additionally charged with violating conditions of release.

Domestic violence assault

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Gara to file bill against attack ads

There were two surprises in the state’s general election guide this year: a missing profile for Independent candidate for governor Bill Walker, and an Alaska Republican Party ad attacking Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska.

The Division of Elections, which produces the guide, quickly copped to the Walker omission and released a supplemental guide including the candidate, who won the election by a small margin. But Rep. Les Gara, D-Anchorage, wants to make sure an attack ad never again appears in the pages of a state publication.

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Merchants Wharf arsonist strikes again

Capital City Fire and Rescue responded to a fire inside the women’s bathroom on the first floor of the Merchants Wharf building again Monday night.

CCFR officials said a trash fire was found at about 9:39 p.m. and extinguished before firefighters arrived on scene.

Monday’s fire marked the sixth suspicious blaze inside the public restroom of the historic waterfront mall in the past month. Officers with the Juneau Police Department and CCFR are actively investigating.

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My Turn: Road economics make sense

How does one judge the value of a road? This is especially difficult when none currently exists for comparison purposes. Yet, as shoppers we make value judgments all the time. We determine the cost and weigh that against the benefits and choose the best alternative.

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My Turn: Road makes no economic sense

I thought I’d heard everything there was to say about the Juneau road controversy. And I figured any economic report on the proposed road paid for by the Alaska Department of Transportation would say that building the highway up the east side of Lynn Canal, with its little shuttle ferry at the end, would be a super investment. I was wrong.

A new report by the McDowell Group’s Jim Calvin and Juneau economic consultant Milt Barker concludes that the road, from an economic standpoint, makes no sense.

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Is 'minimal' impact too much?

Concerns over the environmental impacts of building the road out of Juneau have taken the backseat during recent discussions to safety and cost, but opponents of the Juneau Access Project say the state’s preferred route, known as Alternative 2B, is “without a doubt” the most environmentally damaging of them all.

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Easier access has economic side effects

The Juneau Access Project promises to be the largest Southeast Alaska infrastructure project in a generation.

It’s intended to let more cars and travelers move among Skagway, Haines and Juneau, but transportation is something that always has a purpose. We drive to the store, we drive to work or school, we drive to church.

Easier access to Juneau — whether by highway, improved ferry service or some combination of the two — will have big implications for Haines, Skagway and Juneau alike.

Based on economic studies, here’s what to expect:

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DOT: Accommodating walk-ons 'unnecessary'

In public meetings and on news websites, an overarching question about The Road has arisen: What about people who can’t or don’t drive?

Walking on to a ferry, rather than driving on, is a popular — and cheaper — way to use the current service. Since the Juneau Access Project’s draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement came out in September, ferry users who don’t drive have asked the Department of Transportation how it would accommodate them.

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Traffic forecasts drive Road debate

You are the most important part of the debate over the Juneau Access Improvements Project.

The issue of traffic — how much you and others like you will use the road — is the seed at the apple’s core. The Alaska Department of Transportation says a road up the east side of Lynn Canal is needed because that is the plan that can get the most cars and drivers between Juneau and Skagway or Haines.

DOT needs a plan that permits the most traffic because — according to its forecast — there is pent-up demand for travel to Juneau.

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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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