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Southeast Alaska News
BETHEL — A man from the southwest Alaska village of Saint Mary’s is one step closer to saving his remote cabin, thanks to a recent action by a U.S. Senate committee.
William Alstrom’s cabin is about 31 miles northwest of his village. The federal Bureau of Land Management said the cabin had to go because it is illegally located on the Andreafsky Wilderness in the Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge.
Just over nine months ago, Army National Guard Sgt. James Bearup put a shotgun into his mouth and blew away memories of his military service in Afghanistan, an inability to find consistent work to support his wife, growing family and the pressure of coping with day-to-day life with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The 29-year-old left eight siblings, a wife and two children, 30 nieces and nephews and two parents shocked with the loss, suddenness and permanence of his departure.
CH2M Hill has been selected by the Municipality of Anchorage to manage the design, engineering and reconstruction for the troubled Port of Anchorage expansion project, Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan announced Thursday.
The company will take over management responsibility from MARAD, a federal agency that previously managed the project, and will help the municipality develop a Request For Proposals for design and engineering services, select a firm to provide the services, and then manage the construction, Sullivan said.
Employment in Alaska is expected to grow by 0.4 percent in 2014, according to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Southeast Alaska should also see a slight increase of jobs at 0.3 percent, despite a decline in government jobs.
The department released the economic forecasts Thursday as part of its monthly Alaska Economic Trends publication.
While 2014 is expected to be the fifth straight year of increased employment statewide, this year’s growth is lower than the state’s 10-year average, state economist Caroline Schultz noted in the forecast.
What’s in store for Alaska’s oil and gas industry in 2014? There are more questions than answers at this point with three major uncertainties.
First, will North Slope producers and TransCanada finally reach a commercial alignment to proceed with the big North Slope gas pipeline and LNG project? That was unresolved as 2013 ended.
ANCHORAGE — A man on a bicycle was struck and killed in a crash with a car Thursday in midtown Anchorage.
Anchorage police say dispatchers took a call on the crash at 2:45 p.m.
Police and medics found the bicyclist unconscious on Northern Lights Boulevard near Minnesota Drive. The injured man was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Police say the biker was traveling south across Northern Light Boulevard when he was struck in the middle lane by the westbound car.
The name of the biker was not immediately released.
JUNEAU — Juneau’s first baby of the new year appears to be Jeshua Raymond Moreno, born on Thursday morning.
KTOO reports Jeshua was born at 8:20 a.m. at Bartlett Regional Hospital. He weighed 9 pounds, 1 1/2 ounces and was 21 3/4 inches long.
He’s the third child — and second boy — for Elizabeth and John Moreno.
John Moreno says, “It’s good to be a father again.”
ANCHORAGE — A regional air carrier in Alaska is undergoing a name change.
Era Alaska says in a Thursday release that it will rename itself Ravn Alaska.
Other airlines in the company also will get new names. Era Aviation will become Corvus Airlines. Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service will now be known as Ravn Connect.
The company says the change is to decrease confusion and distinguish the airline from others in the industry that also carry Era in their names.
The new names will be phased in over the next few months.
ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police have arrested a 23-year-old man after a pizza delivery driver said a man pointed a gun at him and issued threats early Thursday morning.
Police in a statement say Keng Lor is being held on two assault counts and a single charge of misconduct involving a weapon.
Authorities say the driver was able to leave the residence after the incident and reported it to police just before 6:30 a.m., prompting the investigation by officers.
ANCHORAGE — Scientists have increased the threat level of Alaska’s Cleveland Volcano from yellow to orange.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory says the volcano appears to have kicked up to an elevated unrest. In the past six days, three brief explosions from Cleveland Volcano were detected.
The color designation indicates that sudden explosions could send ash above 20,000 feet, threatening international air carriers.
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks police say a small bag of heroin was found in the packaging of a local child’s toy.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says police were called to a home on the 1200 block of McCarthy Avenue Sunday afternoon by the father of a young boy.
Police say the father found a baggie containing what turned out to be heroin with in a toy the boy’s mother sent home with him.
Lt. Matt Soden says the father is estranged from the mother.
Sowden says the package contained 0.16 grams of heroin, which he says is a relatively small amount indicating personal use.
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks police are investigating the theft of about $1,800 in furs from a shed.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a black bear rug valued at $1,200 was the highest valued item taken. Also stolen were a wolverine pelt and Arctic fox pelts.
Police say the theft occurred sometime between early Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The owner reported the theft after returning home after a trip out of town and noticing someone had broken into his shed.
ANCHORAGE — Alaska State Troopers say 56 people were arrested for driving under the influence during concentrated enforcements over the holidays.
Troopers say of those, 51 were for misdemeanor DUI and the rest were felony arrests.
Troopers investigated two fatality crashes during the enhanced patrol, which ran from Dec. 13 to Jan. 1.
There were an additional 21 injury crashes, and 260 crashes that only involved damage to vehicles.
Troopers in a release also say 64 drivers were charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Lichtenstein is the most senior reporter in CoastAlaska, and our regional expert on fisheries. He’s been at KFSK in Petersburg for 18 years, but on Tuesday he hung up his microphone and tape recorder and picked up his Grundens to join the SE commercial fishing fleet full time as a power troller.
Lichtenstein’s been a hand troller for six years. Last summer he bought the Aurora and power troll permit.
KCAW’s Robert Woolsey spoke with Lichtenstein about his change of careers.
Lichtenstein fished the Aurora in Cross Sound last summer, and is thinking about coming down to Sitka this summer. He’s invited Raven News to call him any time to ask how things are going out on the drag. But he says his answer will always be, “No comment”!
Matt Lichtenstein and his colleague in the KFSK newsroom, Joe Viechnicki have written and recorded a song about Lichtenstein’s foray into the world fishing. It’s called “Ode to a Lost Cannonball.”