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Southeast Alaska News
ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Court of Appeals on Friday reinstated charges against a former state senator and others for violating conditions of their subsistence fishing permits.
A wildlife officer in August 2009 cited then-lawmaker Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, and others for catching more sockeye salmon than allowed under a subsistence fishing permit.
Andy Piston, coordinator of the annual Christmas Bird Count in Ketchikan speaks about this year’s effort and what birders found. BirdCount
ANCHORAGE — The state appeals court on Friday reinstated charges of excessive fishing against a former state senator and two others.
A wildlife officer in August 2009 cited former lawmaker Albert Kookesh, D-Angoon, and others for catching more sockeye salmon than allowed under a subsistence fishing permit.
The men challenged the citations, and a district court sided with the men. The court said the Board of Fisheries should have set limits and not delegated that authority to the Department of Fish and Game.
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Cdr. Pete Melnick, Air Station Sitka, and Sitka Mountain Rescue captain Don Kluting discuss some simple ideas for outdoor safety, whether you’re planning a major hike or an afternoon walk.
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Ancient skeletal remains discovered in the basement of KCAW’s Cable House have been exhumed and placed in the custody of the Sitka Tribe of Alaska. Juneau airport will open a food concession inside security area. Ketchikan council member resigns under pressure after accusations surface of misconduct in his teaching career.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Alaska Airlines cancelled 24 flights on Sunday and Monday after flu-stricken pilots and flight attendants called in sick.
Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says about 270 passengers were affected by cancelled flights. Another 14 flights were cancelled Sunday due to bad weather.
Egan says a “very unusual” cold and flu season hit the airline’s Pacific Northwest hub, and the entire region was affected.
Egan says pilots and flight attendants who were off-duty have volunteered to work while their colleagues are out sick.
ANCHORAGE — A 60-year-old Willow woman is accused of ramming her car into a trooper vehicle.
Dona Carnahan is charged with assault, failure to stop at an officer’s direction, criminal mischief, driving under the influence and possessing a weapon while intoxicated.
Troopers say Carnahan was hysterical when she called 911 early Wednesday to say a female was from a home.
Troopers say they tried to contact Carnahan, but she drove away.
FAIRBANKS — If you live in Interior Alaska, it’s a perfect time to wear that new Christmas sweater.
The skies cleared and the temperature dropped to minus 40 on Wednesday morning. And it’s not got to warm much in the coming days.
According to the National Weather Service, Wednesday highs in the Fairbanks area should only reach 25 to 35 below zero. Lows in the evening will be 35 to 45 below zero.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the cold snap will break Saturday, when highs increase to 5 to 15 below zero, with a chance of snow.
FAIRBANKS — There’s been a sharp increase in the number of flu cases reported to the state.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports there were 177 influenza infections in Alaska between Dec. 1-21.
Before that, only 65 cases had been reported in the first months of the flu season.
There are still flu vaccines available at public health centers in Alaska. Shelly Point-Anderson, who is with the Fairbanks Regional Public Health Center, says anyone who has not yet been vaccinated to get a flu shot.
KODIAK — Alaska State Troopers say a 33-year-old Kodiak man is facing charges after shooting himself in the knee with a stolen gun while drinking and driving.
The Kodiak Daily Mirror says the man’s name was not immediately released, pending charges.
Troopers say the man had taken the .44 Magnum pistol without permission from a vehicle on Dec. 18.
Troopers say the man drove around Kodiak with a 25-year-old Anchorage man the next day. According to troopers, the 33-year-old man began drinking while driving and handling the gun, which discharged and hit him in the knee.
KODIAK — Alaska State Troopers say three Kodiak juvenile males face charges after joyriding in a stolen sport-utility vehicle before one of them crashed it.
Troopers in a web posting say a 15-year-old boy stole a friend’s SUV early Christmas morning. He picked up two other boys, ages 16 and 17, and drove around for a few hours.
After he dropped them off, troopers say the 15-year-old boy was driving while texting and crashed the SUV into a ditch. The vehicle was totaled but he wasn’t injured.
ANCHORAGE — Anchorage police say a woman was found dead Thursday morning inside a vehicle near downtown Anchorage.
Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro says in a statement that police were alerted just before 7:30 a.m. about a woman who was unresponsive and unconscious in a vehicle at the 1000 block of 6th Avenue.
Castro says responding medics declared the woman dead at the scene.
Police are investigating to determine the cause of death and if foul play was involved. An autopsy has been ordered.
Castro says the woman has not been positively identified yet.
FAIRBANKS — Tom Irwin of Fairbanks will become president and chief executive officer of International Tower Hill Mines as it prepares to slash jobs.
Irwin will assume his new role for the British Columbia-based global mining company on Jan. 1. He spent the past two years as a company vice president, overseeing its Livengood gold project about 70 miles north of Fairbanks.
His promotion comes as the company is cutting about 30 percent of its staff and slicing its board of directors from seven members to three.
KENAI — An Anchorage man has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges following the death earlier this month of a California man at a Cooper Landing home.
Paul Andrew Vermillion, 30, entered his not guilty pleas to first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and manslaughter on Monday in Kenai Superior Court. He appeared telephonically from the Anchorage jail, where’s he’s being held for medical examinations, the Peninsula Clarion reported.
FAIRBANKS — Organizers with the 2014 Arctic Winter Games need volunteers who can interpret several Arctic languages into English, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
The Games will be held March 15-22. The Games’ official language is English, and many competitors speak English.
However, organizers want to be ready for any possible scenario.
“These are all backup,” said Mimi Chapin, one of the interpreter organizers. “Fairbanks is a hospitable international community that wants to make things easy on the people who come here.”
KENAI — Though she’ll soon be wearing red and black, Kyla Moore held the purple cheerleading uniform and football shirt close Friday as she walked away from a memorabilia sale at Skyview High School.
Though the petite blond was never a cheerleader, the uniform meant a lot, she said, as she talked about leaving the closing Soldotna school for the much larger Kenai Central High School to finish her senior year.
“I always wanted to be a cheerleader,” she said.
FAIRBANKS — More than 30 private homes were damaged in the Fairbanks area during November storms.
The damage came during the storm and in its aftermath. The state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management released its report Friday on the storms that stretched from Alaska’s West Coast to the Interior, and included flooding on the Kenai Peninsula, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
The storms included strong winds in the Interior, and knocked trees into homes and power lines. Power was cut off to more than 13,000 homes and businesses.
LIHUE, Hawaii — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is starting to register volunteers on Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island for an annual humpback whale count.
The Garden Island newspaper reported Thursday that the project is looking for people to monitor whales from 60 locations statewide, including 15 sites on Kauai. The counts will take place Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and March 29.
NOAA officials say population counts for humpback whales are still relatively unknown. Some of the endangered whales migrate south each winter from Alaska to breed.
KODIAK — A new study from the state shows how dependent Alaska is on military spending.
Sixty percent of all federal dollars spent in Alaska are devoted to defense spending, and the state estimates the military will spend $486 million next year on Alaska projects, the Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
The study is from the state Department of Labor and published in this month’s Alaska Economic Trends magazine.