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From Our Listeners

  • Haines pep band members—The marching band will play Louey Louey at the parade on Saturday....

  • Listeners in Haines are advised that two brown bears have been seen in the Highland Estates area...

  • Volunteers are still needed to help run rides and games at the Southeast Alaska State Fair July...

Alaska and Yukon Headlines

VIDEO: Alaska whales, ice and wilderness beauty

Sat, 2014-04-26 11:47
VIDEO: Alaska whales, ice and wilderness beauty

On a trip to Alaska, Lightbourn brought his Canon 5D Mark III video camera along to capture some of the the raw beauty of the wilderness he encountered. 

April 26, 2014

Early morning brawl in Anchorage ends with 3 shot, hospitalized

Sat, 2014-04-26 11:28
Early morning brawl in Anchorage ends with 3 shot, hospitalized A "disturbance" in downtown Anchorage turned into a 60-person brawl that ended with three people shot. One of them is in critical condition, according to police. April 26, 2014

AK Beat: Fairbanks student triumphs at academic competition

Sat, 2014-04-26 10:16
AK Beat: Fairbanks student triumphs at academic competition Christine Frandsen of Lathrop High in Fairbanks captured silver and bronze medals in the United States Decathlon Super Quiz. April 26, 2014

Extended Juneau session ends with agreements on capital budget, education

Fri, 2014-04-25 21:25
Extended Juneau session ends with agreements on capital budget, education On the session's last day, agreements were finally reached on some of the key issues facing Alaska legislators, including billions of dollars for the capital budget and a key decision on the Knik Arm Crossing project.April 25, 2014

Alaska and Finland could share more than Arctic status

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:37
Alaska and Finland could share more than Arctic status OPINION: Alaska has a great opportunity to learn from Finland’s Arctic experience, as well as forge a meaningful partnership going forward as the United States looks ahead to chairing the Arctic Council in 2015, followed by Finland in 2017. Fostering common ground between the two countries can only benefit Arctic policy and partnerships.April 25, 2014

Homer couple pedals fat bikes 1,000 miles to the Arctic

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:35
Homer couple pedals fat bikes 1,000 miles to the Arctic On Feb. 26, Kim McNett and Bjorn Olson set off on a 36-day, 1,000-mile bicycle adventure to Alaska’s Arctic. In the process, they became the first people to bike from Anchorage to Kotzebue. April 25, 2014

Putin signs law allowing oil and gas corporations to defend infrastructure

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:16
Putin signs law allowing oil and gas corporations to defend infrastructure Seven months after Russian authorities arrested the "Arctic 30," a new law allows oil companies to employ their own security forces to repel protestors.April 25, 2014

Lack of say in merged northern airline alarms Nunavut Inuit

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:16
Lack of say in merged northern airline alarms Nunavut Inuit The territory's residents worry about loss of competition and loss of say in how the combined airline will be operated.April 25, 2014

Whether by choice or by necessity, many Alaskans still without running water

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:12
Whether by choice or by necessity, many Alaskans still without running water An estimated 12,000 Alaskans live without running water and sewer systems, though it's more voluntary for some than it is for others.April 25, 2014

Lake and Peninsula Borough won't appeal ruling against SOS initiative

Fri, 2014-04-25 19:11
Lake and Peninsula Borough won't appeal ruling against SOS initiative The borough had defended the initiative -- aimed at curtailing Pebble Mine -- through the court system, but won't appeal a ruling overturning it, after their attorney advised them that chances of prevailing were slim.April 25, 2014

Jury Convicts Alaska Man In Coast Guard Killings

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

A federal jury in Alaska has convicted a man of murder in the shooting deaths of two of his co-workers at a Coast Guard communications station on Kodiak Island.

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The jury returned its verdict on Friday in the case of 62-year-old James Wells. He was charged with killing Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle in April 2012.

Prosecutors had alleged Wells, a civilian, was unhappy that his position was increasingly irrelevant on the job because of the advancement of the victims.

The jury convicted Wells of six felony charges: two counts each of first-degree murder, murder of a U.S. officer and use of a firearm in a violent crime.

Federal prosecutors said earlier they would not seek the death penalty if he was convicted.

Court Rules In Favor Of Same-Sex Couples In Property Tax Case

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

State Supreme Court on Friday justices decided in favor of two same sex couples in a property tax case that could have wider implications for the state.

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Surprise Inspection Finds High Radiation Levels At Acuren Facility

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

A testing and inspection company with facilities in Kenai is in trouble with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A surprise inspection of Acuren’s facility earlier this month revealed high levels of radiation outside the building.

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Alaska Legislature Gavels Out

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

Friday, the Alaska State Legislature gaveled out, five days after they were supposed to. It’s the end to a grueling session that involved legislation on education and a major gasline project.

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So, first off, what took them so long?
Gutierrez: Honesty? Politics. The most obvious fight was education funding. In the background, minimum wage.  Major personal bills from leaderships were held up, especially on the House side. We saw Knik arm bridge fail on Wednesday night.

What caused the breakthrough?
Gutierrez: Well, once people have dug in their heels, there’s no point in dragging out a stalemate that will be unpopular with voters. Basically went down the middle with the education compromise. Plus staying long is unpopular with legislators themselves. Chenault in launchair, golf, John Wayne movies. They’re sitting around doing nothing and unhappy about it, and so are voters.

Are there any consequences for going longer than 90 days?
Gutierrez: Probably not. In the past when they’ve gone a little long, laws still stand. Constitutionally, can go until 121. But they are ignoring the statute and that was passed by voters. Spoke with the governor and he says he’s worried about the precedent, but was simply glad to be done. And quite frankly, everyone’s pretty glad to be out of here, including the press corps.

Three To Try Out For Juneau Symphony Conductor

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

The Juneau Symphony and Juneau Symphony Chorus performed the Mozart Requiem, April 5 & 6, 2014. (Photo by Glen Fairchild)

Three different conductors will direct the Juneau Symphony next season. They hope to replace Kyle Wiley Pickett, who will lead the Topeka Symphony and the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, after 14 years in the capital city.

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The search began at the end of the 2013 symphony season, when musicians and board members gathered to answer three questions:

What are you looking for in the next conductor? What role does the symphony play in your life? What role do you think the symphony plays in the Juneau community?”

Search committee chairwoman and violinist Kristin Garot says the questions were asked again in the summer and fall.  The answers helped the 15-member committee come up with traits the orchestra wants in a new conductor.

Garot says lessons learned from the last recruitment, in 1999, and the Music Director’s Search Handbook from the League of American Orchestras morphed into a blueprint for the current search.

In October, the job was announced on the Conductors Guild website.

Nearly 70 applications rolled in. Only 28 made the first cut. That list was reduced to 13 conductors, who were interviewed over Skype, resulting in a list of nine. Committee members voted on each person to get to the remaining three.

Though the job pays only about $35,000 a year, Garot says the volunteer Juneau orchestra demands a lot of its conductor.

“Not only are they there to lead the musicians but they’re also kind of the face of the orchestra to the community,” she says. “We want someone who’s dynamic, who can energize an audience and speak to them about what they’re listening to. We also want someone who can connect with our youth audience and our youth organizations and help build that part of our program.”  

That means music director, long-range planner, fundraiser, and grand communicator.

The three finalists claim to be adept at all.

AK: Cats

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

Ten years ago, Wrangell was crawling with feral cats. They roamed the streets, getting into trash and nesting in condemned buildings. Now, it’s hard to even find a cat downtown. That dramatic turnaround is due to the hard work of one woman who noticed the problem and decided to fix it. Dolores Klinke runs the St. Frances Animal Rescue, a non-profit that has saved hundreds of strays.

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Dolores Klinke is in her late 60s. She has salt and pepper hair and a big smile. As a kid growing up in New Mexico she had all sorts of pets (as a child.) Now, she’s Wrangell’s most prominent cat lady.

Klinke operates St. Frances out of two shelter locations. One is a forested lot for feral cats and the other is for adoptable cats, housed in her own garage. The first thing you notice when you walk inside is that it’s spotlessly clean and doesn’t smell like cats. That’s surprising as it’s currently home to about 20 rescues that live in kennels and cardboard boxes lining the walls.

“This is Jack. That’s Benjie;  that’s Iji, that black and white one; and that’s his brother, Lasty,” Klinke said, introducing some of the cats.

Some have been turned over by past owners. Many have been live trapped around town. She works patiently with the wild ones, like Kiki, to get them socialized.

“And at first she was very aggressive but she was scared, you know,” Klinke said. “She didn’t want to be any place else but her own home, but slowly she’s getting better and better.”

It’s this unflappable faith in these little animals that led Klinke to start St. Frances in 2008.

She says she was disturbed by all of the unwanted cats in Wrangell.

At first, she picked up one or two strays at a time. Then she started rescuing entire stray cat colonies. She never predicted it would turn into a full-blown animal rescue.

“I think I stopped counting at 600 cats that we’ve, you know, handled through the rescue program so, that’s a lot of cats,” Klinke said. “And that was what, a year and a half ago that I stopped counting?

“I just don’t have the time…just too busy.”

Once she brings a stray in, she cares for it indefinitely.

Every rescue gets a full lineup of shots and any other medical attention it needs. She’s adamant that each one gets spayed or neutered, preventing accidental pregnancies and litters of stray kittens. Fixing the cats is fixing the problem.

“It seems like it’s been a little over a year that I haven’t had any kittens come in at all,” Klinke said. “That tells me something – there are no kittens to be found in Wrangell I guess.”

It takes a lot of money to care for all of the rescues. Klinke says she goes through countless bags of kitty litter and cans of wet food. She gets enormous community support. The city chips in $5,000 a year. And in 2013, Klinke raised another $14,000 through rummage and bake sales and private donations. But she says it’s still not enough.

“Every 28 days we go through six bags of cat food,” Klinke said. “We have the other shelter that we have cats that we have relocated. Over there we go through another maybe four bags a month.”

We drive out to the other shelter about five miles out of town.

This gated outdoor colony holds the feral cats that are not socialized enough to be adopted out. Klinke says the cats here often hunt for their own food.

Cats appear left and right when they hear her walking around. She greets each of them by name. One cat, Clown, follows us around. Klinke says she was an especially difficult rescue.

“And the vet was coming into town so we got her ready to go in to get spayed, you know,” Klinke said. “And I grabbed her and that was the wrong thing to do. Boy, she tore my hands all up and bit. We got her though and took her in, got her fixed and I headed for the emergency room.”

But that antisocial behavior doesn’t keep her from pampering them.

Dolores Klinke truly loves her rescues.

“They’re appreciative.  That’s my favorite part of the job, I guess you’d call it. But I love doing it. It’s unconditional love,” Klinke said. “They don’t ask for anything, you know. They really don’t. They just want food and somebody to love them.”

And that’s why she puts in the countless hours and money, and doesn’t really mind those trips to the emergency room—to give these cats a place to call home.

300 Villages: St. Michael

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:45

This week, we’re heading to St. Michael, a primarily Yup’ik community of almost 450 people near Nome in Western Alaska. Bobbi Ann Andrews is the mayor of St. Michael.

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Alaska News Nightly: April 25, 2014

Fri, 2014-04-25 17:00

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Jury Convicts Alaska Man In Coast Guard Killings

The Associated Press

A federal jury in Alaska has convicted a man of murder in the shooting deaths of two of his co-workers at a Coast Guard communications station on Kodiak Island.

The jury returned its verdict on Friday in the case of 62-year-old James Wells. He was charged with killing Coast Guardsmen Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle in April 2012.

Prosecutors had alleged Wells, a civilian, was unhappy that his position was increasingly irrelevant on the job because of the advancement of the victims.

The jury convicted Wells of six felony charges: two counts each of first-degree murder, murder of a U.S. officer and use of a firearm in a violent crime.

Federal prosecutors said earlier they would not seek the death penalty if he was convicted.

Court Rules In Favor Of Same-Sex Couples In Property Tax Case

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

State Supreme Court on Friday justices decided in favor of two same sex couples in a property tax case that could have wider implications for the state.

Surprise Inspection Finds High Radiation Levels At Acuren Facility

Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

A testing and inspection company with facilities in Kenai is in trouble with the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A surprise inspection of Acuren’s facility earlier this month revealed high levels of radiation outside the building.

Alaska Legislature Gavels Out

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Friday, the Alaska State Legislature gaveled out, five days after they were supposed to. It’s the end to a grueling session that involved legislation on education and a major gasline project,

Three To Try Out For Juneau Symphony Conductor

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

Three different conductors will direct the Juneau Symphony next season. They hope to replace Kyle Wylie Pickett, who will lead the Topeka, Kansas Symphony, and the Springfield, Missouri Symphony Orchestra, after 14 years in the capital city.

AK: Cats

Shady Grove Oliver, KSTK – Wrangell

Ten years ago, Wrangell was crawling with feral cats. They roamed the streets, getting into trash and nesting in condemned buildings. Now, it’s hard to even find a cat downtown. That dramatic turnaround is due to the hard work of one woman who noticed the problem and decided to fix it. Dolores Klinke runs the St. Frances Animal Rescue, a non-profit that has saved hundreds of strays.

300 Villages: St. Michael

This week, we’re heading to St. Michael, a  primarily Yup’ik community of almost 450 people near Nome in western Alaska.

Bobbi Ann Andrews is the mayor of St. Michael.

Indian Health Service, Alaska tribes settle $193M in claims

Fri, 2014-04-25 15:07
Indian Health Service, Alaska tribes settle $193M in claims The federal Indian Health Service has announced additional settlements of outstanding debts to five additional Alaska tribal health care organizations. Settlements nationwide could reach $2 billion.April 25, 2014

Wildlife Hazards in Context

Fri, 2014-04-25 15:00

The terror of being attacked by a bear is a nightmare for many outdoors people, and a lot of time is spent worrying and planning for it. We’ll put wildlife hazards in context. What should you know to be safe, how can you improve your chances, and why aren’t you thinking about all the other things that could get you, and that are a lot more common. Join host Charles Wohlforth and guests to discuss bears, moose and other backcountry hazards.

Video footage of a bear charge in Jasper National Park has racked up more than a half a million views on YouTube. Has this ever been you? Our experts have a couple pieces of useful advice to ensure safety in the backcountry.

HOST: Charles Wohlforth

GUESTS: 

  • Paul Twardock, APU Outdoor Program
  • Jessy Coltrane, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
  • Dan Bigley, author, Beyond the Bear

PARTICIPATE: Facebook: Outdoor Explorer (comments may be read on-air)

BROADCAST: Thursday, May 1, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. AKDT

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