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From Our Listeners

Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Sitka Teacher Wins White House Award

Mon, 2014-01-06 18:04

Rebecca Himschoot. (AFSUSA photo)

A Sitka educator has won a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.

Rebecca Himschoot teaches Science at Keet Gooshi Heen Elementary. She’s one of two Alaskan teachers honored by the White House this year, and one of only 102 teachers nationwide who receive the recognition, which includes a $10,000 cash prize from the National Science Foundation.

Himschoot’s colleague from Alaska, sharing this year’s honor, is Amy Laufer, a math teacher at Kasuun Elementary in Anchorage.

Rebecca Himschoot is the Science teacher for 2nd through 5th grade. She says that she really doesn’t do anything extraordinary for her students, beyond what any good teacher tries to do.

It’s mainly about keeping kids engaged. The skies over Sitka are gray and rainy much of the time. Learning about planets and astronomy can be a tough sell. But Himschoot, through a grant from the local charitable trust, brings in a Starlab every year, and inflates it — sort of like a giant bouncy castle — inside the gym.

“If my teacher in elementary school had brought in a planetarium to the classroom, it probably would have caught my attention, and maybe even changed the direction I went with my education.”

Himschoot also takes advantage of opportunities for professional development that other teachers may not. In 2007 she traveled aboard a research vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as one of NOAA’s Teachers at Sea. It was a three-week cruise in the Bering Sea studying the pollock fishery.

But she also finds opportunities closer to home.

“I try to use local resources as much as I can to connect kids to science, so I bring in lots of Forest Service scientists. The Sitka Sound Science Center has brought some scientists to town who came into the classroom and helped kids connect more to science. So I think it’s those little extras that might catch attention.”

It was Forest Service biologist Rob Miller who nominated Himschoot for the award, which goes to only two teachers from each state. Himschoot entered the paperwork back in 2012, and had pretty much forgotten about it until she was notified this past December, just before school went out on winter break.

The national recognition — along with a lot of rest over vacation — has helped energize her getting back into the classroom.

“Though I had an excellent education, I was not turned on to Science. I feel I have an obligation — if I have the great gift to teach Science all day every day, that comes with the responsibility of helping kids connect more to Science and making it more real to them.”

Besides winning $10,000, which she can spend any way she likes, Himschoot will get an all-expense trip to Washington DC, and a chance to meet President Obama. The president’s schedule could upset that plan. More of a sure thing, though, is a behind-the-scenes tour of the Smithsonian Institution.

That’s cool, she’s pretty sure.

“Possibly geeky for other people, but for a teacher very, very exciting.”

Two other Sitka teachers are previous winners of the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science: Cheryl Hedden and Barbara Renoux.

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KCAW’s Melissa Marconi-Wentzel contributed to this story.

Medevac System Undergoing Changes

Mon, 2014-01-06 18:02

If you get sick – really sick – there’s a good chance you’ll end up on a flight out of town. Medical evacuations, called “medevacs,” are taking more and more Alaskans to in-state and Lower 48 critical-care facilities. But the medevac system is undergoing changes, with new aircraft, more competition and a shift in patients’ needs.

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Justice Department Files Charges Against Heli-ski Company

Mon, 2014-01-06 18:01

The Department of Justice last week filed criminal charges against a Haines heli-skiing company for repeatedly operating tours on federal land without a permit. The violations came to light because of a fatal accident within the off-limits area in March of last year.

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Soul to Soul: December 28, 2013

Mon, 2014-01-06 16:00

re’s the music playlist from the December 28, 2013 edition of Soul to Soul with Marvel and Sherry Johnson. All tracks played are listed below in the following format:

  • Song Title
  • Artist Name
  • Album
  • Label
  • Duration

Heaven Sent EP (Just Like Music)
Scott Watson Remix
Miss Luna and Q

Hollywood Tonight (Steppers Mix)
Michael Jackson

Cha Cha Slide
Mr. Dance

Bonus Track 3(Juke Joint Slide Hip Mix)
Lee Shot Williams

Cha Cha Slide
Mr. C The Slide Man

Boogie Slide
Blue Knights

Marvell Sweep 2012

Hollywood Tonight (Steppers Mix)
Michael Jackson

He’s The Greatest Dancer
Sister Sledge

Shes A Bad Mama Jama
Carl Carlton

Blame It On The Boogie

Good Times
Rapper’s Delight
POWERHOUSE Remix Service
Chic & Sugarhill Gang

The Breaks
POWERHOUSE Remix Service
Kurtis Blow

Kiss Me And I’ll Kiss You Back
Digital Underground

Circle Of One
DISCOTECH Remix Service
Oleta Adams

Pump Up The Volume
DISCOTECH Remix Service

Treat Her Like A Lady
The Temptations

Aretha Franklin VS Just Fine (Clean)
DJX Remix

James Brown
Scotti Bros.

Forget Me Nots
12 inch Version
Patrice Rushen

Lady Marmalade
Shout! Factory

Sister Sledge Chic H Johnson Midnight Star

Fantastic Voyage

Saturday Mix
Flight X
De La Soul

BMG Special Products R&B

Sail On
Motown R&B

Just to Be Close To You
The Commodores
Slow Jam

(Let Me Put) Love On Your Mind
6:10 Mercury

You The Best Thing In My Life

My Baby’s House
Michael Cooper

Be Ever Wonderful
Angie Stone
Stax R&B

To Be Encouraged
William Becton
WEB Soul And R&B

Auld Lang Syne
Kenny G

Jet Passing Over
Sound Effect


Yukon’s Team Koltun books ticket to Scotties

Mon, 2014-01-06 15:02
Twenty-year-old Sarah Koltun fulfilled a childhood dream today by skipping her team into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Board receives proposal for largest mine in Yukon history

Mon, 2014-01-06 15:00
The proposal for the territory’s largest-ever mine was submitted Friday to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).

Impaired driving culture isn’t changing: RCMP

Mon, 2014-01-06 14:58
RCMP stop-checks over the holiday season resulted in impaired driving charges against 29 people, with arrests made more days than not since mid-November.

$10 bet leads to assault, attempted murder charges in Anchorage

Mon, 2014-01-06 14:09
$10 bet leads to assault, attempted murder charges in Anchorage Two Anchorage men were arrested late Sunday night after one man allegedly attempted to shoot his 19-year-old roommate in the head over a $10 bet, leading to attempted murder charges.January 6, 2014

Competition drives down airfares to get you out of Alaska

Mon, 2014-01-06 13:50
Competition drives down airfares to get you out of Alaska With airlines competing for Alaskans' dollars, there's lots of "downward pressure" on airfares from the Last Frontier. Choose from wintertime deals, or lock in summertime savings from seasonal carriers.January 6, 2014

Arctic Canadian town hopes radar gun will stop speeding snowmachiners

Mon, 2014-01-06 13:50
Arctic Canadian town hopes radar gun will stop speeding snowmachiners A community in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut is cracking down on speeding snowmachiners after complaints from residents that reckless drivers on hamlet roads are endangering children.January 6, 2014

Group says Canada’s boreal forest at risk

Mon, 2014-01-06 13:49
Group says Canada’s boreal forest at risk Some important new safeguards are in place, but there are regional lapses, says the Canadian Boreal Initiative, which is advocating for long-term protection of about half of the country's forest. January 6, 2014

AK Beat: Anchorage police respond to shooting reported in Chugiak

Mon, 2014-01-06 09:22
AK Beat: Anchorage police respond to shooting reported in Chugiak A release from the Anchorage Police Department Monday evening said that officers had been called out to a reported shooting in the community of Chugiak, about 20 miles north of Alaska's largest city.January 6, 2014

I Am A Bush Radio Reporter

Sun, 2014-01-05 23:15

There are 26 public radio stations throughout the state of Alaska, providing vital news and information to a diverse area over twice the size of Texas.

Angela Denning-Barnes has worked at KYUK in Bethel for more than a decade, reporting on stories from the very edge of society.

For her living in, and reporting on, bush Alaska is more than just a lifestyle – it’s a source of true happiness.

Story & Video:
Travis Gilmour

Marian Call

Showing you #Lovalaska

Sun, 2014-01-05 22:47

Today we’re giving back. Since its introduction in 2009, Alaska’s Pick Click Give program has enjoyed major success, despite residents seeing diminishing Permanent Fund Dividends almost every year. Heather Beaty is the Program Manager for Pick Click Give, and she expects the increase of donations to continue in 2014.

“Each year it’s been in existence it’s grown. It started out with just half a million dollars raised, but in 2013 a new record was set when more than 26,000 Alaskans donated more than 2.4 million to charities around the state,” Beaty says.

Beaty says along with donations the amount of non-profit groups on the list has also grown. This year alone, there were more than 50 groups added, ranging from the Anchorage Park foundation to The Fairbanks Rollergirls roller derby. She says its can be a bit overwhelming for donors choose from the now 512 groups, but there are tools available to make it easier.

“We recommend that people go to because we’ve set up our website so that you can search through the organizations a number of different ways. For example you can just look at the ones in your community if you want to make sure you’re giving where you’re living. Or you can go through and look at the cause types, so if you’re passionate about something you can find the organization out there that would be eager to get your donation,” Beaty says.

Beaty says Pick Click Give isn’t just about monetary donations; it’s a free tool for non-profits to get their name out there and connect with the community.

“And non-profits let us know that a lot of the donors they get through Pick Click Give are interacting with their organization for the first time. So it’s a new connection for them and a new opportunity to get people involved with their mission, to get more volunteers and to get more resources to do the work that they’re doing,” Beaty says.

This year Pick Click Give is unveiling a new campaign and slogan for the project. The mantra is “Lovalaska.”

“It really grew out of what we hear from people when they talk about why they give. It’s because they really value where they live. We all recognize that Alaska is an incredible and special place, and we’re proud to live here. And we really value our communities and our neighbors, and Pick Click Give is one way to express that love,” Beaty says.

And Beaty says 2014 couldn’t be a better year for people to show that love. It will be the first year in the PFD’s five year average that won’t have 2008’s economic collapse factored into the amount.

“So all of the recovery that’s been happening in the past few years is going to be reflected in a bigger PFD check for Alaskans this October,” Beaty says.

As far as her personal Pick Click Give list goes, Beaty wouldn’t give me specifics. But that’s mostly because her list is always changing.

“It is hard to narrow it down. I just keep thinking ‘well this year I’ll focus on these 10 organizations and next year I’ll focus on these 10.’ It’s a pretty big list of small gifts but I feel it’s a really wonderful way to acknowledge the hard work that everyone in the non-profit sector is doing,” Beaty says.

'Crystal Gallery of Ice' takes shape in downtown Anchorage

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:12
'Crystal Gallery of Ice' takes shape in downtown Anchorage As the sun set early in downtown Anchorage on Sunday, ten teams of ice carvers were putting the finishing touches on their sculptures for the annual "Crystal Gallery of Ice" competition. But only one team could walk away with the top prize -- and bragging rights.January 5, 2014

Photos: 'Crystal Gallery of Ice' takes shape in Downtown Anchorage

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:12
Photos: 'Crystal Gallery of Ice' takes shape in Downtown Anchorage

As the sun set early in downtown Anchorage on Sunday, ten teams of ice carvers were putting the finishing touches on their sculptures for the annual "Crystal Gallery of Ice" competition. But only one team could walk away with the top prize -- and bragging rights.

January 5, 2014

Morningside patient database reveals clues to 'Lost Alaskans'

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:11
Morningside patient database reveals clues to 'Lost Alaskans' In the early half of the 20th century, those in Alaska deemed mentally ill were sent to Morningside Hospital in Oregon, despite a lack of understanding about mental health at the time. Now, a new online database will allow some to track down long-lost relatives.January 5, 2014

Permits allowing Alaska mine to discharge pollutants pondered as others wonder about pipeline

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:09
Permits allowing Alaska mine to discharge pollutants pondered as others wonder about pipeline Draft permits issued recently by the state would allow the use of part of Red Dog Creek in far Northwest Alaska as mixing zones -- areas where pollutant concentrations are allowed to be higher than the permit cap issued to the operator of the Red Dog Mine.January 5, 2014

Purse seine proposal for Yukon River would aid catch-and-release of king salmon

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:08
Purse seine proposal for Yukon River would aid catch-and-release of king salmon If approved, a new plan to use purse seine nets in the Yukon River to target plentiful chum salmon and ease the release of precious kings could revolutionize fisheries near villages hit hard by recent closures.January 5, 2014

Alaska predicted to gain jobs, barely, in 2014

Sun, 2014-01-05 21:07
Alaska predicted to gain jobs, barely, in 2014 State economists say the 2014 job forecast shows growth, but only by less than 1 percent thanks to declining government jobs at the state and federal levels.January 5, 2014

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