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Witnesses Begin Taking The Stand In Yakutat Homicide Case

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 11:00

Robert Kowalski prepares to leave the courtroom during a break in the trial on Thursday. Photo by Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau.

Opening statements were held Thursday and the first witnesses took the stand in the case of a man accused of killing his girlfriend at a Yakutat lodge 17 1/2 years ago.

Robert Kowalski, 52, is charged with first and second degree murder for the death of Sandra Perry. The 39-year old woman was shot and killed at the Glacier Bear Lodge in July 1996.

Prosecutor James Fayette jolted the jury and spectators with his opening statements that included a vivid description of the fatal injuries sustained by Perry after a shotgun was fired at her head at close range.

“Blew her head off, clean off,” Fayette said.

That Kowalski was handling the shotgun when Perry was killed is not in dispute. But the question is whether he intentionally killed her or he knew his conduct could lead to her death, or whether it was an accident – as Kowalski claimed — that stemmed from tripping or a reaction after being startled by Perry.

Public defender Eric Hedland said the investigation by local police and state troopers was immediate and thorough.

“I think I will be able to establish that with any witness that is asked to give a rendition of an event, over time, there will be discrepancies,” Hedland said. “That’s true if you’re taking about an alleged victim, a dispassionate eyewitness, or the possible suspect. But the core facts that Mr. Kowalski described did not change.”

After opening statements, some of those who testified included Perry’s oldest son, a waitress and dinner cook at the lodge, and a lodge resident who was asleep in an adjacent room when Perry died.

Line One: Predicting and Preventing Type I Diabetes

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 11:00

The Blood Bank of Alaska is a member of an international network of sites conducting research to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of Type I diabetes. Today’s program will discuss this research and the involvement of the Blood Bank of Alaska and also serve to recruit appropriate Alaskans into the research.

HOST: Dr. Thad Woodard

GUEST: 

  • Norman D. Means, MD, is the Medical and Laboratory Director for the Blood Bank of Alaska
  • Michelle Cassano, Executive Director of American Diabetes Association, Anchorage
  • Bob Scanlon, CEO Blood Bank of Alaska

LINKS:

LIVE BROADCAST: Monday, March 24, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Monday, March 24, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

DR. WOODARD’S FAVORITE HEALTH AND SCIENCE LINKS:

SUBSCRIBE: Get Line One: Your Health Connection updates automatically by:

LINE ONE: YOUR HEALTH CONNECTION ARCHIVE

Audio to be posted following broadcast.

UniSea Worker Accused of Two Assaults in One Day

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 10:54

A 20-year-old man is facing felony charges in back-to-back assaults at the UniSea bunkhouses this week — including an attempted sexual assault.

Police allege that Jose Sedona got into a fight on Tuesday, striking a man in the face. Sedona was a UniSea employee. Company security reported the fight to police.

Public safety director Jamie Sunderland says officers judged Sedona to be sober and took him into custody.

“Well, that was at 2 in the morning,” Sunderland says. “Later that day, Mr. Sedona was arraigned on his Assault 4 charges and released on bail later that afternoon.”

A few hours later, UniSea security contacted police and asked them to help respond to another fight — also involving Sedona.

Police allege that Sedona had tried to sexually assault a woman around 9 p.m. as she was opening the door to her bunkhouse room. They say that Sedona forced his way into the woman’s room and pushed her down, tearing at her clothes.

Sedona’s family members allegedly came in and tried to pull Sedona away. When police arrived, chief Sunderland says they came across a fight, with Sedona taking part.

“And he was struggling against what I believe is a couple of security personnel and possibly some family members all in kind of a big shoving, scuffle match,” Sunderland says.

Sunderland says that officers arrested Sedona — and again, he appeared to be sober.

Sedona was arraigned in Unalaska district court this morning on two counts of felony assault and one unclassified felony for attempted sexual assault. He was also charged with felony burglary, for allegedly forcing his way into a private room, and a misdemeanor for violating the terms of his release after he got out of jail on Tuesday afternoon.

Magistrate judge Jane Pearson set Sedona’s new bail at $50,000, with a third-party custodian to watch him at all times.

The judge heard comments from two members of the defendant’s family, who said that Sedona has a mental condition and needs treatment. UniSea security supervisor Juan Salazar told the court that UniSea has terminated Sedona’s employment and permanently banned him from their property.

The judge noted that Sedona appears to have no criminal record in Alaska or any other state.

Can Europe Wean Itself Off Russian Gas?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 10:50

Europe has been trying to reduce its energy dependence on Russia for years. The crisis in Crimea has given the effort a greater sense of urgency.

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Council sets start date for new water treatment plant

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2014-03-21 10:38

The Ketchikan City Council on Thursday approved April 7th as the start date for turning on the new chloramination plant.  Spring Clean Up week is coming April 19th.  Council member Bob Sivertsen gives a meeting update.  City032114

Reports: FBI Agent Who Killed Chechen During Boston Bombing Probe Is Cleared

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 10:32

Twenty-seven-year-old Ibragim Todashev was killed while being questioned by agents in his Orlando home about his friendship with suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

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Navy Subs Training In Arctic Ocean

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 10:21

A pair of Navy submarines are on maneuvers in the Arctic Ocean sea ice. One came up from the East Coast and the other from the West Coast.

The Navy says the “New Mexico” and the “Hampton” are testing Arctic capacities and their mission includes building an ice camp somewhere in the Beaufort Sea.

How Your Love Of Burgers May Be Helping To Drive Wildlife Extinct

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 09:43

Many meat-eating animal lovers may not realize that their hankering for hamburgers hurts wildlife. A conservation group says some species have already been driven extinct by the livestock industry.

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FISHING FOR DONATIONS

Southeast Alaska News - Fri, 2014-03-21 09:33

We are casting our fundraising nets out wide during Raven Radio’s Online Drive. Help us fill our set to capacity the Spring by making your donation now at http://bit.ly/1qqajdV and support your community radio station.

Photo courtesy of Maxwell K. Johnson.

Alaska Edition: Why I Read – The Serious Pleasure of Books

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 09:00

Author and essayist Wendy Lesser discusses her latest book Why I Read with poet Robert Pinsky.  Their conversation explores the ways that literature and, especially, poetry touch readers and change their lives as Cambridge Forum continues its series My Life Touched by Art.

“Why I Read” by Wendy Lesser

In a culture that is increasingly visual and virtual in orientation, what role does old-fashioned reading play?

What power does the written word have in our lives?

RADIO BROADCAST: Friday, March 21, at 2:00 p.m. AKDT

REPEAT BROADCAST: Saturday, March 22, at 6:00 p.m. AKDT

SUBSCRIBE: Get Alaska Edition updates automatically — via emailRSS or podcasts

ALASKA EDITION ARCHIVE

Alaska Edition will return next week.

Down Goes Duke In Biggest Upset So Far

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 08:47

The Blue Devils lost to Mercer University. Harvard, North Dakota State and Dayton are other underdogs who have pulled off surprises. Who's going to be upset next as basketball's March Madness sets in?

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Thai Court Throws Out Election, Thrusting Country Back Into Limbo

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 08:05

The country's constitutional court says the opposition's boycott of the election, which prevented voting in some constituencies, invalidates the results.

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Cyrano’s All The Great Books (abridged)

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 07:50

All The Great Books (abridged)

Seen a good book lately? How about eighty-six? In ninety-eight minutes. Join Jaron Carlson and Jay Burns, two-thirds of the cast of Cyrano’s Theatre Company’s production of All The Great Books (abridged), another in the series of hilarious shows developed by The Reduced Shakespeare Company (those folks who brought you The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)) as they give us a backstage tour as to how it all comes together. All The Great Books (abridged) runs March 28th-April 20th.

HOSTS:

GUESTS: 

  • Jaron Carlson, Actor, Cyrano’s All The Great Books (abridged)
  • Jay Burns, Actor, Cyrano’s All The Great Books (abridged)

ORIGINAL BROADCAST: Friday March 21st, 2014 at 2:45 p.m.

SUBSCRIBE: Get Stage Talk updates automatically — via:

STAGE TALK ARCHIVE

Audio will be posted following radio broadcast.

In Hawaii, Sex With A Prostitute May Be Legal For Undercover Cops

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 07:47

Honolulu's police department wants to keep an exemption from arrest that is not included in a proposed state law. Critics say the police don't need to go all the way to break up prostitution rings.

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AK Beat: Got PFD questions? Ask them by March 28

Alaska and Yukon Headlines - Fri, 2014-03-21 07:30
AK Beat: Got PFD questions? Ask them by March 28 Alaska's Permanent Fund Dividend Division offices will be closed in observance of Seward's Day on Monday, March 31, the day of the filing deadline.March 21, 2014

Feathers Fly As Top Turkish Officials Square Off Over Twitter Ban

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 07:06

After Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved to shut down the social media service to quiet opposition, the country's president tweeted his objection to the ban.

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Why 500 Million U.S. Seafood Meals Get Dumped In The Sea

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:26

Nine American fisheries together throw overboard as much as 340 million pounds of fish and other species they were not trying to catch, a report finds. Much of it is perfectly edible fish.

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Teenage Drinkers Go For High-End Liquor And Cheap Beer, Too

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 06:25

Liquor companies have gotten a lot of heat for marketing sweet, fruity drinks that appeal to underage drinkers. But teens also favor premium vodka and whiskey. Cost isn't always driving choice.

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Top Stories: Malaysia Jet Remains Missing; Turkey's Leaders Split On Twitter Ban

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-21 05:04

Also: As Ukraine moves closer to EU, Putin signs law to annex Crimea; Mt. Gox says it found 200,000 Bitcoins; and a "day of upsets" in college basketball.

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