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Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage

ahillman (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  About Anne

The Google Maps app displaying bus route information for Anchorage. Hillman/KSKA

People Mover teams up with Google Maps to make bus route planning easier

Anchorage’s People Mover bus system is trying to become more people — and tech — friendly. You can now use Google Maps to figure out your bus route. KSKA tested the feature this morning.

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July 17, 2014

Alaska LNG Project community meeting provides questions and hope

The Alaska LNG Project hosted a community meeting in Anchorage on Tuesday night. About 90 people listened to an explanation of the newest version of a plan to get natural gas from the North Slope to market.

Project manager Steve Butt explained this project is different from previous failed attempts to build a gas pipeline.

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July 16, 2014
Anchorage residents protested in front of a home slated for removal to build the proposed Knik Arm Bridge. Hillman/KSKA

Residents protest home demolition, Knik Arm Bridge

More than 50 people gathered in the Government Hill neighborhood this afternoon to protest the demolition of two homes. The state is clearing the land to make way for the proposed but not yet funded Knik Arm Bridge.

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July 15, 2014
Rustic Goat’s new parking lot draws community outcry but wins approval

Rustic Goat’s new parking lot draws community outcry but wins approval

The Rustic Goat, a new restaurant on Turnagain in West Anchorage, is getting a new parking lot. But the establishment and its plentiful customer base have stirred up mixed emotions in the neighborhood.

July 8, 2014
Issa Ali Abdul with his friend and translator

Local business benefits from employing refugees

Businesses in Anchorage have a tough time finding entry level employees. For some employers, the solution is hiring refugees — individuals who fled violence or persecution in their home countries and are trying to enter into life in the United States. Catholic Social Services uses money from the Office of Refugee Resettlement to help run programs that connect refugees with employers.

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July 7, 2014
Yellow Pages seek new life

Yellow Pages seek new life

New phone books are arriving in Anchorage. You can recycle your old ones at drop offs around the city, and they’ll be turned into insulation and mulch.

July 3, 2014

Enstar bill increase looks big but is temporary

Enstar gas prices are going up this summer, but the increase isn’t permanent. An Enstar representative says customers’ total gas bills for this year will be similar to years past.

July 3, 2014
One person dies in fatal crash at Merrill Field

One person dies in fatal crash at Merrill Field

A small airplane crashed during take off this morning around 8:25 am at Merrill Field in Anchorage. The pilot and sole occupant is confirmed dead.

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July 2, 2014

Alaska Arctic Policy Commission Listens to Community Input

The Alaska Arctic Policy Commission held a listening session today in Anchorage. The aim was to get more statewide input, especially from the Alaska Native community, on how the Commission should try to shape future Arctic policy.

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July 2, 2014
Project proponents speak as Ira Edwards tests out the new accessible dock on Jewel Lake.

New dock at Jewel Lake makes area accessible to everyone

Anchorage’s Parks and Recreation Department opened a new dock on Jewel Lake yesterday. Unlike the previous, weather-damaged facility that loomed 15 feet over the water, this one makes the lake accessible — to everyone.

Jewel lake dock

July 1, 2014

With HIV cases on the rise, Alaskans consider new tool for prevention

Twenty-four people in Alaska have been diagnosed with HIV since January. Normally, that’s the total number of new diagnoses for an entire year, not just six months. Now Alaskans have a new way to help prevent HIV infections. The Center for Disease Control recently released new guidelines for a daily pill that can prevent new infections, though it’s not seen as a cure-all.

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June 30, 2014

Wetlands Plan Update Causes Concern

Some community members are concerned about proposed changes to the Anchorage Municipal Wetlands Management Plan. They say it weakens protections for vital areas. The plan’s update has been in the works for nearly four years.

June 27, 2014

STD infections rise in Alaska

The state’s Department of Health is reporting an increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Alaska. In 2013, Gonorrhea and syphilis infections were up more than 50 percent from 2012. Alaska was ranked first in the nation for Chlamydia infections in 2013. And in just the first five months of this year, 23 new cases of HIV have been diagnosed and reported. That’s one less than last year’s total.

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June 25, 2014

Anchorage Assembly approves new fire station, delays other decisions and discussions

The Anchorage Assembly approved the purchase of land to relocate Fire Station #3 at last night’s meeting. But they postponed most of the other major decisions and discussions, including the public hearing on the city’s labor laws.

June 24, 2014
Netra Dhakal dances during the World Refugee Day Celebration

Anchorage celebrates World Refugee Day

Anchorage residents gathered at Mountain View Lions Park on Friday to celebrate World Refugee Day. The day honors people who have fled their home country, often because of war or ethnic persecution. About 120 refugees are resettled in Anchorage every year as part of a national program. Some of them spoke about their experiences.

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June 24, 2014

Low Unemployment Limits Anchorage’s Business Growth

Anchorage’s unemployment rate for May is 4.9 percent, one of the lowest rates in the state. Though that may seem like a good thing, it’s actually a barrier for growth in the state’s largest city. Businesses are having trouble finding reliable workers.

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June 23, 2014
Search teams retrieving debris from the crash in 2012.

DoD photo by Cpt. Jamie D. Dobson, U.S. Army

Remains of 17 servicemen identified from 1952 crash

The remains of 17 service members who died in a 1952 plane crash near Mount Gannett have been identified by the Department of Defense and will soon be returned to their families. An Alaska National Guard Blackhawk helicopter crew discovered the crash site two summers ago on Colony Glacier during a training exercise. A team went back to the site to recover what they could later that month. Some of the family members reflected on the experience.

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June 19, 2014
A design option for the 36th and Seward intersection called a "Hybrid SPUI."

Seward & 36th improvement plans still under consideration

The state’s Department of Transportation is weighing it’s options for the redesign of the intersection of Seward and 36th.

June 11, 2014
Pilot launches unmanned aircraft on North Slope. Photo courtesy of BP.

BP uses drones for first time on land for commercial purposes

For the first time in Alaska, and the United States, a company is flying drones over land for commercial purposes. BP is using Unmanned Aerial Systems to inspect roads, gravel pads, and pipelines on the North Slope. It’s the first time the Federal Aviation Administration has approved drones for this type of use, and it could open doors for other companies.

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June 10, 2014
The National Archives building in downtown Anchorage

National Archives departure impacts broad community

The National Archives in Anchorage is closing its doors to researchers in less than two weeks, despite impassioned pleas by historians and researchers. But they aren’t the only ones who use the stacks of historical records. Playwrights, federal and state agencies, and native organizations do as well. And the archives leaving could impact them all, to a degree.

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June 10, 2014