Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau
Starting next summer, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau will increase its entry fee and start charging for use of nearby trails and amenities. The U.S. Forest Service announced the change today after taking public comments on the proposal this winter.
Bars in Alaska are now offering pregnancy tests. The pilot program is meant to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome in the state. Alaska has one of the highest rates in the country. Supporters hope the tests will reach women early in pregnancy - a crucial time when they might not know they're expecting. Download Audio:
The National Weather Service is changing the way it forecasts the water level in Juneau’s Mendenhall River. The agency said Friday that it has stopped taking manual readings of the river level at the Mendenhall Loop Bridge. Instead, river level observations and flood forecasts will be based on an automated gauge located in Mendenhall Lake.
With a little over a week until the first ship arrives in Juneau, the head of a cruise industry group in Alaska says 2015 should be strong year for tourism in the state.
Gov. Bill Walker led about 100 people in a Choose Respect rally and march through Juneau on Thursday. The statewide initiative to raise awareness about Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault started six years ago, and grew in prominence after being embraced by former Gov. Sean Parnell. Download Audio
Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization is getting $500,000 from the federal government to make energy efficiency upgrades to its Juneau headquarters. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska hopes to reduce energy use by 30 percent and save about $15,000 a year with the improvements to the Andrew Hope Building.
More than half of all homes in Alaska were built in the 1970s and ‘80s. That’s according to an Alaska Housing Finance Corp. report released last year that highlighted the need for improvements to the state’s aging housing stock. AHFC offers a variety of loan and rebate programs aimed at home renovations and energy efficiency upgrades. Corporation officials were in Juneau over the weekend to talk about some of those programs at the Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association’s Home and Outdoor Living Expo.
The Juneau Assembly has approved new enforcement measures designed to cut down on “hawking” — an aggressive form of commercial sidewalk solicitation also called “barking.” Juneau police say the practice is on the rise, especially during the summer tourist season. Lt. Kris Sell says downtown patrol officers will be working with local businesses this year to identify and stop hawking.
State environmental officials and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating an oil spill at Statter Harbor in Juneau’s Auke Bay. Download Audio
Advocates for the homeless in Alaska are rejoicing after Gov. Bill Walker released an updated budget proposal that restores funding for housing and homelessness services statewide. Download Audio
Sen. Lisa Murkowski barely talked about climate change in her annual speech to the Alaska Legislature Wednesday. And outside the Capitol, a small group rallied to bring attention to climate change and to demand more action on the issue from Murkowski. Download Audio
One of four Juneau hikers rescued off a wind-scoured mountain earlier this month says the group was looking for a bit of an adventure, but may have gotten more than they bargained for. Download Audio
Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area is halting lift operations until it receives enough snow to open at least part of the upper mountain. Download Audio
The U.S. Forest Service is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss a proposed fee increase at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center starting with the 2016 tourist season. Download Audio
A University of Washington professor has found high levels of optimism among homeless Alaska Native elders living in Seattle, and he’s connected the finding to a strong desire to pass on knowledge and experiences to future generations. Download Audio
A draft economic plan for the City and Borough of Juneau identifies eight key initiatives to guide the capital city’s financial future over the next decade. Most of those initiatives and the specific goals discussed in the plan have been city priorities for years. Download Audio