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Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau

Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

State House Approves Alaska Native Language Bill

The Alaska House of Representatives approved a bill on Wednesday that would symbolically recognize 20 Alaska Native languages as official state languages. House Bill 216 passed on a 38-0 vote. With less than a week to go in this year’s legislative session, the Senate State Affairs Committee will hear the bill tomorrow.

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April 16, 2014 - 5:48 pm
Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins (in suit coat and blue shirt) and supporters of House Bill 216 gather in a Capitol hallway for a group photo to celebrate passage of the bill through the House State Affairs Committee. The bill would symbolically make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages alongside English. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Alaska Native Languages Bill Clears Final House Committee

A bill that would symbolically make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages is heading to the House floor for a vote.

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April 1, 2014 - 5:22 pm

Bills Addressing Alaska Native Issues Get Mixed Reception

Two bills dealing with Alaska Native issues got different receptions from members of the Legislature on Thursday.

At least three House lawmakers were skeptical of a bill that would make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages. About an hour later, they joined the rest of their House colleagues in voting unanimously for a bill honoring the late Rev. Walter Soboleff.

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March 31, 2014 - 5:40 pm
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. will be the site of an American Indian Veterans Memorial. A resolution supporting the memorial cleared an Alaska Senate committee on Tuesday.  Photo by cayusa, Flickr Creative Commons.

Alaska Senate Committee Supports Native American Veterans Memorial

The Alaska Legislature could join the chorus of voices calling for an American Indian Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. An Alaska Senate committee on Tuesday passed a resolution supporting the project.

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March 12, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Municipal League Supports Pension Infusion Plan

Alaska’s mayors and other local officials are worried their governments may be asked to pay more toward public employees’ retirement. The lobbying group Alaska Municipal League is backing Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to use $3 billion in savings to reduce an estimated $12 billion shortfall in state pension funds.

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February 21, 2014 - 4:50 pm
Walter Soboleff: ‘He Fed The Spirit Of People From Many Walks Of Life’

Walter Soboleff: ‘He Fed The Spirit Of People From Many Walks Of Life’

A bill to establish Walter Soboleff Day in Alaska cleared a state House committee on Thursday, after lawmakers on the panel heard heartfelt testimony from the late Tlingit elder’s friends and family. The bill does not have any more committee stops before a vote on the House floor.

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February 20, 2014 - 5:31 pm

Juneau Childcare Workers See Higher Wages

Juneau childcare workers are getting paid more and staying in their jobs longer than they were just a few years ago. That’s according to an organization that runs a pilot program designed to improve access to childcare in the Capital City.

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February 19, 2014 - 5:45 pm

Save Our Schools Rallying Cry Heard On Capitol Steps

Holding signs saying “Kids! Not Cuts” and “Vouchers Hurt Public Schools,” about 200 people packed the Alaska Capitol steps for a “Save our Schools” rally yesterday afternoon.

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February 18, 2014 - 5:48 pm

Supporters Cheer Alaska Native Language Bill

The Barnes Committee Room at the Alaska Capitol erupted in cheers this morning, as a panel of lawmakers unanimously moved a bill that would make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages.

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February 18, 2014 - 5:48 pm
New proposal surfaces to develop Juneau subport property

New proposal surfaces to develop Juneau subport property

Two local businessmen have come up with an early design concept for a prime piece of real estate in the Capital City. The so-called subport property, near the corner of Egan Dr. and Whittier St., has been vacant for more than a decade. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority owns the bulk of the proposed development site. The question remains: Is the authority ready to let it go?

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February 13, 2014 - 5:04 pm
The winners of the 2013 Path to Prosperity contest (L-R) Steve Helgeson, Kevin Skeek, Sue Tyler, and Wes Tyler. Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO.

Raven Guitars, Icy Straits Lumber Win First Path To Prosperity Contest

An acoustic guitar maker and a small saw mill are the winners of the inaugural Path to Prosperity contest. The business plan competition for Southeast Alaska entrepreneurs was sponsored by Haa Aanì, the community development arm of Sealaska Corporation, as well as the Nature Conservancy.

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February 11, 2014 - 4:38 pm
The final 2010 redistricting map for Southeast Alaska.

Are Alaska’s Legislative Districts Getting Too Big?

The chairman of the Alaska Redistricting Board says state residents need to have a conversation about the growing number of people who live in each legislative district.

January 24, 2014 - 12:30 pm
World Trade Center Alaska Executive Director Greg Wolf says China is now the largest importer of goods from Alaska. Photo by Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau.

Is Alaska’s Economy Grounded?

Alaska’s economy slowed in 2013. On Thursday, two economists offered different takes on what that means for this year at the World Trade Center Alaska‘s annual statewide economic forecast talk in Juneau.

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January 17, 2014 - 10:34 am
European Immunization Week. Photo courtesy Gates Foundation, Flickr Creative Commons.

Alaska Health Officials Concerned About Measles Due To Philippine Outbreak

Alaska public health officials are keeping an eye out for cases of measles, especially in residents who travel to and from the Philippines. That country’s health department this week declared an outbreak of the disease in parts of Manila, the capital.

January 10, 2014 - 10:14 am
Kookesh To Step Down As Sealaska Board Chair

Kookesh To Step Down As Sealaska Board Chair

Albert Kookesh is stepping down as chairman of the board of directors for Sealaska, the regional Native Corporation for Southeast Alaska. The company also announced the deadline to apply for its president and CEO position, as Chris McNeil prepares to retire.

January 2, 2014 - 10:16 am

Thousands of Alaskans to Lose Unemployment Benefits Saturday

About 6,500 Alaskans will see their emergency unemployment benefits come to an end on Saturday, according to the state Department of Labor.

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December 27, 2013 - 4:08 pm
Appeals Court Reinstates Overfishing Charges Against Kookesh, Two Others

Appeals Court Reinstates Overfishing Charges Against Kookesh, Two Others

The Alaska Court of Appeals has reinstated over-fishing charges against former State Senator Albert Kookesh and two other men. In 2009, Kookesh and three others were fishing for sockeye salmon at Kanalku Bay near his hometown of Angoon. A state wildlife trooper observed them catching more salmon than allowed under their subsistence permits.

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December 27, 2013 - 4:05 pm

Selling A Small Business

A number of small businesses are for sale in Juneau right now. They’re all fairly successful and none have plans to close their doors, but due to life changes for their owners, they’re on the market. It’s part of the life cycle of a small business.

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December 24, 2013 - 3:39 pm

Experts Caution Against Breed-Specific Dog Laws

Juneau Animal Control only labels dogs as “dangerous” or “potentially dangerous” as a last resort. Two recent attacks have put the agency in the spotlight. Last week, an Animal Control official urged the Juneau Assembly not to adopt breed specific legislation in response to the attacks. An animal behavior expert says that’s the right idea.

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December 23, 2013 - 5:04 pm
Former Haines Rep. Thomas Files To Run For State Office In 2014

Former Haines Rep. Thomas Files To Run For State Office In 2014

Former Haines Representative Bill Thomas has filed a letter of intent to run for state office in 2014. Thomas filed late Friday. He did not indicate which office he will seek, but he is eligible to run for either House or Senate in districts representing Juneau. House District 33 includes downtown Juneau and Douglas Island, as well as Gustavus, Haines, and Skagway. It is part of Senate District Q.

December 23, 2013 - 10:07 am