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Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau

Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

Reporter Bob Tkacz interviews U.S. Sen. Mark Begich following the senator’s annual address to the Alaska Legislature, March 3, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Alaska Journalist Bob Tkacz Found Dead

Veteran Alaska journalist Bob Tkacz has died. He was 61. With his gravelly voice and dogged interviewing style, Tkacz was a fixture in the state capital press corps for more than 20 years.

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May 30, 2014
Alaska Journalist Bob Tkacz Found Dead

Alaska Journalist Bob Tkacz Found Dead

Longtime Alaska freelance journalist Bob Tkacz has died. He was 61. Juneau police say they responded to a report of a death at Tkacz’s downtown office Tuesday morning and found his body. The death is not considered suspicious.

May 29, 2014

Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School Graduate Profile

High school graduation is an accomplishment worth celebrating for all students. But for some the achievement is that much sweeter, because of the obstacles they had to overcome. KTOO profiles profiles a graduate of Juneau’s Yaakoosgé Daakahídi Alternative High School, who has been living on her own for about a year.

May 27, 2014

Juneau Considers Solutions To Housing Shortage

City officials are hoping to address Juneau’s longstanding housing shortage by opening more public land to development.

The Juneau Planning Commission recently recommended about 150 acres of city-owned land on Pederson Hill be rezoned to allow a residential neighborhood to be built. The idea is to copy the early 20th century-style subdivisions of downtown Juneau and Douglas. But not everybody is happy about the proposal.

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May 5, 2014
Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Co. is now selling its flagship Amber Ale and its Freeride American Pale Ale in 12 ounce cans. Initially they’ll be available only in Alaska. (Photo by Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau)

Alaskan Brewing Co. Now Selling Beer In Cans

Alaskan Brewing Co. is entering the growing canned microbrew market. Starting Monday, the Juneau-based beer maker will sell its flagship Amber Ale and its Freeride American Pale Ale in 12-ounce cans. In recent years, consumers have become more accepting of craft beer in cans. But is it as good as bottles?

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April 28, 2014
In the Senate gallery, an emotional Rep. Charisse Millett holds hands with Liz Medicine Crow while Senators debate the fate of the bill. The legislation, which passed moments later, makes 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages alongside English. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Alaska Becomes The Second State To Officially Recognize Indigenous Languages

Supporters of a bill to make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages organized a 15 hour sit-in protest at the Capitol on Sunday. Their dedication paid off early this morning, when the measure passed the Alaska Senate on an 18-2 vote.

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April 21, 2014

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
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

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
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

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
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

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

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

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
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
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
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
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
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