Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau
Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
How do you get 135 third, fourth and fifth graders to learn and apply Sir Isaac Newton’s laws of motion? Have them design and build paper roller coasters.
Juneau has perhaps the tightest housing market in the state. The average assessed value of the Capital City’s single family homes is nearly $350,000. Rents are also among the highest in the state. The average rental unit in Juneau currently goes for more than $1,150 dollars a month.
Bartlett Regional Hospital must repay the state and federal governments close to a million dollars for six years of Medicare and Medicaid billing errors. The hospital also may have to pay penalties for the errors, which violated federal law.
Former Juneau Assembly Member and Deputy Mayor David Stone died unexpectedly Tuesday evening after collapsing at home. He was 55 years old. Former Mayor Bruce Botelho served with Stone for nine years on the Juneau Assembly, starting in 2003. He described him as a bridge builder, who would often mentor new members.
An unattended candle likely caused last week’s fire at the Gastineau Apartments in downtown Juneau. Fire Marshal Dan Jager said an investigation determined the blaze started in the bedroom of an apartment on the fourth floor, in the back corner of the building.
The Juneau Assembly had nothing but glowing reviews for the city’s emergency responders at its first meeting since Monday’s fire at the Gastineau Apartments downtown.
The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday night, but canceled due to the blaze just blocks from City Hall. It was held today yesterday at noon instead.
Despite the praise for firefighters, the incident raised other issues for city officials to deal with.
Fire officials are still working to determine the cause of last night’s fire at an apartment building in downtown Juneau. The four-story Gastineau Apartments will be written off as a total loss. But fire crews were able to keep the blaze from spreading to other buildings along South Franklin Street.
Bartlett Regional Hospital is severing its longstanding ties with Quorum Health Resources. The Tennessee-based company currently provides discounted supply purchases and management consulting to Juneau’s city-owned hospital. For more than two decades Quorum also employed Bartlett’s chief executive and chief financial officers.
Juneau’s new mayor says the Capital City needs to take on a bigger leadership role in Southeast Alaska. Just after being sworn-in Monday night, Merrill Sanford urged his fellow Assembly members to reach out to other communities in the state, especially Southeast.
The “Trip South” gang is ready for the next step in their adventure. Back in June, the group of 20-somethings from Juneau launched an epic kayak and bike trip from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. The paddling portion recently ended in Ladysmith, British Columbia, and after taking a couple weeks off, the group plans to begin the bike portion this weekend.
More than 800 military vets attended the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs first ever “Stand Down” in Southeast Alaska last week. “Stand Down” events are designed to give veterans access to health care and housing services, both from the VA and local nonprofits. A new agreement between the VA and Alaska Native health care providers should make it easier for vets in rural Alaska to access those services.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is holding its first ever “Stand Down” outreach event in Southeast Alaska, Friday and Saturday at Juneau’s Centennial Hall.
The University of Alaska Southeast has received a $50,000 memorial gift from the estate of Emma G. Widmark, given in the name of her father Dr. Alfred E. Widmark.
Ballot Measure 2 on Tuesday’s primary election ballot is the most hotly contested initiative Alaska voters have faced in recent memory. Only the 2008 “Clean Water Initiative” — aimed at stopping development of the proposed Pebble Mine — had more spending for and against. As with that initiative, industry groups are lining up against Measure 2 — outspending proponents by more than seven to one.
The groups sparring over a ballot measure to restore the Alaska Coastal Management Program traded barbs Friday, accusing each other of campaign disclosure violations.
The U.S. Forest Service is asking for the public’s help in solving the mystery of the stolen cedar planks. In March, the Forest Service and Juneau Snowmobile Club stashed five caches of rough cut, yellow cedar along Douglas Island’s Dan Moller Trail. The lumber was to be used for a plank replacement project starting this month.
Capital City Fire and Rescue is lending a helping hand to one of Juneau’s neighbors. On July 10th, a Skagway Fire Department ambulance crashed on the Klondike Highway, seriously injuring four volunteer paramedics.
Juneau International Airport is asking the Federal Aviation Administration for $2-million dollars to install additional approach lighting at the east end of its main runway.
Authorities have recovered the body of Air Excursions pilot Kevin Murray, along with wreckage of the Piper Cherokee airplane he was flying last Thursday when it went down between Juneau and Gustavus.
Three Juneau residents are among the thirteen applicants to replace Justice Walter “Bud” Carpeneti on the Alaska Supreme Court. Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg, Assistant Attorney General Susan Cox and Administrative Law Judge Terry Thurbon have submitted their names to the Alaska Judicial Council for consideration. Ketchikan Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens is the only other Southeast resident that applied.