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Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

elockyer (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8446 | About Ellen

Johnson, Stoltze Square Off in Valley Senate Race

Former state representative Bill Stoltze is eyeing a new state senate seat. The District F seat will include the Eastern Anchorage suburbs of Peters Creek and Chugiak, as well as the greater Palmer area and outlying communities to the North. But current Palmer mayor DeLena Johnson has thrown her hat into the ring and now the two Republican candidates will face off in the upcoming August 19 primary.

August 11, 2014

Mat-Su Asked to Return $12.3M in Federal Grants for Ferry Project

The federal government wants the Matanuska Susitna Borough to pay back $12.3 million in grants related to the ferry MV Susitna. Mat-Su Borough manager John Moosey made the announcement Thursday at a press conference in Palmer.

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August 7, 2014

Coho limits Loosened in the Mat-Su

Coho salmon are running so strong in three Matanuska Valley creeks that the state department of fish and game has upped the bag and possession limit for the species in three Knik Arm streams. The change starts August 9, this coming Saturday.

August 7, 2014

Litigation Blamed For Port MacKenzie Rail Spur Delays

Construction of the railroad link between the Matanuska-Susitna Borough city of Houston and Port MacKenzie is over budget and way behind schedule. Borough officials blame litigation for the delays.

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August 6, 2014

Mat Su Borough Looks Ahead to 2015 Legislature

The Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly is wrestling with it’s legislative wish list for next year. At a special meeting on Tuesday afternoon, Borough officials outlined the top twenty projects that could use state funding..plus a few more. And now the task at hand is to narrow that list down to the top five.

August 6, 2014

Alaska Man Missing in Costa Rica

The son of a noted Alaska outdoorsman is lost in a Central American jungle.

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August 1, 2014

DOC Releases New Information Policy

After a string of prisoner deaths this year, the state Department of Corrections has posted on its website its policy regarding the release of information to the public in the event of an inmate death.

August 1, 2014

Linc Energy Seeks Tyonek Coal Permit

Australian – based Linc Energy seeks to further exploration activities in Cook Inlet.

August 1, 2014

Borough Could Be First To Allow Lifetime Auto Registration

The Matanuska Susitna Borough could be the first government to give the nod to lifetime vehicle registration. That’s if legislation aimed at supporting a new state law is accepted by the Borough Assembly.

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July 31, 2014

Port MacKenzie Poised For Post-Oil Economy

Earlier this month, on July 14, the Matanuska Susitna Borough’s Port MacKenzie took on a load of sixteen miles of cement-coated pipe from a foreign vessel. The pipe now rests at the Port, awaiting shipment to Nikiski to be used in construction of a new Cook Inlet oil platform. Although the pipe shipment has boosted Borough revenues, some are asking questions about whether the port will ever be profitable.

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July 29, 2014

Report Investigates Coal Dust Hazards In Seward

Alaska Community Action on Toxics has issued a new report on the hazards of coal dust in Seward. The organization is recommending further monitoring, but city officials deny that local air quality is poor.

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July 17, 2014

Questions Remain About Alaska’s Prison Deaths

A number of inmate deaths in Alaska prisons over the past few months have prompted state legislators to seek answers. But at a hearing hosted by Senator Hollis French (D – Anchorage) on Tuesday in Anchorage, few questions were resolved.

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July 15, 2014

“Key Ingredients ” Highlights Local Foods

Eating is, by nature, a social activity. But these days, with the frenetic pace of American living and a disturbing reliance on fast food, it’s hard to get the whole family together for a meal. Now a traveling Smithsonian exhibit at the Palmer Museum attempts to get people connected to their local foods, Recently, a sampling of old time Palmer colonists’ recipes is helping to highlight the use of native grown produce.

July 14, 2014

Alaska Native Leader Don Wright Passes Away

Alaska Native leader Don Wright has died. He was 84 when he passed away at home on July 5.

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July 11, 2014

Ellis, Gara Ask DOT To Delay Demolition Of Two Anchorage Houses

A move by the state Department of Transportation to demolish two houses in an Anchorage neighborhood has become a political issue.

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July 10, 2014

Two Properties Up For Demolition To Make Way For KABATA

The state Department of Transportation has announced plans to demolish two Anchorage properties to make way for Knik Arm Bridge construction.

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July 9, 2014
(Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage)

Palmer Farm School Provides Local Food Education For Youngsters

A dozen or so five- and six-year-olds are playing a game in the shade of a gnarled apple tree. The game involves a frog and a detective, somehow. The kids all are enjoying themselves, shrieking and laughing. It’s all part of a summer program at Spring Creek Farm.

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July 8, 2014

Bears Maul Hiker Near Bird Ridge

A bear mauling in the Bird Creek area has sent one woman to an Anchorage hospital. At about 10:20 Monday morning, Alaska State Troopers got a call for help from a hiker on the Penguin Ridge trail.

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July 7, 2014

Alaska Highway Projects Likely Safe Despite Federal Shortfalls

News that the Federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money is worrying a lot of states, but not Alaska. In a letter to transportation departments all over the country earlier this month, the federal Department of Transportation announced that if Congress did not take immediate action, the trust fund would be depleted in a matter of weeks, forcing federal highway officials to institute cash management procedures in August.

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July 7, 2014

Spring Creek Prison Death Ruled Homicide

The death of an inmate at Seward’s Spring Creek maximum security prison has been ruled a homicide. In the early hours of Sunday, 29-year-old Elihu Gillespie was found unresponsive in his cell, and taken to Providence Seward Medical Care Center. Gillespie was pronounced dead about an hour later.

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June 30, 2014