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Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

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

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
(Photo courtesy Rant & Raven)

AK: Dance

Although the ancient form of dance called English Morris was born so long ago its origins are murky, it remains alive and well, even in frozen Alaska. Rant and Raven, Anchorage’s Morris dance group, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with a tour on the Alaska Marine Highway.

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June 27, 2014

Air Quality Permit Raises Ire

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has given the go ahead for an air quality permit for Usibelli Coal’s Wishbone Hill mine near Palmer. The move has been met with outrage by members of the Castle Mountain Coalition, an anti-coal group in the Matanuska Valley.

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June 12, 2014

Air Force Confirms Delay Of HAARP Demolition

The U.S. Air Force is expected to slow down the demolition slated for Gakona’s HAARP facility. Wednesday, Air Force Research Lab public affairs representative Charles Gulick, emailed APRN saying, “Air Force Leadership is currently considering the option of deferring the dismantling for up to 10 months to allow time for a potential transfer to another entity.”

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June 11, 2014

Alaska Judicial Council Recommends All But 1 Judge For Retention

The Alaska Judicial Council has released its recommendations for retention of state District and Superior court judges. The judges will come up for vote on the November ballot.

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June 11, 2014

HAARP Demolition Reportedly ‘Put On Hold’

The Gakona High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program may have been saved in the nick of time.

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June 10, 2014

Borough School District Seeks Pre-K Funds

The Matanuska Susistna School District’s pre-school program is in jeopardy. “Widening the Net ” brings pre-kindergarden education into selected district schools, but school funding reductions (this year) may force the district to shut down the innovative program in the fall. School district officials vow to continue the program on a reduced basis, if a state grant does not come through in time.

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June 5, 2014

Property Thefts Linked To Drug Use

A jump in property thefts in Matanuska Valley communities spurred the Alaska State Troopers to start a new Crime Suppression Unit in Palmer this year. Property crimes in the Valley may be linked to the increased use of drugs, like heroin, and the trend upward – of both drug use and burglaries, has social costs that have yet to be tallied

June 3, 2014

Alaska Farmers Eligible for USDA Transportation Help

Starting July 21, Alaska farmers can sign up for the US Department of Agriculture’s Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program. Under the 2014 Farm Bill, farmers outside the contiguous US can now receive a portion of the costs of shipping their agricultural products over long distances.

May 27, 2014

Wildfire Smoke Cloaks Anchorage

A thick haze of smoke covered Anchorage and much of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Thursday morning.

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May 22, 2014

Legislators Honor Mat Su Fish Experts

Alaska’s salmon resource often tangles in the nets of politics, but Tuesday night, members of the Matanuska Susitna Borough’s legislative delegation were all smiles as they acknowledged the Borough’s Fish Commission.

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May 21, 2014

Borough Assembly Upholds School Funding Veto

A mayoral veto of a school district appropriation prompted dozens of people to plead with the Matanuska Susitna Assembly for an override at Tuesday night’s meeting, the votes just were not there.

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May 21, 2014