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Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

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

(Copyright Bill Benish. Taken on Feb. 28, 2009 in Bronx, New York City)

AK: 2014 Rusty Blackbird Blitz

Rusty Blackbirds are beginning to show up in Alaska for their annual migration to breeding grounds in our boreal wetlands. But researchers are worried that the once abundant bird is disappearing, and they don’t know why.

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May 16, 2014

Motorcycle Collisions Claim 5 Lives This Year In Southcentral

A string of motorcycle collisions have taken five lives in the Southcentral area during the past several weeks. And on a narrow highway shoulder near Palmer last week, riders lined up for an impromptu memorial service at the site of an accident on May 3 that claimed the lives of three members of the Harley Owners Group Alaska Chapter. They placed flowers and flags at the site.

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May 12, 2014

Borough Passes Lower Mill Rate, Okays 2015 Budget

Efforts to maintain a congenial atmosphere during budget deliberations paid off on Thursday evening, as the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly approved the Borough’s 2015 fiscal plan with minimum debate.

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May 9, 2014

Few Turnout For Borough Budget Hearing

The last in a series of budget public hearings hosted by the Matanuska Susitna Borough brought out few people in Palmer on Monday evening. The budget comes up for discussion before the Borough Assembly on Wednesday, May 7.

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May 7, 2014
(Photo courtesy Matanuska-Susitna Borough)

Borough School Honors Redington, Sr.

Ground was broken Tuesday for the first new school to be constructed in more than a decade in the Matanuska Susitna Borough. The new Joe Reddington, Senior school is located near the original homestead of the father of the Iditarod.

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May 7, 2014

Great Land Trust Planning To Buy Top Of Bodenburg Butte

The Great Land Trust plans to buy the top of Bodenburg Butte in Palmer.

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May 6, 2014

Two Alaska State Troopers Slain In Tanana

A 19-year-old Tanana man has been arrested in connection with the murder of two Alaska State Troopers on Thursday. The bodies of the two slain law officers were brought to the state medical examiner’s office in Anchorage on Friday, accompanied by a Trooper escort.

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May 2, 2014
Photo by Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage.

Forestry Trainees Brush Up On Essential Fire Suppression Skills

It’s only April, and already a dozen brush fires have erupted in the Matanuska Susitna area. State foresters are looking ahead to a busy fire season, and fire suppression trainees are brushing up on essential skills – including driving the fire truck.

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April 28, 2014

Court Rules In Favor Of Same-Sex Couples In Property Tax Case

State Supreme Court on Friday justices decided in favor of two same sex couples in a property tax case that could have wider implications for the state.

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April 25, 2014

Survey Finds Mat-Su Residents Want To Maintain Rural Profile

A survey sponsored by the Nature Conservancy indicates that Matanuska-Susitna Borough residents want to maintain a rural profile a quarter of a century from now. The Institute of Social and Economic Research collected the data used in the survey. The results were released last week.

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April 23, 2014

Mat Su Borough FY 15 Budget Outlook

This week, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly got a preview of the Borough’s preliminary FY 15 fiscal plan. This year’s budget outlook indicates that some cost cutting may have to be done before the Borough Assembly makes a decision on the final spending package.

April 17, 2014

MEA Official Accuses Anchorage Assembly Of Misusing City Funds

A Matanuska Electric Association official charges that the Anchorage Municipal Assembly is spending city funds on private interests. Joe Griffith, MEA’s executive director, has contacted Anchorage officials with concerns that city money is being spent on one Assemblyman’s legal fight against a power station upgrade.

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April 15, 2014

HB23 Would Allow Public Financing Of KABATA

With a 16-4 vote on Saturday, the state Senate approved House Bill 23, allowing public financing of the Knik Arm Crossing. The approval moves the $892 million project forward by updating the project’s financial model. The bill allows funding for the bridge to come from three public entities: one third from bonds, one third from National Highway System funds, and the final third from federal loans.

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April 14, 2014

HAARP Research Facility To Shut Down

Gakona’s High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, better known as HAARP, is slated for the junkpile. But a group of University of Alaska researchers are trying to stave off a Department of Defense move to scuttle the often – misunderstood scientific facility.

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April 11, 2014

FEMA Head Meets With Mat Su Officials

FEMA administrator Craig Fugate met with Matanuska Susitna Borough officials on Friday, April 4, to discuss changes in federal emergency assistance legislation. Those changes could smooth the flow of reimbursment dollars to the Borough for local emergency response and to homeowners who suffered flood damages in the fall of 2012

April 10, 2014

Wife Of Missing Mt. Marathon Racer Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wife of a man who went missing during the 2012 Mt. Marathon race is suing the Seward Chamber of Commerce. The wrongful death suit is asking for a judgment of $5 million.

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April 3, 2014

Petersen Trumps Trombley

Voters in Alaska’s biggest city elected six municipal assembly seats Tuesday, but with thousands of absentee and early ballots still to be counted, the outcomes of some races may change.

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April 2, 2014

Early Unofficial Results Show Tight Races in Anchorage Municipal Election

Anchorage’s unofficial municipal election results show at least one upset, although outcomes of most other Assembly races are not surprising.

April 2, 2014

Mat-Su Considers Ordinance Allowing Borough To Pay For Ballot Proposition Ads

An ordinance now before the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly would allow the Borough to pay for advertising to influence voters in the case of state ballot propositions. The ordinance comes at a time when an upcoming state ballot is expected to put a number of controversial issues before the voters.

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March 31, 2014

Mat-Su Borough Rejects Ordinance Restricting Cell Tower Construction

A proposed Matanuska Susitna Borough “tall tower” ordinance has been found to be toothless, according to the Borough’s planning commission. The public is expected to weigh in on the ordinance at an upcoming Borough Assembly meeting.
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March 27, 2014