Emily Files, KHNS - Haines

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Emily Files is a reporter at KHNS in Haines.

The Haines Borough is working to replenish its water supply after storage tanks drained so low Sunday that some neighborhoods were left with dry taps. The water shortage sprung from a problem with the transmission line from the borough’s main water source, Lily Lake.

A Haines tribe is calling a recent decision by a U.S. Court of Appeals a ‘historic victory.’ The Chilkoot Indian Association was among five plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging what is known as the ‘Alaska exception’ – which prohibited Alaska tribes from placing their lands into federal trust. After years of litigation, including an appeal from the state, the federal court sided with the tribes. Alaska tribes can now petition for sovereignty over their lands. Listen now
Dead murres on the beach in Haines on Jan. 12, 2016. (Tim Ackerman)

Earlier this year, dozens of dead seabirds washed up on beaches in Haines and Skagway. It wasn’t an isolated event. An estimated hundreds of thousands of dead common murres were found on shores across the West Coast.
A passenger on the deck of an Alaska Marine Highway ferry. (Flickr Creative Commons – supafly)

Sustaining and strengthening the Alaska Marine Highway System is the top priority in a recent plan from a Southeast Alaska economic development group. Southeast Conference puts together a plan about every five years that outlines goals for job and business growth in the region. The state budget picture plays a crucial role in this latest proposal.

A Haines teenager was likely the first transgender student to compete at a statewide high school athletic competition. Nattaphon Wangyot was born male, but has identified as female since she was about five years old. Her participation in last weekend’s track meet in Anchorage drew a lot of attention, both positive and negative. Download Audio

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget Wednesday and will reconvene in special session next week. One proposal that was recently passed in conference committee and could come back in the special session has leaders in cruise ship port communities concerned. The measure would leave those towns without millions of dollars they normally receive from state head-tax revenues. Download Audio

Beer drinkers will take a flavorful tour of Alaska and the Yukon at the upcoming 24th annual Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Fest. More than 20 brewers will share their concoctions with nearly 2,000 attendees.

The University of Alaska professor who was mauled by a bear last month near Haines has been released from the hospital.

Public health offices in Haines and Wrangell are set to close this summer due to state budget cuts. But their services won’t disappear completely. Nurses from other Southeast towns will occasionally travel to Haines and Wrangell to maintain the ‘safety net’ their agency aims to provide. Download Audio

Could Skagway go three months without ferry service? The Alaska Department of Transportation is planning a $6 million ferry dock refurbishment that would ideally happen this winter.

The University of Alaska professor who was mauled by a bear near Haines a couple weeks ago is now in fair condition at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. On April 18, 35-year-old Forest Wagner was attacked by a brown bear sow with at least one cub.

The hooligan are back. After last year’s disappointing runs in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers, Haines and Klukwan subsistence fishermen are excited that this spring’s return has been abundant. Area biologists don’t know why the runs fluctuate so much. But they’re trying to bolster research to understand the traditionally important fish a little better. Download Audio

A man who was injured in a bear mauling near Haines early this week was attacked by a brown bear sow with at least one cub. That’s according to Alaska Fish and Game Biologist Stephanie Sell, who is tasked with gathering information about the incident. Download Audio

Alaska charges cruise ships that stay three or more days in state waters a $34.50 tax per traveler. It’s called the Commercial Passenger Vessel Tax. The tax brings in millions of dollars each year, much of which the state distributes to cruise ship port communities. An audit of the CPV program found some towns need to tighten standards for how they spend the money. And, it alleges that Skagway misspent some CPV funds on school playground equipment. Download Audio

An Alaska Public Offices Commission investigation of Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry’s annual financial filings found that he violated state regulations by providing incomplete information about his income.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission will conduct an investigation into alleged financial disclosure violations by Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry. The investigation was launched following a citizen complaint from Skagway resident Roger Griffin.

Skagway residents could be sipping locally crafted spirits in the near future. Two entrepreneurs have applied for distillery liquor licenses in Skagway. Their applications are part of a growing craft distillery market in Alaska. But there can only be one distillery in the Gateway to the Klondike. Download Audio

Extreme skiers and snowboarders sped down Haines mountains Monday in the fourth stop of the Freeride World Tour. The international alpine sports tournament made the long trek back to Haines after its Alaska debut last year. It hasn’t been totally smooth sailing – Haines poses challenges athletically and logistically. Download Audio

An international big mountain ski and snowboard competition is back in Haines. The Freeride World Tour tests the skills of alpine athletes from around the world, with stops in five countries. The athletes say the slopes in France, Austria and Andorra don’t compare with the mountains in Haines. Download Audio

As senior populations grow throughout Southeast Alaska, what kind of impact do they have on the economy? According to experts, it’s a good one. A state report on Alaska’s aging population said seniors contributed an estimated $2.4 billion to the economy in 2014. That comes mostly from retirement income, health-care spending and wages. As part of CoastAlaska’s Aging Southeast series, KHNS’s Emily Files takes a look at the senior economy from Haines. Download Audio