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Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau

Lisa Phu is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

Kelli Burkinshaw (front) and Megan Ahleman paddling in Berner’s Bay this past fall. (Photo courtesy Kelli Burkinshaw)

Listen: What Marriage Means For One Alaska Same-Sex Couple

Since same-sex marriage became legal in Alaska, of the roughly 480 marriage license applications in the state, about 20 percent are from same-sex couples.

One of those couples is former KTOO employee Kelli Burkinshaw and her partner Megan Ahleman. They’re getting married tomorrow in Juneau.

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November 21, 2014
The Bill Ray Center houses up to 160 state employees from the Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Corrections.

Employee Complaints, Tests Flag Air Quality In State-Leased Office Building

Air quality test results show high levels of carbon dioxide and dust in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center, an office building the state is leasing for about 160 employees. For more than a month, the state has fielded complaints from employees about headaches and diesel fumes.

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November 18, 2014
SAGA is in the process of moving out of its main office and shop on LaPerouse Avenue in Juneau. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

After nearly 30 years, Juneau service agency SAGA on verge of folding

Longtime Juneau service agency Southeast Alaska Guidance Association, or SAGA, may not have enough money to keep operating. The nonprofit has 18 AmeriCorps members in Anchorage, Juneau, Seward, Cordova and Yakutat. It also works outdoors with young people through programs that are now in a state of flux.

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November 12, 2014
Juneau Rep. Cathy Muñoz celebrates her successful re-election bid with supporters on Election Night at Coho’s Bar and Grill in downtown Juneau. (Photo by Kayla Desroches/KTOO)

Juneau Lawmakers Egan, Muñoz and Kito Re-elected To Legislature

All three of the capital city’s state lawmakers handily won re-election Tuesday. Sen. Dennis Egan and Reps. Cathy Muñoz and Sam Kito III all got at least 60 percent of the votes counted in their respective races on Election Day.

November 5, 2014

Organizations Making Final Push To Encourage Alaska Native Voters

As Election Day nears, Native organizations in Juneau are making one last big push to encourage voters through a Get Out the Native Vote information rally on Saturday.

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October 30, 2014
The Juneau School District offices. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

After Hazing, Juneau School District Tries To Move Forward

The Juneau School District has spent at least $20,000 investigating and dealing with last May’s hazing incident where seven incoming seniors paddled six incoming freshmen. The district took disciplinary action, which resulted in one student appeal. The school board will decide tonight (Tuesday) behind closed doors what to do with the student grievance. The school district is trying to move forward proactively.

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October 21, 2014

UA Hopes Survey Will Reveal True Scope Of Sexual Assault Problem On Campus

If you’re a student, faculty or staff member of the University of Alaska, you may receive a survey in your email this month asking questions about sexual assault on campus.

The survey follows campus visits by federal investigators looking into how the college handles sexual assault complaints and violations.

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October 17, 2014

Bureau of Vital Statistics Prepares New Marriage License Documents

With same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses across the state, the office that processes those documents made sure new applications were ready to go Monday morning.

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October 13, 2014
“Carly Keene, Literary Detective: Braving the Brontes” is the first book of writer Katherine Rue. Rue now lives in North Carolina but often visits Juneau, where her parents, Sally and Frank Rue, still live. (Photo courtesy of Katherine Rue)

Former Juneau Resident Sets New Pre-Teen Book Series In Alaska

Born and raised in Juneau, writer Katherine Rue used her childhood as fodder for a recently published book for middle school readers.

“Braving the Brontes” is the first in a series that introduces “Carly Keene, Literary Detective” – a Juneau girl whose adventurous spirit allows her to brave time travel, ghosts and Victorian England.

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October 10, 2014
University of Alaska Southeast (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

As Part Of Investigation, Feds Will Hear From UAS Students About Sexual Assault

Students at the University of Alaska Southeast will get a chance to talk to federal auditors about sexual assault on campus.

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights will be at the UAS Juneau campus Friday as part of an examination of the university’s handling of complaints and reports of sexual harassment and violence.

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October 9, 2014
Voices of Glacier Bay: An Adventure in Sound

Voices of Glacier Bay: An Adventure in Sound

Alaska writers and naturalists Richard Nelson and Hank Lentfer are nearing the end of a two-year project recording the “Voices of Glacier Bay.” The project is a collaboration between Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, University of Alaska Southeast and Cornell University, which houses the world’s largest collection of natural sounds. Nelson and Lentfer hope to change how others experience the world through a dimension beyond what we can see. They want us to listen and listen closely.

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October 3, 2014

‘No Means No’ – UAS Includes Sexual Assault Ed In Freshmen Orientation

Experts often refer to the first several weeks of college for new students as the “red zone” – a time when they’re more likely to be sexually assaulted. The University of Alaska system is on a list of 79 post-secondary schools being investigated by the U.S. Department of Education for compliance with sexual assault laws or violations.

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September 29, 2014
Downtown Stores Called Upon to Keep Juneau Attractive

Downtown Stores Called Upon to Keep Juneau Attractive

The last cruise ship to visit the capital city pulls out of Juneau at 9 p.m. Thursday. As stores in the tourist district pack up and shut down for the fall and winter season, the Juneau Economic Development Council wants to make sure downtown remains an inviting place to be.

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September 24, 2014
As Students Turn 18, Some Have Real Questions For the Candidates

As Students Turn 18, Some Have Real Questions For the Candidates

Absentee voting for the October 7 municipal election begins today at City Hall and Mendenhall Mall. Juneau residents will choose three Assembly and two school board members, and decide on one ballot proposition. Last week, Thunder Mountain High School students had a lesson in civic engagement. The American government class took a field trip to the Juneau Votes Forum at UAS where they posed questions to the candidates.

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September 23, 2014
First snow outside the UAA/APU Consortium Library in Anchorage in 2006. (Creative Commons Photo by Mel Green)

Feds Investigate University of Alaska For How It Deals With Sexual Assault

The U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office will be visiting four campuses of the University of Alaska next month to check if the school is handling sexual violence complaints according to federal law.

The University of Alaska system is on a list of 79 post-secondary institutions around the nation being investigated for possible violations, but university officials aren’t sure why.

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September 17, 2014
Delta Air Lines performs a test flight into Juneau. (Photo by Doug Wahto)

Juneau Remains Part of ‘Battle for Seattle’ Between Delta, Alaska

Delta Air Lines ended their summer run between Juneau and Seattle on August 31. An airline official says the season went well, and Delta will be back next year.

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September 11, 2014
Rep. Cathy Munoz and Education Commissioner Mike Hanley thank the school board and administration for taking hazing seriously. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Juneau School District Receives Praise, Criticism For How It Handled Hazing

Members of the public criticized how the Juneau School District handled a hazing incident in May that involved seven seniors paddling six incoming freshmen. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, they said the perceived punishment of the offenders wasn’t harsh enough.

Meanwhile, a state education official commended the district for trying to change the culture of hazing.

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September 10, 2014
Archivist and collection manager for Sealaska Heritage Institute Zachary Jones holds up the wood panel, which arrived last week. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Foundation Swoops in to Save Sacred Alaskan Artifacts at Auction

As early as the late 1700s, European visitors and explorers in Alaska wrongly took objects that were sacred and important to the indigenous people. Several of these items were set to be auctioned off in Paris last December, despite protest from tribal groups around the U.S. It was a done deal, until an anonymous buyer stepped in.

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September 5, 2014
UAS’s new $14.3 million residence hall opened August 27. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

New UAS Dorm Provides Housing for About 100 Freshmen

Classes for the fall semester started Tuesday at University of Alaska Southeast. More than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students are currently enrolled at the university’s Juneau campus. About a hundred freshmen have settled into campus life at UAS’s new residence hall. The $14.3 million facility opened at the end of August.

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September 3, 2014
Investigation Finds 7 High Schoolers Responsible for Hazing

Investigation Finds 7 High Schoolers Responsible for Hazing

After concluding an investigation into an alleged hazing incident, the Juneau School District has identified seven high school seniors who participated in the paddling of six incoming freshmen. The incident took place shortly after school ended in May.

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August 28, 2014