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Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau

Lisa Phu is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

Minecraft could help engage students in science, technology, engineering and math. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Minecraft In The Classroom: When Learning Looks Like Gaming

The popular video game Minecraft has made its way into Juneau high school classrooms.

A graduate education course at the University of Alaska Southeast showed teachers how to implement the game in their classes.

KTOO’s Lisa Phu went to a high school algebra class to hear what students have to say about Minecraft – not as a game but – as a learning tool.

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May 7, 2014
Juneau Woman Found Off Salmon Creek Trail Dies

Juneau Woman Found Off Salmon Creek Trail Dies

A 61-year-old woman died after being found in the water off Salmon Creek Trail near Juneau Sunday afternoon. Her body is being sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.

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May 6, 2014
Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, testified in the House Education Committee on House Bill 233, also known as Erin’s Law. Rep. Geran Tarr is the bill sponsor. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Sexual Abuse Prevention Bill Falls Through The Cracks

A bill requiring school districts to implement sexual abuse education seemed poised to become law during the recent Alaska legislative session. Governor Sean Parnell supported Erin’s Law, the Senate passed it, and the House version had 21 co-sponsors. But, House Bill 233 got stuck in Finance.

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April 30, 2014
Delta Air Lines performs a test flight into Juneau. (Photo by Doug Wahto)

Delta vs. Alaska: Dueling Airlines Benefit Juneau

In preparation for daily flights between Juneau and Seattle starting May 29, Delta Air Lines performed test flights in the capital city on Wednesday. For a long time, Alaska Airlines has been the only one flying that route.

Juneau is set to benefit from the competing partner airlines.

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April 21, 2014
The origami peacock for peace is made of more than 2,000 pieces of paper. It’s three feet wide and roughly two feet tall. (Photo by Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau)

Origami Peace Peacock Finds Home In The State Capitol

Middle East exchange student Haytham Mohanna and Juneau’s Thunder Mountain High School Art Club presented an origami peacock of peace to the Alaska State Legislature on Monday. The peacock is made of more than 2,000 pieces of folded paper.

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April 16, 2014
Engineers make some of the highest salaries in the state, but only 18 percent of them are women. (Photo courtesy of BP p.l.c.)

Why Alaska women earn less and what they can do about it

President Obama signed executive orders on Tuesday that aim to tighten the pay gap between men and women. The President’s actions take place on national Equal Pay Day, a day symbolizing how long women have to work into 2014 to catch up with what men earned in 2013. Equal Pay Day originated in 1996 to raise public awareness of the wage gap. While discrimination may contribute to Alaska’s pay gap, a state economist says other factors are just as important.

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April 8, 2014
Community outreach librarian Andrea Hirsh points something out to club member Mike Ricker. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

AK: Book Club

Several people at Juneau’s downtown shelter and soup kitchen The Glory Hole are part of a new club. Every Tuesday, they come together on the second floor of the facility to discuss a different topic. The club is helping to build a different kind of community within the homeless shelter, a community not based on need, but on the exchange of ideas.

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April 4, 2014
Enroll Alaska Chief Operating Officer Tyann Boling says her staff have been working 12 hour days to accommodate people trying to enroll. They will be working through the weekend to help people get signed up. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Final Days To Enroll In Health Insurance

The deadline to enroll for health insurance is March 31. If you’re still uninsured after that, you’ll likely not be able to enroll until November. And you’ll also have to pay a tax penalty.

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March 28, 2014
Rep. Benjamin Nageak raises his fist in solidarity with the effort to reduce domestic violence in Alaska at the Choose Respect rally on the Capitol steps, March 27, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/KTOO)

Choose Respect Campaign Marches Across State

Senator Peter Micciche was leading the crowd at Juneau’s Choose Respect march that started on the steps of the State Capitol on Thursday. Governor Sean Parnell’s Choose Respect campaign is geared towards eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault in the state.

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March 27, 2014

Why Mental Illness Is The ‘No-Casserole’ Illness

Mental illness is usually a personal matter, the type of sickness that doesn’t receive much attention. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, wants to change that.

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March 20, 2014
Only a paper version of the exemption form is available this year. You print it, fill it in, and mail it. Photo by Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau.

What Alaska Natives Need To Know About The Affordable Care Act

For most Americans, the deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act is March 31. For American Indians and Alaska Natives, the process is a little different.

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March 19, 2014
Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School student Connor Norman, his mother Michelle Norman, and school budget committee member Jennifer Lindley all testified during Tuesday night’s school board meeting urging the board to reconsider the ban on middle school sports travel. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Juneau School Board Unmoved By Travel Ban Task Force, Public Testimony

The Juneau School Board will not reconsider the ban on middle school sports travel, at least for the rest of the school year.

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March 14, 2014
The Riverside Shakespeare is commonly used during Bard-A-Thons. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Shakespeare Is Alive In The Capitol City, 24 Hours A Day

If he were alive today, William Shakespeare would be 450 years old in April. In honor of the event, the capitol city is celebrating with its first Bard-A-Thon, 24 hours of Shakespeare readings for eight consecutive days. The non-stop Shakespeare kicked off on Saturday.

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March 12, 2014
Home Depot’s Hiring Initiative Doesn’t Mean Much To Alaska

Home Depot’s Hiring Initiative Doesn’t Mean Much To Alaska

The Home Depot is touting a nationwide initiative seeking 80,000 “new hires” this spring and summer, including 270 in Alaska — but that’s nothing new. The home improvement retailer is looking to hire 45 seasonal employees in Juneau, 45 in Fairbanks, and 180 in Anchorage.

February 19, 2014
The Juneau Empire on Channel Drive. (Photo by Heather Bryant/KTOO)

Empire Reporter Fired Following Disagreement With Publisher

A former Juneau Empire reporter says she was fired when she refused to set up a meeting between the publisher and a legislator on a bill that affects newspapers.

Jennifer Canfield left her job as state capital reporter last week.

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February 10, 2014
From Paying $1,000 A Month For Health Care To $100

From Paying $1,000 A Month For Health Care To $100

A Juneau woman says getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act means she’ll take better care of herself. Prior to January 1st, Bonnie Berg was paying up to $1000 a month for health insurance. Now, she’s paying less than $100.

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January 29, 2014
New Science Released On How Human-Made Sounds Impact Marine Mammals

New Science Released On How Human-Made Sounds Impact Marine Mammals

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking for public comment on guidelines updating the effects of human-made sounds on marine mammals.

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January 23, 2014
The floating breakwater dislodged from its pilings Tuesday afternoon and landed on the beach. (Photo courtesy of Pep Scott)

With Loss Of Dock, Gustavus Residents Worry About Tourist Season

Tuesday’s storm in Southeast caused a state-owned breakwater in Gustavus to dislodge from its pilings and wash ashore on the beach. The 200-foot steel structure also serves as a popular floating dock facility for local residents running charter fishing and whale watching boats. Gustavus residents are wondering what this means for their tourist season.

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January 16, 2014

Juneau Businesses Take The Bitcoin Lead

Bitcoin is a digital currency not backed by any country’s government. The currency only exists on the Internet and has been growing in popularity over the past year and a half. Now, a few businesses in the capital city are starting to deal in bit coin and accept it for payment.

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January 14, 2014
Photo by Jason A. Howie/Flickr Creative Commons.

Why The Capital City Isn’t As Likeable As It Should Be

The City and Borough of Juneau has yet to join the more than one billion users on Facebook, though other governments use social media regularly. While city employees may be personal users, most don’t use it in a professional capacity to push information or interact with the public. But the city of Juneau is beginning to develop a social media policy.

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January 7, 2014