Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau
Lisa Phu is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
Just days after exchange student Haytham Mohanna made the long journey from Southeast Alaska to his home in the Gaza Strip, the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated into war.
Haytham lived and studied in Haines through a U.S. Department of State program that brings students from Muslim countries to America.
Two male inmates at Juneau’s Lemon Creek Correctional Center overdosed on drugs last week. Both men survived and are still in custody.
Now, the Department of Corrections and the Alaska State Troopers are investigating what happened.
One of Juneau’s youngest buskers is raising money this week for a good cause. Elementary school student Sophia Nylen can sometimes be seen playing her violin in downtown Juneau with an open violin case to collect money. This week, all proceeds will go to the family that lost their Twin Lakes home to a fire on Friday.
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium will receive a $53 million settlement from Indian Health Service for about fifteen years of unpaid contract costs.
Now SEARHC president and CEO Charles Clement hopes the federal agency will continue to pay its bills.
Momentum is building in the capital city to provide housing for the homeless who suffer from substance abuse.
Housing First is based on the idea that the homeless can’t deal with problems like alcoholism and medical issues until they have a permanent place to live.
Anchorage and Fairbanks have Housing First facilities. In Juneau, some non-profit organizations, city officials, and legislators think it’s a good idea.
A group of Japanese fishermen is touring the Northwest United States to get an education in fisheries. The group’s first stop was Juneau where they toured the hatchery at DIPAC Monday morning.
Juneau charity organization St. Vincent de Paul has a record high number of people staying in its transitional housing shelter. Usually, around 55 people live in the 26 units. At the moment, there are 66 occupants, almost half are children.
For naturalist Steve Merli, bear education isn’t just about staying alive. The way he sees it, knowing how to behave in bear country allows Alaskans to explore wilderness more deeply.
Merli works with Discovery Southeast, a Juneau organization that connects kids with nature programs.
Earlier this month, KTOO’s Lisa Phu joined campers for a lesson that had some questioning their assumptions about bear encounters.
The NBC TODAY Show will broadcast live from the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center early Thursday morning. Juneau residents are invited to attend.
TODAY’s Natalie Morales will host a portion of the show from the visitor center pavilion from 3 to 6 a.m. to air live on the East Coast.
Residents of the capital city now qualify for “rural” federal housing loans from the Department of Agriculture after Congress raised the population cap for communities to qualify. The loans make home ownership more accessible in a city that lists affordable housing as one of its top issues.
The city of Juneau held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Mendenhall Valley Library at Dimond Park last week. This means the Juneau Public Libraries branch now located inside a mall will soon be its own stand-alone building. About 50 people attended the event, including many who had a role in making the project happen.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will look into whether to take the Central North Pacific humpback whale off the Endangered Species list.
The State of Alaska submitted a petition to remove the whale from the list at the end of February. NOAA announced today it has enough information to warrant further research. This is the second petition NOAA has received to take endangered protections away from the humpback whale.
The Juneau Police Department is reaching out to the community for information on still missing hiker Sharon Buis. Detective Nick Garza is with the criminal investigations unit. He’s been working on the missing persons case since Alaska State Troopers exhausted the initial search May 29th. Garza says there have been no developments or leads. 48-year-old Buis was last seen May 23 at Alaska Marine Lines.
The biennial culture and dance festival Celebration ended Saturday night in Juneau with a Grand Exit. The gathering of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshians began in 1982 with just a few hundred people. This year, 7,000 were expected in Juneau for the 4-day event. The festival, organized by Sealaska Heritage Institute, included performances, lectures and language sessions. The Juried Art Show features Della Cheney’s Ravenstail robe “Leadership and Change.”
Luke Holton doesn’t know 48-year-old Sharon Buis, but he’s helping to organize the volunteer search effort that started Wednesday, less than one week after Alaska State Troopers called off the official search.
More than 70 years have passed since the U.S. government forced the people of Atka from their homes to an internment camp on Killisnoo Island in Southeast Alaska. To protect them from Japanese invasion during World War II, they were moved 1,600 miles from the Aleutian Islands to an old whaling and herring village across the water from Angoon on Admiralty Island.
Volunteers spent a fourth day searching for missing hiker 48-year-old Sharon Buis. Tuesday’s efforts resulted in no new leads. Buis has been missing since Saturday.
A tribal health organization in Southeast Alaska is encouraging members to enroll for health insurance. Through a new program, some Alaska Natives will have an opportunity to get it at no cost.