Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka

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Robert Woolsey is a reporter at KCAW in Sitka.
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Alaska’s star-crossed educational testing system suffered another setback Tuesday when a fiber-optic cable near the University of Kansas was severed at about 1:30 Central Daylight Time. Download Audio

Quick thinking by the Sitka boys basketball team averted tragedy Wednesday morning, when a six-plex in the Anchorage neighborhood where they were staying caught fire. The boys and their coach woke and rescued 11 occupants before firefighters arrived. Download Audio
Seiners in Starrigavan Bay during the first opening of Sitka’s 2014 sac roe herring fishery. (Photo by Rachel Waldholz/KCAW)

The commercial herring season opened Thursday, more abruptly than in past years. Herring seiners had about 2-days’ notice to get to Sitka. And then about another 4 hours’ notice to prep their gear. Download Audio

Sitka has settled out of court with a high school student who was tasered in the city’s jail in 2014. Franklin Hoogendorn will be paid $350,000 by Sitka’s insurance carrier. Download Audio

A fugitive from justice in Sitka was arrested Tuesday evening after police located him hiding in a tunnel system he had dug under a trailer park. It took eight officers to extract the man, who had been missing just over two weeks, and who had apparently spent much of that time burrowing.

Police are investigating a woman for drunken driving after she crashed her SUV into the Sitka’s downtown postal substation Tuesday night.

It’s official: the contractor handed off the keys to the newly renovated Sitka Public Library this week, and the Sitka Library Commission moved right in. Download Audio

The Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program recognizes that fishing is a complicated business to understand, and a challenging one to enter. This year the program is hosting its 6th Annual Young Fishermen’s Summit at the end of the month in Juneau to introduce newbies to the industry. Download Audio

A whale research foundation working in Southeast Alaska for the last 20 years is coming ashore. The Center for Coastal Conservation has acquired the former general store in Warm Springs Bay, on eastern Baranof Island, and has plans to expand its research programs beyond humpback whales. Download Audio

While police issues continue to divide communities and make national headlines, the Sitka Police Department is trying to restore confidence locally, after disturbing video from the Sitka jail surfaced on social media this fall. Download Audio

A new collection of essays about one of the most iconic figures in American literature has been published, shedding new light on his connections to Alaska. "Ed Ricketts, from Cannery Row to Sitka, Alaska" explores the relationship between the noted biologist of the title, and John Steinbeck, the Nobel-prize winning author who immortalized him. Download Audio

Sitkans turned out in force last week for a lunchtime brainstorming session to address the proposed ferry schedule, but the Department of Transportation couldn’t make any promises that things would improve.

Commercial and sport fishing fleets in some parts of Alaska will be allowed to harvest more fish, under recommendations presented to the International Pacific Halibut Commission.

Sitka released its police department's operating procedures manual to the public after denying several records requests from media outlets and citizens alike. Download Audio

Sitka police are defending their actions in the arrest of an 18-year-old man last year, who was tasered multiple times in his jail cell. A Sitka teacher over the weekend posted a video showing the arrest of a Native high school student. Download Audio

A huge performance ensemble from Moscow is traveling to Sitka this week for the Alaska Day Festival — or not. The offer to send 68 artists, support personnel, and camera crew to Sitka came about only three weeks ago, along with diplomatic communication to the local historical society.

One of Alaska’s most well-known writers is finally quitting his day job. John Straley has published nine novels, a book of poetry, numerous essays, and served as the state’s Writer Laureate. But Straley built his reputation in Alaskan letters as a moonlighter. For the last 31 years he’s been drawing a paycheck as a full-time criminal defense investigator. He retired in August.

Sitka has spent almost a half-million dollars since August on emergency cleanup, and is counting on having most of that reimbursed by the state.

One month after a deadly landslide struck in Sitka, a group of scientists and agency officials are starting the complicated task of learning what happened. The Geo Task Force has been meeting informally at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The center’s director, Lisa Busch, believes these gatherings are an important first step in understanding the area’s geophysical hazards.

Search crews have recovered the final victim of the Aug. 18 Sitka landslide. The body of 62-year-old William Stortz was found Tuesday afternoon. Download Audio