Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.Download Audio Gov. Walker visits Sitka, meets with families of those presumed deadRachel Waldholz, KCAW – SitkaGovernor Bill Walker was in Sitka today to assess the damage from a series of landslides that hit the city after heavy rains Tuesday (August 18). He also met with the families of three people missing since Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, the search for the three men was proceeding slowly, hampered by fears of further landslides.Running from the slide: two city officials, one survivorRobert Woolsey, KCAW – SitkaAs crews continue to cautiously work through debris searching for the three victims of Tuesday’s deadly landslide in Sitka, it’s clear that the event could have been much worse. There are many homes below and to either side of the slide, and there were two other people directly in its path who escaped.Out with Mew, in with the new: DEA agent to take over as APD chiefEllen Lockyer, KSKA – AnchorageA man with a long history in drug enforcement will take the reins as Anchorage’s new police chief.Ellis sentenced to 3 years, 2 suspended for death of 51-year-old cyclistAnne Hillman, KSKA – AnchorageAn Anchorage teen who pleaded guilty to hitting and killing a man on a bicycle will be sentenced to one year in prison with two suspended. Judge Michael Wolverton accepted the plea deal agreed to earlier this year.Small-scale hydro project comes online in IguigigTim Bodony, KIYU – GalenaA prototype in-river hydropower system is currently in operation at Igiugig in southwest Alaska. It’s part of a recent surge of research that has pushed in-river hydro power closer to becoming a reality for rural communities seeking an alternative to diesel-based electricity.Glacier Bay’s missing stories find a new home in Tlingit tribal houseElizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – JuneauA $3 million dollar Tlingit tribal house is being constructed on the shore of Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay—likely the first time the national park service has funded a tribal house.
The Majority Caucus in the State Senate has one priority this year: restoring fiscal stability to Alaska. And Senate President Kevin Meyer, of Anchorage, says Permanent Fund earnings will have to be part of that mix.Senate president Kevin Meyer. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage)But Meyer says the first order of business will be trimming the state budget. And he says there is room to make substantial reductions.Download AudioMEYER: Getting to about $800 million — similar to the reduction we had last year is certainly doable… possible. But we don’t think we’ll get there if we go after revenue first. The tendency is not to make reductions because it’s painful, oftentimes. We don’t like to do it. So we want to go there first. Once we make the reductions in right-size government, squeeze out the duplication, then we’ll look for revenue that will give us the physical stability that we’re talking about in that first priority.TOWNSEND: Do you have concerns that there’s sort of a sweet spot as far as how much you can cut without impacting the economy in the state. As you know, the state drives a lot of the economy with state spending. Is there a number that you feel like, if we go below when you’re making cuts, that the economy could implode even further?MEYER: We do think we can make some further reductions in state government without being detrimental to the economy. What we do worry about and we do fear is that if we were to implement all the different taxes that the governor has proposed, that would be too much of a hit and it would be detrimental to the economy. For example, (with) an income tax now people would all of a sudden have less money in their paychecks. A fuel tax — all of a sudden people are paying more at the pump for gas. And if you’re a drinker or a smoker, all of a sudden you’re paying more for that. All of these things add up. And pretty soon you as an individual — and also the governor’s plan on dealing with the Permanent Fund dividend, cutting that essentially in half — all those things added up leaves the individual Alaskan with less money to spend in the economy. And that, combined with a reduction in state government, would be detrimental to our economy — yes.TOWNSEND: Are all taxes anathema to what you want to do or are there some you can support? Otherwise, how will you solve the budget problem without any taxes?MEYER: We don’t feel like we need to resolve all of it this year in the sense that, to do too much in one year would be devastating and have a negative impact to your economy. However if we can get that gap to about $500 million or $1 billion… that’s a good thing. And I would see this session as successful if we were able to do that. And the reason that I say that is because we still have $9 billion in savings, so if you’re only drawing, let’s say, $1 billion in savings, that leaves you another eight years to use your savings. And that buys you time to see if oil prices will go back up… or if the gas pipeline is viable. And then let people run for re-election, and during the election process you can have the discussions on, ‘Should it be an income tax?’ or ‘Should it be a sales tax?’ or some other tax. I think that would be a very good topic to have out there as you run for re-election, or election, to office.TOWNSEND: It’s going to be a big, difficult task. Democrats and Republicans have said they will have to work together more this session than in the past. You’ve been talking about lobbyists trying to cause debate for a single issue. How do you plan to accomplish that — getting Democrats and Republicans to really work together?MEYER: Well, I think Alaskans are going to insist on it. On this side again, the Senate — and frankly I can only speak on the Senate — Sen. Gardner and I work very well together. We have weekly meetings. We met today. We plan on meeting every week going forward. Certainly her team and my team know we have this challenge that has to be resolved, and we know it’s going to require a give and take on both sides in order to get there. I just hope that we’re able to — and again, in the Senate I think we will do this — to keep the rhetoric down. Certainly there are differences in opinion and philosophy on both sides, but in this case we need to set that aside and do what’s best for Alaska.Senate President Kevin Meyer is a Republican from Anchorage. Tomorrow we’ll hear from Senate minority leader Berta Gardner.
Representative Don Young speaking in Washington, DC. (Photo: Don Young congressional webpage)Listen nowZACHARIAH HUGHES: The House of Representatives on Tuesday was working on the spending bill that funds the Interior Department. It typically has a lot of relevance for Alaska, so we’ve called our Washington correspondent Liz Ruskin to tell us about it.RUSKIN: On this bill, in addition to the usual things, funding the Interior Department, Congressman Don Young is trying to add five big amendments to the bill that would essentially rollback key parts of the Obama administration’s resource agenda for Alaska. Oneof his amendments would keep things as they are. It would prevent the administration from removing three Alaska lease sales from the offshore leasing program.HUGHES: What are some of the other pages getting torn out of this book?RUSKIN: If anyone does develop their offshore leases in Alaska, Young has an amendment that says they don’t have to follow the new Arctic drilling standards that the Obama administration looking to finalize.HUGHES: So is that like the House coming out and saying ‘Our rules supersede the president’s’ when it comes to Arctic offshore?RUSKIN: Actually, all of these are amendments to a spending bill, so they actually just say that the government can’t spend any money to develop or enforce these rules.HUGHES: What are some of the others?RUSKIN: Remember the controversy over predator hunting on federal lands, specifically preserves and refuges? So, Young has an amendment that would keep the states’ more permissive rules for hunting predators in place on those federal lands. And it’s very emotional for a lot f Alaskans, not only the sovereignty issue, but they think the state does a better job managing Fish and Game because it manages the number of predators in order to keep game populations healthy. And it’s an emotional issue for environmentalists because they don’t like the idea of killing wolf pups and bear baiting and a lot of other things that are sometimes allowed under state rules.HUGHES: So that’s three. Anything else?RUSKIN: No Alaska issues grab-bag would be complete without something about ANWAR. So back in January 2015, the federal government announced some new management rules for the Arctic refuge. A lot of Alaskans got really mad about this, when the plan recommended new wilderness areas. And Young’s plan would block this management plan but it also wouldn’t open ANWAR. That would take an act of Congress. That’s not in this bill.HUGHES: Do you think these amendments are going to become law?RUSKIN: We’re a long way from that. The spending bills, they must pass legislation, but Congress doesn’t follow its rules lately on spending bills. It usually does an omnibus bill at the end of the year, and we don’t know what that’s going to look like.The Interior Appropriations bill is expected to pass the House tomorrow
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowAlaskans cast Primary ballots at regular polling spots, also airportsLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageToday is Primary Election day. In addition to the regular polling locations, you can also vote today at the airport in six Alaska cities.What’s causing Anchorage’s wave of homicides?Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAnchorage is having one of its most violent years in decades. 22 people have been killed, along with two more deaths from officer involved shootings. In July alone there were nine homicides within the municipality. This comes just after 2015 saw the highest number of murders since the mid-90s, and has many residents asking whether something’s changed that has made the city more dangerous.Ketchikan youth detention facility to close Sept. 15Leila Kheiry, KRBD – KetchikanThe Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility, a detention center for juvenile offenders, will close Sept. 15.On the scene with the Crystal SerenityRachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – SewardTonight, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity will cast off from Seward for a first-of-it’s kind trip through the Arctic’s Northwest Passage to New York City. It’s the first luxury liner to attempt the route — and the largest passenger ship by far.Petition sent to Walker asking for predator control reformDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksA petition signed by 150 Alaskans sent to Governor Bill Walker, asks for changes to state predator control programs.At DNR, new leader tackles ‘maze’ of oil and gas development on federal landRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauFrom Soldotna to the North Slope to Anchorage, the state’s newest natural resources commissioner has spent his career weighing in on energy issues all over the state. Now, Andy Mack has been tapped by Gov. Bill Walker to help guide the state through the maze of federal regulations required to develop oil and gas resources.Coast Guard suspends search for missing fisherman, Arnold SkeekQuinton Chandler, KTOO – JuneauThe Coast Guard stopped looking for Arnold Skeek, the missing 27-year-old fisherman from Kake, early Monday afternoon. Authorities believe he fell from the Beaufort Sea, 60-foot fishing tender, into Auke Bay on Sunday.LGBTQ history bus tour highlights changing acceptance in AnchorageAnne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageDuring the rowdy pipeline construction days, bars lined 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage. Many of those establishments were surprisingly open to gay and lesbian Alaskans.
Amy Demboski surrounded by supporters after the 2015 mayoral election. (Photo: Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)It’s been a little over a week since an article posted to Facebook by Anchorage Assembly member Amy Demboski spilled into a controversy during a public meeting. In a written op-ed and over the air during the conservative talk-radio show she hosts, Demboski has denied she owes an apology to an Alaska resident implicated as being part of a militant Islamic group in materials she’s shared. Now she is receiving a swell of violent, and sometimes sexist threats.Listen NowDemboski is no stranger to controversy. But she’s been alarmed by the surge of messages directed at her.“Over the last week, the level of vitriol has absolutely intensified,” Demboski said in an interview earlier this week.The second-term Assembly member believes dealing with criticism and negative attention is part of holding public office, but says this has gone a step beyond normal critiques.She tried poking fun about the comments on a recent show.“It’s time for fan-mail Friday here on the Amy Demboski Show,” said her producer, reading aloud messages posted on Facebook. “Dearest Amy, you are a pathetic racist, take out your gun and put it in your mouth and blow your worthless brains out.”Demboski shared screen-grabs and texts of more explicit messages, some of which are overtly misogynistic. Most of those she’s received are from men.Since November, Demboski has filed two police reports about harassing behavior and perceived threats to her safety — both of them prior to last week’s controversy. According to the Anchorage Police Department, because the messages lacked specific threats they’ll remain on file without any further action taken.All together, it has caused Demboski to modified her behavior and “altered some security measures,” but she is not letting the threatening messages take over her life.“I take them very seriously, especially when people are saying I should blow my brains out, and they’re saying they’re going to come to my house and burn flags,” Demboski said.Two other members of the Assembly, Patrick Flynn and Elvi Gray-Jackson, as well as senior members of the mayor’s administration, Chief of Staff Susanne Fleek-Green and Communications Director Myer Hutchinson, said this week that while they’ve gotten plenty of negative comments in the past, they’ve never received serious threats.According to Demboski, when conservative callers or commentors begin crossing lines online or over-the-air, she urges restraint, and would like to see folks on the other side of the political spectrum do the same thing.“Whether you’re a Republican, whether you’re a Democrat, or anywhere in between: when you can police people that think like you,” Demboski said, “I think it’s more effective.”Demboski believes the national political climate is playing a role in local events, with some messages referencing her support for president-elect Donald Trump.
A woman wanted in connection with a Fairbanks murder, and other crimes, is in police custody.Listen nowFairbanks Police Deputy Chief Dan Welborn said Lindsay Preshaw has been detained for the Tuesday killing of John Preshaw, who also went by “Jack”.”We consider her to be the primary suspect in the death of Jack Preshaw,” Welborn said.Welborn says Jack and Lindsay Preshaw were half siblings, and also a couple. Jack Preshaw was found dead at a South Cushman Street residence early Tuesday. Police have not released how he was killed, but were drawn to the residence by a report of man unconscious and bleeding.Lindsay Preshaw was taken into custody Wednesday evening by Alaska State Troopers, on a charge unrelated to the Jack Preshaw murder. Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters says Lindsay Preshaw was picked up along the Parks Highway outside Nenana, for a vehicle theft and an attack near Fairbanks Wednesday afternoon that severely injured a driver.“The victim was identified as Lisa Behr, 66 of Fairbanks. She was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries. Investigation led us to a woman by the name of Lindsay Preshaw, 35 of Fairbanks. She was contacted and arrested at milepost 309 of the Parks Highway and we have charged her in this case with one count of murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree and also vehicle theft in the first degree.”Fairbanks Police had issued a bulletin Wednesday asking for the public’s help locating Lindsay Preshaw, and a man named Simeon Kittick, as part of the Jack Preshaw murder investigation.Deputy Chief Welborn said Kittick has been located, and is NOT a suspect. Jack Preshaw’s killing followed another murder in the same area of the city, less than a day earlier. Police found Jeannette Miller at the Alaska Motel, after receiving a report of a fight between two women, and a possible stabbing. Welborn says the cases may be related.”We’re still currently investigating that one as well, and so we’re not ruling out the fact that there could be a link there, but as of right now, we’re currently investigating each of them individually,” Welborn said.Fairbanks Police and Alaska State Troopers are both investigating Lindsay Preshaw, relative to the crimes committed both inside and outside city limits. Fairbanks Police expect charges to be filed soon.
Methamphetamine. (Photo via dea.gov)Two men who allegedly had 33 pounds of methamphetamine in a backpack after leaving a ferry in Whittier made their initial court appearances today in Anchorage.Listen nowWhittier Police arrested Eric James Hansen and Marshal Parke on Thursday. Federal authorities say Hansen brought the meth — worth “$225,000” in wholesale quantities — from Bellingham, WA to Whittier on the state ferry Kennicott.The ferry made stops in Southeast Alaska on its way to Whittier, the closest state ferry terminal to Anchorage, about 60 miles away.According to the charges, Alaska Marine Highway employees notified Whittier Police about a “suspicious passenger.” That passenger later turned out to be Hansen, the charges say. The charging document does not say what made Hansen seem suspicious but notes he had been seen with the backpack in the Whittier ferry terminal.The charges say Parke was driving a GMC Yukon with Alaska license plates when police stopped the SUV, and Hansen was in the passenger seat. An unnamed woman rode in back. The charging document says police brought in a drug-sniffing dog that indicated the odor of narcotics coming from the vehicle.The charges say that after getting a search warrant, police found the backpack filled with meth, as well as $8,000 cash in a briefcase, a scale with drug residue on it, a glass pipe with burnt edges and a small baggie with white powder.Both Parke and Hansen are charged with possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
Bareilly : Days after a shocking revelation by a Uttar Pradesh BJP legislator’s daughter that her father was after her life for marrying a Dalit boy, the woman on Thursday filed a petition in high court, even as Bareilly MLA Rajesh Misra denied the accusation and said their age difference matters. Misra’s daughter Sakshi had released a video along with her husband, claiming that the couple face a threat to their lives from her father. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us She had married Dalit youth Ajitesh Kumar on July 4. In the video Sakshi was seen saying that because she married Ajitesh against the wishes of her family in a temple, she faces threat to her life from her father. “My father will kill me and my husband if he finds us. He cannot tolerate his daughter marrying a boy from a Dalit family. My father’s men are trying to track us,” she is seen saying. Also Read – CBI carrying out surprise checks at 150 government departments Advertise With Us The couple is seen appealing to the police to provide them protection, as police officer claimed that only a written complaint can be acted upon. On Thursday, Sakshi moved the Allahabad High Court, seeking protection. In her petition, Sakshi stated that she and her husband face threat to life from her father and other family members. She claimed to be a major (above 18 years of age) and she said had married the man of her choice without any pressure. She said that her father was opposed to her marriage due to caste reasons and the Bareilly police was apparently under his pressure.
Srikakulam: Due to long dry spell, kharif paddy crop cultivation works are being affected in the district during current season. In every kharif season paddy crop is being cultivated in total 5.25 lakh acres extent of land across the district and 1.50 lakh quintals of paddy seed is required. Per one acre land, 30 kg seed bag is required and its cost in open market is Rs 960. But the government is supplying it through AP Seeds Corporation and Agriculture department for Rs 660 by providing Rs 300 subsidy. Also Read – Rs 65.30lakhs Exgratia paid to deceased family Advertise With Us Farmers across the district are adopting two methods this year for paddy cultivation – one is direct sowing method and another is growing of nursery and re-plantation. After sowing of seeds in the two methods, the district has not received the required rainfall for the past one month. Farmers had been sowing seeds by adopting two methods during June. But lack of proper rainfall, more than 80 per cent of seed was damaged. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us According to Chief Planning Officer (CPO), K Mohan Rao, out of the total 38 mandals, excess rainfall reported only in Ranastalam mandal in the district during current kharif season till July 12. Normal rain fall in the mandal is 142.4 mm, but actual rainfall is 182.2 mm and excess rainfall is 27.9 mm. Laveru, Kanchili, Itchapuram and Sompeta mandals received normal rainfall of 131.2 mm during the current kharif season in these mandals. Advertise With Us Deficit rainfall is reported in 10 mandals Kotturu, Ponduru, Etcherla, L N Peta, Burja, Nandigama, Vajrapukotturu, Tekkali, Santhabommali and Mandasa. Scanty rainfall reported in 23 mandals in the district. Out of total 38 mandals in the district, 33 mandals received deficit and scanty rainfall which is not sufficient for paddy crop. “This year, we lost our seed due to dry spell and need to sow the seed again by investing money again,” Ch Lakshunnaidu, P Venkata Ramana, K Raju farmers of Gorinta village in Ponduru mandal explained. Agriculture department is unable to supply seed again in the district and farmers have to depend on private dealers to sow seed again. ‘As per government guidelines we have to supply 40 per cent seed out of the total required, but this year we are ready to supply 50 per cent seed’,’ Joint Director (JD) for Agriculture, K Ch Appala Swamy said. Total required seed is 1.50 lakh quintals. Half of the seed has already been supplied and we are ready to supply the remaining 75,000 quintals seed, the JD added.
Vizianagaram: Noted agriculture scientist and nutritionist Dr Khader Vali on Sunday called upon people to eat traditional foods. Delivering a lecture on ‘Consumption of millets and other nutritious food’ at Gurajada District Library Auditorium, he said the lifestyle of people has turned into ultra-modern, which is seriously affecting their health. Also Read – Three of a family commits suicide at Amalapuram in East Godavari Advertise With Us “The quantity of millets like pearl millets, jowar and bajra should be increased in our daily diet to keep body fit and healthy. We should give up taking tea and coffee and consume decoctions made of various leaves. Leaves of guava, mango, drumsticks, mint and coriander will increase immunity and prevent various diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, tuberculosis,” he said. Also Read – Saaho movie tickets pricey in Nellore Advertise With Us Stating that he returned to India after spending many years in foreign countries only to promote traditional crops and food habits, he said, “We need not consult any doctor if we follow healthier habits. Every leaf has its own medicinal value. So, we can prepare a diet schedule and follow it for utmost fitness. We should keep away from taking junk foods like pizzas and burgers.” Founder of Jattu Trust Dr D Parinaidu, Padma Sri Awardee P Venkateswara Rao and S Guruprasad participated in the programme. People purchased biscuits and cakes made of millets from the stalls arranged at the exhibition. Later the locals have felicitated Dr Khader Vali.