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KTVA television reporter uses f-word to quit on air, says she will work to legalize pot


A reporter for Anchorage CBS-affiliate KTVA quit on live television Sunday night, using the f-word to punctuate an announcement that she will work to legalize marijuana as the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club. 

The reporter, known professionally as Charlo Greene, made the announcement during the station's 10 p.m. newscast at the end of a story titled "Voting for easier access." Greene told viewers that she is owner of the group, which describes itself as a liaison between people who hold medical marijuana cards and those who can supply the drug.

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"Everything you heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalizing marijuana here in Alaska," she said.

"And as for this job," Greene continued, "Well, not that I have a choice, but f--- it, I quit."

Greene soon explained the event with a post on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo.com. The reporter wrote that she left her job in order to "end a failed drug policy that has ruined the lives of far too many Americans." She asks visitors to the site to donate money for marketing and travel in support of legalization.

KTVA News Director Burt Rudman issued an apology on the station's Facebook page at about 11:20 p.m. 

"We sincerely apologize for the inappropriate language used by a KTVA reporter during her live presentation on the air tonight. The employee has been terminated," he wrote. 

Alaska voters will decide whether to decriminalize pot in November. 

Alaska corporation records show the Alaska Cannabis Club was formed on April 20 of this year, owned by Charlene Egbe, Greene's real name. Greene reported stories about the Alaska marijuana debate after the creation of the Cannabis Club group, without disclosing her connection to the corporation. 

The Alaska Dispatch News, which published a story in August that anonymously quoted a club founder who didn't want to reveal her name because she feared "potential repercussions from her employer," posted a clip of the video here. 

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17 Year Old Struck By Bullet During House Party


A young woman was hospitalized  after she was struck by a bullet inside a house early Sunday morning.

Anchorage police said dispatch received multiple 911 calls reporting a large disturbance and gunshots heard just before 12:20 a.m. near a residence located near the 6800 block of O'Brien St.

Dispatch was then made aware that someone inside the home was shot.

APD spokesperson Dani Myren said during the initial investigation, officers learned there had been a large house party in the single family home.

"This is a large party, it sounds like it was attended by a large number of teenagers and young adults," Myren said.

At one point during the party, an uninvited group of people arrived and attempted to enter the house, but were denied entry.

Police said that's when someone pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots into the home.

"They attempted to gain access to the home and when they were denied, one of the subjects produced a handgun and fired multiple shots into the residence through their front window," Myren said.

A 17 year old female was hit by one of the bullets in the lower back and taken to a local hospital with what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said the teen is believed to be in stable condition.

Witnesses told police the suspect left in a red passenger car. 

Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call police at 786-8900 or Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP to remain anonymous.

"You never know what information can prove vital to a case," Myren said. "Even if you don't think it's important, it's entirely possible it could be information that enhances or provides critical information to a case."

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Man Killed in Early Morning Hit and Run Collision


A man was killed early Saturday morning in a deadly hit-and-run collision downtown.

Police said it happened at about 2:00 a.m. and officers responded to the area of 1500 E. 5th Avenue.

Anchorage police said 54 year old Guy Merculief was walking across 5th Avenue in front of the Holiday Station store when he was struck by a vehicle.

APD said Merculief was found lying in the roadway and was pronounced deceased.

Police said the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle described as a red Honda Civic.

Officers located the vehicle parked in a lot on Concrete St.

Police said the suspect identified as 22 year old Pao Yang was found walking near 5th Avenue and Unga St.

Yang was arrested and charged with Operating Under the Influence, Leaving the Scene of an Accident and Manslaughter.

Yang provided a breath sample approximately two times the legal limit for alcohol.

"This is one more example of an alcohol involved fatality, it's one more example of why getting behind the wheel of a vehicle impaired can have disastrous, tragic results," said APD Spokeswoman Dani Myren.

Police say Merculief's next of kin has been notified.

Channel Two's Blake Essig contributed to this story.

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No Tuition Hike at University of Alaska


The University of Alaska Board of Regents gave thumbs down to a proposal to boost tuition by 4 percent.

UA President Pat Gamble proposed the increase for the 2015-16 academic year, saying the move would raise about $4 million as the system navigates tight budgets.

The university faced a $26 million budget gap this year amid rising fixed costs and lower legislative funding.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://is.gd/faGCEM ) that seven of the 11 regents voted against the proposal on Friday.

Some said more needed to be done to cut costs within the UA system, while others worried about the long-term impact of frequent tuition increases.

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I-Phone 6 Sales Brisk in Anchorage


Hundreds lined up around retail stores throughout Anchorage Friday to get their hands on Apple's newest smart phone, the I-Phone 6.  The phone comes in two models, the six or six plus.

"Screen sizes are obviously 4.7 versus 5.5, but other than that, they are pretty much the same," said Phillip Lee, manager of the AT&T store on Tudor & C Street.  

AT$T's Regional Manager Tiffany Trboyevich said Friday evening the I-Phone 6 is still available in all Anchorage stores, but the Six-plus is sold out.  Customers can pre-order that device.

Nearly 200 customers passed through Verizon's store in Tikahtnu Commons on Friday. District Sales Manager Chris Fitzgerald says the store has both versions of the I-Phone 6 in Stock.

"It's Apple, I think their brand is well known," said Fitzgerald.   Verizon recently began service in Alaska.

GCI Spokesman David Morris says his company won't start selling the I-Phone 6 until next week.

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Spotlight on Youth: Somos Amigos


( KTUU - TV )

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NORAD: Russian Military Plane Intercept 'Very Routine'


A  story  circulating  in  international  media about Russian military planes intercepted by Canadian and U.S. aircraft was actually a routine occurrence unrelated to recent geopolitical tension between the countries, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

NORAD, an international force tasked with protecting the sovereignty of North America and composed of Canadian and U.S. military assets, responded to two incidents involving Russian aircraft in a span of two days.

The first was Wednesday around 6 p.m. Alaska Time.   

Two F-22 fighter jets were scrambled by NORAD to intercept six Russian aircraft operating in international airspace, heading in the direction of North America, roughly 55 miles from Alaskan coastline.

There were two IL-78 refueling tankers, two Mig-31 fighter jets and two Bear long-range bombers, according to Lt. Col. Michael Jazdyk, a NORAD spokesperson.

All the planes were within the Air Defense Identification Zone, a transition zone above water in which aircraft are identified and controlled by military and air traffic controllers. ADIZ extends about 200 miles from the coast.

The second incident occurred around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, when two long-range Russian bombers ended up within 40 miles of Canadian coastline, also within ADIZ.

Each case resolved uneventfully, with the planes continuing on their way and not moving closer to U.S. airspace when warned by the fighter jets, according to NORAD.

But hundreds of articles appeared in national and international news sources.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer asked the Pentagon press secretary if the move was related to a visit to Congress by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, in which the president requested American support to oppose Russia in the country's ongoing revolution.

"I've not seen any indication of a linkage to President Porachenko's visit," Rear Adm. John Kirby told Blitzer.

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative publication, opined that the incident was the "latest nuclear saber rattling by Moscow."

Many similar questions were raised by many others, but NORAD described the incident as common training that is allowed under international law.

"This is very routine training," Jazdyk said. "We've been responsible for in excess of 50 of these in the past five years."

While Jazdyk said each is taken seriously and pursued as a potential threat, he believes the added attention to this is likely due to an intensifying focus on Russian-U.S. relations: "People are possibly going to try to link  with other geopolitical events going on," he said. "But for NORAD it's really nothing different than usual."

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Alaska U.S. Senate Candidates Are Funded Mainly by Outside Sources


According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mark Begich, D-Alaska, receives 75 percent of his campaign contributions from out of state. That’s the third-highest percentage of all active senators running for re-election.

Begich received more money from Alaska than any other state. Republican challenger Dan Sullivan received the most from Ohio, according to a Federal Elections Commission tally of money donated by individual contributors. 

For individual contributions based on FEC numbers, the top contributing states to each candidate are: 

Begich

1. Alaska

2. California

3. New York

Sullivan

1. Ohio

2. Alaska

3. Florida

When political action committee contributions are factored in, the incumbent Begich gets more money from D.C. than any other area while the leading region for Sullivan is still Ohio, where the Republican has deep family roots.

This year’s senate race collected more than $13 million dollars in contributions. The next biggest race in the past 14 years is the 2004 race between Tony Knowles and Lisa Murkowski which gathered about $6 million according to figures from the FEC.

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Driver Dies Attempting to Evade Troopers


Story Updated at 3:45 p.m. Friday

54-year-old James Bain of Anchorage was identified Friday as the driver who died a day earlier. The car he was driving rolled over after he momentarily evaded Alaska State Troopers in Wasilla, according to AST.

Original Story

ANCHORAGE -- A driver died Thursday afternoon, moments into an attempt to evade the Alaska State Troopers.

Many details are not yet known, but AST spokesperson Megan Peters said that troopers received a report of a suspicious vehicle parked at a construction site shortly before 3 p.m.

Troopers realized the vehicle had been reported stolen and that earlier in the day someone reported a similar vehicle was driving dangerously.

A chase began when troopers attempted to contact the driver at 2:44 p.m.

"I do not have speeds, but the trooper said it was not a 'high-speed' incident," Peters said.

Within two minutes of taking off, the vehicle rolled over, troopers said, and medics pronounced the driver dead on scene.

Troopers are investigating and encourage motorists to avoid the area. Traffic is blocked off at Church Road, affecting traffic for an undetermined amount of time.

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Plane Crashes North of Fort Yukon


A federal aviation investigator says a plane crashed Friday in northern Alaska.

Few details are immediately known, as emergency responders from the Rescue Coordination Center are still responding to the incident, said Clint Johnson, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board.

Johnson said the plane went down north of Fort Yukon and that no fatalities were immediately reported.

KTVF reported two people on board at the time of the crash arrived by helicopter for treatment at a Fairbanks hospital.

Watch Channel 2 News and check KTUU.com for updates to this developing story.

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Woman Rescued After Jumping from Juneau Dock


A woman was rescued early Friday after jumping into cold water in Juneau.

Officers from the Juneau Police Department responded at 2:30 a.m. to the Steamship Dock after reports a woman near cruise ships Downtown jumped into the water.

Coast Guard watchstanders responded in a 45-foot boat to the Gastineau Channel and quickly located the 35-year-old woman.

Water in the area was 52 degrees, it was raining and there were 35 mile per hour winds.

The crew initiated first aid, and the woman became responsive.

Cmdr. Patrick Hilbert said people should be careful as fall turns to winter.

“As we move into the fall and temperatures are dropping, it becomes increasingly dangerous to enter the water without appropriate cold weather gear,” Hilbert said. “Stay alert and watch out for each other when near the water.”

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Anchorage's Loussac Library getting overhaul


The Loussac Library in Anchorage is getting a $15-million makeover.

Prior to this, director Mary Jo Torgeson says the only major work the library has had done in its 30 years is a new roof.

The project, scheduled to take 18 months, will including moving the building's entrances and making heating and cooling upgrades.

Torgeson told the Alaska Journal of Commerce (http://bit.ly/1rlspzk ) the main entrance on the second floor will be done away with and moved to ground level. The idea is to eliminate confusion for first-time visitors and to get rid of a long flight of stairs that have been a safety concern. She says the goal is to create a welcoming, safe and more energy efficient building.

State money will cover nearly the entire project cost.

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Information from: (Anchorage) Alaska Journal of Commerce, http://www.alaskajournal.com

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Police: $40k of Jewelry Stolen from Juneau Costco


Juneau police are investigating a burglary in which they say more than $40,000 in jewelry was taken from Costco.

Police say they received a report around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday that the store's burglar alarm had been triggered. Responding officers spoke with someone who reported seeing a shorter white man, with brown hair and possibly a Carhartt-style jacket running off.

Police say they found no signs of forced entry, suggesting someone waited inside until the store closed. A jewelry case was smashed and items including watches, rings and necklaces were missing.

Police are looking for any possible witnesses or anyone in the area with a video surveillance system.

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Denali Rangers Investigate Moose Kill in Park


National Park Service officials say charges are pending in connection with two hunters who illegally shot a moose at Denali National Park and Preserve.

Rangers investigated the shooting after it was reported Sunday evening as taking place in an area where sport hunting is prohibited.

Officials say the two hunters are men from the Matanuska Valley, who said they did not know they were in the park.

Officials say the man had a map, a regulation book and a global positioning system unit.

Sport hunting is allowed only in the Denali National Preserve at the western corners of the park.

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Long-delayed $570 million road plan to Juneau goes public


The state Transportation Department is proposing a $570 million road project billed as a way to connect Juneau to Alaska's main highway system.

The draft environmental impact statement released today marks the department's latest hopes to advance the long-simmering project. A U.S. District Court judge halted a prior plan, saying the state ought to consider a fuller range of alternatives for improving travel access to Southeast Alaska.     

The road would not be a direct link to highways out of Skagway or Haines. Motorists would still have to make a short trip by ferry to complete the trip.

Critics say the proposal is too expensive and too risky, spanning an area prone to avalanches.  

"We have to use that money to upgrade and maintain our existing infrastructure," said Malena Marvin, Executive Director of the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council, which opposes the plan.

State Transportation Commissioner Pat Kemp says the goal is to provide more opportunity to travel to the capital city at a lower cost. Juneau is accessible only by air or water.

The state's preferred option has the road being built on the eastern side of the Lynn Canal, starting 40 miles north of Downtown Juneau. The road would be extended another 50 miles to the Katzehin River, where drivers would catch one of the state's proposed Alaska-class ferries

Want to weigh in on the idea? There are three open-house meetings and public hearings scheduled for the public to review the revised proposal: Oct. 14 in Juneau Oct. 15th in Haines and October 23rd in Skagway.

Submit your comments online here. 

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Body of missing man recovered east of Cordova


The body of a 32-year-old Minnesota man missing east of Cordova, Alaska, has been recovered.

Scott Bell was found Tuesday by searchers.

The Coast Guard on Tuesday asked Alaska State Troopers to assist in an aerial search for Bell, who was reported missing near Controller Bay.

Troopers were told Bell was last seen Monday night and that he may have been using a kayak.

Bell's body was found at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on a sand bar.

The body has been sent to the state medical examiner for an autopsy.

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Part 2: Michelle Woods:Why The Suicide Awareness Program Is Successful


Since the Teck John Baker Suicide Prevention Program was introduced into the Northwest Arctic Borough School District,  the number of student suicides in the region which includes 11 villages( Ambler, Noorvik, Buckland, Selawik, Deering, Kotzebue, Kiana, Kobuk,Noatak, Kivalina, Shungnak) has dropped to zero.Prior, there was approximately 8 students suicides a year.

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Wasilla Police Identify Officer Involved in Shooting


The Wasilla Police Department on Thursday identified the officer involved in a fatal shooting Monday.

Departmental policy is to release the identity of officers involved in fatal incidents after 72 hours.

Officer Andrew Kappler, 28, killed Michael Bonty, 23. Kappler has been a WPD officer for two years, according to Officer Rick Manrique.

Kappler and another officer responded to 1201 Jack Nicklaus Drive around midnight and "immediately forced entry."

"They were confronted by an armed suspect," Officer Rick Manrique said. "The efforts to stop the situation were unsuccessful, and (he) was subsequently shot and did die of his wound."

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Delta Junction Boy Accidentally Shoots Younger Brother


A Delta Junction boy accidentally shot his younger brother, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Wednesday around 4:30 p.m. troopers responded to a report that a 15-year-old unintentionally shot his 9-year-old brother with a .22 caliber rifle.

The 9-year-old was transported to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital to be treated for injuries that are not considered life-threatening.

Watch Channel 2 News and check KTUU.com for updates to this developing story.

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Feds Review UA Sexual Violence Policy


Federal officials will visit four University of Alaska campuses next month to review how the university handles sexual violence complaints.

KTOO-radio (http://bit.ly/1s8FCxy) reports representatives of the U.S. Department of Education's Civil Rights Office will make the visits.

The university is one of 79 post-secondary institutions being investigated.

Rules on sexual violence complaints fall under Title IX (nine), the federal law that prohibits discrimination based on gender in education programs that receive federal funding.

An attorney for the University of Alaska, Michael O'Brien, says the university is not being investigated because it did anything wrong.

He says there's no active violation and federal officials are reviewing the university for compliance.

O'Brien says the university since 2011 has had 257 complaints of sexual harassment or sexual assault, mostly in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

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Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org

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