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Alaska and Yukon Headlines

Controversial road project out of Juneau delayed again

Thu, 2014-07-17 20:17
Controversial road project out of Juneau delayed again The delay in the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is the latest in a series. The study was to have been done early this year and previously was scheduled for release late last year.July 17, 2014

Reality Check: A moment for Alaska reality shows gone by

Thu, 2014-07-17 20:02
Reality Check: A moment for Alaska reality shows gone by  In a Throwback Thursday trip down Memory Lane, here's a look back at some of those forgotten Alaska reality TV shows.July 17, 2014

NASA reconnaissance aircraft begins Arctic science flights out of Fort Wainwright

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:51
NASA reconnaissance aircraft begins Arctic science flights out of Fort Wainwright With a 103-foot wingspan, the single-engine ER-2 performs like a jet-powered glider, cruising at 60,000 feet to collect data about Arctic sea ice and requiring a pair of pilots -- one in the aircraft, one on the ground -- to execute a landing.July 17, 2014

Alaska gets win in Vegas basketball tourney

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:38
Alaska gets win in Vegas basketball tourney Alaska’s 16-U boys team earned a 47-34 win over Basketball B.C. (Canada) on Wednesday at the Bigfoot Hoops basketball tournament in Las Vegas. July 17, 2014

American Legion: Chugiak, Eagle River notch wins

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:31
American Legion: Chugiak, Eagle River notch wins Chugiak and Eagle River notched wins in American Legion action Wednesday. July 17, 2014

A recap of Alaska Baseball League action through games of Wednesday, July 16

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:19
A recap of Alaska Baseball League action through games of Wednesday, July 16 The Anchorage Bucs moved into a first-place tie with the Fairbanks Goldpanners in the Alaska Baseball League's American League and the Mat-Su Miners increased their lead atop the National League.July 17, 2014

Rep. Tuck agrees to $14,000 fine for campaign finance violations

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:16
Rep. Tuck agrees to $14,000 fine for campaign finance violations State Rep. Chris Tuck, the minority leader of the Alaska House, will pay a fine of more than $14,000 for mismanaging campaign funds and forfeit nearly $6,000 in unspent campaign funds, under an agreement accepted this week by the Alaska Public Offices Commission.July 17, 2014

Anchorage shuffles ambulance crews to give busy downtown and Midtown paramedics a break

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:09
Anchorage shuffles ambulance crews to give busy downtown and Midtown paramedics a break The Anchorage Fire Department is in the process of shifting more paramedics to the city’s busiest service areas at peak hours, as current staffing levels are resulting in overworked, “burned-out” medics.July 17, 2014

Kurka named to U.S. Paralympic ski team

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:09
Kurka named to U.S. Paralympic ski team Palmer's Andrew Kurka, who suffered an injury during a training run at the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi, Russia, is back on the U.S. national ski team and looking to hone his skills as he eyes another shot at a gold medal. July 17, 2014

Single-speed bike championships more about having fun than being fast

Thu, 2014-07-17 19:05
Single-speed bike championships more about having fun than being fast At this weekend's Single-Speed World Championship bike races at Kincaid Park, having fun will matter more than being fast and racy costumes will trump racing prowess. July 17, 2014

Photos: Black bear family's last afternoon

Thu, 2014-07-17 18:54
Photos: Black bear family's last afternoon

A black bear sow and her cubs frolicked in Anchorage's Goose Lake and its environs Thursday afternoon, just hours before the mother, who was routinely coming into contact with humans, was shot dead by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as a protective measure.

July 17, 2014

Madden Real Estate is state's No. 1 real estate group

Thu, 2014-07-17 18:38
Madden Real Estate is state's No. 1 real estate groupWes Madden and The Madden Team were named one of America’s top real estate professional teams by Real Trends and as advertised in The Wall Street Journal. July 17, 2014

Judge blocks new law restricting state abortion payments

Thu, 2014-07-17 18:34
Judge blocks new law restricting state abortion payments A new Alaska law restricting state Medicaid payments for abortions sought by poor women was put on hold this week, one day before it was set to take effect.July 17, 2014

Commissioners: Why state should pay down public pension liability

Thu, 2014-07-17 18:15
Commissioners: Why state should pay down public pension liability OPINION: The central issue at stake in paying down Alaska's unfunded employee pension funds is not so much whether we pay down the liability quickly but whether we fairly and appropriately balance all the state's financial commitments.July 17, 2014

Litigation Counsel of America selects Richmond as Fellow

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:50
Litigation Counsel of America selects Richmond as FellowThe Litigation Counsel of America is a trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. July 17, 2014

BSNC President & CEO Gail Schubert chosen to represent U.S. on Arctic Economic Council

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:28
BSNC President & CEO Gail Schubert chosen to represent U.S. on Arctic Economic CouncilThe Alaska State Chamber of Commerce and the Alaska Arctic Policy Commission announced Bering Straits Native Corp. President and CEO Gail Schubert as one of three Alaska business leaders to represent the U.S. on the newly created Arctic Economic Council.July 17, 2014

NASA Testing Arctic Sea Ice Monitoring Technology With High-Flying Ex-Spy Plane

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:20

NASA is flying two Airborne Science ER-2 aircraft out of Fairbanks to test equipment to be used to monitor Arctic sea ice. (Credit NASA)

NASA is piloting a mission out of Fairbanks with a specialized plane that can fly high enough to test technology destined for satellite applications.

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Report Investigates Coal Dust Hazards In Seward

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:19

Alaska Community Action on Toxics has issued a new report on the hazards of coal dust in Seward. The organization is recommending further monitoring, but city officials deny that local air quality is poor.

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Musk Ox Killed After Attacking Sled Dog

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:18

(Photo by Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome)

Living with wildlife isn’t always easy, as a recent incident with a musk ox attack in Kotzebue makes clear.

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In Transition: When a Family of Five Calls One Room Home

Thu, 2014-07-17 17:17

Corey MacDonald and his wife (not pictured) have three children – Miles, 7; Leland, 5; and Chloe, 4. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

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.

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Twelve-year-old Carrie McVey has been living in and out of transitional housing at St. Vincent de Paul for as long as she can remember.

“I’m used to calling St. Vincent’s home because I’ve been here most of the time,” Carries says.

She lives in unit 16 with her 16-year-old sister, 11-year-old brother and their parents.

“We’re all just living in one room. I’ve basically made my bed my own room, ‘cause I have to sleep on the bottom bunk. My brother sleeps in the top bunk and I can just tuck blankets in under my brother’s mattress.”

St. Vincent de Paul’s transitional shelter has 26 rooms. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

It’s like a little fort, she says.

Carrie’s father has a job at Goldbelt Security Services and her mother doesn’t work. During the school year, Carrie goes to Juneau Community Charter School. She’s open with her classmates about sometimes living in a shelter.

“‘Cause, like, some of my friends would ask if they could stay the night and I’d have to tell them no,” Carrie says.

There are more kids at the shelter than usual, she says, which means she actually has someone her age to hang out with. During the summer, Carrie visits the playground and wanders around the shelter.

“I like going in and hanging out with some of the other families ‘cause, you know, I know how they feel. Most of us just feel alone, like we have nowhere to go,” Carrie says.

She wants her family’s stay at St. Vincent’s to be what it’s supposed to be – transitional.

“I hope that we can get our own house that we can stay, for once. ‘Cause it seems like, you know, every year we move from one house and then back in here, and I’m getting tired of it,” Carrie says.

Carrie is one of 30 kids currently living at the shelter.

St. Vincent de Paul housing manager Tamee Martini says the high number of shelter occupants is driven by the number of kids. She says families at the shelter usually have one or two kids. At the moment, several families, like the McVeys, have three. A couple families have more.

“It’s sad to see a large family with children that are homeless for whatever reason. I mean, being homeless is sad for everybody, but those children deserve to be in a place of their own and not in a room. I just believe that they need more room to wander around and be kids and be outside poking at bugs or whatever, just being kids,” Martini says.

Individuals and families can stay in transitional housing for a maximum of two years, though most stay for a year. In order to get in, there’s an application and an average wait time of six months.

Rent is $525 a month. That gets a person or family a 400-square-foot room, which includes a bathroom with a toilet and sink; shared kitchen, laundry and shower facilities; as well as a kids’ play room and a computer area for job searching. The shelter stays clean through assigned chores.

Martini says residents are required to be actively looking for permanent housing and for work if they don’t have it.

“We do keep on top of that and have frequent conversations with the families about what are you’re doing to move on to a better situation. So even though it is probably the cheapest rent in town, especially for a family, it’s not something we want anybody to consider the last stop,” Martini says.

Cory MacDonald and his wife live at the shelter with their three kids.

“Miles is the oldest. He’s 7. Leland is 5 and little Chloe is 4,” says MacDonald.

This is the family’s second stint. They spent about six months in the shelter two years ago. This time, it’s been about three months. In between, they’ve lived with family in town. They haven’t lived as a whole family in their own place for three years.

Both parents have jobs, but MacDonald is away from the family for large chunks of time.

“I’ve been in and out of trouble, so I’m actually out on an ankle monitor here right now,” he explains.

For a tight space, the MacDonalds have made the room as homey as possible. The parents have a large bed in one corner. In another corner, Miles and Chloe share a homemade bunk bed, with Leland’s bed at the foot of it.

“Then we got our fridge and our entertainment system and we brought this freezer in here so we could store extra food and stuff. This is our little dining area set up,” MacDonald says.

The children look at home sitting on the beds, eating crackers and watching TV. But MacDonald doesn’t want this to be home. At least, not forever.

The plan is to stay at the shelter for up to a year while MacDonald and his wife save up enough money buy a home of their own.