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The LegHead Report

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weekdays at 12:20 p.m.

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Valentine's for KWRCC


 When you go shopping this week you can help the women and children at the Kodiak Women's Resource & Crisis Center. KWRCC has a long wish list of items that would help their families in crisis. You can help by purchasing one or more of the items and dropping them off at KMXT, 620 Egan Way by 5pm on Friday - we'll make sure everything gets to the KWRCC for Valentine's Day. Find a copy of the list here:  kwrcc_wish_list_jan_2016 

Feb 10 2016
Coast Guard Medevacs Two Injured Men
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Tuesday, the crew aboard a cargo ship 220 miles southeast of Kodiak faced rough weather which resulted in multiple injuries and two men being medevac’d off the vessel. A Coast Guard crew that afternoon would report conditions on-site closer to Kodiak to be 18 mph winds and 19-foot seas.

Earlier in the day, a 32-year-old and 28-year-old man suffered a fall and the crew aboard the Cemtex Venture radioed for help. The Coast Guard 17th District watchstanders who received the call suggested to the crew that they sail towards Kodiak Island to get within the range of Coast Guard helicopters.

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 airplane crew met the ship and flew the crewmembers to Kodiak. There, emergency medical services personnel attended to the injured men. One was transferred by LifeMed to Anchorage and the other was brought to Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.
Feb 10 2016
KPD Focuses on Better Training Following Pletnikoff Incident
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Police Department is working to improve its staff’s sensitivity towards people with special needs. That includes new approaches to identifying members of the community affected by autism.

The change comes after an incident in September where three police officers used excessive force in subduing an autistic young man, Nick Pletnikoff, originally accused of trying to enter a vehicle by force.

At the Kodiak City Council work session last night, Chief of Police Ronda Wallace presented an overview of the Kodiak Police Department, after which she responded to questions – including this one from Mayor Pat Branson.

“I know the September 16 incident – that new training procedures have been put into place and that’s been publicly stated, but could you go over that for us again as to what kind of training measures have been put into place since that incident?”

Wallace said Kodiak police officers would receive extra training which will give them the tools to recognize individuals with autism and described a KPD initiative which will support that effort.

“I’m working on what we’ll call our Kodiak Cares Program. That will be a volunteer program with the special needs community where we have questionnaires that could be filled out on a volunteer basis to provide us with the information about somebody’s loved one, their child, or a vulnerable adult.”
She said they’ll put that information into the KPD system and only law enforcement and dispatchers will be able to access it.

“Additionally, there are photos taken that go along with those forms. That gets put into the system and a booklet gets built for officers with pictures and names, so if they encounter individuals out in the street and they recognize them, they can contact dispatch, dispatch can relay some of the information that may be on the forms about triggers for individuals.”
She said that will better prepare officers to assist them.

“We’re working on those things. It’s a process and it’s gonna take us a little bit of time, but in that time we’re getting the officers additional online training. Been in contact with Krista McGuyer at Special Services from the high school who’s offered her services in bringing this training to our department. So, we’re working real hard on that.”

In addition to hearing from the Kodiak Police Department – and alongside other items on the agenda - the council discussed extending its contract with the fisheries analyst it shares with the borough. Tune into KMXT’s evening report a little after 5 p.m. to hear more on that topic.
Feb 10 2016
Pletnikoff Family Takes City to Court
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
Nick Pletnikoff, on his back, about to be pepper-sprayed in the face by Kodiak Police Department Sergeant Francis de la Fuente. De la Fuente and Officer Phillip Christman  are named, along with the Kodiak Police Department and City of Kodiak, as defendants in a civil suit brought by the Pletnikoff family, claiming poor training and police brutality because of this Sept. 16, 2015, incident. KPD bodycam footage obtained through court order
Jay Barrett/KMXT

It’s been almost five months since three Kodiak police officers pinned an autistic man to the ground and pepper-sprayed him at point-blank range. Nick Pletnikoff was not charged with any crime, after the incident, but the Kodiak Police Department hired a police consultant from Soldotna to investigate the actions of its officers. The report, released last week, found the officers acted appropriately.

Others disagree, including the Pletnikoff family, who Tuesday filed suit in Kodiak Superior Court against the city, the police department and two of the three officers involved. Named as defendants are Sergeant Francis de la Fuente and Officer Phillip Christman. Not named in the suit is officer Kathleen Gambling, who also participated in the detention of Pletnikoff.

When contacted Tuesday, family attorney Josh Fitzgerald said the reason Gambling was not named would eventually be explained.

The 15-page complaint accuses Christman of not alerting his fellow officers of Nick Pletnikoff’s special-needs condition, since they have known each other since high school, and it accuses de la Fuente of escalating an incident that, until he arrived, was non-violent. The complaint claims Nick Pletnikoff’s special needs condition should have been obvious to any reasonable officer at the scene.

The suit accuses both Christman and de la Fuente of negligence and accuses de la Fuente of assault and battery. It also blames the city and police department for a lack of training and holds it liable for the actions of its officers. 

The Pletnikoffs are asking for judgment in excess of $100,000 as well as punitive damages, and are asking for a jury trial to be held in Kodiak. 
Feb 09 2016
City to Discuss Fisheries Analyst Contract at Work Session
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

At the Kodiak City Council work session tonight, the council will discuss the same contract which had been under examination at Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meetings up until its final decision last week. The assembly had been split over whether to extend its year-long contract with the fisheries analyst, Heather McCarty, who it shares with the city. At the assembly’s last regular meeting, it amended to extend the contract six months at the suggestion of Assemblyman Dennis Symmons. Assemblyman Mel Stephens was the only dissenter on the amended contract offer, which passed 4-to-1.

Tonight, the city will discuss the issue.

Also on the agenda is an ordinance to allow accessory dwelling units, sometimes called granny flats, in certain residential districts in the Kodiak Island Borough. The ordinance would change borough code to list accessory dwelling units under a permitted use within those districts.

In addition to discussion on those issues, the council will hear a department overview from the Chief of Police and discuss city investments policies. The work session will be in the Kodiak Public Library Multipurpose Room at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Feb 09 2016
Workshop to Teach Kids How to Tell a Story in the Theater and the Classroom
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Storytelling isn’t just an activity for campfires and stages – it’s a skill that you need for everyday life. And for teens, everyday life usually means school.

Celia Whitehead will lead the last workshop in the Story Build & Tell series this month and says the class will be about sharing life experiences, among other things.

“It will be a workshop on brainstorming stories and sharing and creating a really safe, respectful space where everyone can feel like their stories matter. Creating connections between youth, through sharing their stories, and ultimately being able to hold a microphone in their hand and give it a try. See what it sounds like when you stand up and represent yourself, possibly to an audience outside of your family and friends.”

She says students will walk away from the workshop with more than the ability to tell a story to an audience.

“Public speaking is one of the big skills, and deep listening, being able to listen to each other and hear what they’re saying. Other skills would be giving useful feedback – how to give feedback to each other in a way that’s not harmful, but also isn’t just saying, oh, well that was great, but actually be able to be useful with the feedback.”

In addition to teaching the art of constructive criticism, Whitehead explains the workshop will help students identify highlights of an experience. What matters and what can you leave out? That’s just as vital to some of the less popular story forms, like “the essay”, which students need to master for everything from classes to college applications.

“I see this process of reflecting on the events in your life and how they’ve changed you  - that work is exactly the footwork that happens when you sit down to write the college essay. You build those skills of finding out what details matter and what is it about the stories in your life that make them important to you.”

Whitehead says students will warm up by talking about themselves and their lives.

“Like a favorite food or your first pet, just things to start sharing. We’ll be listening to some stories that other youth have told at slams around the country and do a little reflection on what students thought about those stories. What made them good, or what were the details that they really paid attention to.”

She says the workshop is for children ages 9 to 16, but the age bracket is flexible, and the class will be on Saturday, February 20 between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Teen Center. It’ll be good training for any kids interested in participating in a story slam this April, which you’ll hear more about on KMXT as the date approaches.
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