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Apr 21 2014
Assembly Postpones KHS Contract Change Order PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014

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           It was a relatively quick meeting for the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on Thursday. Half of the meeting was spent honoring borough employees, presenting awards and recognitions and proclaiming April as Month of the Military Child.
           When it came down to business items, the assembly breezed through a handful of ordinances and postponed the vote on a change order that would amend a contract for project management services on the Kodiak High School addition and renovation project.
            The change order was related to the borough’s contract with KHS project manager Bruce Walter of Wilson Engineering. The changes included an increased housing allowance for Walter, and an increase to the company’s hourly rate for the project.
             Those requests didn’t sit well with some assembly members when it was presented during the work session last Tuesday, which is why Borough Manager Bud Cassidy recommended postponing the item during Thursday’s meeting.
             “Given the discussion that went on at the work session we are asking that you postpone this indefinitely. We are negotiating with members of that firm, they are out of town. We’ll get it to you as soon as we can but given the discussion that we had we thought we’d recommend postponing this until we get the answers.”
              The assembly voted unanimously to postpone its vote on the matter.

Apr 18 2014
Defense Not Allowed to Call Tattooed Inmate in CommSta Trial PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 April 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge says defense attorneys in the Kodiak Coast Guard CommSta murder trial can't call a witness currently in custody on another case, though he may allow it in the future.
    Judge Ralph Beistline ruled today (Friday) that 38-year-old Jason Barnum didn't have a sufficient connection to the case to testify in the trial of 62-year-old James Wells now underway in Anchorage.
    Barnum acknowledged being in Kodiak at the time but says he didn't know the slain men.
    In a separate case, Barnum is charged with attempting to kill an Anchorage police officer at a hotel in September 2012.
    Barnum is heavily tattooed, including on his eyeball, and federal prosecutor Karen Loeffler says there's no reason to call him as a witness other than to frighten the jury.
    Wells is charged with murder in the deaths of co-workers Richard Belisle and James Hopkins on April. 12, 2012, at the Coast Guard Base Kodiak Communications Station.

Apr 17 2014
Widow Testifies in CommSta Murder Trial PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2014



           The wife of a Coast Guardsman shot to death two years ago at a Kodiak communications station says she didn't shoot her husband and his co-worker.
           Deborah Hopkins was called as a defense witness Thursday in the trial of James Wells, who's charged with first-degree murder in the death of Petty Officer First Class James Hopkins and civilian employee Richard Belisle.
            Defense attorneys contend investigators immediately focused in on Wells and ignored other possible suspects.
            Defense attorney Peter Offenbecher questioned Deborah Hopkins about an affair her husband had, their finances, her familiarity with the shop were her husband was murdered and guns in their home.
            During cross-examination, special assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Duigan directly asked Deborah Hopkins if she had murdered her husband. Hopkins said she had not.

Apr 17 2014
Witness Testifies on Local Cars in CommSta Murder Trial PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2014



           A defense witness in the trial of the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard station says there are plenty of other cars on the island that fit the dimensions of a vehicle recorded near the murder scene.
           Federal defender investigator Deatrich Sheffield says 263 blue vehicles registered on the island fit the same dimensions and that doesn't count Coast Guardsmen cars registered elsewhere.
           Sheffield testified Thursday in the trial of electronics technician James Wells, who's charged with killing Richard Belisle and James Hopkins shortly after 7 a.m. on April 12, 2012.
           Prosecutors say Wells used his wife's blue sport utility vehicle to drive to the scene.
           A security camera recorded a blue vehicle driving past the shop at 7:09 a.m. and returning five minutes later.

Apr 17 2014
The Alaska Fisheries Report PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Coming up this week, it’s ComFish time in Kodiak, we have reaction to the possibility of no king salmon fishing at all this summer in the Y-K Delta, and another fishermen’s bar goes smoke free, all that and more coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had help from KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs in Kodiak, KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver in Wrangell, KYUK’s Charles Enoch in Bethel, KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska, and KHNS’ Margaret Friedenauer in Haines.

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