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Apr 21 2014
Judge Denies 5 Defense Witnesses in CommSta Murder Trial PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014




           A judge Monday refused to allow five defense witnesses to testify in the trial of the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard communication station.
           One rejected Kodiak witness was detained for trying to carry a gun through security at the Anchorage federal building.
            The five were called in the trial of 62-year-old James Wells, who's charged with shooting James Hopkins and Richard Belisle.
            One defense theory is that the killings were random and that a suspect who should have been investigated is Jason Barnum, a man with striking tattoos who five months later was charged with attempting to kill an Anchorage police officer.
            U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline ruled that Barnum had no connection to the victims and disallowed testimony about him.

Apr 21 2014
Two Heroin Busts in Kodiak Saturday PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014

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    The Kodiak Police Department announced Monday morning a sizable drug bust at one of Kodiak’s hotels over the weekend. It reportedly involved more than a pound-and-a-half of methamphetamine and nearly two-ounces of heroin.
    Seized, according to court documents, were approximately 25.27 ounces of the highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine and 1.77-ounces of what is described as high-grade heroin. The street value as estimated by the Kodiak Police Department is about $2.2-million.
    Arrested was 44-year-old Eric R. McDaniel of Washington State, who, according to charging documents, has seven prior drug felony convictions. He was arraigned Sunday in Kodiak District Court, charged with Misconduct Involving a Controlled Substance in the second- and third-degrees, which are class-A and class-B felonies, respectively. His bail was set by Judge Steve Cole at $1-million.
    The press release from Kodiak Police Chief Wallace said the police department had been watching the suspect since shortly after he arrived in Kodiak four months ago, and quote, “established himself as a drug distributor.”
    Chief Rhonda Wallace refused to say which of Kodiak’s hotels the raid occurred, but a check of court records showed it was room 110 of the Russian Heritage Inn. The raid occurred at about 9:30 Saturday morning.
    The press release says McDaniel’s 32-year-old girlfriend fled the scene at the time of the raid.

    Also on Saturday, 9.7-grams of heroin and almost $10,000 was seized from two Kodiak teenage boys, and another 20-year-old male after a traffic stop on Mill Bay Road. It was not immediately apparent if the two drug busts were related.


Apr 21 2014
School Board Meeting Tonight PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014

Jay Barrett/KMXT
    The Kodiak Island Borough Board of Education will be holding a regular meeting tonight (Monday). It will be the first chance the public will have to comment since Kodiak schools Superintendant Stewart McDonald received a contract extension and raise last week.
    Last Monday the school board held an executive session at a special meeting to give McDonald his performance review.
    Board President Katie Oliver said Stewart’s contract was extended one year, through the 2016-2017 school year and that his pay has been increased by 1-percent. Oliver said that level of increase was consistent with salary adjustments extended to other employee groups in the district. For the next three years Stewart’s salary will stand at $132,331 annually.
    Tonight’s regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly chambers, and will be broadcast live here on KMXT.

Apr 21 2014
Marine Science Symposium Kicks Off Tomorrow PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 21 April 2014

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            This week kicks off the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium, also known as KAMSS. The free event starts on Tuesday night and will run through Saturday, with dozens of scientific presentations and workshops designed to engage the general public in research being done around the archipelago.
            Kate Wynne is a marine mammal specialist with the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program through University of Alaska Fairbanks, which puts on the symposium. Wynne came on KMXT’s Talk of the Rock last week and said KAMSS began about three years ago.
           “And the impetus was it seems like a lot of good science happens in our backyard but very little of it was getting to the people of Kodiak. So Alaska Sea Grant and the Marine Advisory Program decided it was time to get it back to the public basically. So we put out a call for papers and got great response from all the local scientists. They were asked to put their presentations in a user-friendly format and we had school kids show up and college kids show up and fishermen show up – great free open to the public kind of talks. And it was so well received that we decided we needed to do it again.”
          She said they decided to host one every three years, which means this week’s symposium will only be the second one in the program’s history. 
          Wynne said the goal truly is to present information to the public and present the science that affects many folks here in Kodiak.

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.

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