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The LegHead Report

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It's that time of year when we ask for your support to help us continue to bring you the bits of radio that help you stay an informed citizen (like the debates and election updates), an entertained listener (did you hear This American Life's new spinoff, called Serial?), and apprised of community events (the community calendar is always full this time of year).

 

Not only will you be supporting all of that goodness, but you'll also be entered into a drawing for a set of cross country skis OR a snowboard from Orion's Mountain Sports if you pledge by midnight on October 29! If you're a new member, you'll be entered into a special drawing for a photography package from Simply Lovette Photograpy -- just in time for the holidays.

 

Lots of great stuff this Fall for our pledge drive, including an entire day of retro radio on October 30 (and great food). Stop by, tune in, and pledge right here via the Donate Now button or by calling 486-3181. Thanks! 

 
Apr 25 2014
Nicola Belisle Speaks Out on Guilty Verdict in CommSta Murders
Friday, 25 April 2014

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    Now that the jury has returned a guilty verdict against James Wells in the Coast Guard CommSta murder trial, Nicola Belisle, the widow of retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle, said she finally felt free to comment on the shooting deaths of her husband and co-worker Petty Officer First Class James Hopkins on April 12, 2012. She spoke with KMXT’s Jay Barrett Friday afternoon.

 
Apr 25 2014
Jury Deliberates Just One Day in CommSta Murder Trial
Friday, 25 April 2014

The Associated Press/Jay Barrett/KMXT    A federal jury in Anchorage today (Friday) convicted James Wells of murder in the shooting deaths of two of his co-workers at Coast Guard communications station Kodiak two years ago.
    Wells, 62, was charged in the 2012 shooting deaths of Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle. Wells did not testify at his trial.
    Jurors began deliberating yesterday (Thursday) afternoon, and a day later, found Wells guilty of two counts each of first-degree murder, murder of an officer or employee of the United States, and possession of a firearm in a crime of violence.
    Outside the courtroom, Hopkins' widow, Deborah, said she was satisfied with the verdict and now her husband could rest. She said the guilty verdict will help with closure, but not completely.
    Federal prosecutors earlier said they would not seek the death penalty if Wells was convicted. He faces life in prison, and his sentencing was set for July 8.
    Federal public defender Rich Curtner had no comment on the verdict.
    The victims were found in the morning of April 12, 2012, in the CommSta rigging shop, where antennas are built and repaired. Hopkins, 41, was an electronics technician from Vergennes, Vermont. Belisle, 51, was a former chief petty officer who continued service to the Coast Guard as a civilian employee.
    Prosecutors contended Wells, also a retired Coast Guardsman employed as a civilian technician, resented the growing influence of Belisle and Hopkins in the shop where he had been a nationally recognized antenna expert. Prosecutors said Wells meticulously planned an alibi, sneaked onto the communications station and gunned the two men down.
    According to the government's theory, after the shootings, Wells went back home and called Hopkins' work phone, leaving a message saying he would be late for work because of a flat tire. Prosecutors say the flat tire was a ruse to give him a cover story for committing the murders.
    According to authorities, Wells told the FBI he started driving to work, detected a soft tire, stopped at a hotel near the Kodiak airport entrance, checked the tire and returned home to change it.
    A security camera at the nearby Coast Guard main gate recorded his truck heading for the communication station shortly before 7 a.m. and driving in the opposite direction toward his home 34 minutes later.
    Wells' wife was out of town the day of the shooting, and her blue SUV was parked at the Kodiak airport not far from the communications station. Investigators believe a blue vehicle seen in blurry security footage belonged to Wells' wife and concluded he switched cars, waited for Hopkins to drive by, followed him to the communications station and shot him and Belisle.
    Curtner and defense attorney Peter Offenbecher of Seattle contended authorities too quickly focused on Wells and ignored other possible suspects. They said prosecutors had no eyewitnesses, no confession, no murder weapon and no physical evidence linking Wells to the homicides.

 
Apr 25 2014
Wells Found Guilty on All Counts in CommSta Murders
Friday, 25 April 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal jury in Alaska has convicted James Wells of murder in the shooting deaths of two of his co-workers at Coast Guard communications station Kodiak.
    The jury returned its verdict afternoon Friday in the case of the 62-year-old Wells. He was charged with killing Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class James Hopkins and retired Chief Petty Officer Richard Belisle in April 2012.
    Prosecutors had alleged Wells was unhappy that he had become increasingly irrelevant on the job through the advancement of the victims.
    The jury convicted Wells of six felony charges: two counts each of first-degree murder, murder of a U.S. officer and use of a firearm in a violent crime.
    Federal prosecutors said earlier they would not seek the death penalty.

 
Apr 25 2014
Volendam Skips Kodiak, Delays Cruise Season
Friday, 25 April 2014

This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it and Lisa Phu/KTOO
ms_volendam_in_juneau.jpg    Cruise ship season will start late here this year, as the Holland American Line ship the Volendam skipped Kodiak today (Friday). Citing poor weather in the northern Gulf of Alaska, the 778-foot ship went straight to Juneau on its repositioning cruise from the Far East. The Volendam is carrying 1,200 passengers.
    The in-cruise course change took merchants in Juneau by surprise, according to Elizabeth Arnett, tourism marketing manager for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    "For the businesses downtown that are open year-round, it’s going to be a little extra boom for them that they weren’t expecting," she said. "But I imagine some of the retail merchants downtown that weren’t prepared to be open until next week may or may not be open."
    Juneau wasn’t expecting its first scheduled cruise ship until May 1st, when the Carnival Miracle was due in. After the capital city, the Volendam will continue onto scheduled stops in Glacier Bay, Ketchikan and Vancouver.
    The next cruise ship scheduled to call on Kodiak is the Silver Shadow, with a capacity of 382 passengers. Operated by Silver Seas, it’s due into port on May 13th.

 
Apr 25 2014
Five Fishermen and One Cowboy Rhyming Out Loud Saturday
Friday, 25 April 2014

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Cowboy Poet Ron McDaniel is one of the featured performers at Saturday's Fishermen Out Loud.

 

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    Fishermen getting a little loud on a Saturday night in port isn't all that unusual, but this week, they'll be getting loud in verse, as Kodiak hosts Fishermen Out Loud, the premier Fishermen Poet Gathering north of Astoria, Oregon. Kodiak Maritime Museum Executive Director Toby Sullivan is the organizer of the event, in conjunction with the Kodiak Arts Council. He, along with cowboy poet Ron McDaniel, were on KMXT's morning news with host Jay Barrett to talk about Saturday night's event at the Harbor Convention Center.

 
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