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Aug 19 2014
Chinook Disaster Funds Released
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
    NOAA Fisheries announced Monday that it is ready to start distributing $7.8-million in disaster relief funds stemming from the 2012 king salmon collapse. A second round valued at about $13-million will also be forthcoming.
    NOAA Fisheries Deputy Regional Administrator for Alaska Doug Mecum in Juneau says that application forms for affected commercial fishermen in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta and Cook Inlet will be made available this week.
    “We really wanted to get as much of the money out to people as we could, as soon as we could, and it appeared that we needed to break this aspect of it out. So we’re still working on that.”
    Mecum said there are about 1,120 commercial fishermen between the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers who are in line to receive about $3.2-million in this first round of grants, while there are about 540 Cook Inlet fishermen getting $4.6-million. He says that imbalance will be addressed in the second round of grants:
    “In the Kuskokwim there’s not a real big fishery, commercial fishery for chinook salmon. There’s a very large subsistence fishery, of course. And the second grant will address some of those things. So when all the dust settles one might want to look at it at that point when the full allotment gets sent out, because there’ll actually be more money going to the Yukon-Kuskokwim in that second piece than there would be to the Cook Inlet area.”
    He also said that the sportsfishing industry in Cook Inlet will also be receiving some of the disaster funds:
    “In the Cook Inlet area there are going to be direct payments made to recreational fishing businesses – guides and lodge operators and things of that nature that were impacted by the disaster. And then the Yukon-Kuskokwim there’s some assistance for people to purchase alternative gear types. There’s also some assistance in terms of design management strategies to avoid these commercial fisheries failures in the future to the extent we can control that in the management of the fisheries.”
    Mecum said the fishermen in the affected areas will now work with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to make arrangements to get the disaster relief payments. He says NOAA would like to see the money in the hands of the fishermen “before the snow flies,” and that the second, larger round of payments should be ready for awarding in the coming months.

Aug 19 2014
Five Things to Know About Today's Primary
Tuesday, 19 August 2014

BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Today's primary will decide the hard-fought, first-round battle for U.S. Senate in Alaska and whether to reinstate an oil tax system that was a legacy of Sarah Palin's short tenure as governor.
    Here are five more things to know about the primary:

—BIG MONEY: Alaska's U.S. Senate race is the first major race in the state during the era of super PACs and it comes with high stakes: Republicans see the state as key to their efforts to wrest back control of the chamber. The seat is currently held by a first-term Democratic incumbent, Mark Begich, who is putting up a hard fight.
    In the lead-up to the primary, a super PAC backing Begich spent about $4 million against the presumptive GOP front-runner, former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan. About $1.2 million has been spent against Begich, according to the web-based Influence Tracker, with millions more waiting in the wings heading toward the general election.

—SENATE SLATE: Begich's only primary opposition is from a Brooklyn, New York, man who has been a non-factor. The Republican contest is considered a three-man race between Sullivan, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller. The Libertarian and Alaskan Independence parties are fielding candidates, as well. Begich wants all the eventual nominees included in debates he participates in.

—OIL TAX REPEAL: Ballot Measure 1 asks voters whether they want to repeal the oil tax cuts passed by lawmakers in 2013 and revert to the system enacted under Palin in 2007. A "yes" vote favors repeal. According to the Division of Elections, only three referenda have ever appeared on a statewide ballot, two of which passed, one in 2000, one in 1976.

—OTHER RACES: The ballot also features U.S. House and gubernatorial primaries, though no upsets are expected. The attention in both those has largely been focused on the general.

—PRIMARY TURNOUT: Division of Elections Director Gail Fenumiai isn't estimating possible voter turnout, just saying she hopes it's "high." Turnout in 2010, which also featured competitive U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races, was about 34 percent. Since 1976, turnout has topped 50 percent just three times.

Aug 19 2014
Primary Election Day in Alaska
Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Voting place directions in Bell's Flats. Brianna Gibbs/KMXT photo



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    Today is primary election day in Alaska. Voters will go to the polls to choose the participants in November’s general election, as well as decided whether the oil tax reduction passed by the legislature should be repealed.
    In House District 32, which includes Kodiak, the Republican candidate for Alaska State House will be determined. The winner amongst Rich Walker, Louise Stutes and Carol Austerman will face Democrat Jerry McCune in November.
    Statewide, candidates from each party for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator will be chosen.
    Polls opened at 7 this morning and will remain so until 8 p.m.
    KMXT will have results on the air and online as they come in tonight after the polls close. Here's a link to the State Division of Elections website where you can track them online.

Aug 18 2014
YCC Crew Wraps Up Summer Refuge Work
Monday, 18 August 2014

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           Each summer, a handful of local youth join forces with the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge as members of the Youth Conservation Corps or YCC. Kodiak High School alumna Leila Pyle worked as a crew member in the past, but this year she took on a larger role as the crew’s leader. Pyle said YCC is actually a nationwide program that employs high school age students on public land all over the country.
            Here in Kodiak, four high school students make up the team, in addition to a college-age crew leader. Pyle, who is entering her sophomore year at Reed College in Oregon, said the crew works in town and at various remote locations throughout the refuge over the the summer.
            This year the crew had the opportunity to travel to Tugidak Island and participate in Kodiak Island Trails Network’s marine debris clean up.

Aug 18 2014
Unknown Suspects Impersonate Officers, Fire Gun
Monday, 18 August 2014

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           Alaska State Troopers and the Kodiak Police Department are asking for the public’s help in finding two men who impersonated law enforcement over the weekend.
           Megan Peters is a spokesperson for the troopers and said gun shots were reportedly heard at Mill Bay beach just before Midnight on Saturday. Upon arrival and further investigation, Peters said troopers learned that two males dressed in black and wearing ski masks approached a 17-year-old juvenile near the beach.
            “The subjects claimed that they were police officers and demanded that the minor identify himself. When the minor questioned their validity as law enforcement officers one of the subjects brandished a pistol and fired the weapon.”  
             Peters said the minor was not injured and the suspects fled the scene. The incident is still under investigation and anyone with information should contact the troopers or police department immediately.
              “We always do encourage the public to come forward with any kind of information that they have regarding any crime. We really do rely on tips we get from the public in certain cases and this case we really feel like it would be exceedingly helpful if somebody did call us and were able to tell us some information.”
              The Alaska State Troopers can be contacted by calling 486-4121, or folks can anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 486-3113.

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