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Nov 05 2014
Hunter Saves Partner from Bear Attack
Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A 65-year-old deer hunter was injured and needed a medevac after he was attacked by a sow bear on Sally Island Tuesday afternoon. 68-year-old Sitka resident Michael Snowden suffered injuries to his legs. His hunting partner, Jeff Ostrin age 38, of Camas, Washington, was not injured. 
Initial reports indicated it may have been a group, or a “sloth,” of bears, but according to Kodiak Fish and Game biologist Nate Svoboda it was a sow bear with two older cubs involved in the attack.
“They were carrying the deer out, actually dragging the deer out down to the beach to be picked up. And the stopped to take a quick break for lunch and at that point they heard a bear rustling in the brush. They reached over, grabbed their rifles and moments later a bear charged through the brush and jumped on the survivor and continued to thrash around with him," Svoboda said. "The witness, obviously startled, backed up a few feet, took aim at the bear and waited until he had a clear shot.”
At that point one of the cubs came out of the brush and was also shot by Ostrin. The second cub is expected to survive the death of its mother.
Larry Van Daele, the regional Fish and Game supervisor and noted bear expert, said the bears smelled the dead deer from afar and came looking for a meal.
“The bears winded the deer from several hundred yards away. The skipper of the boat actually watched that from a distance," Van Dael said. "And, like I say, these guys were in a real brushy area. They're dragging a deer right behind them, a when the bears winded the deer, they started coming, in that direction, following that scent."
The initial report said the attack was by five bears, which Van Daele says is highly unusual for the normally solitary animals.
“Yeah, that'd pretty much have to be a sow with four cubs. Big cubs," he said. "Which we've only seen once or twice in my career to keep that many cubs that long.”
The men had 30.06 rifles on their deer hunt, which Van Daele says is a suitable caliber for bear protection. He added that they did a lot of things right to avoid tragedy.
“They were hunting as partners; that's something we always recommend. Because they were hunting as partners, this turned into a mauling instead of someone being killed probably – either from the bears attacking him or loss of blood. So they did the right things there," Van Daele said. "There's always arm-chair quarterbacking; we would prefer people not drag deer out of the field, that they put it in pack and carry it out as soon as possible. And we also prefer people to tend to stay in open areas. Which, of course, isn't always possible in Kodiak.”
Van Daele said Ostrin is a hero in the situation, having tended to his hunting partner's wounds, killing the bears and getting help. 
Sally Island is about 30 miles east of Kodiak City in Uganik Bay. 
 
Nov 05 2014
Missing Kodiak Man Found Safe
Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A missing Kodiak man has been found safe after an appeal for help by family and friends on Facebook and the Kodiak Police Department. 
Over the weekend Merrick Allain had posted an emotional message on his Facebook account indicating he was a potential danger to himself, and his family couldn't reach him on Monday or Tuesday. 
Friends searched around Kodiak for Allain while messages to him piled up online. A family friend reported late night (Tuesday) that his friend had been found, and the KPD confirmed that this morning. 
 
Nov 05 2014
District 32 Leans Toward Begich, Dunbar and Walker
Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
Alaska House District 32, which includes the Kodiak Island Borough, small Lower Kenai Peninsula communities, and across the Gulf Coast to Cordova and Yakutat, bucked the trend on several statewide races.
The voters here favored incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Begich by 144 votes over Republican challenger Dan Sullivan. Begich took in 2,123 votes to Sullivan's 1,989.
Likewise, District 32 voters gave Democratic challenger Forrest Dunbar 29 more votes than incumbent Republican Representative Don Young. Dunbar received 2,083 to Young's 2,054.
In the gubernatorial race, Kodiak went with the flow and gave independent Bill Walker the edge over Republican incumbent Governor Sean Parnell by 520 votes, 2,316 to 1,796.
Voters also came out in favor of legalized pot by a 4,359 to 2,468 vote. Raising the minimum raise won handily with 3,420 votes to 974. Protecting Bristol Bay from the Pebble Mine was also an overwhelming win, with 3,214 in favor to 1,060 against.
 
Nov 05 2014
Stevens and Stutes Win Handily
Wednesday, 05 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
While some statewide races are still too close to call, locally, the results were clear.
Incumbent Republican Senator Gary Stevens handily won re-election with 73 percent of the vote. He pulled in 7,095 votes in District P, compared to 27 percent for Cordova Democrat Robert “Moose” Henrichs' 2,628.
In House District 32, where there was no incumbent, Kodiak Republican Louise Stutes was victorious over Cordova Democrat Jerry McCune by 57 percent to 43 percent. Stutes received 2,456 votes to McCune's 1,858.
We'll have more from the candidates during our noon newscast. 
 
Nov 04 2014
A Full Ballot Faces Voters Today
Tuesday, 04 November 2014
Jay Barrett/KMXT
It's General Election day across the nation. Here in Alaska we'll be faced with a ballot full of candidates and ballot initiatives. Polls opened at 7 this morning and will remain so until 8 p.m.
Voters in Kodiak, like the rest of the state, will decide who will best represent us in the governor's office, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
Candidates for governor include incumbent Republican Sean Parnell with his running mate the mayor of Anchorage, Dan Sullivan, and Independent Bill Walker and his running mate Byron Mallott, Libertarian Carolyn Clift and her running mate Andrew Lee, and the Alaska Constitution Party's J.R. Myers and running mate Maria Rensel.
Incumbent Democrat Mark Begich is seeking a second term in the U.S. Senate. He's challenged by republican Dan Sullivan – a different one than the one running for Lt. Governor – Libertarian Mark Fish, and unaffiliated candidate Ted Gianoutsos. Political observers nationwide are keeping an eye on this race, as its outcome could contribute to the Senate switching hands.
Forty-two-year incumbent Republican Don Young is seeking a 22nd term in the U.S. House. He's challenged by Democrat Forrest Dunbar and Libertarian Jim McDermott.
Republican incumbent Gary Stevens is seeking another term in the Alaska State Senate, and is being challenged by Democrat Robert “Moose” Henrichs of Cordova.
There is no incumbent in the Alaska State House race from our area, District 32. Cordova Democrat Jerry McCune, the president of United Fishermen of Alaska, will face Kodiak Republican Louise Stutes, a former Kodiak Island Borough Assemblywoman.
There are three ballot measures on our ballots today. Number 2 would legalize and tax the sale of marijuana. It's currently legal in Alaska to grow a limited amount for personal use, but illegal to sell any.
Question Number 3 would raise the minimum wage in Alaska from its current $7.75 per hour to $8.75 on January 1st 2015 and again to $9.75 per hour on January 1st 2016. If approved, ballot question Number 4 would require legislative approval of any large-scale mining in Bristol Bay. There is no ballot question Number 1. Retention of Alaska Supreme Court Justice Craig Stowers is on the ballot, as are various Superior and District Court judges, which vary by district.
Polls remain open until 8 p.m. KMXT, NPR and APRN will have results all evening. 
 
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