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SitNews - Stories In The News - Ketchikan, Alaska
May 03, 2012

Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS

Female Hairy Woodpecker
Front Page Photo By JIM LEWIS


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Ketchikan: Wells Fargo Building Purchased by KIC - Ketchikan Indian Community General Manager, Debbie Patton, has announced the purchase of the Wells Fargo Building located in downtown Ketchikan at 306 Main Street from David and Renee Brown who have owned the building since 2002.  The transaction closed Tuesday May 1st.  The purchase price was not disclosed.

Wells Fargo Building Purchased by KIC

Wells Fargo Building Purchased by KIC

Patton said this is a good long term income producing investment for Ketchikan Indian Community and continues with our intention of preparing for the inevitable federal budget cuts.  KIC’s goal is to continue the high level of service to its members.  The prudent course of action is to insure funding for our various programs by moving into conservative income producing enterprises, Patton said. - More...
Thursday - May 03, 2012 

Ketchikan: Alaska’s Presidential Scholars Announced; Senator Praises the Excellence of High Schoolers, Teachers Named - Alaskan high school seniors Alec P. Pankow of Ketchikan and Brigit M. Noon of Fairbanks were named as U.S. President Scholars Wednesday by U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 

"Honoring Presidential Scholars is an important celebration of students showing the dedication, creativity and ambition to become future leaders," Duncan said. "As national, state and local leaders work side by side with principals, teachers, and parents to make our schools better, we can learn from the students all around us whose hard work and accomplishments embody the kind of excellence we want every child to achieve."

In response to the news, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a prepared statement, “Now more than ever, high school students have competing priorities, pressures and interests – not to mention added distractions their parents didn’t have.  That’s why we should especially congratulate Brigit and Alec today as being among only 141 students across the nation to have achieved this honor.  I also encourage each of them to take this recognition as a springboard to even greater heights and hope that they will contribute their talents to our state.  I look forward to meeting them when they come to Washington, D.C. for the awards ceremony.”

Alec P. Pankow is a graduating senior from Ketchikan High School and Brigit M. Noon is a graduating senior from West Valley High School in Fairbanks.

Each scholar nominates their most influential teacher to win the Teacher Recognition Award.  Pankow chose Rebecca Bowlen, who teaches English, Folklore and Drama at Ketchikan High School. Noon selected West Valley High School English teacher Carrier Heimer.

“Nearly every one of us can immediately call to mind the teacher’s name who inspired us and pushed us to be better than we thought ourselves capable,” added Murkowski. “I congratulate and honor Ms. Heimer and Mrs. Bowlen for playing that role in the education of these seniors.” - More...
Thursday - May 03, 2012

Southeast Alaska: TEAM RESPONDS TO FIRST REPORTED WHALE ENTANGLEMENT OF THE SEASON - Tuesday afternoon, NOAA marine mammal experts deployed on their first operation of the year to disentangle a whale from fishing gear in Southeast Alaska.


Entangled humpback whale and calf.
Photo credit: Kate Savage, NOAA

An Alaska Seaplane pilot Tuesday morning sighted a pair of humpbacks trailing an orange buoy in Young Bay, near Admiralty Island, heading towards the Greens Creek dock.

Trained marine mammal responders from NOAA's Alaska regional office and the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute responded rapidly, in coordination with NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement. Upon arrival at the scene, they discovered a mother and calf, with the calf entangled.

The team was able to attach a telemetry tag to the trailing fishing gear so they could track where the whales went overnight by satellite.

By Wednesday morning, data showed the tagged calf had traveled about 50 nautical miles overnight, but had done a large circle to return to the area where it was tagged. While looking for the whales Wednesday morning, the response team located the telemetry tag in Young Bay, but it was no longer attached to a whale. The animal had worked its way free.

"We recovered the gear and satellite tag [Wednesday] morning," said marine mammal specialist Kate Savage. "Fortunately, the calf was able to shed the fishing gear on its own." - More...
Thursday - May 03, 2012

Alaska: New Federal Rules for Alaskans Collecting Emergency Unemployment Benefits - Alaskans collecting unemployment insurance benefits under the Federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program will be required to report in person to a local job center to get assistance with finding a job. Waivers will be granted to Alaskans in remote areas with no access to a job center.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is mailing information to Alaskans affected by the new requirements.

“In person reemployment assessments will help long-term unemployed job seekers update their skills and better prepare them as they look to reenter the workforce,” Employment Security Division Director Paul Dick said. - More...
Thursday - May 03, 2012

Alaska: RECORD NUMBERS FOR 4th PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK; 1.3 tons Removed from Circulation in Alaska - The American people have again responded overwhelmingly to the most recent DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On April 28th, citizens nationwide turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the four Take Back Days to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds (774 tons) of medication from circulation.

In a four hour time period, residents of Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Alaska, turned in 28,482 pounds (over 14 tons), record numbers for each state.

In Alaska, Ketchikan along with 36 other collection sites, resulted in 2, 694 pounds (1.3 tons) removed from circulation. - More...
Thursday - May 03, 2012

National: Medicare Fraud Strike Force Charges 107 Individuals for Approximately $452 Million in False Billing - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced yesterday that a nationwide takedown by Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in seven cities has resulted in charges against 107 individuals, including doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes involving approximately $452 million in false billing.

Attorney General Holder and Secretary Sebelius were joined in the announcement Wednesday by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Gary Cantrell of the HHS Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and Dr. Peter Budetti, Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Lanny A. Breuer said, "From Los Angeles, to Chicago, to Miami, these defendants allegedly submitted over $450 million in fraudulent claims to the Medicare program. This represents the largest Medicare fraud takedown in Department history, as measured by the amount of alleged fraudulent billings."

Breuer said, "As charged in the indictments, these fraud schemes were committed by people up and down the chain of healthcare providers – from doctors, nurses, and licensed clinical social workers, to office managers and patient recruiters." - More ...
Thursday - May 03, 2012


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Questions, please contact the editor at or call 617-9696
Sitnews reserves the right to edit.

letter Progressive activism By Jim Guenther - I don't believe that corporations are people. The GOP does. I don't believe that the government should assert itself into the reproductive organs of my wife, or my female children, or of any woman. The GOP does. I don't believe that the ability to afford health insurance should determine if a human being should be kept alive. The GOP does. I don't believe that dangerous mental patients should be allowed to carry concealed assault weapons. The GOP does. I don't believe that the wealthy should pay a lower percentage of their income in taxes than middle-income wage earners. The GOP does. - More...
Tuesday - May 01, 2012

letter Sunken cement barge By Tim Finch - Nine years after it was written, I enjoyed the story of Bill Huckins and the sunken cement barge.  I was searching around on line for info on Bill's Dad and came across June Allen's article.  The older Bill occasionally worked with my Grandfather, Henry Finch Jr., also a diver.  His Dad, Henry Sr. first located the SS Islander the year after it sunk, in 1902, but couldn't do much beyond that, given the +300 foot depth.  Henry Jr. also worked with the Islander expedition starting in 1929 but did not go back after the first year.  A good decision in hindsight. - More...
Tuesday - May 01, 2012

letter Concerns About Discovery Center By Tom LeCompte - I have great concerns about Ketchikan this Summer, specifically the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center, (SEDC).This Alaska Public Lands Information Center is a natural history, native history, economic and recreation information clearinghouse for the Tongass National Forest. There are three other APLIC's in the state, Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Tok. - More...
Thursday - April 26, 2012

letter We've Got Talent By Judith Green - 'The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood' was SO well done. BRAVO! to each of the students who participated - whether you had a speaking or non-speaking part, job well done! It was so much fun to see each of you so well poised and positioned - just enjoying. The match-up of participant to parts was very (evident)successful. (Yes, "I got that") - More...
Thursday - April 26, 2012

letter Thank you By Brandy Cotter - The Sebring family of Michigan and I wish to thank all involved in the care of our loved one. - More...
Thursday - April 26, 2012

letter Unprofessionalism By Jerry Klein - I was at the KIC health clinic Wednesday (04-25-12). I found the triage nurse to be very cold and uncaring. She refused to help me cause it was a little late in the day and she refused to refer me to the ER. - More...
Thursday - April 26, 2012

letter “Walk the Change” May 4th By Karen Eakes - I am writing on behalf of the Strengthening Cultural Unity (SCU) task force of the Ketchikan Wellness Coalition.  This group has brought Challenge Day to Ketchikan secondary schools for the past three years and is currently working on plans and funding for the next school year. As a follow up to the Challenge Day events there have also been “Be the Change” student efforts at Schoenbar and at Kayhi. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Girls on the Run 5K By Aftan Lynch- Saturday, April 28th, Girls on the Run will be hosting an untimed Spring 5K at Ward Lake at 10:30 am. Women in Safe Homes invites you to attend this event and run with or cheer on the participants. This season, over 35 girls are participating from three schools: Houghtaling, Point Higgins, and Fawn Mountain. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Re: Boat Trailers By Ken Lewis - Supporting the local economy can be very frustrating, especially if you are a misunderstood parking space hog. Ode to the curbside sailors. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Stop signs and crosswalks By Alan R. McGillvray - Well if there is one thing (or too many) that any city in the WORLD has it's STOP SIGNS. - More....
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Good-bye Credit Card By A.M. Johnson - The following letter was sent to the mangement of Alaska Airlines regarding their credit card account managed by Bank of America. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Inuit Drum Dancing By Carol Baines - Here in Southeast Alaska, we don't seem to get to see much of northern aspects of native culture. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter Second amendment attack by Congressional Socialist By A. M. Johnson - I recently sent the following letter to Alaska's Congressional Representative, Don Young. As I understand it, Senator Lisa Murkowski voted in favor of this legislation through SB 1813, legislation related to the highway construction funding. Her explanation to me was that the benefits of federal funding for construction including ferrys was too important. Yet, the content of the legislation included the following form of yet another effort to restrict and control the citizens of this Nation. RINO's such as Senator Murkowski are selling our Constitutional rights to the devil. While I am too old to suffer the consequences of this continued downward spiral to Socialism, my Grandchildren and worst, my Great Grandchildren, whom I am growing old with are the ultimate victims. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter The Closure of U.S. Oil Refineries By Donald A. Moskowitz - I recently wrote a letter on exported fuels by U.S. oil companies who reap higher prices paid overseas. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

letter RE: Care About Ketchikan By Judith Green - Bobby McCreary and KYI, ingenious idea! This does not attack nor condemn - just a great idea of support for our community. A way for anyone & everyone to have a part by their own choosing, not a guilt trip. - More...
Tuesday - April 24, 2012

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