Starting the day off right: District to fund some breakfast programs next year
Angy Cunningham set french toast sticks with syrup, peaches, mini bagels, sausage, cheese sticks, milk and juice out in the cafeteria at Glacier Valley Elementary Friday morning. By 7:30, the long tables were full with between 70 and 90 kids who arrive early to eat a breakfast, provided by volunteers and from donations.

Juneau to make bid for Arctic Winter Games
Mayor Bruce Botelho believes Juneau is the ideal location for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games.

State considers funding for school meals
The Alaska Legislature is considering supplementing federal reimbursement for free and reduced-price school lunches.

Photo: Juneau stands with Haiti
Gov. Sean Parnell, far left, and his wife, Sandy, visit KTOO studios with radio manager Cheryl Levitt Snyder, center, KTOO President and General Manager Bill Legere and KXLL ProgramDirector Andy Kline, far right, Monday morning during the Juneau Stands with Haiti fundraiserorganized by the station. Along with $3500 from the KXLL Reggae Sunsplash on Saturday night and the on-air fundraiser brought in close to $21,000. The money is going to Partners In Health which has been established for nearly 25 years in Haiti. Gavel to Gavel TV broadcast the radio fundraiser on 360 North for a Statewide audience. The on-air fundraiser was unusual, as the FCC has a regulation barring public stations from raising money for any other entities but themselves.

Tuesday marks first-ever Marmot Day
Alaskans now have their own name for the famous Pennsylvania German holiday we know as Groundhog Day.

Photos: Getting a jump on financial aid
Top: James Beedle and daughter Tessa go over forms Sunday at the fifth annual AlaskaCollege Goal in the Thunder Mountain High School commons. The free application forfederal student aid, or FAFSA form, is the first part of the financial aid application for almost every school in the country. By doing it at this time of year, students meet early filingdeadlines. Said James Beedle, "When I went to college, I lucked out and won the Golden North Salmon Derby which got me the money to go to school... that shows you how cheap it was to go to school back then."

Photo: Pottery hypnosis
Sean Boily works at a potter's wheel Sunday at the Canvas. Said Boily, "It's a little hypnotic in a way because it gives you a chance to really not think about a whole lot except what you are doing at the moment." The Canvas will have a pottery sale in the main studio from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Friday, for leftover and donated pots from the potters who work at the Canvas. The money will go toward supplies for the studio.

Photos: JDHS homecoming
The Juneau-Douglas High School dance team performs during homecoming games Friday at the JDHS gym.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

Around Town
Today, Feb. 2

Around Town
Today, Jan. 1

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials and state police reported:

An A4 story in Monday's Empire about Marmot Day incorrectly stated that no groundhogs live in Alaska. According to Fairbanks marmot expert Aren Gunderson, groundhogs "can be found in and around Fairbanks and elsewhere in the interior." Also, marmots and ground squirrels are not related in any way.

Harry Romine
Longtime Ketchikan resident Harry Romine died Jan. 23, 2010. He was 85.

What Americans think about Muslims
T he American people and their openness to Muslim communities will in many ways determine the success of President Barack Obama's global engagement initiative, which he launched on his inauguration day a year ago by calling for a "new way forward" with Muslims. Change will depend in large part on how Americans think, and it is therefore crucial to understand American perceptions of Muslims and Islam.

My turn: Powering our vehicles with propane and CNG
How ironic that the Legislature spent so much time over the past couple of years trying to figure out how to reduce the price Alaskans pay at the pump for gasoline, while at the same time continuing to allow our state's refineries to earn an acceptable return on their investment. The irony is that we already have an alternative fuel supply - one that can be less expensive and cleaner-burning as well - in natural gas.

In Haiti, reforestation should be part of rebuilding process
P residents, rock stars and business leaders from around the world are pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Haiti, which is great.

Salinger's greatest trick: To disappear
W hen someone told me J.D. Salinger had died, I jokingly asked, "How do they know?"

The unfinished agenda: jobs
The following editorialappeared in the Miami Heraldon Friday:

National prosperity isn't possible without structural rebalancing
President Barack Obama did a fine job with his first State of the Union address. His basic theses were: The middle-class is suffering. We must create more jobs. Banks have to pay more. Democrats and Republicans should get along. Nice.

Our gaffe and 'gotcha' culture
I was not surprised when MSNBC host Chris Matthews mused on-air right after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address that "I forgot he was black for an hour." After all, I've known Chris for years and I often forget that he's white.

Breeding contempt for the poor
If he'd said it of Jews, he would still be apologizing.

The Juneau School District Spelling Bee will be held this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Glacier Valley Elementary School commons. The winners of the event will be eligible to attend the state spelling bee in Anchorage on Feb. 26.

UAS accreditation reaffirmed
The University of Alaska Southeast has been reaccredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The NWCCU reaffirmed UAS' accreditation status after a Comprehensive Evaluation in the Fall of 2009.

JDHS holds academic achievement celebration
Juneau-Douglas High School will be holding its inaugural Academic Achievement Celebration from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today.

School board budget meetings continue
The Juneau School Board Budget Committee, composed of the board and several community members, will have this week's Wednesday meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Juneau-Douglas High School library. This week's agenda includes a presentation on the instructional services budget from Assistant Superintendent Laury Scandling.

Business Expo takes place Wednesday
JUNEAU - A trade show for small businesses and entrepreneurs will take place Wednesday from 1-6 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

Alaska Head Start to meet in Juneau
The Alaska Head Start Association will hold this year's conference February 9 to 11 at Centennial Hall. The theme is "Telling Our Stories to Inspire." Scheduled presenters include Jerry Tello and, from Juneau, David Katzeek. The conference provides Head Start families, staff and friends an opportunity to receive current information, share stories of successes, challenges, and opportunities, and advocate for the program within Alaska.

Committee forming to bring Arctic Games to Juneau
JUNEAU - Should the 2014 Arctic Winter Games be held in Juneau?

Man gets 16 years in death of 2-year-old
ANCHORAGE - A 27-year-old man has pleaded guilty in the beating death of his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter, and has been sentenced to 16 years in prison.

3 drop out of Yukon Quest
FAIRBANKS - Three mushers have dropped out of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

Man charged in Anchorage with stabbing wife
ANCHORAGE - A 28-year-old man is under arrest in Anchorage, accused of stabbing his wife multiple times at a local hotel.

Driver acquitted in fatal crash
ANCHORAGE - A woman accused of manslaughter in a crash on the Seward Highway in which two people were killed has been acquitted of all charges.

Anchorage cab driver dies after midtown crash
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage taxicab driver has died of injuries from a traffic collision.

Game Board shoots down predator control provision
ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Board of Game has shot down a provision that would have prevented nonresidents from hunting in predator control areas where subsistence needs aren't being met.

Parnell affected by lost data
JUNEAU - A spokeswoman for Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says he's among the more than 77,000 current and former state employees whose personal information was lost by a major accounting firm.

Nenana Ice Classic tickets on sale
FAIRBANKS - Tickets go on sale Monday for the Nenana Ice Classic.

Outsider could become Fairbanks superintendent
FAIRBANKS - The school board will consider nontraditional candidates for superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District.

Explosives at Fairbanks home destroyed by Troopers
FAIRBANKS - Eight blasts were heard in the Chena Ridge area of Fairbanks where authorities destroyed explosives and other hazardous materials found in a home.

American Cancer Society launches fundraising season
ANCHORAGE - The American Cancer Society has launched this year's fundraising season to fight Alaska's number one killer.

Alaska congressman raises $130,000 during quarter
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska congressman under federal investigation reported no legal fees in the last quarter of 2009.

Microsoft gives Native program $1M software grant
ANCHORAGE - The UAA Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program announced Friday that Microsoft contributed a Large Strategic Software grant valued at just over $1 million. The Microsoft contribution will provide Windows 7 and Microsoft Office software for ANSEP's pre-college component, benefiting high school students across nine states: Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Arizona.

House passes protective orders bill
JUNEAU - The state House has passed a bill adding sexual assault to the cases in which judges can issue protective orders in Alaska.

Alaska board lifts grayling size limit for interior rivers
FAIRBANKS - The 12-inch size limit has been eliminated for arctic grayling on the Chatanika and Salcha rivers.

Not just one of the guys
Juneau-Douglas freshman hockey player Riley Leary got her first varsity action of the season Saturday night in front of her home crowd, but her accomplishments on the ice do not stop there.

Photos: Never too early for mat time
Juneau tornado Jahrease Mays tries to throw Sitka’s Makai Saline during the Juneau Youth Wrestling Club’s tournament action at Thunder Mountain on Saturday.

Bears sweep
After a closely contested 3-2 victory Friday night, the Crimson Bears picked up the pace Saturday in a 6-2 win at Treadwell Arena.

Wolves get victory
After a 13-point victory Friday night at Sitka, the Thunder Mountain boys'basketball team was unable to respond with another win Saturday evening as they fell to the Wolves 65-54.

Black Gold: Alaska oil profits high, despite Palin-era taxes
Alaska's big three oil producers and their allies are seeking tax cuts they say will make additional drilling in Alaska more profitable to the companies and could encourage more investment in the state's oil fields.

State to skip raises for top leaders
Gov. Sean Parnell and other top state officers won't be getting pay raises next year.

TransCanada begins 'open season' process
TransCanada Co. began appearances before legislative committees Monday, after having filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Friday to begin the "open season" process for building a natural gas pipeline.

State launches NMLS consumer access
ANCHORAGE - The State's Department of Commerce and Economic Development announced last week the launch of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), a mortgage licensing system operated by state financial regulators.

Intervention sought by state in drilling case
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell has directed the Department of Law to ask the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for permission to intervene in the lawsuit by environmental groups challenging the U.S. Interior Department's decision to approve an oil exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea.

Labor Dept. accepting 2010 STEP applications
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development is accepting proposals for remaining 2010 State Training and Employment Program funds.

Pendleton named as new regional forester
JUNEAU - Beth Pendleton was appointed regional forester for the Forest Service Alaska Region, USDA Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced last week. As regional forester, Pendleton will oversee management of more than 22 million acres of National Forest System lands in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska.

Lawmaker questions Alyeska employee move
FAIRBANKS - A state legislator from Fairbanks is questioning Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.'s decision to relocate some employees to Anchorage.

Labor Dept. gets $3.6M for energy sector job training
JUNEAU - The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development was awarded a $3.6 million grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to train 700 workers in the skills required for careers in emerging energy-efficient and renewable energy industries.

Anchorage tourism leaders optimistic about 2010
ANCHORAGE - Visitor industry officials, still reeling from an unusually sparse tourist season in 2009, aren't smiling broadly yet, but there's an air of optimism sparked by a forecast from the U.S. Travel Association's marketing outlook forum.

Palin's shadow hangs over Alaska ethics debate
JUNEAU - The fallout from Sarah Palin's hasty retreat as governor is being cleaned up by the man she appointed attorney general in her waning days in office.

Inn could become residency for homeless alcoholics
ANCHORAGE - A plan to create a permanent home for homeless alcoholics in an Anchorage neighborhood is attracting strong opinions - both for and against.

Fisheries board limits Yukon salmon gillnet mesh
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Board of Fisheries took a step Sunday toward rebuilding the king salmon run on the Yukon river by voting to prohibit subsistence and commercial fishermen from using gillnets with a mesh larger than 7.5 inches.

Hundreds hunt for homeless services in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Social service workers and volunteers checked snow-covered tents in wooded areas of Anchorage during the city's annual count of the homeless.

Palin PAC reports $1.4M raised in 2nd half of 2009
ANCHORAGE - A new report filed with the Federal Elections Commission shows Sarah Palin's political action committee raised about $1.4 million in the second half of 2009, most of it following her resignation as Alaska's governor.

Alaska Air posts higher profits in quarterly report
ATLANTA - Alaska Air Group Inc., operator of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, said more traffic partly due to aggressive fare promotions and higher revenue helped it posted a $24.1 million fourth-quarter profit.

Gun bill seen as states' rights issue
JUNEAU - Alaska lawmakers are fighting federal gun regulations with a proposed law of their own: the Alaska Firearms Freedom Act.

Estimates grow for Alaska's Pebble Mine deposits
ANCHORAGE - The potential for riches keeps growing at Pebble Mine, a huge minerals deposit in southwest Alaska near Bristol Bay and the world's most productive wild salmon streams.

Lawsuit filed over N. Pole refinery contamination
FAIRBANKS - A North Pole man has sued the current and former owners of the Flint Hills oil refinery, saying a chemical from the refinery damaged public water supplies.

UAA student builds library for Tongans
ANCHORAGE - For Kato Ha'unga, too many books is not enough. The woman's a little obsessed.

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