Auke Bay school turns into a 'wax museum'
Auke Bay Elementary turned into a wax museum on Thursday, with notable persons like George Washington, Michael Jordan, Amelia Earhart, Albert Einstein and many others lining the hallways.

Former JDHS coach pleads guilty in second sexual assault case
A former Juneau-Douglas High School basketball coach and Care-A-Van driver accused of sexual assaults plead guilty in a change of plea hearing in Juneau Superior Court on Thursday.

Amendment to eliminate EAS defeated
Things are looking good for the Essential Air Service (EAS) in Alaska. The U.S. Senate passed its Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill by a vote of 87-8, but Sen. John McCain’s amendment to eliminate the program was voted down 61-38.

Photo: Blowin' snow
High winds blow snow down the mountains from Mount Roberts to Sheep Creek on Tuesday.

Woman pleads in Sears theft case, but store owner pleads for justice
A Juneau woman plead guilty to a reduced charge of theft in the second degree in a plea and sentence bargain in Juneau Superior Court on Thursday resulting in an impassioned speech by the victim of the theft before Judge Patricia Collins.

Ex-police officer indicted for sexual abuse has trial date reset
A Juneau police officer indicted by a grand jury on four charges of sexual abuse of a minor had a trial date changed in Juneau Superior Court on Thursday.

Suspected graffiti taggers caught
On Saturday at approximately 9:20 p.m. a resident in the West Juneau area told police two males were spray-painting a residence located along Sitka Street. As JPD Officers arrived to the scene, one of two males on the scene fled on foot. The other male was immediately placed into custody. One of the arriving JPD Officers pursued the second male on foot and placed him into custody approximately one block away.

Photo: Addressing the court
Gov. Sean Parnell talks to members of the Statewide Youth Court in the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday. Over 100 guests, mostly teens, are in Juneau for the 15th annual Statewide Youth Court conference through Saturday. The youth are attending from Kodiak, Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula, Ketchikan, Sitka, Valdez, Nome, Mat-su and Fairbanks’ North Star youth courts. The Juneau Youth Court is hosting the conference.

New commercial fisheries chief named
JUNEAU — State Fish & Game Commissioner Cora Campbell today announced the appointment of Jeff Regnart as director of the Division of Commercial Fisheries. Regnart started yesterday. He had been regional supervisor with the Division of Commercial Fisheries, Central Region.

Police and Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Ritabell Wilson
Gustavus resident Ritabell Wilson died peacefully at her home on Feb. 15, 2011 after a yearlong bout with cancer. She was 81.

Feds must help troubled states now or face worse problems ahead
In the best of times, the federal government shouldn’t ever consider bailing out profligate state governments whose unwise spending has pushed them into an economic black hole.

States must fix soaring budget deficits rather than rely on Uncle Sam
Several years of huge and persistent state budget deficits have led some politicians to argue that the federal government should either continue or even increase aid to states as it has done since 2009 through stimulus funds. Others suggest that the matter could be solved simply by granting states the right to file for bankruptcy.

Let's not stop at salmon
When U.S. Sens. Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski introduced legislation last month seeking to ban Aquabounty’s so-called Frankenfish, they put the interests of Alaskan citizens over corporate plutocrats and near-sighted regulators. We should applaud the senators for their intervention on behalf of our state’s most important economic, cultural, and natural resource.

A true terrorism list
The following editorial first appeared in the Los Angeles Times:

From supple powder to raging slide
There’s no such thing as safe in the backcountry.

Fly fishing 101 class kicks off spring season
It’s not too early to start contemplating this summer’s hobbies.

Bessie Creek trail to the meadows above
I tried to second-guess Juneau weather the other day. The Parks and Recreation hike was scheduled for Mount Roberts, up to the tram and the cross. I figured that trail would be a nightmare of ice, so I (with a friend) opted to go out the road — where it is usually colder, they say. So we hoped that the rain-and-snow mix that was falling in town would be just nice falling snow in the colder zone out the road. Ha!

Tips on Tracks: Wolf
Name: Wolf (Canus lupis)

Register now for the Buckwheat
The 2011 annual Buckwheat Ski Classic promises to be a “howling good time for our 25th anniversary,” said race founder Buckwheat Donahue of Skagway. The race will be held on the Log Cabin, BC course on Saturday, March 26.

Students named to National Youth Science Camp
JUNEAU — Lia Domke, of Juneau, and Molly Royer, of Ketchikan, have been selected for the National Youth Science Camp this summer in West Virginia.

After years of quiet, sun gets a bit stormy
WASHINGTON — Scientists say a Valentine’s evening solar flare is causing radio disruptions and may put on a cool sky show Friday night in some northern regions. But they say the solar storm zapping Earth isn’t that big or troublesome.

Recreational Trails Program Grant awards in SE announced
ANCHORAGE — The Alaska Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Recreational Trails Grants. Funding is available for development and maintenance of recreational trails and facilities, acquisition of trail right-of-way and development of trail safety and education programs. The Recreational Trails Program is a federally funded reimbursable trail grant program. The following projects were awarded in Southeast Alaska:

Unit 4 trapping season now closed
SITKA — The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Wildlife Conservation, would like to remind trappers that the season for marten, mink and river otter closed Tuesday in Game Management Unit 4.

Wild shots
The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska’s wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos via e-mail to: Abby Lowell, Outdoors editor, For all photos include the name of the photographer, a description of what is shown in the picture, when it was taken and any other pertinent information. Images will run as space allows.

Fireside Lecture on kayak trip on Yukon River
JUNEAU — This week’s Fireside Lecture at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor’s Center will be “Paddling the Yukon River: Whitehorse to Dawson by Kayak.”

Nominate an Alaska conservationist
ALASKA — The Alaska Conservation Foundation is seeking individuals and organizations that have gone above the call of duty in helping to preserve Alaska to be nominated for a Conservation Achievement Award.

Tides: Feb. 18-24
Today, Feb. 18

Snow and grooming conditions as of Feb. 17
Eaglecrest as of Feb. 17:• New snow (24 hours):

Heroin arrest at Juneau airport
Juneau police intercepted a woman on Valentine’s Day at Juneau International Airport and arrested her for suspicion of transporting heroin. As part of an investigation into the sale and distribution heroin, the department’s Drug Enforcement Unit (JPDDEU), with the assistance of the local office of the FBI and Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD), contacted Juneau resident Madelyn Brooks, 21, at the airport on Feb. 14 and say a search disclosed she was transporting heroin with an estimated street value of just under $40,000.

Grow operation yields $360,000 in seized marijuana
Juneau police got a search warrant to access and raid a 60-plant hydroponic marijuana grow operation on Trafalgar Street in the valley, seizing an estimated $360,000 worth of pot Wednesday. The Juneau Police Department Drug Enforcement Unit (JPDDEU) received information the day before regarding a possible grow operation there.

Mental Health Board and advisory panel meets in Juneau
The Alaska Mental Health Board and Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse will hold its winter meeting in Juneau from Feb. 21 through Feb. 23, at the Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall in downtown Juneau, on Willoughby Avenue.

Falcons burn Braves
Thunder Mountain scored 17 first-quarter points Thursday en route to a 42-34 nonconference girls’ basketball victory over Mt. Edgecumbe in Juneau.

Jury convicts Waterman of negligent homicide
ANCHORAGE — A jury Thursday convicted a 22-year-old woman of criminally negligent homicide in a case that alleged she arranged to have two men kill her mother more than six years ago.

Parnell: Alaska won't take federal health reform dollars
Gov. Sean Parnell is resisting the federal health care reform, and reacting angrily to lawmakers who say he should be accepting money to develop a state exchange to help consumers find insurance.

Energy conference raises hype for hydropower
While the Alaska Legislature’s energy debates have been mostly focused on oil and gas, hydropower advocates gathered at Centennial Hall Thursday to try to raise the profile of the less exciting industry.

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