Redfern is sued over winter bills
A construction contractor has sued Canada mine company Redfern Resources Ltd. over $3.6 million in allegedly unpaid bills.

School Board demands more budget scrutiny
The Juneau School Board did not take action on the first reading of the school district's proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year Tuesday, instead demanding more information to scrutinize district programs, positions and their justifications.

Around Town
Thursday, March 5

Elton's seat gaining interest
A list of candidates who should represent Juneau in the Alaska Senate is solidifying, with Rep. Beth Kerttula, D-Juneau, looking to be the popular nominee.

JDHS revisits dance policies
Sexually provocative freaking and grinding at high school dances continues to be a concern for some parents and students, prompting the Juneau-Douglas High School site council to revisit dance policies it helped put into effect last fall.

Miners rank Alaska's appeal
An annual survey of mine executives has ranked Alaska with the third-nicest taxes in the nation for their companies, and the 10th most attractive worldwide.

State official lays out in-state gas plan
A state official charged with helping develop a small diameter natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to Cook Inlet said Tuesday the so-called bullet line could cost about $4 billion and bring gas to Alaska homes and businesses as early as 2015.

Photo: Sweating out a save
Good Hardware goalie Jodie Pessolano, right, pins Bleu Chunks' Brant Oliphant's shot attempt to the ice with the corner of her leg pad Sunday at Treadwell Ice Arena. Bleu Chunks went on to win the Juneau Adult Hockey Association Men's Tier B contest 6-0. Pessolano picked up 13 saves in Good Hardware's losing effort.

Rep. Kerttula gets nod from Juneau Dems
Juneau Democratic Party leaders will send the name of Rep. Beth Kerttula, and only Kerttula, to Gov. Sarah Palin for nomination to the Senate seat held until Monday by Kim Elton.

Photo: City night lights
In a time exposure, the headlights of a city bus snake along Marine Way Tuesday evening. Today's forecast sees areas of fog in the morning, decreasing clouds and highs around 33 degrees.

New hazing policies approved by school board include 'passive participation' element
Students caught hazing or letting their classmates get away with it in their presence will be barred from all extracurricular school activities for a minimum of 30 days. Students also would be banned from the particular sport or activity in which the incident occurred for an entire season, under a policy the Juneau School Board adopted Tuesday.

Photos: Making the connection
Wire Rope and Splicing specialist RJ Knight, center, of Knight Equipment of Bowling Green, Mont., works with Franz Spichtig, left, and Jim Mann, both of Leitner-POMA of America, as they make a 160-foot splice to connect the two ends of the new haul rope Wednesday at the Mt. Roberts Tramway.

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

Photo: Sun baby
Jessie Kovach enjoys the warm sunshine on Wednesday at the Twin Lakes playground.Kovach is holding and baby-sitting Stahley Sheehan, a six-week-old baby. Her own kids were playing at the playground. "You couldn't ask for a better day. A pair of sunglasses would be nice," Kovach said.

Around Town
Today, March 4

Photo: A good day for outdoor work
Cal Richert works in the sun splitting firewood with a powered wood splitter in front of his Channel Vista Drive home.

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

Irene Widmark Tansy
Former Ketchikan resident Irene Widmark Tansy died March 1, 2009. She was 65.

Jim Willie Marks
Juneau resident Jim Willie Marks died Feb. 28, 2009, in Juneau. He was 67.

Samuel Patrick Sanders
Former longtime Juneau resident Samuel Patrick Sanders died Feb. 14, 2009, in Reno, Nev. He was 61.

Alaska editorial: Pledges and puffery
Good leadership means knowing when to set politics aside, to forget the same old politics as usual, even if for the afternoon.

Colberg's resignation unfortunate for Alaska
Last month, a very unfortunate thing happened in Alaska, one that reflects turbulent times and one that merits reflection.

Outside editorial: Banking fear
Nationalization is not a concept that many Americans find appealing, which may explain why the government's attempts to clean up the mess in the financial sector seem to be generating fear rather than confidence. What is going on looks like a creep toward government control and even ownership of banks.

My Turn: Right to petition belongs to state's citizens
House Bill 36, also known as the Open and Transparent Initiative Act, is an attempt to tackle an enormous problem we have here in Alaska. Our initiative process is used as a way for special interests to maneuver around the lawmaking body to enact laws without regard for the public as a whole. The right to petition government belongs to the citizens of Alaska. It is imperative that the process be protected from abuse. HB 36 offers those safeguards.

We can't forget the past
Even as President Obama urges the country to "look forward" to the huge tasks he has laid out in his first budget, the excesses of the departed Bush administration continue to intrude.

Big Mother is watching
Time was, kids would come home to show off their latest test, adorned with a star from the teacher. At the dinner table, they talked about what happened at school -- or, in response to questions, sullenly said, "Nothing," leaving their parents to worry about how badly things had gone. Now they just give you the password to the Aeries browser.

Proposed system would decide who runs the world
With the American superpower trapped between two wars abroad and economic crisis at home, the time could be ripe for a new force to assume the mantle of global leadership.

National optimism uniquely American
When people outside the United States ask me to tell them about this country, I describe one aspect of it that I have always found extraordinary - and strikingly different from the rest of the world. America, or more precisely, Americans, are the most optimistic people on Earth. That's what I told an Iraqi refugee last year in Amman, Jordan, as she eagerly awaited the papers that would allow her to move to America.

Capitol empties for trip to energy conference in D.C.
JUNEAU - The state Capitol in Juneau is emptying out as nearly half of legislators leave to attend an energy conference in Washington, D.C.

Cowdery asks for sentencing leniency
ANCHORAGE - A former Alaska state senator is asking a federal judge for leniency.

Fairbanks schools request bond election
FAIRBANKS - The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board has asked for a $31 million bond election.

Alaska dentist gets 5 years on tax fraud
ANCHORAGE - A 61-year-old Alaska dentist will serve five years in a federal prison for trying to avoid more than $575,000 in federal taxes, including taking a deduction for a Las Vegas house of prostitution as a business expense.

34 Alaska civil engineer reservists deploy to Iraq
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - Authorities say 28 members of the 477th Civil Engineer Squadron from Elmendorf Air Force Base have left on a six-month deployment to Iraq.

Parts delivery delay Fairweather's return
KETCHIKAN - The state ferry Fairweather will not return to service as planned.

ConocoPhillips cuts 80 jobs in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - ConocoPhillips is eliminating 80 jobs in Alaska.

Anchorage assembly lets labor deal stand
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage Assembly has dropped its attempt to rescind its approval last year of a labor contract with city employees represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Bullet fragment grazes Wasilla man
WASILLA - A 20-year-old man was treated for superficial gunshot wounds after a handgun discharged accidentally at a Wasilla apartment.

Anchorage school flag flew on shuttle
ANCHORAGE - A flag that flew on a space shuttle mission has a new home at West Anchorage High School.

Anchorage man killed in forklift accident
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say a 49-year-old man has been killed in a forklift accident.

UAF supercomputer called Pingo
FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks has scheduled a dedication ceremony for its newest supercomputer.

Government experience now optional for city manager applicants
JUNEAU - A Juneau Assembly committee tasked with revising the city manager search policies met Wednesday to edit the wording of four documents related to the search. The main intent of the wordsmithing is to encourage more people to apply, particularly candidates with nonspecific executive experience, rather than exclusively government administrators.

State contenders meet at KayHi
To hear her players tell it, Crimson Bears coach Lesslie Knight could freeze a Southeast cruise ship in its wake with a stomp and two-fingered whistle.

Mushers squeezed by rising costs
ANCHORAGE - Joe Redington Sr., "the father of the Iditarod," realized his dream by mortgaging his home and selling a piece of land to raise money to launch the world's longest sled dog race.

Boys ready for Kings' greeting ... again
The Crimson Bears and Kings can agree on one thing about tonight's opening game of their best-of-three 4A Southeast Conference Championship Series - nobody wants to start with a loss.

Late heroics lift JDHS boys
Senior sharpshooter Sean Bavard connected on a desperation three-pointer with 1.4 seconds remaining, sending his Crimson Bears teammates streaming across the Ketchikan court Wednesday night and off to 64-62 victory.

Tourists holding out for big deals, industry hopes
Those in the Alaska travel business will face a nail-biting year as they wait to see if - and even when - tourists will book their fares North.

Ferry skippers reach contract with the state
One more state ferry union has reached a labor agreement, and in time for the Legislature to approve funding for raises this year.

Mat-Su Mayor Curt Menard dies
JUNEAU - The mayor of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough died of cancer Tuesday morning at a hospital just outside Wasilla, borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan said. Curt Menard was 64.

Mother and her teen arrested after fight at Bartlett High School
ANCHORAGE - A 41-year-old mother and her teenage daughter are charged with assault after a feud involving students at an Anchorage high school turned into a brawl.

Soldotna pull-tab clerk pleads guilty to theft
The 32-year-old Soldotna woman accused a year ago of stealing as much as $53,000 from River City Pull Tabs reached a settlement agreement with the state Monday.

Photo: Bear in ice
Qi Feng An, left, and Chun He Zhang, both of Harbin, China, guide a bear carved from ice into place during the multi-block competition of the BP World Ice Art Championships on Monday afternoon, March 2, 2009, in Fairbanks, Alaska. Qi Feng An won the World Ice Art Championships' Artist's and People's Choice awards in 2004, and he also won second place in the single-block competition in 2005. Competition for this year ends Thursday night with the awards ceremony Friday.

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