It's time for Tenakee murder truth
Our little community of Tenakee Springs will soon mark the first anniversary of the brutal murder of Maggie Wiggins. There has never been an arrest in the case and her killer is still free - tormented by guilt living in constant anxiety, we may certainly hope - but free.

Unified Defense 2004 proved to be a success
Last week, Unified Defense 2004 was held in the City and Borough of Juneau, as well as many other locations around the country. A national-level exercise hosted by U.S. Northern Command headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo., it was designed to train participants on homeland security and homeland defense processes.

Big oil incomes don't help people
Over at the State Library I read an interesting article in The Economist (Dec. 6, 2003), about oil money in Chad, called "Can Oil Ever Help the Poor?"

Income tax best for working families
This state has thrown away billions of dollars after Rep. Terry Gardner proposed eliminating Alaska's income tax and the Legislature agreed. The state income tax was easy to figure because it was a percentage of the federal income tax.

Costco sells wild salmon
I wish to tip my hat to Costco and let other readers know they are selling packs of frozen salmon burgers from Trident Seafoods that proclaim themselves as "ocean caught, wild salmon." My wife and I find this new wild salmon treat to be quite delicious. As long as Costco sells it, we'll be buying it.

Around Town
Around Town is a listing of local nonprofit events.

Police & Fire
Reports from Juneau police, fire officials and state troopers.

Budget may force Bartlett to drop mental health unit from remodel
The latest construction plans for Bartlett Regional Hospital may not include a mental health unit at a time when the hospital is seeing an increased number of those patients, hospital Administrator Bob Valliant said.

Program rewards excellence on high school diplomas
A new program at Juneau-Douglas High School that recognizes academic and extracurricular excellence could lead to more students taking advanced courses and more of such courses being offered, students say.

School cuts spur parents to become lobbyists for funds
Dead silence engulfed the Matanuska-Susitna School Board's Feb. 3 meeting when the district's chief administrator laid out the spending cuts, Wasilla parent Anne Kilkenny said.

Births, judgments and other legal matters.

Neighbors Digest
Community news in brief.

Photo: A picture-perfect day
The calm waters of Auke Bay mirror the snow-capped peaks and clear blue sky above, in this view from the state ferry Aurora on Friday afternoon, Feb. 27, as it arrived in Juneau from points north.

Teacher Talk: We need to present a united front against racism, bias
I have been a teacher at Juneau-Douglas High School for seven years, and most days I am just a history teacher. These days, in light of the recent racial incidents that have surfaced in our building, I have become a Native teacher.

Photo: New wheels
The Salvation Army received the gift of a 15-passenger van from Princess Cruises & Tours on March 2. Pictured from left: Cathy Muñoz, Salvation Army director; Nila and Larry Frankhauser, both majors in the Salvation Army; and Kirby Day, director of shore operations with Princess Cruises & Tours.

Ruby Linda deLuna
Juneau resident Ruby Linda deLuna, 56, died March 1, 2004, in Juneau. She was born July 13, 1947, in Juneau. She lived in Juneau from 1947 to 1952, and returned in 1965, living here until her death.

Letting dams off the hook hurts Alaskans
Supporting troll fishermen around here is about as safe as siding with God and cheap electricity in Idaho. Living in Alaska puts me on the right side of that divide.

Short-handed Juneau boys head to Kayhi
The Juneau-Douglas High School boys basketball team already was facing a tough task as it prepared for this weekend's two regular-season-ending Region V-Class 4A games in Ketchikan.

Full-court life
From the start, Alida Bus sank her teeth into high school activities. And that's more than just a figure of speech for Bus, a Juneau-Douglas High School senior who this weekend - along with four teammates - will be playing the last home basketball games of her career.

Sports in Juneau
Sports in Juneau is a service provided by the Juneau Empire to provide information on upcoming sports and outdoors events in Juneau.

Undefeated region season on the line
The Juneau girls basketball team will be playing with practice and pride on their minds as they face the Ketchikan Kings this weekend.

Spikers remain perfect at AWG
Team Alaska's junior male and junior female volleyball teams won two matches each on Thursday to conclude round-robin pool play with perfect 5-0 records at the Arctic Winter Games in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

Crimson Bears seniors
Five Juneau players will take the home court this weekend for the final time in their careers

Brooks improves footwork in run for Iditarod title
Ramy Brooks has been counting every second as he tries to take the final step into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race winner's circle. Brooks has long been a spectacle at the checkpoints of long-distance races as he maniacally but methodically beds down his dogs, tends to their injuries and prepares a meal.

Photo: Help for seniors
Gov. Frank Murkowski, right, signs the SeniorCare Bill into law as his spokesman, John Manly, watches during a press conference Thursday at the Juneau Senior Center.

Historic Ketchikan bar closes
The stools at the Alaska Bar downtown are vacant but the faint smell of cigarettes and beer lingers inside. After 20 years in the bar business, owner Mellanie Isner locked the front door for the last time Thursday.

This Day in History
In Alaska; in the nation; in the world.

House OKs bill letting voters fill U.S. Senate vacancies
The House approved a measure Thursday that would let voters, rather than the governor, choose the replacement when there's a vacancy in the U.S. Senate.

Alaska Digest
News in brief from around the state.

Plan may prevent layoffs at schools
A plan suddenly emerged from Senate Republicans on Thursday to add nearly $88 million to Alaska's education system and stave off extensive teacher layoffs and other cuts to local schools. But the bill, which was rushed out of Senate Finance Committee on the same day, had enough strings attached to give pause to minority Democrats hungry for more school funding increases.

Ferry jobs may move by summer
Alaska Marine Highway System employees in Juneau worry they'll have to look for new jobs or move to Ketchikan as early as this summer, though no one has said just why it makes sense to relocate the ferry system's administration.

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