School board raises superintendent's pay
JUNEAU - The Juneau School Board on Tuesday approved 3 percent raises for Superintendent Gary Bader for this school year and the next two years.
The school board raised Bader's salary by $3,500 this school year, to $98,000. The board also approved a new two-year contract with Bader that pays $100,940 next school year and $103,968 the year after that.
In December, after evaluating Bader, the school board "expressed a great deal of satisfaction" with his performance in his first year as superintendent. In a memo to Bader, school board President Mary Becker cited the passage of school-related city bonds, the district's fiscal management and its focus on quality education.
School board members Deana Darnall and Alan Schorr voted against the contract Tuesday.
"I think Mr. Bader has done an outstanding job as superintendent," Schorr said in a written statement to the media. "Unfortunately, given the realities of the diminishing district budget, I am unwilling to approve this contract."
The raise for this year and the new contract come just as the teachers' union is beginning to negotiate new contracts for its 350 members. Their contract expires at the end of June. Bader's raises follow similar pay increases for principals and other central office administrators this year.
Sheryl Hall, president of the Juneau Education Association, the teachers' union, told the school board Tuesday that she "looks forward to our bargaining unit coming to closure with those kind of numbers as well."
Railroad to delay service to Carcross
SKAGWAY - The White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad says it plans to delay scheduled service indefinitely from this historic Gold Rush city to the Yukon community of Carcross.
The railroad attributed the decision to a sagging economy, a weak showing in advanced bookings and a change in cruise ship departure times. Maintenance required on its steam locomotive also played a part, said Fred McCorriston, White Pass president.
"The White Pass, a publicly held company, has a requirement to its shareholders to deploy its assets in a fiscally responsible manner," McCorriston said in a prepared statement.
A great deal of work remains to be done on the narrow-gauge line between Bennett and Carcross, he said. The company decided to delay the operation's scheduled start-up rather than open with service not up to customer standards, McCorriston said.
The railroad carried more than 300,000 passengers during last summer's tourist season.
Contributions to food bank welcome
JUNEAU - Since the news broke Tuesday that the Southeast Alaska Food Bank may have to close on March 31, many people have called to offer help, but there have been no definite developments to keep the doors open, said President Robin Phillips.
Donations to help rent the 1,100 square feet the food bank needs can be mailed to Box 34472, Juneau, AK 99803.
Man charged in Anchorage paintball attack
ANCHORAGE - A 20-year-old man was charged with seven counts of misdemeanor assault Tuesday in connection with paintball shootings Jan. 14 that targeted Alaska Natives.
Charles Deane Wiseman, who was 19 at the time of the incidents, pleaded not guilty in Anchorage District Court.
Assistant District Attorney John Novak identified Wiseman as the man who sat in the back seat of a car videotaping two juveniles, including Wiseman's brother, shooting male and female victims in the downtown core and Mountain View areas with paintballs.
The two boys in the car, both 17, face proceedings in juvenile court. Their names will not be made public unless they're waived to adult status through the efforts of juvenile authorities, Novak said.
Novak said Wiseman's brother drove the car. According to charging documents, the other juvenile was the principal shooter.