Celebrating independence
The biggest celebration of the year is only four days away and Juneau's buzzing with preparations. This year's events take on a special importance due to Alaska's 50th anniversary.

Statehood quilt winner announced July 4
The winner of the Statehood Quilt raffle will be announced at the flag-raising ceremony at the Juneau-Douglas Museum on July 4.

Grand Marshals for 2009 both historic Juneau figures
The Juneau and Douglas Grand Marshalls are important figures from the statehood period.

Debute of new 'Old Glory'
As the new 49-star flag was raised in ceremonies on Juneau's Capital Hill, at 3p.m. on Independence Day, Gov. William A. Egan said:

Flag-raising ceremony to recall historic day
At 9 a.m. on July 4th, the people of Juneau are invited to gather on the grounds of the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for the raising of the nation's 49-star flag.

Photos: Then & Now
Skylar Hickok, 5, concentrates intently as she races down St. Ann's Avenue in Douglas during the 2006 Soapbox Challenge.

June 30 marks a historic day, vote in Alaska's history
In all the excitement of the 4th of July, the importance of the 30th of June in Alaska's state history is often overlooked.

Thanks Juneau, we'll never forget your kindness and help
My husband fell ill while on a cruise in May and we had to fly him from Skagway to Juneau for treatment. Although we had not planned to spend four days of our vacation there, we are so grateful we did. The people of Juneau I encountered at Bartlett Regional Hospital, on the buses, as well as in the streets were so kind to me. Thanks to the people of Juneau. We will never forgot you! You made two survivors of Hurricane Katrina remember all the goodness in America!

Slate Lake already full of mutant fish
I just wanted to post some info about Slate Lake, which is the location of the proposed tailings site for the Kensington Gold Mine.

Voice your health care concerns July 2
The local Organizing for America (OFA) grassroots citizens' group met on June 27, the day that President Obama declared as National Health Care Public Service Day. We talked about what we can do as individuals to support inclusion of a public health insurance option in the health care reform legislation currently under consideration in Washington D.C.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Weyhrauch's appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide a key part of the corruption charges against former Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau.

Coeur d'Alene Mine Corp. is 'ready to go' on Kensington
The Kensington Gold Mine is back in business. That was the message Tuesday as Coeur CEO Dennis Wheeler addressed more than 100 mine supporters and workers during a breakfast held at the Juneau Moose Lodge.

More land in public's hands
A valuable piece of private property on Douglas Island considered for development is one step closer to becoming a city park.

Taking a stand
The residents who fought a permit for a proposed 150-foot WiMAX communication tower on Mendenhall Loop Road are poised to lose their appeal case, but are claiming an indirect victory in their months-long battle because it's led officials to begin crafting better guidelines for tower placement.

Photo: King of kings
Donna Herbert stands next to a 47.51 pound king salmon she caught last Saturday in the North Douglas area while fishing with her husband on their boat, "The Red Lady." They said a Fish and Game employee told them it was the biggest king he had seen caught in the Juneau area this year.

Photo: Gently down the channel
David Crosby rows past the finish line during the Juneau Rowing Clubs' seventhannual regatta Saturday. Crosby finished second among five total competitors in the 1000-meter race in Gastineau Channel.

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

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

Around Town
Wednesday, July 1

Around Town
Today, June 30

Wednesday's Juneau Empire contained multiple errors:

Joseph A. Kendler
Former Juneau resident Joeseph A. Kendler passed away Jan. 16, 2009 in Arizona. He was 83.

Mark Steven Stoinich
A Juneau resident for 39 years, Mark Steven Stoinich died June 23, 2009. He was 51.

Outside editorial: Big tobacco: Down but never out
The federal government finally will regulate cigarette manufacturing and marketing. That's long overdue, as anyone familiar with the tobacco industry's shameful history can attest.

Outside editorial: Here's why US health care is so expensive
By any standard, American health care is the world's most expensive.

My Turn: Economy needs more than just Kensington
The Supreme Court decision allowing the original mining tailings disposal plan to Lower Slate Lake - and thus green lighting the start-up of the Kensington mine - is cause for celebration. For the first time in years, Juneau will enjoy real economic development that adds new jobs.

Sorry troops, Iraq mission not accomplished just yet
BAGHDAD - Tuesday is the deadline by which U.S. troops are to withdraw from major Iraqi cities. This clear line in the sand must provide some relief to many Americans, whose sacrifice has been extraordinary. But as the United States shifts its attention from Iraq to Afghanistan and other issues of grave importance, none of us can be lulled into believing that Iraq is a "mission accomplished." That sense of security is simply false. June 30 is not an historical endpoint to be celebrated by political philosophers; it is the beginning of a highly uncertain chapter in Iraqi democracy and self-governance.

My Turn: Nation's medical care is the best, if you're in Congress
Empathy is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Every religion has some version of the "Golden Rule." The ability to put yourself in another person's shoes and feel what they feel is critically important in a just and civilized society.

Michael Jackson gone too soon
Sometimes, death is a blindside hit.

Madoff languishes in prison, lessons to learn
Now that Bernard Madoff seems destined to die in prison, what should we think about the rampant Ponzimonium going on all over the world? It seems there are a few lessons to be learned - lessons for regulators, investors and the scam artists themselves.

Mayor names June 30 for Cowan
JUNEAU - Mayor Bruce Botelho declared today Peggy Cowan Appreciation Day after the outgoing Juneau School District superintendent. Today is Cowan's last official day with the district, though her last day at work was Friday. She had held the post since 2003.

Coast Guard continues search for Coffman Cove resident
JUNEAU - The Coast Guard is continued its search Tuesday for Samuel Butler, 24, after his partially submerged canoe was found in Clarence Strait at 10:15 a.m. Monday.

Kodiak land dispute ends after decades long battle
KODIAK - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request to review a land dispute between a Kodiak rancher and a village Native corporation, effectively ending a court battle that has dragged on for more than three decades. The decision Monday affirms a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' last year in favor of Leisnoi Inc., the Native corporation of Woody Island. Rancher Omar Stratman sued in federal court two years after federal officials in 1974 certified Leisnoi as a Native village and conveyed to it 160,000 acres of public lands as an aboriginal land claim under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Stratman contended Leisnoi did not have the required population as stipulated under ANSCA and could not claim land he leased from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Anchorage woman stabbed when she opens door
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman says she was stabbed in the stomach by a man who knocked on her door and claimed he was with the Anchorage Daily News.

Southcentral police seek rogue motorcycle
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage police say they're seeking the driver of an unlicensed motorcycle who has eluded them between the city the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

'Worst offender' felon gets 5 years
ANCHORAGE - A man has been sentenced to slightly more than five years in prison after being found to be a "worst offender."

Bus mechanics, others authorize Denali strike
ANCHORAGE - About 16 bus mechanics, radio technicians and warehouse workers at Denali National Park have authorized a strike before one of the busiest holidays at the park.

Seven cited for fishing in Ship Creek
ANCHORAGE - Alaska State Troopers handed out citations to seven fishermen for illegally going after salmon in the Ship Creek area of Anchorage.

Mixup frees Delta Junction man wanted for murder
FAIRBANKS - A Delta Junction man accused of attempted murder was deported from Canada but is still at large despite a $2 million warrant for his arrest.

Anchorage man gets 21 years in stabbing
ANCHORAGE - A 49-year-old Anchorage man will serve 21 years in prison for stabbing a fellow tenant at an Anchorage rooming house.

Forest Service considers SE Alaska road closures
KETCHIKAN - The Craig and Thorne Bay Ranger Districts are seeking to reduce the 1,419 miles of open Forest Service roads on Prince of Wales Island by 40 percent.

Anchorage police rule out foul play in men's deaths
ANCHORAGE - Police say there was no foul play in the deaths of five men whose bodies were found in outdoor locations in Anchorage this spring.

Arlene K. Moe arraignment scheduled for Thursday
JUNEAU - A 51-year-old Juneau woman accused of stealing more than $40,000 from Gastineau Channel Little League has moved to Anchorage.

UA negotiating with museum director candidate
FAIRBANKS - A spokeswoman for the University of Alaska Museum of the North in Fairbanks says a decision on a new director should be made in a few weeks.

Stimulus package funds Alaska marine trash pickup
JUNEAU - The Juneau-based Marine Conservation Alliance Foundation got $1 million in stimulus money from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to clean up marine debris in Alaska.

Photo: Phelps fandom
Gastineau Swim Club members attended two different meets June 11-14 in the Santa Clara/Cupertino area. Seven of the swimmers met Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps following a practice session. Pictured, from left, are Haley Mertz, Ciera Kelly, Dakota Isaak, Michael Phelps, Talyn Ramos, Scott Allan and Trevor Jones.

Rainball lives up to name
The 34th Annual Rainball Tournament weekend had a bit of everything, from towering home runs to dinks in front of the plate, line drives to all the outfield gaps to called third strikes....great teams playing great ball, tons of ballpark food, and loud supportive fans.

34th annual Rainball Tournament fesults
June 26-28, 2009

Young to seek 20th term in Congress
ANCHORAGE - U.S. Rep. Don Young and his anti-Big Government message will seek a 20th term in the office.

State spent nearly $300K investigating Palin ethics complaints
Alaska has spent nearly $300,000 investigating ethics complaints against Gov. Sarah Palin, who calls the complaints "harassment" against her and expensive for the state to defend.

Exxon says it will pay interest on spill damages
ANCHORAGE - Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. has decided not to appeal hundreds of millions of dollars in interest on punitive damages resulting from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Scientists lower Redoubt threat level
ANCHORAGE - Alaskans can put away their dust masks and spare air filters, for now, because Mount Redoubt seems to have cooled off since its last major eruption nearly three months ago.

Palin: I'd come out ahead in run against Obama
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she'd come out ahead if she went one-on-one with fellow jogger President Barack Obama in a long run, according to an interview published online Tuesday.

Dipnetters' president is rarely a dipnetter
FAIRBANKS - Byron Haley is president-for-life of the Chitina Dipnetters Association, though the 82-year-old has only been to Chitina a few times in his 63 years in Alaska. Most of the time, he relies on friends to bring him back a few Copper River red salmon.

Woman begins trash odyssey in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - At age 40, Karen Hawes felt it was time to launch a trashy new lifestyle. And what better place to start, she figured, than her birth state of Alaska.

Ketchikan airport to store new plows in $5M building
KETCHIKAN - The snowplows will be as dry as the passengers at Ketchikan International Airport next winter.

Fort Wainwright soldier earns medal for rescue
FAIRBANKS - A Virginia soldier stationed at Fort Wainwright has been awarded the Soldier's Medal for rescuing a comrade trapped in a Stryker vehicle that rolled into an Iraqi canal.

Homer fisherman catches 354.6 lb halibut
HOMER - For years, Tom Youngblood has been hearing stories from fishermen at his job at Kachemak Gear Shed. Now he has one of his own.

Yup'ik Eskimo fishermen defy river closure
MARSHALL - Fishermen from an Alaska village say they defied a closure on the Yukon River so they could catch king salmon, a revered food in the area.

New publication features state's agricultural industry
Alaska's farmers and ranchers, whose work accounts for hundreds of jobs and contributes upward of $50 million into the state's economy annually, have found a new voice in Alaska Farm and Ranch News in Delta Junction.

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