Photos: Fourth of July in Juneau
Participants in the potato sack race at Savikko Park give a Fourth of July effort on Sunday.

Cruise ship comeback
Juneau's top cruise ship companies say their Alaska business is improving, and a rebounding economy is enabling them to increase prices and book staterooms more quickly.

Glacier bears scarce this season
The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center bears have not shown up this year in the same numbers as the past, making staff wonder where they are.

Photo: Multi-generational trumpeteers
The trumpet section of the Juneau Volunteer Marching Band, a multi-generational group of accomplished musicians, performs during a pre-Fouth-of-July concert Friday at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center.

Chilly, drunken swim ends at Lemon Creek without charges
A man went for an ill-advised, chilly swim in the Gastineau Channel mid-morning on Sunday and ended up being rescued by a combination of yachters and local emergency responders.

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

Photo: DIPAC Die-Hard
Determined fisherman Townsend Fletcher, 14, stands on a step ladder in the waters near the Douglas Island Pink & Chum hatchery Monday afternoon. "I can see the fish better from up here," said Fletcher, who caught a large king salmon on Saturday from his perch. "It becomes a good battle of balance and strength from up here." Fletcher also wears polarized sun glasses to cut through surface reflections, and packs a good lunch because he spends most the day casting into the waters.

Empire launches Readers' Choice awards
The community will be given a chance to decide the best of Juneau in the Empire's new Readers' Choice awards, which started with online voting Monday.

Photos: Juneau's nature
A mallard hen snatches a piece of bread from a pile left by a patron of Riverside Rotary Park Monday.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Alaska editorial: Energy future
The following editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

The friendly skies where freedom dies
On the face of it, they'd seem to have little in common.

A case for pay walls
Hal Varian, the chief economist at Google Inc., spends a lot of time talking about the economic state of the news business, partly at the behest of the Federal Trade Commission, which wants to know how free online access has contributed to the financial difficulties of dozens of newspapers such as the Rocky Mountain News, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

Kagan glides past 'gotcha' republicans
ATLANTA - The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said he was "disappointed" at the end of Elena Kagan's testimony this week, fearing she would move the U.S. Supreme Court leftward.

It's not just the Russians who are spying on the US
The arrest of 11 people on charges of espionage for the Russian government was a case of old-fashioned spy craft straight from the annals of the Cold War: dead drops, moles and communicating in code, known as stenography. Yet Russia is not alone in trying to crack U.S. secrets. China is engaged in a massive espionage effort against the United States that exceeds Russian efforts on a crucial front: cyber espionage.

Care and feeding of your iPhone 4
Thank you for purchasing your brand new iPhone 4! We here at Apple are very aware that you have your choice in cell phones, but we're also aware that you people will literally buy anything we introduce, as long as we make you wait in line or pretend to leak a prototype. Little known fact: the iPad started out as a joke among our marketing department guys.

Fire destroys gay pride float in Anchorage
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage authorities say they're investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed a gay pride float intended for a 4th of July parade.

Wasilla man drowns as loaded boat capsizes
WASILLA - Authorities say a Wasilla man drowned when his boat capsized in Finger Lake after it was loaded for an overnight camping trip.

Aide: Doogan prognosis 'very good' after surgery
JUNEAU - An aide to Alaska state Rep. Mike Doogan says the Anchorage Democrat is recovering from the successful removal of a brain tumor.

Gay pride float rises from the ashes
ANCHORAGE - Builders of a gay pride float that burned in a suspicious fire built another float just in time to participate in Anchorage's Independence Day parade.

Bear activity closes Kenai river area
KENAI - Kenai National Wildlife Refuge officials say bear activity has prompted the closure of a forested area between the Russian River Ferry entrance, the Kenai River and the Sterling Highway.

SeaLife Center: Cancer killed sea lion
ANCHORAGE - Officials with the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward say a necropsy shows that cancer is what killed a pregnant sea lion last month.

Man on grueling motorcycle race crashes in Alaska
FAIRBANKS - A Seattle man participating in a controversial cross-country Harley-Davidson race collided with two Fairbanks bicyclists, who say they were lucky they weren't seriously injured.

Military flare found on beach in North Douglas
JUNEAU - Juneau Police say an incendiary device found on a North Douglas beach turned out to be a military flare that washed ashore.

Feds launch health care website
JUNEAU - The government's launched a new website aimed at helping provide information on health insurance options.

Fairbanks gets Alaska's second IMAX screen
FAIRBANKS - IMAX has its second screen in Alaska, and Fairbanks film fans are flocking to it.

Man dies after motorcycle crash
FAIRBANKS - A 37-year-old Fairbanks man has died of injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash.

Governor defends trip to Colorado ministry
JUNEAU - Gov. Sean Parnell is defending a recent out-of-state trip to the Christian ministry Focus on the Family as fitting with his efforts to strengthen families and end domestic violence.

Soggy weather helping some Interior wildfires
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Fire Service says wet weather has tamed wildfires in the southern and eastern parts of the state's Interior, but that the northern and western parts of the region continue to experience warmer and drier conditions.

Dean Dawson named State archivist
JUNEAU - The Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums has named Dean Dawson of Juneau as Alaska State archivist.

Hoka Hey race participant dies in Alaska crash
ANCHORAGE - A second participant in a cross-country Harley-Davidson race has died - this time in a crash on an Alaska highway.

Juneau Coast Guard member returns from Gulf Coast
MOBILE, Ala. - Coast Guard Public Affairs Specialist Third Class Walter Shinn recently returned from the Gulf Coast where he was supporting the oil recovery operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hunter works to clean up gravel pits
KENAI - Steve Meyer is trying to maintain the reputation of area hunters by cleaning local gravel pits used for target practice.

State begins own review of oil industry practices
The state of Alaska is reviewing its rules on offshore and "ultra-extended reach" drilling and may impose new requirements for relief wells on certain wells.

Bears killed in Kenai
KENAI - Kenai police have killed a brown bear and her two cubs after the sow tried to enter one home and actually got into another.

Research looks at Bering Strait land bridge
FAIRBANKS - Research illuminating an ancient language connection between Asia and North America supports archaeological and genetic evidence that a Bering Strait land bridge once connected North America with Asia, and the discovery is being endorsed by a growing list of scholars in the field of linguistics and other sciences.

Trash is a pile of treasure for artists
KETCHIKAN - To most people, a rusted hunk of metal is junk that needs to go to the dump. To "Salvage Divas" Anne Fitzgerald and Rhonda Green, it's art.

Murkowski surprised by Palin primary endorsement
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Saturday that she was somewhat surprised former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed her longshot opponent in the state's Aug. 24 Republican primary.

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