All working people should contribute to Social Security
As the United States' fiscal deficit increases, Social Security is assailed again. Lawmakers, fiscal conservatives, economists, etc. are taking about cutting Social Security and extending the retirement age because, we're told, there is not enough of a base to support the people that are going to retire.

Murkowski takes lead in Senate race
Sen. Lisa Murkowski's write-in vote total pulled ahead of Republican nominee Joe Miller's for the first time Monday afternoon, as the nearly week-long counting process draws to a close.

The new guy on the beat
Juneau Police Officer Brent Bartlett is rather new to the force, but not new to walking the community safety beat.

Photo: Trail turmoil
Mountain biker John McConnochie carries his ride over a major rock and tree slide Monday on Perseverance Trail. The slide is approximately 200 yards above the Ben Blackgoat Memorial Bench just before Ebner Falls. The trail is in good condition on either side of the slide, but caution should be observed when hiking, biking or running in the area.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

Heagy named state Teacher of the Year
The Association of Alaska School Boards selected Lorrie Heagy, a music teacher and librarian at Glacier Valley Elementary School, to be Alaska Teacher of the Year 2011 Sunday, according to a press release from the state Department of Education and Early Development.

Senate battle draws interest from national, international media
Alaska's write-in ballot count for the U.S. Senate has attracted numerous national media, and now has attracted Al-Jazeera Network's English language channel to Juneau to watch the race between incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Republican nominee and tea-party favorite Joe Miller be decided in a painstakingly detailed count process.

Photo: Election count verification
A Gold Belt Security employee and Division of Elections Official Lauri Wilson administer ballot security and verification at the end of Saturday's Alaska Senate write-in ballot count in the Alaska Litho building.

A new look at an old battle
"It was called the "Kake War" of 1869 but few people today know of it, said Zachary Jones, archivist with the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Police & Fire
This report contains information provided to the Empire from law enforcement agencies. This report includes arrest and citation information, not conviction information. Anyone listed in this report is presumed innocent.

AML set to begin conference Wednesday
City and borough officials from one end of the state to another are gathering in Juneau this week for the Alaska Municipal League's 60th Annual Local Government Conference at Centennial Hall.

Outside editorial: No, Internet won't kill the video star
The following editorial first appeared in the Dallas Morning News:

Troubling signs in Afghanistan
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Will Obama face a primary challenge in 2012?
Republicans may think that their midterm triumph bodes ill for President Obama's re-election hopes, but such beliefs are not borne out by history. The incumbent president's party typically does poorly in a midterm election. This time, however, there was an ominous hint of a potential problem for Obama. In his concession speech, the media thought that Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold may have been referring to a presidential bid when he said, "It's on to 2012!" Although Feingold's spokesman rejected that interpretation, a primary challenger would be the absolute worst sign for Obama for 2012.

Olbermann's partisan? We're shocked, shocked!
The most troubling thing about the Keith Olbermann affair is just how quaint and beside the point the NBC network rule he broke now appears.

Race and voting patterns in the Old South
Fifty years ago this week, I stood outside a public school in the lower-middle-class Ninth Ward of New Orleans and watched parents escort white students out as black children filed in under a federal court desegregation order.

Tax cuts come with more than meets the eye
You might have noticed that politicians like to brag about cutting taxes. Some do it more frequently than others, but it's rare to find a politician who's never once boasted of his tax-cutting credentials.

Report: Plane struck by lightning near Sitka
JUNEAU - A flight crew had a hair-raising cargo flight from Juneau to Sitka on Oct. 18 when lightning struck the plane.

Delta Junction ATV, dirt bike crash injures teen
FAIRBANKS - A crash between an all-terrain vehicle and a dirt bike in Delta Junction sent a teenager to the hospital in Fairbanks.

Alaska senator's legacy topic of panel discussion
FAIRBANKS - A panel of Alaska historians, journalists and state leaders are planning to discuss the legacy of former Sen. Ted Stevens this week at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Man behind wristbands is Murkowski's husband
JUNEAU - If Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski makes history and wins her write-in campaign, she'll owe husband Verne Martell a big thanks.

Alaska officer frees tangled moose on bike path
ANCHORAGE - An Alaska moose is back on the loose with the assistance of an Anchorage police officer.

Salazar orders conservation of public land in West
WASHINGTON - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is ordering federal land managers to consider conservation as the primary focus of some 27 million acres of public lands in the West.

Nielsen: 5 million watched Palin's TLC show
NEW YORK - Sarah Palin made TLC history.

Troopers charge man in 'road rage' incident
WASILLA - A 19-year-old driver has been arrested in what Alaska State Troopers are calling a "road rage" incident on the Parks Highway.

Murkowski: Palin lacks leadership to be president
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn't think Sarah Palin has the leadership qualities to be president, nor the "intellectual curiosity" needed to make good policy.

Thief steals safe, but leaves most of the cash
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers say a thief removed a safe from a west Fairbanks home but took only a fraction of the cash inside.

NBA pain in Pacific Northwest
Any talk of the NBA in the Pacific Northwest can be a sensitive topic of conversation, especially if you're a Seattle sports fan as many Juneauites are.

Swimming in the rain
Swimmers from all over Southeast Alaska got out of the Juneau weather and into the pool over the weekend at a swim meet whose name befitted the elements outside.

Carnahan's in his element in the snow or on the ice
Juneau-Douglas senior Cole Carnahan is a left defenseman for the Crimson Bears hockey team and an avid skier in his free time. Carnahan, a Wisconsin native and four-year starter on the hockey team, says his favorite part about playing hockey is the "reliance you have to have on your teammates" and the "cool bonds" it creates. But the hardest part has been maintaining a cool head on the ice while keeping his aggressive, hard hitting style of play in check.

Murkowski continues to progress in write-in count
Elections officials worked a partial day Sunday counting write-in ballots, but Lisa Murkowski's race to overtake Joe Miller's election-night lead closed to within 2,000 votes.

After 'Whales,' Alaska searching for next movie
ANCHORAGE - With the motion picture "Everybody Loves Whales" completing its work in Alaska, state economic officials are wondering what the next big Alaska movie project will be.

AFN seeks to intervene in Senate voting lawsuit
ANCHORAGE - Alaska's largest Native organization on Monday sought to intervene in a lawsuit filed against election officials by GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller, claiming he seeks to disenfranchise Alaska Natives by invalidating their votes if they do not spell another candidate's name perfectly.

Students at Homer High bring greenhouse to life
There may be snow on the ground and temperatures may be dropping, but inside the 50-foot-by-25-foot greenhouse behind Homer High School, everything is green.

Alaska elections director thrust into spotlight
JUNEAU - She presses a ballot close to her red glasses, pauses to scrutinize the botched spelling and declares in a singsong voice: "Murkowski."

Alaska miners talk of new projects, expansions to come
Alaska miners crowded into the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel for their annual convention Nov. 1 to Nov. 7, and the mood was buoyant, with gold prices surpassing $1,300 an ounce and prices up for base metals like zinc.

NTSB releases report on Denali crash
ANCHORAGE - The pilot of an airplane that crashed in Denali National Park last year told investigators that a downdraft struck his plane just before it went down.

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