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AK Beat: JBER rated among nation's best places for airmen

Alaska Dispatch News

JBER one of best bases for airmen: The Air Force Times has rated Anchorage's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as one of the nation's best places for airmen to live and raise a family. JBER ranks fourth on the Air Force Times' list. The rankings were compiled using data about the nation's Air Force bases, their surrounding communities, local economies, school systems, and available activities. JBER ranked high because of its commissary and shoppette -- which provide goods at reduced prices to service members -- not having any sales or income tax, and easy access to outdoor activities. Not surprisingly, plentiful wildlife and great fishing were a big factor in JBER's ranking as one of the nation's best bases. "A lot of people are chewing their arms off to get out of the office and go fishing," former commander of JBER's 673rd Air Base Wing, Col. Brian Duffy told the Air Force Times.

In Brevig Mission, search for missing man halted: Alaska State Troopers suspended their participation in a search Monday for a 21-year-old man from Brevig Mission. Clarence Ray Olanna was last seen nearly a week ago in the small community, about 65 miles northwest of Nome, at 1 a.m. on July 15, troopers said. The next day, pants, socks, a shirt and jacket were found near the water. "They were left in a pile on the beach in front of town," wrote Beth Ipsen, trooper spokeswoman, in an email. "They were arranged like they were purposely taken off and left behind. A family member identified them as his." On Thursday, five boats, two four-wheelers and an Army National Guard helicopter searched for Olanna. The search continued through the weekend, but gusty winds barred boats from entering the water on Saturday, Ipsen said. By Sunday, there were still no signs of Olanna. On Monday, troopers said they stopped participating in the search "pending new leads or information." 

Anchorage School District parents can register online this year: Some Anchorage area parents and students will no longer have to wait in lines to gear up for the upcoming school year. Online registration, which is open until Aug. 8, using Zangle ParentConnection, is a new way for students returning to the same school or moving on to their neighborhood middle or high school, to register for the 2014-15 school year. Parents should use their existing Zangle accounts. New students will need to register in person at their school during the first week of August. Parents who prefer to register in person or who do not have access to a computer are also welcome at this time. High school students will need to stop by their schools Aug. 4 to 7 to pick up their class schedules, locker combinations, purchase parking passes and take photos for their school IDs. Classes for grades 2-12 begin Aug. 20. Kindergarten and first grade students won't begin class until Aug. 27. Applications for zone exemptions and lottery applications for the 2014-15 school year are due July 25, by 3 p.m. Correction: An earlier version of this item included incorrect dates for the first days of school.

At Inuit Circumpolar Council, Greenpeace comments belie seismic testing split: Canadian Environment Minister and MP for Nunavut Leona Aglukkaq took aim at Greenpeace at the opening of the general assembly of the Inuit Circumpolar Council convened in Inuvik, Northwest Territories. Aglukkaq criticized the group for its opposition to the seal hunt, saying “Inuit were victims of misinformation and lies spread by a group that had no regard for their impact on our way of life,” according to the CBC. Further, “Aglukkaq said Inuit need to stick together and not be manipulated,” the news agency reported. But the comments come as some of Aglukkaq’s Inuit constituents in Nunavut were upset over the recent approval of seismic testing in Baffin Bay, blaming her, in part, for not speaking against it. Greenpeace has sided with Nunavut opponents of the seismic testing.

NOAA releases nautical chart for Red Dog port: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has issued a new nautical chart specifically for the Delong Mountain Terminal, a shallow-draft Chukchi Sea port dedicated to serving the Red Dog Mine, some 50 miles inland, the agency reports. The new chart is based on surveys taken expressly for the purpose of creating the chart, and with a scale of 1:40,000 is far more detailed than the older chart, which has a 1:700,000 scale -- “which shows one depth measurement within three nautical miles of the approach to Delong Mountain Terminal,” the agency noted. This is the third recent Arctic chart produced, NOAA noted; last year the agency released a chart for a portion of the Bering Strait, and in 2012 a chart for Kotzebue Harbor.