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Tegan Hanlon

A Ketchikan Superior Court Judge has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state to require municipalities to help pay for public education, invalidating Alaska’s long-held school funding formula.

On Friday, Judge William Carey denied the State of Alaska’s request for a stay of his November ruling, which would have postponed the enforcement of his decision until the state went through the appeals process.

Assistant Attorney General Cori Mills said in a statement Friday that in light of the denial, the state would move to seek a stay from the Alaska Supreme Court...

Tegan Hanlon

The quantity of heroin seized by Alaska State Troopers dropped by more than half in 2014 compared to the year before, but the number of drug-related arrests jumped, according to the troopers' annual drug report released Friday .

Lt. Rex Leath, deputy commander of the troopers' Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit, said when reviewing the report he took particular note of last year’s 209 heroin-related arrests and charges. The statistic bolstered what the public had repeatedly reported, he said...

Tegan Hanlon

Inside the women’s bathroom at the Peanut Farm Bar and Grill, a dispenser hangs on the wall with a sign that reads: “Remember the last time you had sex?” The text below: “Take a pregnancy test before you drink tonight.”

At the touch of a green button, a free pregnancy test drops to the bottom of the dispenser. Nearby are free condoms...

Tegan Hanlon

A cargo ship has been permitted to leave the Aleutian Islands port of Dutch Harbor after the Coast Guard detained the vessel for two weeks amid an ongoing environmental crimes investigation.

The German operator and owner of the 600-foot container vessel signed an agreement with the Coast Guard on Thursday, posting a $500,000 bond and agreeing to leave some of its approximately 20 crew members in Anchorage in exchange for permission to leave port, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis.

Feldis said the crew will stay to respond to investigators' questions. The operator and owner will cover the crews' costs, he said...

Tegan Hanlon

A cargo ship traveling from Asia was being held in Dutch Harbor Wednesday as part of an ongoing environmental crimes investigation, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Anchorage.

The Lindavia, a 600-foot container vessel, had stopped in Dutch Harbor to pick up a cargo of seafood to bring back to Asia when the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an inspection, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis.

The Coast Guard "identified deficiencies and noted issues that required further investigation," Feldis said. He said he could not provide further details on the issues Wednesday evening, citing an ongoing investigation.

A German company operated the Lindavia, Feldis said. The vessel was registered in Liberia, he said...

Tegan Hanlon
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Before 33-year-old teacher Dan Whitfield started the current school year, the principal at Goldenview Middle School asked him to decide on a new class and prepare to teach it...

Tegan Hanlon

A weekend oil spill in a Juneau-area harbor was being investigated Monday by the Coast Guard and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Fifty to 100 gallons of what was likely used motor oil were found in the Auke Bay harbor Sunday evening, according to Sarah Moore, a DEC spokesperson. Moore said about one spill of this size occurs in the area each year.

On Monday morning, a contracted company deployed absorbent pads and more than 1,000 feet of boom in the harbor to help contain the oil's spread, according to a statement from the Coast Guard.

The source of the spill remained unknown Monday, said Petty Officer 1st Class Shawn Eggert. He asked anyone with information about the spill to call Coast Guard Sector Juneau at 907-463-2990.

Tegan Hanlon

Alaska’s minimum wage will rise Tuesday to $8.75, a $1-per-hour increase that will affect thousands of workers' paychecks, according to the state’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

In November, nearly 70 percent of Alaska voters said yes to the ballot measure that increased the minimum wage. In line with Alaska's Constitution, the new law was set to take effect 90 days after the certification of election results , marking Tuesday as the day...

Tegan Hanlon

Ketchikan police say they arrested a man and woman on charges stemming from a marijuana grow Tuesday after finding cannabis plants at the couple's apartment and their 5-year-old granddaughter in an "improvised cage."

Around 12:15 a.m., police arrived at the couple's home in the Woodside Drive area. The girl's mother had asked police to conduct a welfare check at her in-laws' apartment. Police heard reports that the girl was being restrained at night, according to Josh Dossett, deputy chief of the Ketchikan Police Department.

Police identified the grandparents as 46-year-old Eric Riley and 52-year-old Penny Riley...

Tegan Hanlon

Tuition costs will swell by 5 percent for students at all University of Alaska campuses this fall.

In an 8-2 vote, the UA Board of Regents on Friday approved the tuition hike after previously striking down a 4 percent increase in September for the 2015-16 academic year.

UA President Pat Gamble, who backed the increase, said the state’s fiscal climate has worsened since fall, forcing the regents to reconsider the tuition increase.

As of Friday, UA projected a roughly $50 million shortfall next academic year, according to Gamble, though he cautioned that number could change by the end of the state legislative session...

Tegan Hanlon

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