Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau

Casey Kelly is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

Mendenhall Glacier fees to go up in 2016

Starting next summer, the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center in Juneau will increase its entry fee and start charging for use of nearby trails and amenities. The U.S. Forest Service announced the change today after taking public comments on the proposal this winter.

Sow With 3 Cubs Stands Her Ground On Juneau Trail

U.S. Forest Service officials are concerned about a stressed out mama bear near the Mendenhall Glacier. Download Audio:

Can Free Pregnancy Tests In Bars Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Bars in Alaska are now offering pregnancy tests. The pilot program is meant to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome in the state. Alaska has one of the highest rates in the country. Supporters hope the tests will reach women early in pregnancy - a crucial time when they might not know they're expecting. Download Audio:

Weather Service Ends Manual Readings Of Mendenhall River Level

The National Weather Service is changing the way it forecasts the water level in Juneau’s Mendenhall River. The agency said Friday that it has stopped taking manual readings of the river level at the Mendenhall Loop Bridge. Instead, river level observations and flood forecasts will be based on an automated gauge located in Mendenhall Lake.

Industry Forecasts Strong Tourist Season For Alaska

With a little over a week until the first ship arrives in Juneau, the head of a cruise industry group in Alaska says 2015 should be strong year for tourism in the state.

Alaska Artist Rie Muñoz Dies At 93

Alaska artist Rie Muñoz has died. She was 93. A statement from her family says Muñoz was “active and independent until her last hours.” Download Audio

Choose Respect Rally Marches Through Juneau

Gov. Bill Walker led about 100 people in a Choose Respect rally and march through Juneau on Thursday. The statewide initiative to raise awareness about Alaska’s high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault started six years ago, and grew in prominence after being embraced by former Gov. Sean Parnell. Download Audio

SE Tribal Organization Gets Feds Backing for Energy Upgrades

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization is getting $500,000 from the federal government to make energy efficiency upgrades to its Juneau headquarters. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska hopes to reduce energy use by 30 percent and save about $15,000 a year with the improvements to the Andrew Hope Building.

That ’70s Home: How AHFC is Trying to Update Alaska’s Aging Housing Supply

More than half of all homes in Alaska were built in the 1970s and ‘80s. That’s according to an Alaska Housing Finance Corp. report released last year that highlighted the need for improvements to the state’s aging housing stock. AHFC offers a variety of loan and rebate programs aimed at home renovations and energy efficiency upgrades. Corporation officials were in Juneau over the weekend to talk about some of those programs at the Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association’s Home and Outdoor Living Expo.

Juneau Cracks Down on Aggressive “Hawking”

The Juneau Assembly has approved new enforcement measures designed to cut down on “hawking” — an aggressive form of commercial sidewalk solicitation also called “barking.” Juneau police say the practice is on the rise, especially during the summer tourist season. Lt. Kris Sell says downtown patrol officers will be working with local businesses this year to identify and stop hawking.

DEC, Coast Guard Respond To Statter Harbor Oil Spill

State environmental officials and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating an oil spill at Statter Harbor in Juneau’s Auke Bay. Download Audio
The Glory Hole, Juneau’s emergency homeless shelter and soup kitchen, is temporarily closed due to a burst pipe and flood Sunday night. (Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO)

After Providers Lobby, Walker Reverses Cuts To Homeless Programs

Advocates for the homeless in Alaska are rejoicing after Gov. Bill Walker released an updated budget proposal that restores funding for housing and homelessness services statewide. Download Audio

Crowd Rallies Attention Toward Climate Change

Sen. Lisa Murkowski barely talked about climate change in her annual speech to the Alaska Legislature Wednesday. And outside the Capitol, a small group rallied to bring attention to climate change and to demand more action on the issue from Murkowski. Download Audio

Rescued Hiker: “We Definitely Got More Than We Bargained For”

One of four Juneau hikers rescued off a wind-scoured mountain earlier this month says the group was looking for a bit of an adventure, but may have gotten more than they bargained for. Download Audio

New Play Explores Homelessness In Juneau

A local playwright has spent the past few years exploring the lives of Juneau’s homeless population and the people who work with them. The result is the new play “A Lifetime to Master,” which debuted this week. Download Audio

Eaglecrest Suspends Lift Operations Due To Lack Of Snow

Juneau’s Eaglecrest Ski Area is halting lift operations until it receives enough snow to open at least part of the upper mountain. Download Audio

Forest Service Proposes Mendenhall Glacier Fee Increase

The U.S. Forest Service is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss a proposed fee increase at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center starting with the 2016 tourist season. Download Audio

Early Study Shows Surprising Optimism Among Homeless Alaska Natives

A University of Washington professor has found high levels of optimism among homeless Alaska Native elders living in Seattle, and he’s connected the finding to a strong desire to pass on knowledge and experiences to future generations. Download Audio

Draft Juneau Economic Plan Released

A draft economic plan for the City and Borough of Juneau identifies eight key initiatives to guide the capital city’s financial future over the next decade. Most of those initiatives and the specific goals discussed in the plan have been city priorities for years. Download Audio

Juneau Assembly Honors JPD’s “Rock Star”

The Juneau Assembly last night honored a city police officer who recently received a statewide award as the top local government employee in Alaska. Then for good measure, the Assembly recognized the entire Juneau Police Department. Download Audio