Emily Files, KHNS - Haines

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Emily Files is a reporter at KHNS in Haines.
A passenger on the deck of an Alaska Marine Highway ferry. (Flickr Creative Commons – supafly)

Marine highway top priority in Southeast economic plan

Sustaining and strengthening the Alaska Marine Highway System is the top priority in a recent plan from a Southeast Alaska economic development group. Southeast Conference puts together a plan about every five years that outlines goals for job and business growth in the region. The state budget picture plays a crucial role in this latest proposal.

Haines transgender teen breaks barriers at state track meet

A Haines teenager was likely the first transgender student to compete at a statewide high school athletic competition. Nattaphon Wangyot was born male, but has identified as female since she was about five years old. Her participation in last weekend’s track meet in Anchorage drew a lot of attention, both positive and negative. Download Audio

Cruise ship towns concerned for financial future due to state budget proposals

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget Wednesday and will reconvene in special session next week. One proposal that was recently passed in conference committee and could come back in the special session has leaders in cruise ship port communities concerned. The measure would leave those towns without millions of dollars they normally receive from state head-tax revenues. Download Audio

20 breweries on tap for Haines Beer Fest

Beer drinkers will take a flavorful tour of Alaska and the Yukon at the upcoming 24th annual Alaska Craft Beer and Home Brew Fest. More than 20 brewers will share their concoctions with nearly 2,000 attendees.

Bear mauling victim released from hospital

The University of Alaska professor who was mauled by a bear last month near Haines has been released from the hospital.

Budget cuts to close Haines, Wrangell public health offices

Public health offices in Haines and Wrangell are set to close this summer due to state budget cuts. But their services won’t disappear completely. Nurses from other Southeast towns will occasionally travel to Haines and Wrangell to maintain the ‘safety net’ their agency aims to provide. Download Audio

Dock updates could interrupt ferry service to Skagway

Could Skagway go three months without ferry service? The Alaska Department of Transportation is planning a $6 million ferry dock refurbishment that would ideally happen this winter.

UAS prof mauled by bear in fair condition

The University of Alaska professor who was mauled by a bear near Haines a couple weeks ago is now in fair condition at Providence Hospital in Anchorage. On April 18, 35-year-old Forest Wagner was attacked by a brown bear sow with at least one cub.

Hooligan make strong return to Chilkoot and Chilkat

The hooligan are back. After last year’s disappointing runs in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers, Haines and Klukwan subsistence fishermen are excited that this spring’s return has been abundant. Area biologists don’t know why the runs fluctuate so much. But they’re trying to bolster research to understand the traditionally important fish a little better. Download Audio

Haines bear mauling victim was attacked by brown bear sow

A man who was injured in a bear mauling near Haines early this week was attacked by a brown bear sow with at least one cub. That’s according to Alaska Fish and Game Biologist Stephanie Sell, who is tasked with gathering information about the incident. Download Audio

Audit: Skagway misspent CPV taxes on playground equipment

Alaska charges cruise ships that stay three or more days in state waters a $34.50 tax per traveler. It’s called the Commercial Passenger Vessel Tax. The tax brings in millions of dollars each year, much of which the state distributes to cruise ship port communities. An audit of the CPV program found some towns need to tighten standards for how they spend the money. And, it alleges that Skagway misspent some CPV funds on school playground equipment. Download Audio

APOC recommends Skagway Assemblyman pay $22,000 fine for incomplete disclosures

An Alaska Public Offices Commission investigation of Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry’s annual financial filings found that he violated state regulations by providing incomplete information about his income.

Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry faces APOC investigation

The Alaska Public Offices Commission will conduct an investigation into alleged financial disclosure violations by Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry. The investigation was launched following a citizen complaint from Skagway resident Roger Griffin.

Two distillery apps vie for one Skagway license

Skagway residents could be sipping locally crafted spirits in the near future. Two entrepreneurs have applied for distillery liquor licenses in Skagway. Their applications are part of a growing craft distillery market in Alaska. But there can only be one distillery in the Gateway to the Klondike. Download Audio

Haines Freeride 2016: ‘It’s been a powerful competition’

Extreme skiers and snowboarders sped down Haines mountains Monday in the fourth stop of the Freeride World Tour. The international alpine sports tournament made the long trek back to Haines after its Alaska debut last year. It hasn’t been totally smooth sailing – Haines poses challenges athletically and logistically. Download Audio

Freeride athletes excited to take on ‘famous mountains’ of Haines

An international big mountain ski and snowboard competition is back in Haines. The Freeride World Tour tests the skills of alpine athletes from around the world, with stops in five countries. The athletes say the slopes in France, Austria and Andorra don’t compare with the mountains in Haines. Download Audio

Aging Southeast: Older residents impact region’s economy

As senior populations grow throughout Southeast Alaska, what kind of impact do they have on the economy? According to experts, it’s a good one. A state report on Alaska’s aging population said seniors contributed an estimated $2.4 billion to the economy in 2014. That comes mostly from retirement income, health-care spending and wages. As part of CoastAlaska’s Aging Southeast series, KHNS’s Emily Files takes a look at the senior economy from Haines. Download Audio

Proposed bill would protect Chilkat River, among others

The Chilkat Indian Village in Klukwan is trying to preserve its main salmon resource – the Chilkat River — with the highest environmental protection available.If the river is named an Outstanding National Resource Water, it would be protected from activities that degrade water quality. But there is no system in place in Alaska to evaluate this kind of water protection request. That could change with a bill in the State Legislature that would place these types of decisions in the hands of lawmakers.

Skagway student increase could fund 3 new teachers

Skagway School grew this year and could continue to grow in future years, according to administrators. The school board held a forum Tuesday night to talk about what that means for the school.

StoryCorps: Recovery from addiction led Haines carver to healing art

In this StoryCorps segment, Tlingit master carver Wayne Price of Haines and his wife Cherri talk about his work, including a healing totem he carved in Whitehorse.Download Audio