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Kate McPherson

Stories by Kate McPherson

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Fireworks patrol starts in Anchorage

    by Kate McPherson on Jul 04, 1:51

    Anchorage Police Department Sgt. Josh Nolder is on the fireworks beat for the Fourth of July holiday. It’s not his usual focus, but the conditions forecasted over the weekend aren’t usual. “Fireworks are generally a nuisance more than anything but now this year, with the lack of snowfall and rainfall, it’s gone from a nuisance […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Fire behavior expert uses science and technology to determine burn ban

    by Kate McPherson on Jul 03, 0:04

    Fire officials don’t just look out of their window and decide whether or not to declare a burn ban. “It’s based on real science and good data,” said John See, forester with the Anchorage Fire Department. A weather station in Rabbit Creek is one of four in Anchorage collecting data used by the fire department. […]

  • Local

    Ethan Berkowitz sworn in as Anchorage mayor

    by Kate McPherson on Jul 01, 23:10

    Hundreds of people watched on as former Greater Anchorage Borough Mayor Jack Roderick administered the oath to Mayor-elect Ethan Berkowitz. Anchorage Assembly members, state legislators and former mayors were in the crowd at Town Square Park on Wednesday afternoon. “With his natural energy, integrity and sincerity, my dad is the kind of guy who can […]

  • State

    Walker signs budget, vetoes $200M in oil tax credits

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 30, 23:24

    Gov. Bill Walker vetoed $200 million in tax credits from the 2016 operating budget. The credits are owed to oil and gas companies that work in Alaska and are designed to encourage production. “The governor was right to do what he did,” said Anchorage Democrat Rep. Les Gara. “We had to cut the budget and […]

  • Alaska

    Alaskans celebrate marriage equality decision

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 26, 23:20

    The decades-long fight for marriage equality came to an end Friday, at least for a while. Many Alaskans are celebrating the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision to legalize and recognize same-sex marriage in every state. “I cried on the way to work, this is a beautiful day,” said J.J. Harrier, co-chair of Identity. “This means a lot, […]

  • Local

    Multi-sport pavilion at East High delayed

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 23, 23:47

    A plan to build a pavilion over tennis courts at East High School has been delayed. A proposal was made to grant $800,000 to the Alliance for the Support of American Legion Baseball to complete the project within 16 months. But Assemblyman Bill Starr says this idea doesn’t have the full support of the Anchorage […]

  • Alaska

    Feelings of loss, guilt, compassion as Willow residents return to fire zone

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 20, 2:18

    In certain parts of the Sockeye fire zone there is a world of contrast — There are charred spruces next to green birches, burned out dog kennels next to untouched dog kennels, and beautiful log homes next to the ash of what used to be homes. “This is a living nightmare really, to see everyone […]

  • Alaska

    Fire crews work hard to protect properties in Willow; borough assesses damage

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 18, 23:23

    “Cooperative” was the word used by incident commander Tom Kurth Thursday afternoon to describe the 7,066-acre Sockeye Fire. Still steady and burning low, the fire in Willow is zero percent contained, though crews were able to hold the 18-mile perimeter Thursday. Home and cabin owners are anxious to get back into the evacuation zone, and can do so […]

  • Alaska

    Anxiety continues for Willow homeowner after decision to leave

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 18, 0:04

    On day four of the Sockeye wildfire, Jennifer Hawks packed up her car once again. “Dog food, cloths, some of my survival stuff here, and everything’s a mess,” Hawks said, rummaging through her vehicle. “Trying to find stuff and it’s impossible — I’ve been looking for my toothbrush for two days, I just found the […]

  • Alaska

    Willow resident stays put through Sockeye Fire

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 16, 23:45

    Willow resident Ken Pray sat on guard Tuesday outside of his home, which is located inside the fire zone. “I’m not going nowhere, this is my home,” said Pray, who watched Sunday as flames raced through the area, lapping at his property. Pray used hoses to defend the house he built with his hands a decade […]

  • Alaska

    Alaska National Guard investigation results confirm mishandling of complaints

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 15, 10:05

    An investigation by a retired judge into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse within the Alaska National Guard confirms mishandling of complaints and a widely held perception of cronyism. “I think sometimes you can’t get into the future until you are resolved with the past,” said Gov. Bill Walker during a press conference Monday. “And […]

  • State

    More responsibility for Alaskan teachers and school volunteers

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 13, 0:50

    Alaska’s Legislature passed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act, which contains Erin’s Law and Bree’s Law, but there was also other legislation attached. It includes the addition of school volunteers to the list of people who legally must report suspected child abuse, and requirements for all teachers — no matter what class they teach — to […]

  • State

    Legislature passes 2016 budget, adjourns special session

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 11, 18:55

    The Alaska Legislature passed and funded the $5.2 billion 2016 operating budget Thursday and adjourned the second special session. “A budget is a moral document, it shows what you stand for, it shows what you believe in,” said Rep. Les Gara during a speech on the House floor. Gara says he’s happy $15 million was […]

  • State

    Alaska Legislature passes 2016 operating budget

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 11, 10:49

    Update – 12:15 p.m.: The Alaska Senate has passed the 2016 operating budget by a vote of 16-3 with senators Bill Wielechowski, Johnny Ellis and Berta Gardner voting in opposition. The Senate voted unanimously in favor of using the Constitutional Budget Reserve to fund the budget. Gardner and Wielechowski said they can’t support the budget because it […]

  • State

    Alaska lawmakers say progress made toward finalizing budget

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 09, 21:12

    Lawmakers took a step Tuesday afternoon toward finalizing the 2016 operating budget. The Conference Committee approved adding $16.5 million to the Base Student Allocation, bringing the per-student funding formula up to a level schools were planning on. “It is big progress, obviously the school systems are very happy with this, I would imagine,” said Rep. […]

  • State

    State workers rally for wage increase, Republicans not budging

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 08, 20:25

    Dozens of state employees rallied at the Legislative Information Office in Anchorage Monday morning in support of contractual wage increases that some Republican lawmakers are threatening to void. Workers who are part of the Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA) are expecting a 2.5 percent cost of living increase in 2016. It’s the third and final […]

  • State

    Conference committee adjourned until Monday, still no budget

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 05, 18:45

    Another day closer to a partial government shutdown, another day thousands of state workers question whether they will have a job come July, all because state lawmakers are fighting over $30 million worth of state employee wage increases. The fight is holding up a vote to pass, and fully fund, the 2016 operating budget. “We’ve […]

  • State

    Session update: Budget stuck on state employee wage increases

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 03, 18:39

    So close, yet so far. Republican Senators Anna MacKinnon and Pete Kelly, who are part of the conference committee tasked with crafting a final version of a budget, were poised to concur Wednesday with all but one of the compromises made in the House of Representative’s budget that passed last week. The one item holding […]

  • State

    Republican senator willing to compromise on education funding if Democrats give up union contracts

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 02, 23:19

    Alaska’s 2016 operating budget has come down to a fight over education funding and union contracts, according to Sen. Pete Kelly, who spent Tuesday in meetings with other lawmakers. Kelly indicated he was interested in compromising on education but not union contracts, and called the Minority Democrats “recalcitrant people.” The raises for state employees equate to […]

  • State

    Session Update: House and Senate to go to conference committee

    by Kate McPherson on Jun 01, 20:55

    The Senate passed a fully funded budget Monday evening, but it doesn’t include any of the compromises made in the House of Representatives last week. That means three members of the House and three members of the Senate head into a conference committee to sort out their differences and come to a compromise. “For the […]