The Hiland Mountain Correctional Center is near Eagle River, Alaska. The beauty of the scenery clashes with the trappings of the prison for a disturbing juxtaposition.
Like most prisons, you can find a lot of interesting tattoos at Hiland.
Hiland Mountain is not your typical prison. It has many innovative programs. Many inmates care for dogs that will become service dogs for the blind.
Tamara Riley works in the greenhouse. She is serving a 99-year sentence for being an accomplice to murder.
Tamara Riley with her supervisor, Cindy Galvan, another inmate who is serving a long sentence. Tamara and Cindy play in the orchestra together.
Emerald lives in the greenhouse. Her job is to catch shrews and mice.
Now you know where Emerald gets her name. Most inmates call her "Emmy."
Tamara Riley will be on parole in three years.
Tamara Riley is the only original member of the women's string orchestra. She is preparing for her 10th holiday concert.
Tamara Riley is working on Bach's Gavotte, which she will play as a solo.
The Hiland prison orchestra is the only one of its kind in the nation.
The orchestra is a chance for inmates to transform themselves into musicians.
The "prisoner" identity is hard to escape.
Most of the inmates arrive early for their orchestra classes on Saturday. They look forward to making music.
Cheysser Miller has played violin with the orchestra for five years.
Despite prison life, women still find ways to be feminine.
Holly Charlie is the only viola player in the advanced orchestra.
Miricle Girten bows with strength and a sureness.
Miricle Girten is a rock-solid bass player.
Joy Sharpe adds some viola power to the orchestra. She teaches a chamber music class at the prison on Friday.
Richard Kurtz is a volunteer. He's performed at three holiday concerts.
Tisha Negus takes her music seriously.
Tamara Riley says music helps her channel her frustrations.
Shannon Mead has been at Hiland for five years. She'll be out next year.
Gabrielle Whitfield has been the artistic director for the Hiland orchestra for nine years.
Sgt. Mike Dingman says he wishes there could be an orchestra for Alaska's male prison population.
The highpoint for the many orchestra members was during the 2012 Holliday Concert, in which renowned cellist Zuill Bailey performed with the orchestra.
Iditarod musher Steve Watkins safe, was climbing Everest during Nepal earthquake
by KTVA Sports on Apr 25, 20:22
Army veteran and 2015 Iditarod rookie Steve Watkins was unharmed, as of Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The epicenter of the quake was 130 miles from Mount Everest, where Watkins was in the process of climbing to the summit. According to his girlfriend, Joy Chairusmi, Watkins was at camp […]
How Alaska can benefit from US taking chair of Arctic Council
by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 25, 11:56
The University of Alaska Anchorage hosted a live-stream presentation Friday as the U.S. took over the chairmanship of the Arctic Council, a group of eight nations with Arctic territory and six indigenous Arctic organizations. The goal is to encourage cooperation to protect the Arctic environment while ensuring responsible development. Between retreating sea ice, warming temperatures, shipping, […]
Nepal quake: More than 1K dead, history crumbles, Everest shaken
by CNN / AP on Apr 25, 10:33
A top Nepalese police official says at least 1,130 people are confirmed dead following a powerful earthquake that struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.8, shook four other countries in addition to Nepal. Aftershocks continued to ripple through the region for hours. An avalanche swept across Mount […]
More Alaska National Guard emails released
by KTVA CBS 11 News on Apr 24, 21:12
The state released thousands of emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal late Friday afternoon. It’s been more than 5 months since they’ve handed over any of the information they were ordered to give the media last year. In October, a judge ruled that then-Gov. Sean Parnell’s office must provide any correspondence that relates […]
Thomas Wins 31st Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year
by Dave Goldman on Apr 24, 20:42
The junior ran away with it. It’s been said many times in Cody Thomas’s illustrious career. It also described his path on Friday night as the 2014-15 Bill MacKay Athlete of the Year. The New Zealander claimed the honor at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s athletic banquet at the Lucy Cuddy Center. Thomas’ list of accomplishments not only set the […]
Evening News Weather, April 24
by KTVA Weather on Apr 24, 20:40
Kenai Peninsula/Prince William Sound Mostly cloudy skies for southern areas of the Kenai. Most of the area with some rain showers in the mountains, south of Clam Gulch, and on the east side of the Kenai. Southeast Expect lots of sunshine for northern and central areas with more clouds and a chance for afternoon […]
Change in the Guard: new adjutant general’s vision
by Bonney Bowman on Apr 24, 18:47
A West Point graduate with 30 years of active-duty experience, new Alaska State Commissioner and Adjutant General Laurie Hummel says she has a vision to make Alaskans proud of the Alaska National Guard once again. She came out of retirement to tackle the challenging position. “If you’re going to go back to work and get […]
Leaders raise potential of budget vote without reserve draw
by Associated Press on Apr 24, 18:32
Legislative leaders have raised the potential of passing a state spending plan without a vote authorizing a draw from Alaska’s constitutional budget reserve fund. House Speaker Mike Chenault said if the House and Senate majorities reach an agreement on education funding, they could finish up the budgets and leave. As of late Friday afternoon, an […]