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.
Slideshow: Knik 200 sled dog race
by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 20:10
It was said that you could “feel the fury in the air,” as 30 teams left the start of the Knik 200 sled dog race at the Deshka Landing Airstrip Saturday afternoon in Willow. Finishing the Knik 200 is a test run for some of the mushers and their dogs, a preparation for Iditarod. “For a lot […]
Weekend weather forecast
by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 19:51
Sunny skies have taken over the Anchorage area and will be sticking around for the next five to seven days. High pressure has moved in from the west. It really has taken over all of the Interior stretching into the Northwest. This dry pattern will not allow any storm system to track in for about […]
UPDATE: 2 in hospital after planes collide mid-air in the Valley
by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 31, 15:36
Troopers are responding to a plane crash in the Mat-Su Valley that occurred Saturday afternoon. Just after 1 p.m., Alaska State Troopers received a report that two aircrafts collided mid-air in the Valley, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters. Authorities responded to two separate wreckage sites, in the area of Knik-Goose Bay Road and Vine Road. Both planes were […]
Less than 50 days ’til Alaska sees 1st day of spring
by Janessa Webb on Jan 31, 14:19
While the Midwest and portions of the East coast have been shoveling their way out of a snowstorm, it’s well below average in the snowfall department across the 49th state. A large dome of high pressure took over the state Sunday afternoon, causing temperatures across the southern Seward Peninsula and North Slope to hit 30 […]
McDonald’s around Anchorage to let customers ‘pay with lovin’
by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:57
Imagine this. A customer walks into his local McDonald’s restaurant to order from the breakfast menu. “Two hash browns and a small coffee,” he tells the cashier, Matt. Instead of giving the customer his total to pay, the cashier says, “You know what? For your payment today, do you have your cell phone with […]
UPDATE: Begich will not run for Anchorage mayor, will head company instead
by Sierra Starks on Jan 31, 13:04
Former Sen. Mark Begich’s next move is no longer a secret — he will not be running for the Mayor of Anchorage in this year’s election. The former senator has announced that he is instead creating his own company, Northern Compass Group. Begich says the company will focus on developing businesses and working on public […]
Local Seahawks fans voice their support ahead of Super Bowl Sunday
by on Jan 30, 23:11
The Seattle Seahawks continue preparing for Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, Ariz. Fans back in Anchorage are sending a loud message to their favorite team hoping the Seahawks win their second straight championship. Fans staged a rally early Friday night at Flat Top Pizza. It took place after they took part in another event at […]
Former NFL player helps teens become successful, avoid trouble with the law
by Dave Leval on Jan 30, 22:50
Former defensive end Mao Tosi has tackled many people during his playing days in college and in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals. Being home in Anchorage, however, may provide his biggest obstacle. Ten years ago, Tosi created AK Pride, a program in which he teams mentors with kids in a variety of programs ranging […]