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Alaska's popular walrus cam streams again after a decade

May 21, 2015 -- 12:15pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A popular webcam showing large male Pacific walruses lying on the beach is once again streaming on the Internet. The high-definition stream from Alaska's remote Round Island had been dormant for nearly a decade after private funding ran out. But thanks to the philanthropic organization, the cam is again up and running. Every summer, up to 15,000 walruses haul out on the island about 400 miles southwest of Anchorage in northern Bristol Bay. There are four cameras pointed at two beaches on the remote island. But like in 2005, the camera will be offline for a week in the fall so Alaska Natives can take part in a legal subsistence hunt of the walruses.

Senate adjourns special session called by Walker

May 21, 2015 -- 12:00pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Senate has adjourned from the special session called by Gov. Bill Walker. The Senate immediately gaveled in to a new special session, which it convened in Anchorage. Questions were raised about the plans of legislative leaders to resume floor sessions in Anchorage under the special session called by Walker. The special session called by Walker was for Juneau. The Legislature's top attorney said he believed a court would find the Legislature could not legally convene the session called by Walker outside of Juneau without his permission or additional instruction from him. Walker said he did not agree with lawmakers going to Anchorage to continue their work, but would not fight them on it, either, saying his top priority was getting a fully funded budget passed.

Justice Department eyes voting reforms for American Indians

May 21, 2015 -- 11:45am
- FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Justice wants to improve access to voting for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Justice Department officials said Thursday the department would seek legislation requiring states with Native American reservations or other tribal lands to locate at least one polling place in a venue selected by tribal governments. The department sent a letter to Congress with a legislative proposal that also would require states to make voting machines, ballots, and other voting materials and equipment available at these tribally located polling places as they are at other polling places. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says the changes are needed because "significant and unnecessary barriers" for American Indians and Alaska Natives who seek to cast ballots.

City of Bethel, Gregory settle on rough arrest accusation

May 21, 2015 -- 11:30am
- BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - The City of Bethel has reached a settlement out of court with a man who says a former police officer roughly arrested him in a parking lot. KYUK-FM reports that Wassillie Gregory and his attorney Sean Brown filed a lawsuit against the city and former officer Andrew Reid in early May. Brown says Reid violated Gregory's civil rights and committed assault and battery. He describes the July 2014 arrest as an "attack." The complaint says Gregory posed no threat to Reid and claims the city knew of other complaints against the officer. Brown says the terms of the settlement are confidential but says the case will be dismissed. A judge dismissed Gregory's conviction for harassment earlier this month after a video of the arrest surfaced in early April. 

Police: Deaths of couple, 2 kids appear to be murder-suicide

May 21, 2015 -- 11:15am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Anchorage police say the shooting deaths of a couple and their two children at a home last week appear to be a case of murder-suicide. Police said in a statement released Thursday that evidence points to Curtis Young III shooting and killing his girlfriend, Desiree Gonzales, and their two children before turning the gun on himself. The children killed were 4-year-old Zaiden Young and 17-month-old Zarielle Young. Earlier, authorities had called the deaths an isolated domestic violence incident but stopped short of saying they suspected a murder-suicide. A relative who went to check on the family at their apartment in Alaska's largest city found the four dead on May 13. Police say the investigation is still open.

Murkowski spokesman: Agreement reached on Hyder crossing

May 21, 2015 -- 11:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says an agreement has been reached that will allow for 24-hour crossings at the border of Hyder, Alaska, and Stewart, British Columbia. Murkowski spokesman Matthew Felling says the solution was discussed between Murkowski and Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer on Wednesday. Felling says details and a timeline were being finalized. The crossing was closed to overnight access last month as part of a cost-saving measure. But concerns were raised about potential impacts on residents and tourists. Hyder is a tourist-reliant community of about 90 people in southern southeast Alaska that has close ties to Stewart. The only road into town runs through Stewart, and Hyder receives electric and telephone service from Canadian companies. Messages seeking comment were left the Canada Borders Services Agency.
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