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Kenai Peninsula residents oldest

Oct 20, 2014 -- 12:30pm
- HOMER, Alaska (AP) - A state official says the Kenai Peninsula has some of the highest percentages of older Alaskans in the state. The Homer News says Alaskans 50 and older account for 36 percent of the population on the peninsula, compared with 27 percent of the population in that age group statewide. State demographer Eddie Hunsinger discussed Alaska's growing senior population during a presentation Friday at the Homer Senior Center. Hunsinger's discussion was part of the first South Peninsula Senior Summit. Hunsinger says the aging trend is expected to keep climbing. In two decades, seniors aged 65 and older on the peninsula are expected to make up nearly 25 percent of the population there, compared with 15 percent statewide and 20 percent nationwide.

Juneau musician donates $100K to local causes

Oct 20, 2014 -- 12:15pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Juneau musician marked his 87th birthday by donating $100,000 to four local organizations. The donation by Ron Maas is to be divided equally among Juneau Jazz & Classics, Juneau Alaska Music Matters, the Juneau Symphony and the Glory Hole, a shelter and soup kitchen. Maas, a trumpeter and leader of the Thunder Mountain Big Band, tells the Juneau Empire that when he was growing up, his family never had much to eat. He said he learned the need to help others. Maas and his wife are long-time members of Juneau's arts scene and have made major donations before, including a $50,000 gift to the symphony and a scholarship to the Sitka Fine Arts Camp. In 2008, they received a Mayor's Award for Patrons of the Arts.

First measurable snow falls in Anchorage

Oct 20, 2014 -- 12:00pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The first measurable snow of the season has fallen in Alaska's largest city. The Alaska Dispatch News reports (http://is.gd/r3xFhM) six-tenths of an inch fell on Sunday at the National Weather Service's Sand Lake office. And that was just the start. The agency says in a statement that another 1.5 inches fell there after midnight. Snow depths from the first snowfall varied widely over the municipality. Eagle River had three-tenths of an inch of snow, but one part of the Hillside south of O'Malley Road had 7 inches. There was also a measurement of 8 inches of snow along Turnagain Pass early Monday morning.

Alaska resumes issuing licenses to gay couples

Oct 20, 2014 -- 11:45am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Gay couples can start getting married in Alaska on Monday. Phillip Mitchell, with the state Department of Vital Statistics, said couples who completed applications last week before the courts issued a stay can start picking up their licenses Monday morning. He also tells The Associated Press in an email that offices across the state will again be taking marriage applications for same-sex couples. A federal judge on Oct. 12 ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. The state intends to appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary stay for the state to seek relief from the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the nation's highest court denied the state's request for a stay on Friday, when marriages offices were closed for a state holiday.

Supreme Court denies Alaska's request for stay on gay marriage

Oct 17, 2014 -- 11:30am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied the state of Alaska's request to put a stop to gay marriages pending an appeal. Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the request in a written order Friday morning. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess on Sunday ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. Couples began applying for marriage licenses on Monday, beginning a three-day clock before ceremonies could be held. However, some couples received waivers to the wait period and married immediately. The state filed notice of appeal to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and sought a stay while the appeal is being considered. The court only issued a stay until 11 a.m. AKDT Friday to give the state time to petition the high court.

Small southeast community becomes new Alaska city

Oct 17, 2014 -- 11:15am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A small community in southeast Alaska is the state's newest city. The Juneau Empire reports that a state commissioner signed incorporation documents this week for Edna Bay, which has a population of 49. The community is located on Kosciusko Island 90 miles northwest of Ketchikan. State officials say Edna Bay is the first community to incorporate since 2004. Elections officials earlier this month certified results of an election involving locals in Edna Bay on whether to incorporate. State officials say residents voted 33 to 6 to incorporate. The Ketchikan Daily News reports representatives of the Alaska Division of Community and Regional Affairs were planning to participate in an organizational meeting Thursday with Edna Bay, but weather prevented their travel.
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