Local News

Teacher evaluations pit student scores against ‘dream building’?

The Sitka School District will pilot the iObservation teacher evaluation tool next year. Board members wondered if it will change the management model in buildings. "You can not be both an evaluator and a mentor," said incoming superintendent Mary Wegner.
A new, state-mandated evaluation system will hold everyone -- teachers and administrators -- accountable for student performance, beginning next fall. The Sitka School Board Tuesday night (4-15-14) got its first look at web-based software that will follow the progress of teachers over the course of the school year. But how far poor student outcomes can drag down a teacher’s evaluation remains a big question mark. more
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Senate candidate Sullivan talks health care — and dolphins

OUTTRO: DaRepublican Dan Sullivan, with his wife Julie Fate Sullivan. Sullivan hopes to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Begich. (KCAW photo/Rachel Waldholz) n Sullivan is running for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. The primary will be held on August 19. The General Election will be November 4.
Sullivan, the former Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, is hoping to challenge incumbent Democrat Mark Begich, who is up for reelection this fall. He talked about his role in challenging the President’s healthcare law, the perils of over-regulation – and that time he swam against the Navy’s military dolphins. more
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Is there more important funding than schools?

As board member Tonia Rioux looks on, Superintendent Steve Bradshaw told assembly members to "love every kid who walks down our streets." (Image courtesy KSCT-TV
Should the state do more for schools when local governments -- like Sitka’s -- are not doing all they can? That was the question hanging over a joint work session between the Sitka School Board and Sitka Assembly Thursday night (4-10-14). The board presented a draft budget to the assembly with a modest increase in local support to schools -- less than $200,000 -- but also delivered a clear message that more was needed. more
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The CorvidEYE

Spawn on

Aerial view of the Starrigavan boat launch, looking south. (ADF&G photo)
After a week or so of relative quiet, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game observed nearly 3 miles of active herring spawn in Sitka Sound over the weekend. Area management biologist Dave Gordon reported spawning in Starrigavan, Mosquito Cove, Fred's Creek, Hayward Strait, and Salisbury Sound. more
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Southeast News

Patrick Mayer named new school superintendent

The Wrangell school board held a special meeting Wednesday, April 16 to discuss a potential hire. The board approved offering a contract to Patrick Mayer for the position of superintendent of schools for the 2014 – 2015 school year. more

Proposed school district budget cuts four positions

The proposed budget for the Petersburg School District cuts payroll to reflect less funding from a decrease in student enrollment. The budget is a changing thing. Some of it comes in a monthly allocation. So, right now, district administrators have been giving it their best guess as to how the numbers will actually pan out. Petersburg’s school board got a look at the proposed budget during their meeting Tuesday night. more

Hospital renovations don’t preclude new facility

Like many hospitals in Southeast Alaska, Wrangell Medical Center is starting to look its age. A brand new hospital is still the long-term plan, but for now, the building is getting a much-needed makeover. more

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State News

House Speaker Adds Agrium to Refinery Assistance Bill

Gov. Sean Parnell’s $150 million-dollar bill to subsidize Alaska’s oil refineries grew to $200 million today, when House Speaker Mike Chenault expanded it to include the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski. Download Audio

USDA Files Complaint Against UAF

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has accused the University of Alaska Fairbanks of possible Animal Welfare Act violations in the starvation deaths of 12 musk oxen at its large-animal research station. Download Audio

Lawmakers Grapple With UAF Power Plant Funding

At $245 million, the biggest item in the capital budget before the Legislature is a power plant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The plant is needed to replace an old one that’s at risk of breaking down. The project is now before the House Finance Committee for review, and lawmakers are less surprised by the price tag than by how the funding package works in the first place.

NPR News

Ukraine: 3 Killed After Black Sea Base Attack

A crowd of around 300 men armed with stun grenades and Molotov cocktails attacked the base, in the south-east part of the country late Wednesday, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'

Scientists and food activists are launching a campaign to promote seeds that can be freely shared, rather than protected through patents and licenses. They call it the Open Source Seed Initiative.

Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa

It's the first polio cases in Equatorial Guinea since 1999. The virus spread from neighboring Cameroon. When polio is on the move in Central Africa, the toll can be tragic.