Check Out Our Sister Station – KODK

kodk LOGO - greenEven though there’s no news on the KODK schedule, we still love it. KODK 90.7 FM, or “The 907″ as we like to call it, is the fourth over-the-air signal provided by Kodiak Public Broadcasting, joining KMXT FM+HD. Check out the KODK schedule here.


Defense Barred from Calling Tattooed Inmate in CommSta Murder Trial

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A federal judge says defense attorneys in the Kodiak Coast Guard CommSta murder trial can’t call a witness currently in custody on another case, though he may allow it in the future.
Judge Ralph Beistline ruled today (Friday) that 38-year-old Jason Barnum didn’t have a sufficient connection to the case to testify in the trial of 62-year-old James Wells now underway in Anchorage.
Barnum acknowledged being in Kodiak at the time but says he didn’t know the slain men.
In a separate case, Barnum is charged with attempting to kill an Anchorage police officer at a hotel in September 2012.
Barnum is heavily tattooed, including on his eyeball, and federal prosecutor Karen Loeffler says there’s no reason to call him as a witness other than to frighten the jury.
Wells is charged with murder in the deaths of co-workers Richard Belisle and James Hopkins on April. 12, 2012, at the Coast Guard Base Kodiak Communications Station.

Widow Testifies in CommSta Murder Trial


The wife of a Coast Guardsman shot to death two years ago at a Kodiak communications station says she didn’t shoot her husband and his co-worker.
Deborah Hopkins was called as a defense witness Thursday in the trial of James Wells, who’s charged with first-degree murder in the death of Petty Officer First Class James Hopkins and civilian employee Richard Belisle.
Defense attorneys contend investigators immediately focused in on Wells and ignored other possible suspects.
Defense attorney Peter Offenbecher questioned Deborah Hopkins about an affair her husband had, their finances, her familiarity with the shop were her husband was murdered and guns in their home.
During cross-examination, special assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Duigan directly asked Deborah Hopkins if she had murdered her husband. Hopkins said she had not.

Witness Testifies on Local Cars in CommSta Murder Trial


A defense witness in the trial of the man charged with killing two co-workers at a Kodiak Coast Guard station says there are plenty of other cars on the island that fit the dimensions of a vehicle recorded near the murder scene.
Federal defender investigator Deatrich Sheffield says 263 blue vehicles registered on the island fit the same dimensions and that doesn’t count Coast Guardsmen cars registered elsewhere.
Sheffield testified Thursday in the trial of electronics technician James Wells, who’s charged with killing Richard Belisle and James Hopkins shortly after 7 a.m. on April 12, 2012.
Prosecutors say Wells used his wife’s blue sport utility vehicle to drive to the scene.
A security camera recorded a blue vehicle driving past the shop at 7:09 a.m. and returning five minutes later.

Sen. Begich Brings Campaign to ComFish

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Alaska Senator Mark Begich was in town Thursday. As he told KMXT’s Jay Barrett, the visit was part campaign-swing, part work.

The Alaska Fisheries Report

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Coming up this week, it’s ComFish time in Kodiak, residents of the YK Delta  react to the possibility of no king salmon fishing at all this summer, and another fishermen’s bar goes smoke free. We had help from KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs in Kodiak, KSTK’s Shady Grove Oliver in Wrangell, KYUK’s Charles Enoch in Bethel, KUCB’s Lauren Rosenthal in Unalaska, and KHNS’ Margaret Friedenauer in Haines.

Six Months Later, Boro Surprised By Animal Control Numbers

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Brianna Gibbs/KMXT
It’s been six months since animal control service returned to the borough’s road system. During Tuesday’s work session the borough assembly heard from Community Development Director Bob Pederson about some animal control numbers the borough recently received from the city.
“And if you look at the numbers, 2-1, the calls in the city versus the borough. Which I think surprised us a little bit. We figured there might be some pent up demand for animal control in the borough because the contract wasn’t in place there up until November.”
Pederson said based on the annual contract cost, the animal service is actually costing the borough around $760 per call. The cost was derived by dividing the contract in half to account for the six months it’s been in place, and then dividing that number by the number of calls.
“Assuming that the borough is paying for half of the animal control service, there’s two employees that do it I’m told, the average cost in the city would be $355 per call. So we’ve reached out to the city and wanted to confirm that cost split. I’m not sure quite how that was structured and the contract isn’t clear on that, it’s a lump sum amount. So if we are splitting the cost of the program I think we should have a discussion with the city about cost split.” Continue reading