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May 21 2015
Blondin Agrees to Plea Deal in McGriff
Thursday, 21 May 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
A Kodiak man will spend at least four years in prison for killing another man in a hit-and-run that occurred on Pillar Mountain Road in 2008. 

According to Kodiak court documents, 27-year-old Bradford Blondin has pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in the death of 43-year-old Justin McGriff in April 2008.

Blondin agreed Tuesday to the plea deal in exchange for a 10 year sentence with six years suspended. If the judge agrees to the deal at the sentencing hearing in August, two other charges stemming from the hit-and-run will be dropped. Blondin will then serve 10 years probation.

McGriff, a dishwasher at a local restaurant, was living in a tent on Pillar Mountain, on the edge of downtown Kodiak, at the time of his death. He was last seen by a taxi driver who dropped him off on Pillar Mountain Road in the early morning hours. McGriff's body was found by neighbors around 6:30 that same morning.

The state medical examiner said at the time that McGriff likely would have survived the impact if he had received prompt medical treatment. The coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Police seized Blondin's truck shortly after the incident, but it took over four years for authorities to charge him, partially due to the long-standing back up at the state crime lab. Blondin was indicted in November 2012.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for August 27th, where the judge can accept or reject the plea deal between Blondin and the state. 
 
May 21 2015
Alaska Fisheries Report
Thursday, 21 May 2015

6.41 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup

 

Coming up this week, a look at salmon fry heading out to sea, learning where salmon come from by looking in their ears, and Petersburg's new dock gets dedicated. We had help from KFSK's Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg, KTOO's Matt Miller in Juneau and KDLG's Hanna Colton in Dillingham.  

 
May 21 2015
Business to Harness the Power of Puppy Eyes to Raise Money for Animal Shelter
Thursday, 21 May 2015
fancy_clothed_dog_stacie_joy.jpgDog wears its best hat out. Kodiak K Nine Kuts suggests participants dress their dogs up for the show. Via editrixie / Flickr

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If your loved one has soulful eyes, soft hair, and a fluffy tail, you can enter that canine into a dog show this weekend.

Kodiak K Nine Kuts is organizing the contest as part of Crab Fest to raise money for the Humane Society of Kodiak Animal Shelter, a goal co-owner Liz Naughton says is important to her and the business.

“K-nine has been open working on five years, and in the past we’ve tried to do stuff to help better raise money for the shelter,” says Naughton. “We’ve groomed dogs for the shelter that were in bad shape and we have a k-9000 dog wash so they can come in and wash dogs that are up for adoption and stuff because that’s what we do. I’m an animal lover and that’s why I do what I do.”

Naughton says this is the first year they’ve tried this show and there’s room for growth.

“We’re just kinda getting out feet wet and just see how people are,” says Naughton. “We’re gonna hand out suggestion cards you to say 'Hey, what would we like to do?' Maybe we could really turn this into something great here through the next few years.”

Naughton’s business partner, Diana Fogler, is the other K Nine Kuts co-owner and says they’re starting simple. It’ll be a fun, light contest.

“People can dress their dogs in costumes,” Fogler says. “We have four different categories this year. We have most appealing eyes, best costume, best adopted shelter dog, and the dog that judges would most likely pick to take home with them.”

She says both contest participants, and observers, will have a chance to win prizes.

“We have the rosettes of course and then we have engraved dog bowls and we are also doing door prizes. We have prizes from the Kodiak Pet Supply up the road, we will have door prizes from Canine Kuts and I believe from C & E Feeds as well,” says Fogler.

Fogler says all proceeds go to the animal shelter. She says entry fees are fifteen dollars and for general admission, you can either donate 5 dollars or a bag of pet food.

The event will begin Sunday at 1 p.m. in the St. Mary’s School gym and Fogler says if you want to enter your dog into the show, you can reach out to K Nine Kuts directly. Go to the kodiakkninekuts.com contact page for that information.
 
May 20 2015
Vessel Safety Checks and Survival Suit Racing Raises Boat Safety Awareness
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
nicole_boat_safety_check.jpgVessel examiner Nicole Clark doing a safety check with boat owner, Stormy Stutes. Photo by Drew Herman

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

If there’s one thing you need to keep in mind when taking your vessel out into Kodiak waters, it’s safety.

This week, the Coast Guard in Kodiak is trying to raise awareness for National Safe Boating Week 2015. Members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the volunteer branch of the coast guard, will offer several different opportunities this weekend, including free Recreational Vessel Safety Checks.

Flotilla vice commander Eduardo Vitorino says it’s a voluntary exam and your results are your own.

“It doesn’t get sent up to anywhere and they’re not gonna give you a ticket," says Vitorino. "All it is is just for you to take that paper and read it, and be like ‘alright, well, I guess I need to get a fire extinguisher.’ You look at the checklist, you go get your fire extinguisher, put it on the boat, and if there’s nothing else, give us a call back, we’ll come back, and do another one and give you a copy of your passing and give you a sticker.”

In other words, there are no consequences except for the ones you’ll face out at sea if you don't have a fire extinguisher or the other items Vitorino says are required by federal guidelines.

“There’s flairs, your nav, have your type 4 life jacket – or throwable as we call it – it can be a ring buoy or it can be the square one, seat cushion type that’s on your boat," says Vitorino. "And then the number of life jackets that’s required to be on the boat depends on how many people you’re taking out.”

Vessel examiners will be in uniform at both St. Herman and St. Paul harbor this Saturday roughly between 11 and 2 p.m. They’ll be available for questions and safety exam requests and say they also accept appointments.

Auxiliary volunteer and vessel examiner Nicole Clark says the Norm Holm Memorial Survival Suit Race will also take place Saturday. Team members will meet at the St. Paul Harbor launch ramp and Clark says racers swim about fifty feet to a raft wearing survival suits over their clothes.

Vitorino and Clark say the key is teamwork and you need to get all your team members onto the raft to be successful.

“You run down to the dock, you put your survival suit on first, then check your buddys’, make sure that they’re good to go, and then jump in the water, and figure out or coordinate a way to get your team out to the raft," says Vitorino.

"The hardest part of the race is getting up onto that life raft at the end," adds Clark. "‘Cause you’re tired from swimming and you’re heavy from being wet. It’s kind of a fun version of what you would be doing in a survival situation.”
    
Vitorino and Clark say the race begins at 1 p.m. and observers are welcome. If you’re a participant, they suggest you bring a towel in case you get wet.

To make a boat safety check appointment, you can contact vessel examination coordinator, Alan Morris, at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or (907) 942 7132. You can also find out more about federal guidelines here.
 
May 19 2015
Talk of the Rock: Crab Fest
Tuesday, 19 May 2015
10.8 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



Today on Talk of the Rock, Host Kayla Desroches talks with Stephanie DeLaGarza about Crab Fest. DeLaGarza works with the Kodiak Chamber of Commerce and has been integral in organizing the famous Kodiak festival. They'll chat about rides, food, and the list of activities on the schedule.
 
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