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Feb 10 2016
Pletnikoff Family Takes City to Court
Wednesday, 10 February 2016
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Nick Pletnikoff, on his back, about to be pepper-sprayed in the face by Kodiak Police Department Sergeant Francis de la Fuente. De la Fuente and Officer Phillip Christman  are named, along with the Kodiak Police Department and City of Kodiak, as defendants in a civil suit brought by the Pletnikoff family, claiming poor training and police brutality because of this Sept. 16, 2015, incident. KPD bodycam footage obtained through court order
 
Jay Barrett/KMXT

It’s been almost five months since three Kodiak police officers pinned an autistic man to the ground and pepper-sprayed him at point-blank range. Nick Pletnikoff was not charged with any crime, after the incident, but the Kodiak Police Department hired a police consultant from Soldotna to investigate the actions of its officers. The report, released last week, found the officers acted appropriately.

Others disagree, including the Pletnikoff family, who Tuesday filed suit in Kodiak Superior Court against the city, the police department and two of the three officers involved. Named as defendants are Sergeant Francis de la Fuente and Officer Phillip Christman. Not named in the suit is officer Kathleen Gambling, who also participated in the detention of Pletnikoff.

When contacted Tuesday, family attorney Josh Fitzgerald said the reason Gambling was not named would eventually be explained.

The 15-page complaint accuses Christman of not alerting his fellow officers of Nick Pletnikoff’s special-needs condition, since they have known each other since high school, and it accuses de la Fuente of escalating an incident that, until he arrived, was non-violent. The complaint claims Nick Pletnikoff’s special needs condition should have been obvious to any reasonable officer at the scene.

The suit accuses both Christman and de la Fuente of negligence and accuses de la Fuente of assault and battery. It also blames the city and police department for a lack of training and holds it liable for the actions of its officers. 

The Pletnikoffs are asking for judgment in excess of $100,000 as well as punitive damages, and are asking for a jury trial to be held in Kodiak. 
 
Feb 09 2016
City to Discuss Fisheries Analyst Contract at Work Session
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

At the Kodiak City Council work session tonight, the council will discuss the same contract which had been under examination at Kodiak Island Borough Assembly meetings up until its final decision last week. The assembly had been split over whether to extend its year-long contract with the fisheries analyst, Heather McCarty, who it shares with the city. At the assembly’s last regular meeting, it amended to extend the contract six months at the suggestion of Assemblyman Dennis Symmons. Assemblyman Mel Stephens was the only dissenter on the amended contract offer, which passed 4-to-1.

Tonight, the city will discuss the issue.

Also on the agenda is an ordinance to allow accessory dwelling units, sometimes called granny flats, in certain residential districts in the Kodiak Island Borough. The ordinance would change borough code to list accessory dwelling units under a permitted use within those districts.

In addition to discussion on those issues, the council will hear a department overview from the Chief of Police and discuss city investments policies. The work session will be in the Kodiak Public Library Multipurpose Room at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
 
Feb 09 2016
TOTR: The Food and Sound Wizardry Behind The Mermaid of Hanin Rocks
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
4.51 MB | Download MP3 | Open in popup



On today’s Talk of the Rock, host Kayla Desroches speaks with members of the cast and supporting crew for the radio theater performance, “The Mermaid of Hanin Rocks.” You’ll hear from teens on the culinary team and the sound engineering side of the performance.
 
Feb 09 2016
Workshop to Teach Kids How to Tell a Story in the Theater and the Classroom
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Storytelling isn’t just an activity for campfires and stages – it’s a skill that you need for everyday life. And for teens, everyday life usually means school.

Celia Whitehead will lead the last workshop in the Story Build & Tell series this month and says the class will be about sharing life experiences, among other things.

“It will be a workshop on brainstorming stories and sharing and creating a really safe, respectful space where everyone can feel like their stories matter. Creating connections between youth, through sharing their stories, and ultimately being able to hold a microphone in their hand and give it a try. See what it sounds like when you stand up and represent yourself, possibly to an audience outside of your family and friends.”

She says students will walk away from the workshop with more than the ability to tell a story to an audience.

“Public speaking is one of the big skills, and deep listening, being able to listen to each other and hear what they’re saying. Other skills would be giving useful feedback – how to give feedback to each other in a way that’s not harmful, but also isn’t just saying, oh, well that was great, but actually be able to be useful with the feedback.”

In addition to teaching the art of constructive criticism, Whitehead explains the workshop will help students identify highlights of an experience. What matters and what can you leave out? That’s just as vital to some of the less popular story forms, like “the essay”, which students need to master for everything from classes to college applications.

“I see this process of reflecting on the events in your life and how they’ve changed you  - that work is exactly the footwork that happens when you sit down to write the college essay. You build those skills of finding out what details matter and what is it about the stories in your life that make them important to you.”

Whitehead says students will warm up by talking about themselves and their lives.

“Like a favorite food or your first pet, just things to start sharing. We’ll be listening to some stories that other youth have told at slams around the country and do a little reflection on what students thought about those stories. What made them good, or what were the details that they really paid attention to.”

She says the workshop is for children ages 9 to 16, but the age bracket is flexible, and the class will be on Saturday, February 20 between 1 and 4 p.m. at the Teen Center. It’ll be good training for any kids interested in participating in a story slam this April, which you’ll hear more about on KMXT as the date approaches.
 
Feb 09 2016
Name of Saint Herman Harbor Shooting Victim Released
Tuesday, 09 February 2016
Jay Barrett/KMXT

Yesterday afternoon the Kodiak Police Department released the name of the fisherman shot and killed aboard the fishing vessel Katherine in Saint Herman Harbor early Sunday Morning. He is 25-year-old Welton Daniel Albers of Houston, Texas. An earlier Kodiak Police report initially gave his age as 28.

The KPD press release details a timeline that starts with a frantic 911 call from a witness at about 12:40 a.m. In the call, another 26-year-old is reported pleading for assistance after seeing his friend shot several times aboard the FV Katherine located on L-Float in St. Herman Harbor.

The KPD say another 911 call came from a man identifying himself as Matt Bowe, age 28, claiming he had shot Albers in self-defense.

According to the KPD timeline, another young man met the officers on the float, saying Bowe was still aboard the FV Katherine. Bowe was given instructions by the 911 dispatcher on surrendering to the officers and he exited the vessel without incident.

When officers boarded the vessel they found a 21-year-old woman, who was also onboard during the incident. When the officers located Albers he was unresponsive and appeared to have received several gunshot wounds to his arm and torso. He was pronounced dead at Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center.

Officers found a loaded assault rifle in the ship’s galley near the victim and an empty 12-gauge shotgun on the back deck.

Bowe and the three witnesses were brought to the Kodiak police station and interviewed. Based on statements and what evidence they had, Bowe was arrested on a charge of murder in the first degree and was arraigned Monday on $500,000 bail.
 
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