UPDATE: Eaglecrest forges ahead
in Ski Town Throwdown finals
The Eaglecrest ski area in
Juneau took the lead overnight in the finals of Powder
Magazine's Ski Town Throwdown.
The vote tally as of
8:30 a. m. shows Eaglecrest with 13,867 votes to 13,569 for Crested
Voting ends at 4 p.m.
People can vote once every 24 hours. Voting in the
five day finals event started Monday.
Voting links are available on the Eaglecrest Facebook
Go to the Eaglecrest web site for more information.
Woman and father plead not
guilty in death of Alaska man in Montana
LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) — A 31-year-old Washington state
woman and her father have pleaded not guilty to charges
related to the death of a pedestrian from Alaska on I-90
Wyran Young is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal
crash and tampering with evidence in the Sept. 30 death
of 81-year-old Elgie Bedford of Wasilla.
Her father, Westley Young, pleaded not guilty to
The Youngs are accused of stopping at a car wash to
clean their vehicle, leaving parts of Bedford's body at
the car wash.
Former Alaskan charged in
Montana on incest count
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A man who recently moved from
Alaska to Missoula, Montana, is charged with incest for
allegedly having sex with his 19-year-old mentally
The 48-year-old man was charged in Missoula yesterday
and jailed in $50,000 bail.
Court records say the daughter told investigators she
knew it was illegal and that she should go to jail
because her father had children to take care of.
UAA study of Anchorage
police shootings released
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The findings from a study of
Anchorage police shootings over a 20-year-period have
been publicly released.
The study by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice
Center shows that Anchorage police officers fired their
guns on 45 occasions in the line of duty from January
1993 to mid-May 2013.
The Anchorage Daily News says the study unveiled
Wednesday was commissioned by the Anchorage Police
Police Chief Mark Mew says the research cost the city
Among other findings from the study, officers never shot
at anyone who was unarmed or not using a vehicle as a
The study also found that the majority of shootings
occurred north of Tudor Road and that officers fired
three or fewer shots in about half of the cases.
(Anchorage Daily News)
Presiding judges named for judicial districts
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The presiding judges for each of
Alaska's four judicial districts have been named.
They are Superior Court judges Trevor Stephens for the
First Judicial District; Michael Jeffery for the Second
Judicial District; Sen Tan for the Third Judicial
District; and Michael MacDonald for the fourth district.
Appointments were announced by Alaska Supreme Court
Chief Justice Dana Fabe. Presiding judges are appointed
for one-year terms that span a calendar year. They can
The First Judicial District covers southeast Alaska. The
second covers Barrow, Kotzebue, Nome and Unalakleet. The
third district covers south-central Alaska and the
fourth district the Interior.
Anchorage: missing man's body found in home
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Anchorage police say the body
of a man reported missing in mid-November has been found
in his home.
Police spokeswoman Dani Myren says a relative of
58-year-old Stephen Gingrich found him Thursday in the
basement crawl space under his Eagle River home. The man
was buried under a heavy concrete slab.
The spokeswoman says it appears Gingrich had been
digging beneath the slab when it fell and crushed him.
He was reported missing on Nov. 16 by a neighbor who had
not seen nor heard from him in about two weeks.
The basement area was searched earlier but Myren says a
large amount of debris and clutter had obscured the
Police estimate the slab weighed at least 500 pounds.
UPDATE: Overdue trapper, wife rescued off Denali
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — A Cantwell woman stranded after
her snowmobile broke down in minus 20-degree
temperatures was forced to burn the machine to keep
Alaska State Troopers say 57-year-old Vivian Mayo was
found Wednesday suffering from severe hypothermia.
She had left a cabin near Mile 105 Denali Highway to
seek help finding 47-year-old Scott Mayo. The Fairbanks
Daily News-Miner reports Scott Mayo was two days overdue
from checking a trap line.
Trooper James Ellison and volunteer rescuers found
Vivian Mayo just a mile from the cabin at 1 a.m.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says it's unclear why
Vivian Mayo didn't walk the mile back to the cabin.
Scott Mayo was found about four hours later in good
condition alongside a warming fire. Both were flown to Anchorage for evaluation.
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
Both were flown to Anchorage for evaluation.
Michigan hunter details his Alaska survival tale
GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan hunter is detailing
how he survived for a week in the Alaskan wilderness.
Adrian Knopps was stranded with no food, shelter or warm
clothes. He was sleep-deprived, hallucinating and
slipping into hypothermia.
Resigned that he would die, the 51-year-old electrician
from Grand Ledge carved a farewell message on his rifle
That's when a Coast Guard helicopter came to his rescue.
Knopps was stranded for seven days in September after
his hunting partner drowned while boarding their boat.
He tells The Detroit News that: "You try to live one
moment at a time and do what you have to."
A Coast Guard official says it's remarkable that Knopps
made it out alive.
(The Detroit News)
Snowmobile driver charged with
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A 29-year-old Wasilla man
suspected of driving a snowmobile down the Parks Highway
has been charged with felony driving under the influence
Alaska State Troopers say Eric Hunter was arrested
Wednesday night and also is charged with failing to stop
at the direction of an officer and driving with a
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters tells the Anchorage
Daily News that an officer at 10:45 p.m. tried to pull
Hunter over at Mile 51.
She says Hunter didn't stop and the trooper followed.
Peters says Hunter abandoned his snowmobile and took off
into a wooded area.
A police dog tracked Hunter to a cabin. Troopers
obtained a search warrant and found Hunter inside.
He remained jailed Friday morning at Mat-Su Pretrial
(Anchorage Daily News)
New boat seeks safer
fishing on deadly Bering Sea
ANACORTES, Wash. (AP) — A $35 million boat commissioned
by a Washington state-based fishing company promises to
make one of the most dangerous professions safer.
The key difference is a new vessel design: Fishermen
won't be on the boat's deck weathering unforgiving
Bering Sea waves as they reel in their catch. Instead,
they'll be behind the protection of the boat's hull.
Currently under construction in Anacortes, Wash., the
flagship vessel for Blue North Fisheries is the first of
its kind for American commercial fishing — a similar
model is already used by a Norwegian company.
Jennifer Lincoln, an injury epidemiologist with the
National Institute for Occupational Safety Health, says
the vessel's design represents an attempt to avoid the
hazards faced by fishermen completely.
The 191-foot vessel is due to hit waters in late 2014.
Wind, downed trees affect power
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Unseasonable winter weather has
again knocked out power to customers in Fairbanks and
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports 4,500 homes were
without electricity early Thursday after high winds blew
trees covered by ice and snow into lines.
It was the second significant outage of the week and
third of December.
Golden Valley Electric Association says the main outages
were along Dawson Road north of North Pole and an area
northeast of Fairbanks.
Spokeswoman Cass Cerny described the morning as
"cascading outages" with a lines getting fixed only to
have a tree go down and knock out power elsewhere.
GVEA recorded consistent winds of 30 to 40 mph with
gusts to 55 mph.
An estimated 6,000 homes were left powerless Monday.
(Fairbanks Daily News-Miner)
City seeks funding for
pickup of street inebriates
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two Anchorage Assembly members
want the state to pitch in a half million dollars for
picking up and caring for inebriates on the streets of
Amy Demboski and Bill Starr and want the state to pay a
quarter of the costs of hiring a private company to pick
up drunken people.
The Anchorage Daily News reports the item was included
in draft language for the annual legislative package.
NANA Management Services operates vans that transport
people incapacitated by booze to the Anchorage Safety
Demboski says alcoholism is a statewide issue that has
been shifted to Anchorage. She says it's appropriate for
the state to help out with costs.
A $500,000 state appropriation would cover a recent
increase in the costs of the service.
(Anchorage Daily News)
Mild 2013 cuts Arctic a break,
warming woes remain
SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Arctic took a bit of a break from
its rapid melting this year. But a government report
card says global warming is still dramatically altering
the top of the world.
The warming trend is reducing the number of reindeer and
shrinking snow and ice, while increasing certain fish
and extending the growing season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
issued its report Thursday. It portrays conditions in
2013 as moderate compared to the roasting 2012. Overall
Arctic temperatures didn't soar quite as high, and
Greenland ice sheets and the summer sea ice didn't melt
But NOAA says the long-term trends are ominous. Average
Arctic temperatures have increased 3.6 degrees since the
1960s, rising twice as fast as the rest of the world.
State considers rerouting Parks
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state is considering a
Parks Highway route that would bypass Wasilla and help
relieve traffic congestion in the city.
Wasilla has long been the center of congestion on the
highway, with vehicles passing through traffic signals
at local intersections.
KSKA says the state Department of Transportation is
conducting a study to look at alternative routes to
improve the flow of traffic in the area.
HDR Alaska Inc. is a consulting firm heading the study.
HDR transportation planner Murph O'Brien gave Wasilla's
planning commission a preview Tuesday of what is on the
O'Brien says the choices are either to add more lanes
through downtown Wasilla or to look at the possibility
of going south of the town with a controlled-access
freeway type road.
Fairbanks airports to increase fees
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Fees are going up at state
airports in Alaska's two largest cities.
The Anchorage Daily News reports parking fees will
increase Jan. 1 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International
Airport and at Fairbanks International Airport.
Hourly parking fees at the Anchorage parking garage and
two main lots will increase between 50 cents and $1.
The weekly maximum for parking in the domestic terminal
parking garage will rise from $90 to $96 and in the
international terminal lot from $74 to $78.
Meeting room fees and annual fees for taxis, limousines
and tour buses also will increase.
One thing will not change. The first half-hour of
parking in every lot will remain free.
Anchorage airport manager John Parrott says fee
increases are projected to generate $750,000 to $1
(Anchorage Daily News_
Group to place wreaths at
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Volunteers with a national
group will be at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to
place holiday wreaths at the headstones of service
members buried at the Fort Richardson National Cemetery.
Army officials say the event is set to begin at noon
Saturday and is part of a yearly effort by the Wreaths
Across America organization.
Officials say the group was founded in 2007 to continue
and expand an annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington
National Cemetery that began in 1992.
According to officials, more than 400,000 wreaths were
placed last year on headstones at 815 locations around
the country and national veterans' cemeteries in other
AP Newsbreak: Western
governors show wildlife maps
SCOTT SONNER, Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Governors in 16 states are unveiling a
high-tech wildlife habitat mapping project they hope
will encourage economic development across the West
while protecting the region's environmental treasures
from Puget Sound to the Rocky Mountains.
Leaders of the Western Governors' Association tell The
Associated Press they want to make it easier to chart
paths across large landscapes where developers can
expect the least regulatory resistance as they draft
plans to build highways, dig mines or erect power lines.
Five years in the making, the database to be announced
Thursday at the WGA's annual winter meeting in Las Vegas
is called the Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool, or CHAT.
It will connect 16 western states with a
first-of-its-kind online system of GIS maps displaying
wildlife habitat, wetlands and other valuable natural
Oil trains from North Dakota
opposes at Washington State hearing
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A proposal to ship North Dakota
crude oil by train to Vancouver mostly drew opponents to
a public hearing Wednesday night in Spokane.
Most of the 75 people at the state hearing cited risks
of train derailments, spills or fires as well as global
climate change from using oil.
The Spokesman-Review reports the plan could result in up
to four oil trains a day passing through Spokane.
Toys for Tots boxes set up all
The Toys for Tots campaign is going on again this
Christmas season in Juneau.
Michelle Wilson is among the organizers.
She says they ask people to donate new toys valued at
$10 or more. Do not wrap them. That is done by the
various agencies who receive the toys..
She says they're assisted by the Alaska Army National
Guard which has put out collection boxes all around
The are at Les Schwab Tire Center, Lyle's Home
Furnishings, NAPA Auto Parts, Valley Chiropractic,
Valley Paint Center, Valley Lumber, both Alaska Pacific
Bank branches and McDonalds.
Wilson says their goal is wrap up this year's Toys for
Tots campaign by December 19th.
Guard brings Christmas to remote Alaska village
KWETHLUK, Alaska (AP) — Christmas came early in western
Alaska this week when Santa and Mrs. Claus delivered
presents to nearly 300 students in the Yup'ik Eskimo
village of Kwethluk (KWEETH'-luck).
The visit was arranged by the Alaska National Guard's
Operation Santa Claus. The program started in 1956, and
volunteers try to bring Santa, Mrs. Claus and gifts to
several remote Alaska villages every year.
The students were mostly all smiles this week when they
posed for pictures in the school gym with Santa before
getting a present.
The students also got new backpacks with schools
supplies, and even toothbrushes and floss to promote
good dental care in western Alaska, where there are few
Organizers say it's important to bring Santa to these
remote places to give children a little holiday joy.
wells' next at stalled Seattle tunnel
SEATTLE (AP) — The Transportation Department says crews
are drilling "de-watering" wells Thursday to relieve
pressure on a machine that has become stuck while boring
a highway tunnel under downtown Seattle.
Spokeswoman KaDeena Yerkan says the wells should make it
easier to identify what's blocking the machine known as
Bertha. Then contractors will determine how to proceed.
The machine was halted Saturday by the mysterious
obstruction. It may be a huge boulder.
The boring machine is 60 feet under the streets and
about one-tenth of the way into the planned 1.7-mile
tunnel that will carry Highway 99 traffic and replace
the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
Seattle police find 2,500 stolen
bottles of wine
SEATTLE (AP) — Police have recovered more than 2,500
bottles of wine stolen from a South Seattle wine shop
last month, and they're probing a possible connection to
an earlier heist in San Francisco.
The wine was taken over Thanksgiving at Esquin Wine
Merchants, a wine shop that also has 450 privately
rented, climate-controlled storage lockers. Prosecutors
say the culprits broke in, painted over security
cameras, cut through sheetrock to access the lockers,
and tried to burn the building down.
Investigators say the stolen wine, valued at $648,000,
was found Tuesday at a storage facility less than a mile
from the wine shop.
They say the investigation indicated the suspects last
spring sold a large amount of wine to a San Francisco
dealer for $100,000 — soon after a break-in at a
high-end San Francisco wine shop.
Geminid meteor shower ramps up
MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — It's time for the December
The annual Geminids (JEM'-i-nids) meteor shower — the
most intense of the year — will peak Friday night. But
the best viewing may be early Saturday, once the moon
sets. Between 100 and 120 meteors are expected every
hour at peak time. But scientists say the bright moon
will interfere and reduce the number of visible meteors
by half. That's why the best shot for viewing will be
closer to dawn on Saturday.
The Geminids come from a small asteroid named 3200
Phaethon, which passes quite close to the sun. Its trail
of dust and debris is what makes up the Geminids. Earth
passes through this stream of debris every December.
The meteor shower extends from Thursday through Monday.