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Alaska News December 19, 2017

By Kalinda Kindle: ‘It’s like the Grinch stole Christmas,’ gifts and electronics from Faith Lutheran Church were stolen
The church’s Pastor Christoper Ewings said this isn’t the first time a theft has happened.

“On four different occasions this summer we had people come into our church and steal gas from our van and from our personal vehicles,” Pastor Ewings.

Pastor Ewings said this just shows there is more work to be done.

“It gives us more motivation for us to get out there and share the good news of Jesus with our community,” Pastor Ewings said.
By Liz Raines: Westlake’s daughter seeks charges for sexual abuse of her mother
By Daniella Rivera: APD investigates Anchorage Ballet founder for accusation of sex assault
By Kortnie Horazdovsky: Police seek halfway house escapee, convcited in brutal 2013 beating
By Associated Press: Alaska woman accused of driving car into boyfriend in Hawaii
By Leroy Polk and Cameron Mackintosh: Police say Track Palin attacked father Todd Palin, called officers ‘peasants’
By Leroy Polk: 3 suspects from out-of-state arrested for Anchorage fraud, APD says
By Victoria Taylor, Sean Maguire: Candlelight vigil brings awareness to violence of sex trade
Sex Trafficking in Alaska
You can email Terra at
By Amy Armstrong An Example of Hope Valley woman’s remarkable recovery from 1989 accident inspires book, possibly a movie
The accident occurred Thanksgiving weekend 1989 and the Wasilla High graduates Chery Manning – then Chery Schultz

Author’s Note: Manning’s book, “God Has A Reason For Everything,” is available at Fireside Books in Palmer, at Barnes and Noble in Anchorage and online at Amazon.
Photos by Alejandro Peña: 3-509 Geronimos hit JBER’s Kraft Range
By Associated Press: German museum returning objects robbed from Alaskan graves
Congratulations Jenna Ellinwood!
By Scott Gross: Goldenview art teacher receives ASD’s highest honor

Congratulations Michelle Vaaia!

By Megan Mazurek: Teacher of the Week: Michelle Vaaia
Moms Everyday Alaska: Peppermint truffle cookies

Alaska News December 18, 2017

By Leroy Polk: Seward highway blocked by landslide, isolating commuters from Anchorage
By Sean Maguire & Victoria Taylor: Track Palin facing assault and burglary charges
By Leroy Polk: Man and woman shot in midtown Anchorage, no suspected shooter identified
By Victoria Taylor: Alaska SPCA opens doors to new veterinary clinic
Meadors said the clinic performs up to two dozen spays and neuters on cats, dogs and rabbits each day.

The organization is largely funded through donations and sales from the Alaska SPCA thrift shop.
By Kalinda Kindle: Who’s picking up the tab? City to consider proposed alcohol tax
Opponents say the tax could hurt consumers. Peanut Farm’s general manager, Travis Block said responsible drinkers are the ones that would be picking up the tab.

“Five percent is just craziness and they think our business should just absorb a five percent extra tax.” Block said.
Block said, the consumer would most likely end up paying a little more and he said that’s not fair to those who drink responsibly.
By Daniella Rivera:Downtown restaurant owner: Vandals ‘were just being mean’
Anderson says it will cost $1,400 to replace the windows. She now worries whoever damaged the store this time, might come back again.
Moms Everyday Alaska: Red velvet crinkle cookies

Alaska News December 17, 2017

By Cameron Mackintosh: 1,268 wreaths laid at Fort Richardson National Cemetery
By Sean Maguire: Walker endorses big changes for the Permanent Fund
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Gov. Walker is endorsing big changes to the Permanent Fund that include drawing on earnings to pay for state services, a first in the fund’s 41-year history. The plan would also see an estimated Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD) of $1,216 per person for 2018.
By Victoria Taylor: Troopers: Repeat DUI offender found next to a car in a ditch
According to the AST daily dispatch log, 28-year-old Michael Lanz was apparently driving under the influence of alcohol. Troopers said Lanz had his license revoked for a previous Felony DUI conviction, “Lanz had 3 prior convictions for DUI in the preceding 7 years,” Troopers wrote.

AST also charged Lanz with felony refusal to submit to a chemical test. He was taken to the Mat-Su Pre-Trial Facility and held in lieu of a $5,000 bail.
By Chris Klint: 5 murder suspects appear linked to Anchorage man’s death
By Chris Klint: Convicted rapist held at Goose Creek dies at hospital
“Boyd has been in DOC custody since 2011,” Edge wrote. “He was serving time for third-degree weapons misconduct, three counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of third-degree assault and kidnapping.”
By KTVA Staff: Suspect crashes stolen SUV in Fairview
By Liz Raines: ‘Women have had enough:’ Westlake accuser calls out Alaska Dems
“I think for way too long, way too many people and especially those in power have made far too many excuses for why it’s not a good time to be outing predators,” Garrett said. “’It’s not a good time to address sexual violence,’ or you know, they’ll make excuses saying this person or that person has done a lot of good in other areas and we can’t afford to lose them – ‘You know, we need their votes for this or that’ – and I think women have had enough.”

Westlake’s daughter from the underage relationship, Joslynn Little, said Saturday that she appreciated seeing party officials being called to account for their role in his rise to power.
By Victoria Taylor / Cameron Mackintosh: Annual Polar Plunge raises around $300K for Special Olympics Alaska
By Associated Press: Sitka seafood company bolstering marketing in Midwest
The company has a 10,000-square-foot (929-square meter) processing plant in Sitka, and two “Good-Fish Hubs” in the Midwest.

Mink says the new facility will house Sitka Salmon Shares’ distribution, packaging, marketing and retail functions.

Alaska News December 16, 2017

Alaska lawmaker resigns as investigation reveals he fathered child with teen girl

Alaska lawmaker resigns as investigation reveals he fathered child with teen girl
Facing accusations of sexual harassment, Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kiana, announced today that he plans to resign from office. The announcement comes as Channel 2 prepared a report on a child Westlake fathered with a teenage girl in 1988 when Westlake was 28. The girl was 16 when she gave birth to the daughter, who was established as Westlake’s child in a 1990 paternity claim filed by the state division of child support enforcement. SHOW MORE
By Sean Maguire: Female assault victim dies at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital
The victim, identified as 29-year-old Holly Morgan Rae Charlie of Fairbanks, died a short while later. Fairbanks Police Department detectives detained a person of interest around 10:00 a.m. FPD says “further investigation is ongoing at this time.”
By Samantha Angaiak: Governor Walker releases budget proposal for fiscal year 2019
By Beth Verge: Alaskan leaders respond to budget proposal with mixed reactions
By Chris Klint: 1 hurt after mobile drill hits Palmer gas line, burns
By Rhonda McBride: Kodiak Harbor Lights Festival brightens the holidays
By Jack Carney: Bus riders can now use mobile app to pay their way around town
The Muni’s public transportation department says it provides an average 11,000 rides per day around the city.

By Daybreak Staff: Mic Check in the Morning: UAA’s Opera Ensemble

Alaska News December 15, 2017

By Associated Press: Alaska jails want more flexibility to grant inmate furloughs
By Liz Thomas: U.S. Marshals, APD target sex offenders in operation
By Sean Maguire: Anchorage avalanche victim remembered in an uplifting ceremony
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – “He was a legend of his own making, always curious and always seeking new adventure around every corner.” That was how Steve Bergt remembered his brother Randy, the pilot, project manager, Nordic ski coach, world traveler, and experienced backcountry skier who died in an Avalanche, a day before Thanksgiving near Hatcher Pass.
By KTVA Web Staff: DOT worker bears witness to rare sight
Laurel Downing Bill: Story Time with Aunt Phil: Sled Dogs
Past inspires artists at moose hide tanning workshop

The Parkinson’s Forecast for Anchorage and Environs

By Peter Dunlap-Shohl: The Parkinson’s Forecast for Anchorage and Environs

The Parkinson’s Forecast for Anchorage and Environs
Heads up fellow PwPD. We will beat back the darkness Saturday, Dec 16 by potlucking like we don’t care that it’s too dim to tell what exactly is on our plates. Not that we can taste anything, anyway, given that our sense of smell is shot. We’ll eat, watch the lights come on across the Anchorage bowl in the early winter gloaming, and all sing “Jingle Bells” if I have anything to say about it. I’ll bring something main-dishy, scads of festive plastic utensils, and charming holiday-themed paper plates and cups (although the theme of the holiday may be Halloween, I’m not exactly sure what I have on hand.) You bring whatever you think goes well with light and heat deprivation. You could consider bringing something known to be particularly good for People Packing Parkinson’s, blueberries, vegetables rich in color, leafy greens and, God bless ’em, tasty wild-caught Alaska salmon!

Those in need of more distraction from the bleak mid-winter (and that would be all of us) should consider going to voice pathologist Anne Ver Hoef’s gathering for those who wish to practice speaking to strengthen their voices. If you didn’t get the memo, here is the gist:

The second meeting of our PD Conversation Group is planned for Monday, December 18th at 3:30 at Regional Hospital , Conference room 1.


Alaska News December 14, 2017

By Leroy Polk: Alaska man arrested for attempted murder after trying to run over, shoot victim
By Leroy Polk: Anchorage man convicted in murder of ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend
For his crimes, Rodriguez faces life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April of 2018.
By Leroy Polk: Soldier at Ft. Wainwright convicted of child pornography charges
Basey was found guilty on both charges, each carrying a range of sentencing from five to 20 years behind bars, in addition to fines of $250,000.

Basey’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23, 2018 in Fairbanks.
By Chris Klint: Woman dead, man charged in Wasilla wreck
By Daniella Rivera: Anchorage man sentenced in 2015 rape on UAA Campus
When given his chance to speak, Gutierrez said, “I want to participate in the program to learn more and rehabilitate myself and be a good father to my daughter and a better part of society when I do get out, and that I won’t be in here forever.”

His daughter is 3-years-old.

Judge Saxby sentenced Gutierrez to serve 10 years, with two suspended, amounting to eight years of time incarcerated. He will get credit for time he’s served since his 2015 arrest.

Gutierrez will also have to register on the sex offender list.
By Samantha Angaiak: Day care center for seniors living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia to close
By Beth Verge: Alaska spearheads investigation into ‘one of the most powerful cyberattacks in history’
KrebsOnSecurity: Mirai IoT Botnet Co-Authors Plead Guilty

Mirai IoT Botnet Co-Authors Plead Guilty
Krebs on Security
At the end of September 2016, just days after the attack on this site, the authors of Mirai — who collectively used the nickname “Anna Senpai” … is slated to hold a media conference at 2 p.m. today with officials from Alaska (where these cases originate) to “discuss significant cybercrime cases.” Update: …

By Nikki Carvajal & Sidney Sullivan: MAP: See where legal marijuana is sold around Alaska
By Daybreak Staff: Workforce Wednesday: Culinary Arts

Sen. Heitkamp Embraces ‘Not Invisible’ Hashtag for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

By Vincent Schilling: Sen. Heitkamp Embraces ‘Not Invisible’ Hashtag for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women


According to Heitkamp’s office, the efforts of Savanna’s Act and the #NotInvisible hashtag is to help raise awareness and bring this issue out of the shadows so it is no longer invisible. The Senator says she urged tribal leaders, politicians, celebrities and supporters to take a photo with the #NotInvisible hashtag and then post it on Facebook and/or Twitter on the 29th to help highlight these crimes.

On the 29th, tribal leaders, politicians and celebrities responded to Heitkamp’s efforts by posting selfies along with the #NotInvisible hashtag. Among the celebrities and politicians were Senator Jeff Merkley a co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Tom Udall, Senator Tammy Baldwin, Senator Mazie Hirono and actor Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk/Bruce Banner in the latest Thor Ragnarok.

84% of Native American women experience violence in their lifetime. But outside of Indian Country, few people are aware of this epidemic. It’s time to raise awareness and show that these women are #NotInvisible.

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) November 29, 2017

Alaska Updates December 13, 2017

By Rebecca Palsha, Kalinda Kindle: Solider from Alaska dies in Afghanistan
By Kyle Hopkins: Investigator: Sen. Wilson did not violate sex harassment policy; related investigation ongoing
By Associated Press: Juneau’s shelter for women to open its doors to men
By Rebecca Palsha: Artists bring ‘White Christmas’ to Downtown, even if the weather won’t
Need a jolt of Christmas cheer? Call artist Katie Sevigny and her band of high school art students.
By KTVA Web Staff: 2 arrested for stealing mail in the Tudor area
By Tracy Sinclaire: Bright lights from tiny pebbles – how to watch Wednesday’s peak meteor shower
By Samantha Angaiak: School district asks community for input amid revenue shortfall
The survey will be available through December and findings will be presented to the school board at a public meeting.

To view ASD’s Budget Input Survey click here.
By Jackie Purcell/KTUU: Rain-Freezing Rain-Snow-Warmer, Thanks to the Pineapple Express.

Alaska News December 12, 2017

By Kortnie Horazdovsky: Former Anchorage tutor sentenced for sex abuse of student
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – A former Anchorage tutor was sentenced to serve 23 years in jail with 11 suspended after pleading guilty to sex abuse of a minor and distribution of child pornography.

Evan Fischer was initially investigated by Anchorage Police in 2015 for possessing and distributing child pornography over the Internet, but detectives discovered he had been in a sexual relationship with an underage student.

His total sentence for the two charges includes 10 years probation and registering as a sex offender for life.
By Samantha Angaiak: “Those are the murderers right there” accused shooter blames others at arraignment
By Sean Maguire & Leroy Polk: UPDATE: APD says video surveillance validates McDonald’s shooting victim
By KTVA Web Staff: Mom accused of child’s starvation death in court
By KTVA Web Staff: ‘Hoverboard’ dentist in court for Medicaid fraud
The Department of Law also alleges Lookhart devised a scheme to send money collected from Medicaid directly to his home.

If convicted, Lookhart and Crandford face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,00.
By Associated Press: Flirting, sexting added to Alaska teachers’ code of ethics
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska education commission has added flirting, sexting and inappropriate touching to the list of things that teachers are not allowed to do with students.
By Caslon Hatch: The Doctor is in, at downtown Anchorage mall
The 5th Avenue Mall was chosen as a location because there are no other medical service options within the central city grid.

The clinic officially opens Tuesday. Hours of operation will coincide with mall hours: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays.

Another location will open at the Dimond Center Mall in the spring with plans to expand to more areas in the state.
By Patrick Enslow: Seawolf women honored in U.S. Senate
By Photojournalist Shawn Wilson: Homeless rehab program begins in the kitchen
By Rebecca Palsha: Free syringe program grows to include a mobile health unit
The woman whose husband is addicted to opioids has been able to keep a good job, but she’d still like him to stop.

“I worry every day, from day to day. I don’t know if something is going to happen to him or if he’s going to overdose, or if he’s going to get in trouble with the law. It’s hard to tell from day to day what’s going to happen.”
By Kortnie Horazdovsky: UAF Engineering building opens after year-long construction delay
“Most of the high bay facilities at other universities would be encased in concrete walls. Ours is encased in glass,” said Douglas Goering, Dean of the College of Engineering and Mines. “So people can see what engineers do and experience and become engaged with what engineers do.”
By Angela Cox: Rasmuson Foundation Awards $6.6 Million
By James Gaddis: Teacher of the Week: Frau Lucht
Moms Everyday Alaska: Double peppermint chocolate chip cookies