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North Pole man faces animal cruelty charges

Jul 23, 2014 -- 4:00pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - A North Pole man faces animal cruelty charges after four severely malnourished horses were found on his property. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports charges were filed Friday against Thomas Patrick Fisher. Alaska State Troopers began investigating after four horses were reported loose July 2 and seized by authorities the next day. A veterinarian's report says the horses were malnourished and in poor to very poor condition due to abuse and neglect. Troopers say they couldn't find any horse feed on Fisher's property, and one hose had a leg wound so severe it couldn't put any weight on it. Online court records didn't list an attorney for him and his home phone wasn't operating correctly Wednesday. Fisher had a business license until 2009 for a venture called "Alaska Horseback Guides." 

Begich says action needed on veterans bill

Jul 23, 2014 -- 3:45pm
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says price shouldn't be the issue in passing legislation to address veterans' health care. Concerns have been raised at the cost of a Senate proposal to build new clinics, hire new doctors and help veterans who can't get timely appointments to get outside care. Begich sits on the House-Senate conference committee charged with reaching agreement on a bill. He expressed frustration Wednesday that the panel has only met once and some members of Congress are balking at the cost. He said members of Congress "didn't blink an eye" at spending $2 trillion on sending Americans to war. He said those who want to "nickel and dime" veterans don't understand what they've done for the country or understand the government's obligation to provide the care they earned.

Relative of historic mining figure visits memorial

Jul 23, 2014 -- 3:30pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - An Italian relative of the man whose discovery of gold in Interior Alaska helped spark the Fairbanks gold rush helped rededicate a monument to the discovery. Adriano Pedroni was one of five Italians from Felice Pedroni's hometown of Fanano, Italy, who were on hand for Sunday's event. Felice Pedroni is most commonly known in America as Felix Pedro. According to the Alaska Mining Hall of Fame Foundation, Pedro's discovery led to the 1902 Fairbanks gold rush. Pedro is also considered one of Fairbanks' founding fathers. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the stone monument honoring Pedro was installed in 1952. It has been rededicated annually by members of the organization Pioneers of Alaska. 

Arguments set in challenge to gay marriage ban

Jul 23, 2014 -- 3:15pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Arguments are scheduled for October in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Alaska's ban on same-sex marriage. Five same-sex couples, four married outside of Alaska and one unmarried couple, sued to overturn the ban in May. Alaska voters approved a constitutional amendment in 1998 defining marriage as between one man and one woman. The state, in its response, said Alaska isn't required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. State attorneys also argue that Alaska, as a sovereign state, has the right to define and regulate marriage. The case is being heard by U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Burgess. The Oct. 10 arguments are set against the backdrop of judges in other states striking down bans similar to Alaska's as unconstitutional. A number of those decisions are being appealed.

Anchorage man arrested in traffic death

Jul 23, 2014 -- 3:00pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A 30-year-old is accused of providing alcohol to teenagers involved in a February traffic crash in Anchorage that killed one of them.  KTUU says Robert Lee Green III of Anchorage is charged with two felony counts of furnishing or delivering alcoholic beverages to minors. He was arrested Tuesday. Seventeen-year-old Brandon Muller was pronounced dead at the scene of the Feb. 20 crash of an SUV he was driving. Two teenage passengers were injured. Court documents say Green's actions directly contributed to the injury and/or death of another person while under the influence of alcohol. The crash occurred after the SUV veered and hit a snow bank. Police say the survivors and one other minor were charged with underage drinking. It's unclear if Green has an attorney.

Former Bethel foster parent sentenced to 66 years

Jul 23, 2014 -- 2:45pm
- BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - A former Bethel foster parent and day care operator has been sentenced to 66 years in prison in a child sexual abuse case. KYUK reports that Peter Tony was sentenced Tuesday in Bethel on three consolidated child sexual abuse counts in which he pleaded guilty. He will have no possibility of parole. In a plea deal with prosecutors in February, the 70-year-old Tony pleaded guilty to charges of sexually abusing a minor in 2012 involving a 4-year-old girl his wife had in day care. He also pleaded guilty to the 1998 molestation of a 12-year-old girl. He had faced seven felony counts. Before running a small day care out of their home, Tony and his late wife Marylin were foster parents for 14 years until 1998.
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