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Ketchikan authorities release name of man killed in fire

Mar 27, 2015 -- 1:15pm
- KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) - Ketchikan fire authorities have identified a man killed in a residential fire as 60-year-old George Mather Jr. Ketchikan radio station KRBD reports Mather died of smoke inhalation in the Monday morning fire. Mather lived at the home. The cause of the fire has been blamed on faulty electrical wiring. Ketchikan Fire Chief Abner Hoage says an autopsy by the state medical examiner's office found high levels of carbon monoxide in the victim's blood. Hoage says the home had a smoke detector, but the battery had been removed from it. Hoage says the fire appeared to have smoldered for a long time. He says a working smoke detector likely would have alerted Mather.

Skateboarder killed in Anchorage hit-and-run

Mar 27, 2015 -- 1:00pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Anchorage police say a driver is in custody after a pedestrian was killed in a hit-and-run incident. Anchorage television station KTUU reports a Ford Explorer leaving a midtown store parking lot struck and killed a woman who was skateboarding. Police say the driver drove away from the scene of the incident, which occurred at about 10:30 a.m. Friday. Sgt. Cameron Hokenson says the driver did not look to see that a skateboarder was legally moving along the sidewalk. Police say witnesses provided the vehicle's license plate number to police, who tracked down the driver. The name of the skateboarder was not immediately released.

Longtime Alaska Jesuit priest dies at age 88

Mar 27, 2015 -- 12:45pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Louis Renner, a Jesuit priest who spent four decades teaching in Alaska's interior, has died in Spokane, Washington, at age 88. Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks spokesman Robert Hannon says Renner died Tuesday morning at the Gonzaga University Infirmary in Spokane after his health rapidly declined. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner newspaper (http://is.gd/oIINt4) reports Renner taught German and founded the Latin program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also wrote several volumes about Alaska's Catholic history. His writings include an encyclopedic work, "Alaskana Catholica," in 2005. Renner was born in 1926 at a farm outside Bismark, North Dakota, joining the Society of Jesus shortly before he turned 18. In 1958, shortly after he was ordained, Renner arrived in Fairbanks. An April 12 memorial is planned at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks. A funeral mass is scheduled for Saturday in Spokane.

FAA, Anchorage police investigate drone complaints

Mar 27, 2015 -- 12:30pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Federal aviation authorities and Anchorage police are looking into claims by Eagle River residents that a drone equipped with a camera has followed children. Anchorage police spokeswoman Anita Shell tells Channel-2 News that officers contacted the drone operator, who hasn't been named because he hasn't committed a crime. Shell says he was practicing using the drone for an upcoming business venture. She says the man was made aware of neighbor's concerns about a drone flying near children and hovering over homes. Since they spoke to the man, she says complaint calls have ended. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the Eagle River incident as well as another one involving a drone that entered the airspace at Anchorage's small airplane airport.

Oil council: Shale won't last, Arctic drilling needed now

Mar 27, 2015 -- 12:15pm
- WASHINGTON (AP) - A U.S. Energy Department advisory council says the U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future. The study released Friday says that in order for the U.S. to keep domestic production high and imports low, oil companies should start probing the Artic now because it takes decades of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market. Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is chairman of the study committee and spoke to The Associated Press. He said it will take 20 to 40 years for Artic oil resources to become available. Environmental advocates say the Arctic ecosystem is too fragile to risk a spill, and cleanup would be difficult or perhaps even impossible because of weather and ice.

Lawmakers discuss Alaska Code of Military Justice

Mar 27, 2015 -- 12:00pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Lawmakers heard an update on efforts to draft new rules for the Alaska National Guard. Lt. Forrest Dunbar talked about efforts to update a code of military justice in Alaska during a House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee meeting Thursday. The current code dates to territorial days. And Dunbar said the guard currently has three options for disciplining members: letters of reprimand and similar actions, administrative separation and prosecution under state law. The guard would like two more options: nonjudicial punishments, including fines and suspensions, and court martial. The guard and lawmakers are working on developing those options through HB 126. Thomas Brown, an aide to Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, said work on the bill will likely continue this summer so that a bill can pass early next session. 
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