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Hatcher Pass opens to motorized vehicles

Mar 06, 2015 -- 12:30pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Snow has fallen on Hatcher Pass, prompting state officials to open the area to motorized vehicles. Anchorage television station KTUU reports the area had been closed indefinitely because of a lack of snow this winter. The area typically has about 10- to 12 feet of snow during winter. Alaska State Parks director Ben Ellis says officials made the call to open the area on Friday. Snow fell at Hatcher Pass Thursday evening.

Forest Service wraps up Lena Beach improvement planning

Mar 06, 2015 -- 10:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A planned improvement project at a Juneau area beach is in the final stages of preparation by the U.S. Forest Service. The Juneau Empire newspaper reports that an environmental assessment for Lena Beach includes a plan to improve fish passage to more than 1 mile of spawning habitat and 1  1/2  acres of coho-salmon-rearing habitat. The improvement project planned for the Lena Beach Recreation Area first went out for public comment one year ago.  A public comment period on an updated plan has a March 30 deadline. Juneau Ranger District Recreation program manager Ed Grossman says officials have paid close attention to comments that have been received and made some adjustments. The work is expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

DOT seeks feedback about proposed Fairbanks road work

Mar 06, 2015 -- 9:45am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Alaska transportation officials are seeking public feedback about proposed road improvements in Fairbanks. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the state Department of Transportation is presenting five possible solutions aiming to ease traffic congestion on the Old Steese Highway between the Trainor Gate Road and Johansen Expressway. More information is available online from the department. People also can leave comments about the project online.

Light earthquake felt in Alaska's capital city

Mar 06, 2015 -- 9:30am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Seismologists say a light earthquake in southeast Alaska was felt in the state's capital city. The Alaska Earthquake Center says the 3.7 magnitude quake was lightly felt in Juneau. The earthquake occurred at 11:48 p.m. Thursday 102 miles northwest of Juneau. There are no immediate reports of damage from the quake.

Denali makes plans to burn debris pile

Mar 06, 2015 -- 9:15am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Fire management staff at Denali National Park and Preserve plan to make another attempt to burn a debris pile. According to a release, park staff planned to burn the pile in January but cold temperatures created poor smoke dispersal conditions. The pile is east of the park airstrip and west of the northernmost loop of the Riley Creek Campground. Park staff will attempt to burn the pile between this coming Monday and March 27, weather permitting. The pile, consisting of material cleared from around park buildings and other infrastructure, is expected to burn for several days once lit. Smoke may be visible in the area from the Parks Highway and from aircraft.

State jury convicts 3 men in 2012 Anchorage home invasion

Mar 06, 2015 -- 9:00am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - An Anchorage jury has convicted three men of a 2012 home invasion that seriously injured a resident inside. State prosecutors say 28-year-old Richard Arlen Erdman, 26-year-old Taylor Ross Smith and 21-year-old James Earl Smith were convicted of robbery, burglary, felony assault and theft. Prosecutors say the three and an unidentified fourth man on Aug. 9, 2012, broke into a home, assaulted a man, stole the occupants' belongings and fled. Police received several 911 calls and stopped a suspect car. Three men inside fled on foot. The three men were indicted in January 2013. James Smith is scheduled for sentencing June 12. Sentencing has not been set for Erdman and Taylor Smith. Prosecutors say a first-degree robbery conviction carries a sentence of up to 20 years.
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