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Texas agency helps seek owner of lighter bought in Alaska

Nov 30, 2015 -- 9:30am
- SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A Texas sheriff's office has joined the hunt for the owner of a cigarette lighter used by a deputy more than 50 years ago but recently purchased in Alaska. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office on Monday posted a photo of the lighter on its Facebook page. Sheriff's officials in San Antonio are checking the records for a Deputy Mitchell, who apparently served in the 1940s or 1950s. An ex-San Antonio man, Doug Williams, saw the lighter Friday at an antiques store in Anchorage, Alaska. A badge attached to the lighter has the words "Mitchell," "Deputy Sheriff Bexar County" and "1294." Williams recognized Bexar County and bought the lighter for $45. Williams posted a photo online to try to find Mitchell, saying he wants to learn more about the deputy. 

Road officials use howitzer to start snow slide near highway

Nov 30, 2015 -- 9:15am
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Department of Transportation used an artillery piece Sunday to lower avalanche danger along the Parks Highway north of Cantwell. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports DOT workers fired the weapon at Panorama Mountain between Cantwell and the entrance to Denali National Park. The artillery fire created snow slides aimed at making travel safer from Mile 216 to Mile 220. Avalanches there in 2004 buried the Parks Highway under as much as 20 feet of snow. Highway maintenance foreman Rick Lee says the howitzer started four productive slides that will decrease the avalanche risk throughout the rest of the winter. Only a few inches of snow from the slides reached the highway and Lee says it didn't impede traffic.

DOT plans major repairs to marine highway, Egan Drive

Nov 30, 2015 -- 9:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities is planning to launch major renovation projects for a number of highway segments and ferry terminals next year. The Juneau Empire reports that the DOT is planning to launch a $20 million to $30 million renovation of Egan drive early next year. A $10 million reconstruction of Glacier Highway in Auke Bay, a $4.5 million renovation of Glacier Highway from Point Lena and Tee Harbor and a $1 million project to build a new heated ferry terminal in Kake is also planned. According to state documents, funding for all significant Marine Highway terminal improvements is coming from the Federal Highway Administration. 

Objects from Norwegian settlers found in Petersburg building

Nov 30, 2015 -- 8:45am
- PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) - Artifacts left behind by Norwegian settlers are on display at one of Petersburg's oldest buildings. KFSK-FM reports carpenters working on the 103-year-old Sons of Norway hall found beer bottles in a wall and a leather notebook and a knife holder beneath the floor of an upstairs men's restroom. A board with a message in Norwegian was also found, and an ink well and several other items were discovered behind the upstairs women's restroom. Rainier was printed on one beer bottle label, and the other read Olympia, both dated in 1906. Jill Williams, a lodge member for over 40 years, says it appears they were discarded before the wall was closed up. She said this could mean the hall houses more artifacts that have yet to be found.

Artists plan to rebuild Alaska art display damaged by tides

Nov 30, 2015 -- 8:30am
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Creators of a public art installation damaged by tides and high winds at an Anchorage beach plan to rebuild the display by the original opening date. Lead project artist Sarah Davies says participants at Point Woronzof have recovered 82 of 85 of the sculptures made of straw, cement, plaster and burlap. She says the official opening is still scheduled for Dec. 5. Most of the figures were toppled by the elements this week, just days after they were installed. Participants say the 100Stone project is about the personal wellness-management stories of Alaskans. The sculptures represent people dealing with emotional vulnerabilities, including trauma and mental illness. Davies says the vulnerability to the tides was always part of the project. She says the damage just happened more aggressively and sooner than expected.

Alaska, British Columbia leaders sign cooperative agreement

Nov 25, 2015 -- 12:00pm
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark have signed a cooperative agreement, committing to work together on issues of shared interest, including the ongoing discussion over Canadian mining impacts on Alaska waters. The non-binding memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday. In a release, Walker said it's important the state foster good relationships with its trading partners and neighbors as it works to improve its economy. Clark said the province and Alaska have a long history of working together. She says the memorandum provides for more collaboration to ensure the protection, conservation and enhancement of the shared environment and a better future for residents. The memorandum comes as the two sides look at ways to address Alaska concerns about the impact of Canadian mining on waters flowing into the state.
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