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Troopers investigate Chevak death as homicide

Aug 29, 2014 -- 1:00pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The death of a young woman outside a clinic in a southwest Alaska village is being investigated as a homicide. State Troopers say 19-year-old Roxanne Smart of Chevak was found just after 11 a.m. Wednesday near Chevak Clinic. A village public safety officer found the body. Troopers from Bethel responded to the scene. Chevak is a community of just fewer than 1,000 people about 130 miles northwest of Bethel. 

Grand jury indicts Petersburg man in explosion

Aug 29, 2014 -- 12:45pm
- PETERSBURG, Alaska (AP) - A 59-year-old Petersburg man has been indicted by a grand jury after he was injured in an explosion at a rock pit in Petersburg. KFSK reports the two-count indictment returned this month by the federal grand jury charges Mark Weaver with possession of seven grenades, a single count, and another destructive device. Authorities say Weaver was arrested this week in Washington state, and a detention hearing is set for Tuesday. Weaver was injured in the explosion at the rock pit south of Petersburg in July. He drove himself to the clinic. Federal law enforcement officials investigated, and blew up 50 pounds of a commercially available explosive called Tovex seized from his home, another property he owns and his pickup.
 

Gubernatorial candidates talk fish at debate

Aug 29, 2014 -- 12:30pm
- KODIAK, Alaska (AP) - The three major Alaska gubernatorial candidates focused on fish at a debate in Kodiak. KMXT reports that Republican incumbent Sean Parnell, Democrat Byron Mallott and independent candidate Bill Walker fielded dozens of questions Thursday night at Kodiak's Gerald C. Wilson auditorium. The event focused solely on topics related to the seafood industry. Questions to the candidates were posed by a media panel, audience members and even each other. Answering a question about the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's declining budgets, Parnell said the state is getting a good return on investment, spending about $200 million on a $6 billion to $10 billion industry. Mallott said sustainability of fish must be maintained for future generations. Walker said expanding Medicaid would help self-employed, uninsured fishermen get necessary medical coverage.
 

First Japanese flight kicks off aurora season

Aug 28, 2014 -- 1:30pm
- FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The first aurora borealis seekers from Japan have arrived in Alaska's interior to launch the unofficial beginning of the northern lights viewing season. The first Japan Airlines flight of the season landed in Fairbanks Wednesday with 174 passengers. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the flight from Narita Airport near Tokyo is the first of six Japan Airlines charters scheduled to arrive in Fairbanks through Sept. 18. The visitor industry designates the eight-month period that begins Aug. 21 as aurora-viewing season, even though many people associate northern lights excursions with winter months. Early season visits have increased over the past decade, from two flights in 2005 to six. The Fairbanks market has earned a reputation as one of the best places in the world to view northern lights.
 

Shell files revised Arctic offshore drilling plan

Aug 28, 2014 -- 1:15pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Shell is preserving its options to drill for oil in Arctic waters next year by filing a revised exploration plan with federal officials. A subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC filed the revised plan Thursday with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in Anchorage. Shell Alaska spokesman Curtis Smith says in an email that the plan calls for two drilling vessels to operate in the Chukchi Sea. Smith says the filing of the plan is not a final decision to drill in 2015 but it lets Shell keep its options open. The last time Shell drilled in Arctic waters was in 2012. Smith says drilling would require a successful resolution to federal supplemental environmental work. That's required after an appeals court concluded that an environmental review preceding the 2008 Chukchi lease sale was flawed.
 

Alaska Libertarian candidate withdraws from race

Aug 28, 2014 -- 1:00pm
- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Alaska Libertarian Party nominee in the U.S. Senate race has informally dropped from the running, but party officials say they've been unable to reach him about sending a signed withdrawal letter to the state elections division. The party has until Tuesday to swap out candidates for the November election, but can't do so unless its outgoing nominee Thom Walker follows the required procedure. A message purporting to be from Walker announced he was declining the nomination in a posting Wednesday on the party's Facebook page. Party chairman Michael Chambers says Walker has not returned numerous messages to reach him in past weeks. As a result, the party's executive board voted Tuesday to recognize former party chair Mark Fish as the nominee if Walker should step down.
 
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