Alaska

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Alaska Village to Get Rid of 'Honey Bucket System'

Many residents of Akiachak are forced to use a bucket as a bathroom

(Newser) - In the western Alaska village of Akiachak, roughly half the homes use the "honey bucket system," which isn't nearly as sweet as it sounds. These homes lack indoor plumbing, so residents are forced to use large buckets as toilets; the waste is then deposited into village receptacles,... More »

Audio: Bristol Says 'Old Lady' Started Drunk Brawl

Palin also reportedly says on tape that guy knocked her down, spewed obscenities

(Newser) - Sarah Palin has already offered an explanation for the reportedly booze-fueled brouhaha in Anchorage her family was involved in last month, but now there's apparently audiotape to supplement that account. TMZ has released what it says is a copy of Bristol, Willow, and Sarah Palin's complaints to police... More »

Alaska, Arizona Join Gay-Marriage States

Number reaches 31, and it's expected to go higher soon

(Newser) - Gay couples won the right to wed in Alaska and Arizona today, after separate court decisions ended bans in those states. That brings the number of states that currently allow gay marriage to 31, reports USA Today , though it could reach at least 35 soon . That's up from 19... More »

Maps of Alaska Are So Old It's Dangerous

Incorrect elevation data may contribute to plane crashes

(Newser) - The US has highly sophisticated maps of Afghanistan, and the government constantly updates its terrain data in the contiguous US. But up north, it's a very different story. "Mars is better mapped than the state of Alaska," says the head of one mapping company. And that is... More »

Nation's First Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

Alaska ban is latest to fall

(Newser) - A federal judge has struck down Alaska's first-in-the-nation ban on gay marriages. US District Judge Timothy Burgess—who heard arguments Friday afternoon and promised a quick decision—released his 25-page decision yesterday afternoon. "Refusing the rights and responsibilities afforded by legal marriage sends the public a government-sponsored message... More »

Cops Inform Wrong Parents Son Is Dead

They were kind of surprised when he answered the door

(Newser) - The parents of Justin Priest were in agony after learning their son had just been killed in a car crash, and they drove to the home of his longtime girlfriend to deliver the news in person. Thus, as Alaska Dispatch News explains, they were more than a little surprised when... More »

Woman Who Survived Plane Crash Killed in ATV Wreck

Melanie Coffee's baby died in last year's Cessna accident in Alaska

(Newser) - Troopers in St. Mary's, Alaska, say a 26-year-old woman was killed this week after she crashed her ATV into a tree while drunk, reports Alaska Public Media . But Melanie Coffee's death has another tragic twist, thanks to a different crash near St. Mary's less than a year... More »

Planes Rerouted to Prevent Walrus Stampede

FAA warns media, gawkers to stay away, not spook beached animals

(Newser) - Aircraft, media, and curious folks in general have been instructed to stay far away from the 35,000 walruses crammed onto an Alaskan beach to prevent the easily spooked animals from stampeding each other to death, the Guardian reports. "When they lose their sea ice habitat and come ashore... More »

Why 35K Walruses Crowded Onto This Beach

There's no ice in the Chukchi Sea for them to rest on

(Newser) - What a loss of sea ice looks like: an estimated 35,000 walruses, crowded on one stretch of Alaskan beach. Images taken on Saturday via plane as part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual marine animal survey capture just that. The enormous grouping of the mammals near... More »

On-Air Shocker: Reporter Quits in Vulgar Fashion

KTVA's Charlo Greene says she'll work for marijuana legalization, utters F-bomb

(Newser) - Reporter Charlo Greene feels passionately about marijuana legalization in the state of Alaska. So passionate, in fact, that she outed herself as the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club in last night's 10pm news broadcast on Anchorage's KTVA, then made another shocking declaration. "[I'll] be dedicating... More »

Rape Crisis Grips Alaska's Small Towns

Young people take lead in addressing deep-seated issue

(Newser) - Rape occurs in Alaska at a rate almost three times the national average, and 59% of the state's women have experienced sexual assault or domestic violence, according to figures that researchers call conservative. The state is, in short, the country's "rape capital," but some—among them... More »

US Jets Intercept 6 Russian Jets Near Alaska

Canada intercepts 2 more, while Sweden complains about 2 entering its airspace

(Newser) - Russian military pilots seem to be getting a little adventurous these days. A pair of US military jets intercepted six Russian aircraft near the coast of Alaska Wednesday evening, reports AP . The Russian pilots never entered US airspace, but instead remained in something called the Air Defense Identification Zone, which... More »

Most Alaskans to Get $1.9K Just for Living There

This year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend check is a good one

(Newser) - It's good to be an Alaskan: Gov. Sean Parnell yesterday announced residents will pocket $1,884 by way of this year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, the Alaska Dispatch reports. That's a nice bump from last year's $900 payout and the third largest since the payments from... More »

Wildlife Rarity: Mama Bear Adopts Abandoned Cub

After real mother ran off with boyfriend, 'supermom' steps in

(Newser) - An Alaskan brown bear that had already rescued one cub after it broke its leg has once more become Katmai National Park and Preserve's resident hero. Holly—officially known as "brown bear 435" but described by park rangers as "supermom"—took in an abandoned grizzly cub... More »

Palins 'Present' at Huge Drunken Brawl

Anchorage cops probing fracas at Todd's birthday bash

(Newser) - It's not entirely clear exactly what happened at a big party in Anchorage, Alaska, Saturday night—but it apparently involved a lot of booze and a lot of Palins. According to Wonkette , multiple members of the family were "present" at a drunken brawl involving up to 20 people... More »

Alaskans Were Trained as Secret Agents Against Soviets

Fisherman, trappers called on in operation 'Washtub'

(Newser) - In the 1950s, the US feared a Russian invasion via Alaska—so the government trained regular folks, from fishermen to trappers, as secret agents. The plan involved coordination by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI, the CIA, and the military, the AP reports based on hundreds of partially-redacted documents obtained via... More »

Alaskan Bears Behind Rash of Break-Ins

They even seem to be smashing cabin windows for the heck of it

(Newser) - An environmental expert traveled 50 miles of Alaskan coastline last week, and every single cabin he encountered had suffered a break-in—by bears, reports Alaska Dispatch News . Though periodic bear break-ins aren't unusual, this season the creatures have bashed their way into "dozens and dozens" of cabins, a... More »

Alaska 'Butcher Baker' Serial Killer Dies

Robert Hansen hunted victims in wilderness

(Newser) - The "world is better" now that the worst serial killer in Alaskan history has died, says a state trooper who helped track down Robert Hansen. The 75-year-old had been in prison since 1984 after he admitted murdering at least 17 women and raping 30 more over a 12-year period,... More »

Ex-AG Beats Palin Pick in Alaska GOP Primary

Dan Sullivan will take on Mark Begich this fall

(Newser) - A Tea Party attempt to overcome a mainstream Republican came up short in Alaska last night as former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan won the GOP primary to become his party's candidate to take on Sen. Mark Begich this fall. Sullivan entered the primary the presumed front-runner, with the... More »

Surprise: This Red King Crab Is ... Blue

Alaska fisherman catches an oddity

(Newser) - It's called a red king crab, but one caught in Nome, Alaska, didn't get the memo: It turned up in fisherman Frank McFarland's pot as a lovely shade of blue, reports KNOM . (The oddity first showed up on the front page of the Nome Nugget .) A... More »

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