Alaska

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SD Card Led to His Arrest—and a New Confession

Brian Steven Smith accused of killing 2 Alaska Native women

(Newser) - The man accused of the brutal strangling of a woman in an Alaska hotel room last month killed another woman, police say. Brian Steven Smith, 48, was charged with murder, sexual assault, and evidence tampering based on footage from an SD card labeled "homicide at midtown Marriott," found... More »

Trump Wants to Build Roads in Biggest National Forest

Move would open up much of Alaska's Tongass to loggers

(Newser) - The Trump administration says it wants to lift the Bill Clinton-era "Roadless Rule" in a national forest bigger than West Virginia. The United States Forest Service said Tuesday that it would like to see an end to all restrictions on road building in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, a... More »

Cops Weren't Sure Brutal Video Was Real. It Was

Discovery of SD card leads to arrest for woman's murder in Alaska

(Newser) - "One of the first questions that detectives had to answer was, 'Was this staged, or did this really happen?'" says an official with the Anchorage Police Department. Unfortunately, it really happened. The official was referring to the discovery of a digital memory card that appeared to show... More »

A Better Ending for Teen Disqualified Over 'Suit Wedgie'

Alaska School Activities Association found ref didn't abide by the rules

(Newser) - A top-ranked Alaska high school swimmer won the 100-meter freestyle at Friday night's meet, only to be disqualified over a "suit wedgie"— to much uproar . Now, a reversal. The Anchorage Daily News reports that following a review of what happened to 17-year-old Breckynn Willis, the Alaska School... More »

In Drought-Plagued Parts of Alaska, 'Extreme Measures'

And if climate change continues, these types of scenarios could happen more often

(Newser) - In one Alaska village, officials are barging in jugs of water and shutting off the public water supply 12 hours each day. In another, automatic flush toilets have been switched to manual flushing, and restaurants are serving meals on paper plates. Alaska's hot, dry summer has led to extreme... More »

BP Abandoning Alaska After 6 Decades

Company plans to sell assets to Texas firm

(Newser) - BP plans to sell its interests in Alaska's once prodigious North Slope to a company seen as having a reputation of giving new life to aging fields. The sale to Hilcorp Alaska, an affiliate of Texas-based Hilcorp Energy Co., would be worth $5.6 billion, and include interests in... More »

Alaska Deals With New Fires, Persistent Existing Ones

Hot, dry weather has extended wildfire season

(Newser) - Alaska's wildfire season usually ends well before mid-August, but persistent hot, dry weather has contributed to the start of new fires and the spread of old ones. High winds Saturday damaged power lines or knocked trees into lines, sparking multiple fires, including one that temporarily shut down the highway... More »

For Alaska Salmon, This Year Is Brutal

Historic heat wave is likely killing off thousands of fish

(Newser) - An extraordinary heat wave has proved fatal for thousands of Alaska salmon this summer, CNN reports. Alerted by locals, scientists traveled along the Koyukuk River in July and spotted 850 unspawned dead salmon. "We were boating, going about 35 or 40 miles per hour, and we know we missed... More »

Mudslides Isolate 300 Tourists in National Park

The vast Denali National Park and Preserve has only one road

(Newser) - Three hundred tourists are stranded in a national park in Alaska after heavy rains triggered mudslides and caused excess water from a culvert to damage a road, the AP reports. The superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve closed Denali Park Road to all traffic at mile 30 on Friday.... More »

3 Tourists Found Dead on Alaska Glacial Lake

Calving glacier may have been a factor

(Newser) - Authorities are trying to determine how three German tourists died on a glacial lake in Alaska, though foul play is not suspected. A tour guide spotted two bodies floating in Valdez Glacier Lake around around 10am Tuesday, CBS News reports, and when they were recovered about four hours later a... More »

They Were on Their Way to a Famous Bus. Suddenly, a Slip

Newlywed swept away trying to cross Alaskan river near bus depicted in Jon Krakauer's 'Into the Wild'

(Newser) - A trek in Alaska to see the "Magic Bus" ended in tragedy this week for a newly married couple from Belarus—both the same age as the man who famously died at the bus site. The Anchorage Daily News reports that 24-year-old Veramika Maikamava and Piotr Markielau, who Alaska... More »

Small Alaskan Villages Hire Cops Who Shouldn't Be Cops

Because they have no choice and the state can't provide oversight, says new investigation

(Newser) - Earlier this year, ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News reported that one-third of Alaskan communities have no police officer of any kind. That's bad. A follow-up report by the same news outlets, however, might be worse. The investigation found that communities that do have officers are often so desperate... More »

Student Debt Is the Worst in These 10 States

Going to school in South Dakota could leave you with a big tab by graduation

(Newser) - One of the "hot-button" issues in the upcoming presidential election is how students will pay for their education, WalletHub notes—and to put things in geographical context, it's analyzed the numbers to see which states have the most and least student debt. The site looked at a dozen... More »

Anchorage Cancels Fireworks Amid Record-Breaking Heat

Thursday was city's hottest day on record

(Newser) - Anchorage, Alaska, isn't the first city people tend to associate with sizzling temperatures—but it's been baking this week in its worst heat wave on record. The National Weather Service says it recorded a temperature of 89 degrees Fahrenheit at the city's airport Thursday, smashing the previous... More »

This Is America's Most Patriotic State

New Hampshire tops the list for 2019

(Newser) - It's Independence Day—do you know how patriotic your state is? WalletHub looked at 13 factors, including voting numbers, volunteerism rates, military engagement, trial and grand jury participation, the share of residents participating in groups or organizations, and even a state's civics education requirement. Based on all that,... More »

Barr Declares Emergency Over Violence in Alaska

New funding will add police officers in rural areas

(Newser) - The Trump administration has declared a public-safety emergency in rural Alaska. US Attorney General William Barr, who visited Alaska last month, made the announcement , Reuters reports. “I witnessed firsthand the complex, unique, and dire law enforcement challenges the State of Alaska and its remote Alaska Native communities are facing,... More »

Cops: Teen Bound, Killed Friend on Promise of $9M

5 charged after Cynthia Hoffman's June 2 murder

(Newser) - A slew of child pornography charges is just the latest twist in an Alaskan murder case in which a developmentally disabled woman was bound and killed, allegedly by her best friend. Police say Indiana's Darin Schilmiller, 21, posed online as a millionaire, offering 18-year-old Denali Brehmer at least $9... More »

Here Are the States With the Best, Worst Economies

Washington state comes in at No. 1; Alaska is dead last

(Newser) - It takes a village—or, in the case of the US economy, each individual state doing its fair share. WalletHub took a look at all 50 states and DC to see how they all fared across more than two dozen metrics in three categories: economic activity (including startup presence and... More »

Russia's Air Force Has Been Busy Off the Coast of Alaska

NORAD says it intercepted multiple Russian fighter jets, bombers

(Newser) - US fighter jets are staying busy this week, thanks to a slew of Russian aircraft off the coast of Alaska. Per CNN , NORAD is reporting that American F-22 jets have intercepted Russian Tu-95 bombers and Su-35 fighter jets—not once, but twice over a two-day span. The first incident happened... More »

This State Ranks No. 1 Above the Rest

Washington tops overall in 'US News' ranking, while Louisiana is last

(Newser) - What's the best state? In the eyes of US News & World Report , that distinction belongs to Washington state. The magazine ranked eight factors—health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime, and natural environment—for its new ranking of all the states. As it turns out, Washington... More »

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