Threatening phone calls to schools in at least four Alaska school districts have prompted police responses over the past two weeks. In three communities, the threats were made by a caller using an automated or computerized voice, according to school and police officials.
Jerzy Shedlock
Two people escaped an early morning blaze in a South Anchorage duplex, but firefighters were unable to rescue a third resident, who perished in the fire.
Megan Edge
Signed into law by Gov. Bill Walker Monday, the bill creates a Marijuana Control Board that will spearhead the crafting of Alaska's marijuana regulations. The state is actively seeking resumes for the five-member volunteer board.
Laurel Andrews
Police said Jeffrey Skillingstad, 53, shot one of his co-workers, once in the torso and once in the arm. He then fled in a white van but was found within minutes, police said.
Tegan Hanlon,Megan Edge
The U.S. needs a more definitive defense policy for the Arctic, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Congress Wednesday. 
Erica Martinson
A $400 land sale approved Tuesday by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly allows a subdivision near Palmer to keep a gate that blocks motorized users from getting to the Matanuska River below. Mat-SuZaz Hollander
Attorneys for Greenpeace say Royal Dutch Shell has demonstrated no harm from environmental protesters who boarded a ship carrying an Arctic-bound drill rig last month.EnergyDan Joling | Associated Press
When accidents are narrowly averted at offshore oil and gas facilities, Uncle Sam wants to know about it. There’s a new avenue for the government to get those tips, via a confidential near-miss reporting system unveiled at the Offshore Technology Conference on Tuesday.EnergyJennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle
Even as river ice slowly melts in place, Alaska emergency managers and federal river experts are continuing a long tradition of monitoring for signs of ice jams and floods. WeatherLisa Demer

News & Politics

Black bears removed from Anchorage neighborhood show up in Hope

The family of five black bears captured and relocated after they foraged through garbage cans in Anchorage's Government Hill neighborhood briefly appeared Tuesday in Hope.Tegan Hanlon

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Popular columnists
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Adventure

See Nelchina, Macomb caribou herds near Alaska highways in springtime

Low snow conditions almost everywhere, except Denali Highway country, made winter easier than normal. Nelchina caribou travel far between their summer range in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains and their winter habitat near the Canadian border.  John Schandelmeier

Culture

Get thee to a nunnery: 'Sister Act' brings nuns, gospel and disco to the stage

Disco, power ballads, intrigue -- and nuns gone wild. Anchorage Concert Association's last big musical of the year, "Sister Act," will play in Anchorage from May 12-17. Jeri Kopet

Arctic

Up to 500 reindeer in Finland killed annually by trains; no fences planned

Reindeer herders want the state-owned railway to build fences to protect the animals, but the Finnish Transport Agency says the herders are responsible for erecting and maintaining fences. YLE News

Nation/World

  • With an economy dominated by the oil industry and a conservative, free-market political tradition, Alberta has long been cast as the Texas of Canada. But on Tuesday night, not only did the province’s voters put the Progressive Conservative Party out of power after 43 years, they elected a government from the far left of Canada’s mainstream political spectrum.

  • A train carrying highly flammable crude oil derailed and erupted into flames Wednesday morning, forcing the evacuation of a small town in North Dakota, according to local and federal officials. The fire was the latest in a string of accidents and explosions involving oil trains in recent years. It occurred less than a week after the federal government outlined its plans to improve the safety of highly hazardous train traffic.

We Alaskans

Released by Algonqin Books just last week, Heather Lende's "Find The Good"  has already found a spot on the Pacific Northwest Independent Bestseller List for hardcover nonfiction. 
Alaska Dispatch News