Anchorage Motel 6 shooting victim ID'd: Anchorage police have released the name of the victim of a shooting at a midtown Motel 6 on Sunday. Jose Cortez reportedly died following the shooting, and police say they are still determining whether the 25-year-old's death was intentional or accidental, or whether any suspects were involved. Police dispatchers received a call at 10:15 p.m. Sunday from a Motel 6 employee who reported a shooting in one of the rooms. When police arrived, they found Cortez dead; he had been shot in an upper level room. Police say next of kin have been notified. According to online court records, Cortez has had prior run-ins with the law, the most serious of which -- a theft charge -- dated back to 2006, when he was 18.
Interior Alaska still on fire: With winter on hold, the Mississippi wild fire in Interior Alaska is making use of the snowless days to spark back up. The fire near Delta Junction -- the Interior community that on Monday saw 62 degree temps, shooting past the previous record by 19 degrees -- has seen a resurgence of the massive fire due to strong winds and still-dry weather. The Mississippi fire has burned more than 67,000 acres since it started May 30. Now, 10 personnel are staffing the fire, some of whom had to be pulled out of their seasonal leave, Division of Forestry spokesperson Maggie Rogers said. Having fires burning so late in the season is "unusual," Rogers said. All told, six active fires are burning across the state, according to Alaska Interagency Coordination Center data.
Delta flight makes emergency landing in Cold Bay: A Delta Airlines flight traveling from Tokyo to San Francisco made an emergency landing in Cold Bay early Tuesday morning following a reported engine problem. Federal Aviation Administration Spokesman Allen Kenitzer said Delta flight 208, a Boeing 767, made the emergency landing, and Delta reported the plane touched down in Cold Bay -- an Aleutian community 634 miles southwest of Anchorage -- just after 6 a.m. Delta was flying a new plane out on Wednesday morning to pick up the reported 167 passengers and 11 crew who were aboard the diverted aircraft, according to an Alaska DOT representative. Cold Bay is considered one of the commercial hubs of the Aleutian Islands. Its runway is more than 10,000 feet long, making it the fifth-longest runway in the state.
Anchorage Fire Department looks for arsonist: The playground equipment at College Gate Elementary School in East Anchorage has been set on fire twice in less than six months by an arsonist, the Anchorage Fire Department reported Wednesday. On Friday evening, fire dispatch received a call from a woman who said she "heard an explosion and then noticed the equipment on fire" at the elementary school campus. A press release from AFD said a school function was underway when the fire occurred. The first playground fire was on June 17. AFD is urging anyone with information on these fires to call the arson hotline at 907-267-5060.
'Blue Hen state' officials in hot water over Alaska trip: Delaware State Treasurer Chip Flowers is facing scrutiny over allegations he used state funds to pay for an extended vacation in Alaska after attending a series of business meetings in Anchorage in September 2012. The Delaware Online said Flowers and his assistant, Erika Brenner, billed the state for four days of excursions in Denali State and National Parks. Both have already reimbursed the State of Delaware, but Brenner was reassigned to another position. The charges totaled more than $3,000 and included more than $500 in room service fees at a Talkeetna lodge, and payment for a glacier flightseeing tour.
Beans Café helps pets, too: National pet supply store PetSmart has given Anchorage's Bean's Café a $3,000 grant to help take care of the pets of the homeless and working poor. The nonprofit plans to use the money to buy pet food, treats, leashes, collars, bowls and pet vitamins. The local PetSmart on Muldoon Road in Anchorage applied for the grant. The check was to be awarded to Bean's Cafe Wednesday morning.