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AK Beat: Ecologist just ducky about Anchorage Police's avian rescue

Craig MedredAlaska Dispatch
Anchorage Police Department officers climbed down into a storm drain to rescue some ducks in danger, prompting a thank-you note. Anchorage Police Department photo

Police save 2 babies on busy Anchorage highway: Rarely do Anchorage Police officers get press for their random acts of kindness or for their service to Alaska's largest city. So we offer this: An avian ecologist at UAA got a helping hand, recently, from police officers who stopped to help her rescue a family of ducks in danger on Minnesota Drive. When two ducklings fell into a storm drain near the International Airport Avenue exit, 33-year APD veteran John Daily arrived with a ladder and saved them, the ecologist writes in this letter.

Yup’ik teen is martial arts champ: A teenager with roots in Kotlik, a Yup'ik village in the northern Yukon River delta region, emerged victorious at the U.S. World Open Martial Arts Championships at Disney World in early July. Thirteen-year-old Michael Martinez, son of Mary Yunak Martinez, won first place in three divisions in the competition, according to KYUK. Facing competition from around the world, Michael won world titles in Traditional Forms, Continuous Fighting, and Clash Sparring. Read much more.

Blockbuster local affairs? Judging by the new, epic trailer produced by NorthwestelTV for the Whitehorse City Council, the weekly meeting is the most dramatic three hours of television broadcast in Canada's Yukon, on par with "Law and Order" or "Degrassi: The Next Generation," and waaay more dramatic than CSI Toronto. What agenda items will council members approve this week? And who will vote “nay” for library funding? Stay tuned ... and check out the trailer, which has garnered 32,000 views on YouTube since Monday:

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Drilling assistant perishes: Alaska State Troopers say a 26-year-old Anchorage man died at a job site near Chinitna Bay, located on the southwest side of Cook Inlet. Troopers received a call at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday from an operations manager with SAExploration, a geophysical services company that collects 3D data in Alaska, who reported the death of Brian Mitvitnikoff. Anchor Point-based troopers responded and discovered Mitvitnikoff had died while walking between drilling sites, and they said there were no “obvious” signs of foul play. Troopers’ spokeswoman Megan Peters said his body was found off a trail at the bottom of a hill, and it’s unknown whether he fell or descended the hill intentionally. According to Mitvitnikoff’s Facebook page, he worked as a driller assistant for Clean Harbors. His remains were taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Anchorage for an autopsy.

Search continues for missing Anchorage man: Anchorage police report that the Alaska State Troopers have stepped in to aid in the search for missing 81-year-old Anchorage man Wallace Wilkinson Dunn, last seen a week ago attending a soccer game in midtown Anchorage. Dunn's truck was located Wednesday, "parked and locked several miles away from his cabin near Big Lake at the end of Susitna Parkway," police reported. Troopers searched trails and conducted a K9 search in the area around Dunn's truck on Wednesday. They planned to resume the search Thursday. Anyone with information is asked to call APD at 786-8900.

Gun seized at Kodiak airport: Alaska State Troopers reported Wednesday afternoon that a loaded .40 caliber handgun had been seized from a 26-year-old man attempting to pass through security at the Benny Benson State Airport in Kodiak. The gun was spotted by a Transportation Security Administration agent monitoring an x-ray machine in the passenger-screening area, and the weapon was found to have 16 rounds in the magazine, though none chambered in the weapon. The passenger was released, and Kodiak prosecutors will determine whether or not to charge the man with having a prohibited weapon in a restricted area.

Tragedy strikes PNWER: Sad news from the Pacific Northwest Economic Region conference, which is being held in Anchorage this week. Tim Malone, the husband of Washington state Sen. Karen Fraser, died in Alaska Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Malone had traveled to Alaska with his wife, a PNWER conference attendee. The cause of his death is unclear. Malone was 78. He retired from the Washington Attorney General's office in 1989, where he worked as a senior assistant attorney general.