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AK Beat: New record of consecutive days over 70 degrees in Anchorage

Children feeding ducks while swimming during a warm summer day at Anchorage's Goose Lake. Loren Holmes photo

Branding agency gets rebrand: What's in a name? Nerland Agency, a well-known Alaska PR and advertising firm, is undergoing a tranformation -- the downtown Anchorage agency will now go by the curious moniker "Spawn." While that may sound more appropriate as the name of a heavy metal band or a comic book character, the agency's rebranded Facebook page indicates that the new name is inspired by "A fertile environment where ideas are grown, nurtured and set loose," and will be "hatching ideas by the zillions." Fellow Anchorage PR firm Thompson & Co. tweeted their support for Nerland's rebranding.

Meanwhile, some other PR-insider types --who shall remain nameless -- debated via social media whether or not the name was real. Apparently it is, because Outside Magazine has just named Nerland -- oops, Spawn -- one of its best places to work for the second year in a row.

Anchorage’s July heat wave makes the record books: Anchorage’s relentless heat wave set a record in July. “Nineteen days reached 70 degrees or better and 15 of those were consecutive, which sets a new record,” the National Weather Service writes. This summer’s July was the fourth warmest on record. Between both June and July, an average temperature of 60.2 degrees ties the warmest average record for those months set back in 1977.

Sex and salmon in Kenai:  A Superior Court jury in Kenai, Alaska, dipnetter haven for three weeks of Alaska’s short summer, found a local woman guilty on six felony counts for running a brothel in the small town, the Peninsula Clarion reported. Fifty-year-old Karen L. Carpenter’s charges included multiple counts of sex trafficking and persuading a person younger than 20 to engage in prostitution, but Judge Carl Bauman threw out the charge due to lack of evidence. According to court records, Carpenter told an undercover Kenai police officer her business, Gifted Hands, provided massages and “companionship packages,” and clients could decide how to spend their companionship time, including engaging in various sex acts. 

Good night and good luck: When the clock strikes midnight Friday, it will be an end of an era at the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. After almost 34 years at the News-Miner sports desk, longtime editor Bob Eley is putting down his notebook. Eley, who's literally watched and reported on multiple generations of athletes in Interior Alaska, said in his farewell column he's looking forward to being a fan again, and has no plans to leave his beloved Fairbanks. Here's to many more cheers (and barbecues), Eelman!

Not looking good for Yukon River kings: Tight restrictions on Yukon River subsistence fishermen haven't been enough to ensure enough kings reach Canada. Despite by harsh restrictions early in the season -- including closures to the first two pulses of king salmon and instituting smaller nets on fishermen -- only 20,000 fish have passed the sonar near the Alaska town of Eagle, 16 miles from the Canadian border. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that's well below the minimum 42,500 kings required by the Pacific Salmon Treaty between Alaska and Canada. While the count is about 2,000 fish more than the same time last year, biologists hoped the limitations would mean a higher fish count. The state sonar closer to the mouth of the Yukon at Pilot Station recorded about 114,000 king -- some 8,000 more than last year but well below the average.

"Fritz" Johnson nominated to Board of Fisheries: Gov. Sean Parnell has appointed Fredrick  “Fritz” Johnson, a Bristol Bay salmon and herring fisherman from Dilllingham, to the Alaska Board of Fisheries –- the seven-member body tasked with establishing Alaska fishing regulations. Johnson, who founded the Bristol Bay Times in 1982, must still be approved by the Alaska Legislature. He replaces Vince Webster, a fisherman from King Salmon, which is also in Bristol Bay. Lawmakers refused to confirm Webster’s reappointment last year and will need to approve Parnell’s nomination of Johnson.