Goose crashes into Cessna on takeoff: A goose smashes through the front windshield of a Cessna 210 Centurion right after takeoff from an airport in Downers Grove, Ill., in this video recorded Dec. 28, 2013. The video, posted Friday, had racked up more than 160,000 views by Monday afternoon. A piece of equipment appears to fly from the windshield and blood splatters across the back window as the goose crashes through the windshield. The pilot lands the plane moments later, still covered in blood and goose parts. Neither the pilot nor passenger were injured, according to text that appears at the end of the video.
Mushing duel at Copper Basin 300: The Most Improved Musher in last year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Nicolas Petit, was Monday dueling with past Copper Basin 300 champ Allen Moore from Two Rivers in the Interior as they sped toward the Copper Basin finish line in Glennallen. The 34-year-old Petit, who took a circuitous route to Alaska, finished sixth in only his third Iditarod last year. A resident of the Normandy region of France until age 12, he moved to New Mexico with his mother in the early 1990s, got introduced to sled dogs in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming, and migrated to Alaska in 2000. A decade later, he volunteered to help Iditarod veteran Jim Lanier of Chugiak train his dogs. As things turned out, Lanier had to have hip-replacement surgery that winter, knocking him out of the 2011 Iditarod. He asked Petit to run his team, and soon the younger man was hooked. Petit put together his own team for Iditarod 2012 with the help of members of the Redington clan and finished the race a respectable 29th. Then came last year's big breakthrough upon which Petit appears to be building upon this year. Moore, the defending Yukon Quest champion and partner of 2013 and 2012 Iditarod runner-up Aliy Zirkle, was not expected to make victory easy for the musher from Girdwood. Moore has won the Copper Basin four times and is looking to make that five. The race can be followed live on-line via GPS tracking here.
Warm winter weather headed to Southcentral Alaska: Get ready to batten down the hatches and dig out the hip boots. The National Weather Service is warning of another Hawaiian Express heading north from the subtropics to slam into the Gulf of Alaska coast. The urban core of Alaska -- Anchorage, the Susitna Valley and the Kenai Peninsula -- is expected to take the brunt of it. By Wednesday, the agency says, temperatures are likely to starting rising into the 30s and 40s as far north as the Alaska Range. Meanwhile, strong winds can be expected to rake Turnagain Pass, the Anchorage Hillside and other higher elevations. "The greatest impacts mid- to late-week appear to be related to rapid snowmelt potential,'' the agency says, (with) rapid runoff and ponding of water on top of ice from rainfall.'' That could last through Saturday, after which temperatures are expected to return to seasonal norms in the 15-to-25-degree range. Can you say road skating rinks?
The senator, the Secretary of the Interior, and a phone call: After Interior Secretary Sally Jewell rejected a land swap which would’ve cleared the way for a road through what is now the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, connecting the communities of Cold Bay and King Cove, things between the secretary and Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski got frosty, according to a narrative of the decision’s aftermath posted by Politico Friday. Both literally and figuratively: “It was probably a 10-degree morning, and by the time I got done talking with her, the ice buildup on the inside of the truck was so much that I had to scrape it with a credit card to see out,” Murkowski told Politico. The story gives an interesting account of the interactions between the two powerful Washington women after the announcement of the decision came down. Murkowski described herself as “angry,” “frustrated” and “upset,” and particularly so because of the announcement’s timing—just a few days before Christmas. A spokesperson for Jewell acknowledged the disagreement, but stressed that the two -- who will have to work on other issues, including many related specifically to Alaska -- will continue to be able to work together going forward. But the Politico article speculated that the fallout over the Izembek road might hurt those efforts.
Troopers arrest man in crawl space, homeowner: Alaska State Troopers took two men to jail instead of one, after a Wasilla homeowner falsely told officers a fugitive they sought wasn’t there, according to troopers. Troopers said they were seeking 50-year-old Michael R. Metcalf of Wasilla on a felony warrant for failure to appear (the original charges against him included burglary, theft and criminal mischief) when they arrived at the Lake Lucille Drive home of Thomas W. Keller, 52. Troopers allege that Keller initially told police that Metcalf was not at the residence, but a subsequent search revealed him to be hiding in a crawl space. Both men were taken to Mat-Su Pretrial Facility, and Keller was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution.
Forget the knives, look out for the frozen fish: Recently the Public Health Division of Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services analyzed injury data from the Illiuliuk Family and Health Services, a clinic in Dutch Harbor, and the Alaska Journal of Commerce (via The Republic, of Columbus, Ind.) summarized their findings. Among them, that frozen fish were the leading “agent” when it came to injuries, causing 23 percent. Decks came in second with 7 percent, while knives were responsible for only 3 percent (causes for the remaining 60 percent weren’t attributed). The report also noted that in 20 percent of cases requiring further treatment, fisherman hadn’t sought treatment for a week or more after receiving the injury.