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AK Beat: Anchorage police seek stabbing suspect

Alaska Dispatch News

Stabbing suspect sought: Anchorage police say they’re looking for a man who stabbed someone in the back. On Tuesday shortly after midnight, police were called to the area of Third Avenue and Karluk Street for a disturbance involving “several people,” according to an Anchorage Police Department news release. Police say a man and woman were physically fighting when another man intervened and “stabbed the male victim in the lower back with the knife,” the news release says. The man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing, and the man who wielded the knife has not been located. Police department spokesperson Dani Myren said detectives are handling the case and will release a description of the suspect if they need the public’s help.

Anchorage man indicted for alleged violent crime spree: An Anchorage man accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance and then forcing his way into two homes and physically assaulting two residents was indicted on the charges Monday, according to a press release sent out by the Alaska Attorney General’s Office. Travis Felder, 40, was indicted Monday for a string of violent crimes that occurred in June. If convicted, Felder faces a sentence of up to 99 years stemming from seven charges, including sexual assault in the first degree, assault in the first degree, coercion and burglary. Felder’s bail has been set at $1 million.

In border incident investigation, video brings Boy Scouts' claims into question: An Iowa Boy Scouts official says video produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not support claims made by Boy Scouts who said a guard at the Alaska-Canada border pointed a gun at them, but the troop leader is standing by his Scouts. The Des Moines Register reports that representatives from the U.S. Inspector General's office met Wednesday with troop leader Jim Fox and Bob Hopper, head of the local Boy Scouts council. According to the Register: "The agents showed Fox and Hopper a 45-minute video with four camera angles. Hopper said the video showed no indication of a Border Patrol agent reaching for, unholstering or pointing a weapon at the Scouts. Fox didn't see it that way. 'The video is awfully grainy and only has four camera angles,' Fox said. 'There's no audio. Homeland Security says this proves the boys are lying. It does not.'" Investigators will remain in Iowa through Friday to speak with the scouts involved. Fox has retained an attorney.

Shell earnings up in second quarter: Shell’s earnings rebounded substantially in the second quarter, totaling $5.1 billion, compared to $2.4 billion in the second quarter of 2013, the company reported. Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell, mentioned Arctic drilling briefly in a Thursday morning webcast announcing financial results. The “very long-term plays” like the Arctic and other frontier basins “could deliver substantial new oil and gas fields,” he said. But he stopped short of committing to drilling plans in Arctic Alaska. “Regarding Alaska drilling, at the moment, as you know, we are blocked by the U.S. courts, and we are not prepared to commit to a drilling campaign there unless those issues are resolved. However, we continue to work with local stakeholders, on logistics and on permitting to keep the option to drill there safely in the future.” Overall, Shell plans to spend $4 billion on exploration in 2014, he said.

Anchorage business owner claims blackmail by 'pay to play' BBB: The owner of an Anchorage motor home rental company says the Better Business Bureau of Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington is trying to blackmail her company. The BBB on Wednesday issued a press release advising people not to do business with B&B RV Rental LLC. BBB said it had received 20 complaints about the company, and the company wouldn't respond. B&B owner Jana Harkovitch did, however, respond to a call from Alaska Dispatch News. She said her company told BBB it didn't want to join the organization, that it handled its own complaints, and then problems began. "We don't do business with a pay-to-play organization," she said. "I deal directly with clients. This is kind of like harassment, blackmail. I don't know what to say. BBB gave Hamas an A rating because they paid them." Hamas is a Mideast terrorist organization, and the BBB did in fact give a company named Hamas an A-minus rating, according to an ABC News report in November 2010. Harkovitch said she planned to turn the BBB accusation over to her attorney. B&B RV is now promoting a summer sale with rentals up to 50 percent off. 

'Modern Family' star discovers Alaska roots on genealogy show: Alaska appeared in a very different type of reality TV program Wednesday night when "Modern Family" star Jesse Tyler Ferguson followed an ancestor's trail to Wrangell on TLC's "Who Do You Think You Are." The genealogy show highlights celebrity family histories as they uncover secrets by visiting archives, museums, cemeteries and libraries around the world. In Ferguson's case, pursuing his East Coast great grandfather led to an unlucky trip to Wrangell and a visit with UAF professor Terrence Cole. The actor learned about the gold rush, took a ride on the Stikine River and stood in the same area where his great grandfather had found his gold rush dreams unravel. A brief clip of the Alaska visit can be watched on the show's website.

California man sentenced on Alaska drug charges: A 35-year-old Stockton, Calif. man was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to 16 years in prison for his role in a drug conspiracy. Ernie Benny Juarez Jr. previously pleaded guilty to working with others to distribute large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin throughout Anchorage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Juarez flew to Alaska from California in October 2013, when he was supposed to intercept a mail package of the two drugs sent by associates. Federal prosecutors say he intended to sell the meth and heroin in Alaska’s largest city. However, law enforcement replaced the illegal shipment with sham drugs and an electronic tracker, according to a criminal complaint. When Juarez and another man who went with him to pick up the package opened it up, their car was pulled over and they were arrested. Court records say the package contained nearly a pound of heroin and more than a pound of methamphetamine. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason noted Juarez is a career offender and lengthened the sentence. Prior to traveling to north to sell drugs, Juarez was convicted of multiple other felonies, including drug crimes in California.