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AK Beat: Fairbanks-area troopers seek escaped prisoner

Alaska Dispatch News

Troopers seek escapee in Fairbanks: Alaska State Troopers are asking the public’s help in finding Adam Bloom, 27, who jumped from a van while being transported from the Fairbanks Correctional Center to the North Star Center in Fairbanks on Thursday morning, according to a trooper press release. Bloom leaped from the van and ran off when another person was being dropped off near Dale Road, troopers write. He was last seen wearing a dark colored shirt and jeans. Bloom was in custody for pending vehicle theft charges, trooper spokesperson Megan Peters said. He is believed to be dangerous. The public is asked to contact (907) 451-5100 regarding Bloom’s whereabouts, and troopers ask that members of the public do not attempt to contact Bloom on their own. 

Bee swarm stifles North Pole community events: A swarm of honeybees has forced nonprofit organization North Pole Grange to cancel events after the swarm took up shop outside the Grange Hall’s front door, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. Indoor events at the hall were canceled for the weekend after organizers discovered the swarm living above the front door of the building. Grange president John Poirrier told the News-Miner the organization would be taking steps to remove the bees in time for events slated for September. 

Quake rattles Kamishak Bay: An earthquake struck the western shore of Cook Inlet, near Kamishak Bay, Wednesday night, with magnitude’s listed variously as 4.4 by the Alaska Earthquake Information Center and 4.9 by the U.S. Geological Survey. There were few reports of the earthquake being felt, according to the USGS, with one in Kodiak and another in Clam Gulch, each more than 140 miles from the epicenter. There were no immediate reports of damage and a Palmer-based tsunami warning center told the Associated Press that no warnings were issued. The area is near Katmai National Park and Preserve and the McNeil River State Game Sanctuary, both popular destinations for bear viewing during late summer.

Murkowski steps up ice-bucket challenge: Alaska’s senior senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, is among the latest high-profile figures to participate in a public-awareness campaign for the degenerative disease ALS -- commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. But while most people follow the lead of the Facebook meme that launched the campaign, Murkowski “upped the ante,” as the National Journal put it. Instead of pouring a bucket of ice water over her head, as participants generally do, the senator dove into icy water in the hold of a Southeast Alaska tender vessel.

Number of Alaskans born in Alaska grows: Alaska counts a higher percentage of residents who were born elsewhere than most states, but that’s changing, according to an analysis conducted by the New York Times blog, The Upshot. As of 2012, 42 percent of Alaskans were born in the state; that’s significantly higher than the average for the state’s first three decades. From 1960 to 1990, the percentage of Alaskans from Alaska rose very little, from 32 percent to 35. But since 1990, that figure has been going up, as migration from other states to the Last Frontier has (in relative terms) steadily slowed (the percentage of Alaskans born outside the U.S. has actually risen, slightly from 4 percent in 1960 to 8 percent in 2012). As the birthplace of 7 percent of Alaskans, California claims the stop spot among state’s contributing residents, with Washington (the birthplace of 4 percent of Alaskans), Texas (3 percent) Oregon (2 percent) and Pennsylvania (1 percent) each claiming at least a full percentage point.

Few Alaskans comment on net neutrality: Alaskans are among the least concerned about the issue of net neutrality, according to a report from NPR. The report looked at analysis of the 1.1 million comments that the Federal Communications Commission received this summer, and looked at how many comments came from each state, compared to the state’s population. Alaska had fewer than half as many comments as might be expected, given the size of the state’s population, the report found, among the lowest rates of any state. Only Puerto Rico and Mississippi were less engaged, while Louisiana had an identical rate with Alaska. By contrasts, Alaska’s nearest neighbors -- in the tech-centric Pacific Northwest -- had among the highest rates of comments, the piece noted.