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AK Beat: Star Wars lightsaber raises mild alarm in Juneau

Alaska Dispatch News

Plastic lightsaber stumps Juneau police: A Juneau police officer went to a Mendenhall Valley neighborhood Tuesday responding to the report of a suspicious device. He found an object but couldn't identify it, reports the Juneau Empire. It took the expertise of a second officer who specializes in explosive ordnance disposal to classify the mysterious object. What was it? A plastic Star Wars lightsaber toy. In the officer's defense, the expandable toy was in the closed position and taped to a stick. 

Saving Nova Scotia's endangered moose, one hook-up at a time: Border moose sex got a boost in Canada’s Maritime provinces from a land transfer, according to a report from the CBC. The moose in Nova Scotia, isolated from other moose by the Chignecto Isthmus, have been an endangered species. But a donation of some 200 acres along that isthmus is helping the Nature Conservancy of Canada establish a corridor that they hope will promote more migration and interbreeding between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick moose, as part of the group’s “Moose Sex Project.” The plan could also benefit other northern species on the peninsula: “The conservation group notes that in addition to moose, other mammals and bird species such as Canada lynx, bobcat and northern goshawk can use the corridor between the two Maritime provinces,” CBC reports.

An interview with "Denali's Howl" author: After a 1967 catastrophe killed seven climbers on Mount McKinley, a park service ranger who never climbed himself became instrumental in the determining the fate and future of climbing on North America’s highest peak. Andy Hall, former publisher of Alaska Magazine and the son of that man, George Hall, researched that incident and wrote about it for the recent book "Denali’s Howl." He talks about the experience of researching is father’s life, and what happened on the mountain that day in an interview with Outside Magazine. Highlights include his reflections on talking to sources who questioned some of his father’s decisions, his thoughts on comparisons to Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” (which documents a different kind of climbing disaster on a different mountain) and a trove of great photos.