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Devin Kelly

The Municipality of Anchorage is taking steps toward construction of a tactical training facility in Birchwood, most recently seeking to buy the land where the facility would sit.

The planned South Central Law Enforcement Tactical Range, an outdoor training facility for law enforcement agencies in Alaska, is slated to be built on a 34-acre parcel next to the Birchwood Shooting Range. The property, picked through a formal site selection process in 2008, is owned by Eklutna Corp.

The project is currently estimated to cost about $13 million. The state Legislature has already allocated grants totaling about $8.3 million, and the municipality is asking for an additional $4.8 million for the upcoming year...

Devin Kelly

Anchorage Safety Patrol officers, tasked with picking up inebriated people from city streets, will soon be equipped with on-body video cameras.

Mark Lessard, emergency preparedness program manager for the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services, said the health department recently ordered five body cameras at the request of the contractor that operates the Anchorage Safety Patrol van service and Anchorage Safety Center on Third Avenue.

Each three-inch camera cost $350, paid out of the health department’s operating budget. The devices can be clipped to clothing or worn with a harness, Lessard said...

Devin Kelly
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Sporting costumes and gutsy smiles, more than 1,000 people willingly leaped into the frigid waters of Anchorage’s Goose Lake on Saturday for the sixth-annual Polar Plunge...

Devin Kelly

A 32-year-old man died when he was struck by a car driven by an Alaska Dispatch News newspaper carrier near downtown Anchorage early Saturday morning, police said.

The incident occurred about 2:26 a.m. in the 1400 block of West 12th Avenue. Anita Shell, spokeswoman for the Anchorage Police Department, said the victim -- later identified by police as Christopher Thompson -- was in the roadway when he was struck, though it was not immediately clear if he was walking or lying down, she said.

“(The) driver simply did not see him,” Shell said...

Devin Kelly

A stretch of Providence Drive through the University of Alaska Anchorage will be closed for two weeks starting this weekend as crews erect a pedestrian bridge linking two campus buildings.

From early Saturday morning until Jan. 4, Providence Drive will be closed in both directions between the Seawolf Drive/Piper Street intersection and the Spirit Way intersection. Through traffic will be diverted onto Piper Street, and UAA traffic around the Health Sciences Building on Spirit Way, officials said.

Crews with Neeser Construction will be building silver steel arches across Providence Drive as well as an enclosed pedestrian gallery...

Devin Kelly

The Municipality of Anchorage is likely to gain control over several key parcels of land downtown, presumably paving the way for future development, following congressional action this week.

The recent passage of the federal defense spending bill, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign, includes provisions that lift restrictions on five parcels in downtown Anchorage, including the land beneath the Egan Convention Center. The federal government transferred the land to the municipality decades ago with the requirement that it could be used only for municipal purposes...

Devin Kelly

The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center was predicting dangerous avalanche conditions at upper elevations in the Turnagain-area backcountry Sunday, and advising against travel in avalanche terrain.

In an advisory issued Sunday morning , the avalanche information center said the avalanche danger would be “high” for elevations above 2,500 feet for the first time this season. For elevations between 1,000 and 2,500 feet, the danger was listed at “considerable." The advisory applies to backcountry along Turnagain Arm, "with Turnagain Pass as the core advisory area."...

Devin Kelly

WHITTIER - A big-budget feature film is set to begin production in the tiny Southcentral community of Whittier in January, city officials and producers announced Friday...

Devin Kelly

Rotted wood arising from an engineering flaw caused the collapse of a footbridge north of Westchester Lagoon this summer, and an analysis of four other bridges on Anchorage’s Tony Knowles Coastal Trail revealed similar signs of decay, according to two reports released this week by the Anchorage Department of Parks and Recreation.

The reports by the engineering design firm Stantec (formerly USKH Inc.) offer the most detailed explanation to date of the collapse of the North Lagoon Bridge, as well as a grim assessment of the state of the other four. None of the bridges is considered an imminent threat to pedestrians. But the parks department says the extent of the decay is such that vehicles are no longer allowed on the bridges, raising challenges for winter maintenance...

Devin Kelly

For months, headlines in Anchorage were dominated by the question of whether state funds should be used to build a public indoor tennis facility.

Now the issue has resurfaced in the form of a scaled-back $600,000 request to the state Legislature for a fabric weather cover for the East Anchorage High School tennis courts...

Devin Kelly

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