Ben Anderson

Update 11 a.m. Monday: Anchorage police have identified the person killed in the Saturday shooting near Lane Street and Fifth Avenue as 19-year-old Byzantium Hill. The investigation is ongoing, police said, and no arrests have been made. -------------- Sunday story: Four separate instances of gunfire around Anchorage in less than 12 hours Saturday and Sunday left one person dead and two teenagers in critical condition, according to Anchorage police. No suspects were in custody in any of the incidents Sunday afternoon. The first incident occurred shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday in the Spenard neighborhood, where police responded to a home at the 2500 block of Kona Lane and found an 18-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound to his pelvis. He was taken into surgery Saturday and remained...Michelle Theriault Boots,Ben Anderson
The body of a Colorado man was discovered Saturday morning on a beach near the community of Seldovia, on the southern end of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, according to police there who are investigating the case. In a release from the Seldovia Police Department, Police Chief Hal Henning said that the body was discovered by two fishermen at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday on a beach at Backers Island. Henning described the "island" as more of a peninsula, reachable by land and within the Seldovia city limits. The body was identified as that of Troy Dean Fisher, 47, of Grand Junction, Colorado. He had been "temporarily working in the area," according to police. Henning said the two fishermen were returning from pulling pots when they spotted what they believed to be a body on the beach. The two men...Ben Anderson
No one was injured as an apartment and a vehicle were fired upon in the neighborhood of Mountain View Saturday night, but Anchorage police believe the shooting wasn't random. Police responded to a call of shots fired on the 4500 block of Parsons Avenue at about 11 p.m. Saturday, and discovered that multiple rounds had been fired at an unoccupied vehicle and a nearby apartment complex. One apartment appeared to be the target, though "a couple of bullets also went into a neighbor's apartment," Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro wrote in an email. Castro said the shooting did not appear to be a random event, but noted police do not yet know the reason for the shooting and the investigation is preliminary and continuing.Ben Anderson
Moose's Tooth Pub and Pizzeria has made the cut in travel site TripAdvisor's list of top 10 pizzerias in the U.S. , and it's in elite company. The Tooth came in third on the list of the best places to grab a slice, competing against plenty of larger-market pizza places, including joints in Boston and San Francisco and three in New York City. Moose's Tooth, which has made a name for itself with its wide variety of specialty pizzas, array of local beers and notoriously long wait times to get a seat during busy periods, also ranks second on TripAdvisor's list of best restaurants in Anchorage, behind only Kincaid Grill. The travel site recommends the Amazing Apricot (blackened chicken, cream cheese, apricot sauce, fresh red peppers, carrot threads, green onions, cilantro) pizza as among those...Ben Anderson
A Wal-Mart store in Kodiak was evacuated Wednesday after a bomb threat, the Kodiak Police Department reported. It was the second threat to an Alaska Wal-Mart store in as many days, after the store in Eagle River received a similar threat Tuesday morning. In a release, Kodiak police said the store was evacuated as a precaution Wednesday morning after employees of the Wal-Mart passed along the report of a bomb threat. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported the threat was delivered by phone. Erin Hoffman, a spokesperson for Wal-Mart, said the store was cleared for about an hour, beginning shortly after 7 a.m. About 30 employees and six customers were in the store at the time, she said. The store had opened just moments before the threat was called in. A search of the store was conducted and...Ben Anderson
Crews have started recovering the wreckage of a Cessna 207 operated by Wings of Alaska that crashed Friday as it traveled between Juneau and Hoonah, killing the pilot and injuring four passengers. A helicopter began recovery efforts Sunday, according to Clint Johnson, chief of the National Transportation Safety Board's Alaska regional office. The four injured passengers were airlifted from the site Friday by rescuers with the U.S. Coast Guard. On Saturday, officials were able to reach the site of the crash, where "very rough" wooded terrain required them to be lowered by hoist from a Coast Guard helicopter. The body of the pilot, 45-year-old Fariah Peterson, was recovered Saturday . The four survivors were identified as Humberto Hernandez-Aponte, 57, and his wife, Sandra Herrera Lopez, 60...Ben Anderson
An hours-long standoff in the Northwest Alaska community of Selawik began with the discovery of a 23-year-old man's body early in the morning and concluded with his accused killer surrendering to authorities Monday afternoon. Christopher Cleveland, 39, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Wade Cleveland in the village of about 875 people. Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said troopers "have not been made aware of any relationship" between the victim and suspect, despite the shared last name. A Selawik police patrolman reached Tuesday morning said the two were not related. Wade Cleveland's body was discovered by a Selawik police patrolman early Monday, who told Alaska Dispatch News he was fired upon when he tried to move the young man's body. Troopers said...Ben Anderson
WILLOW -- A wildfire that swallowed homes and prompted a 15-mile-long evacuation order Sunday in and around the Southcentral Alaska community of Willow spent Monday sitting mostly stagnant at about 6,500 acres, though it remained dynamic enough to keep emergency responders on the move. The fire picked up later in the day as erratic winds began whipping it back into action. The Sockeye fire had grown to 8,500 acres as of 9:30 p.m. Monday, according to Vickielee Fenster, a public information officer for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. (A subsequent survey reduced that estimate by about 1,000 acres to 7,585 acres.) The human cost of the fire also began to emerge, with reports of animals killed in the fast-moving blaze and at least 35 to 45 structures burned. Hundreds of people who fled the...Ben Anderson,Nathaniel Herz,Zaz Hollander
Update, 5:45 a.m. Monday: Alaska State Troopers early Monday identified the second plane as a Cessna 172, flown by 27-year-old Cole Hagge, of Eagle River. In an online dispatch, troopers wrote that the two planes collided about 100 feet above the runway. Hagge was the only person injured in the collision, troopers said. He was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries that troopers said were not life-threatening. Troopers identified the pilot of the Cessna 185 as 32-year-old Antonio Benavides, of Anchorage. Original story: Two planes, including an air taxi carrying four passengers, collided while attempting to land at the Talkeetna Airport on Sunday, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. Injuries were reported in the crash, though details weren't...Ben Anderson
An FBI explosive ordnance disposal unit was taken via an Alaska State Troopers helicopter this week to a mining camp north of the Eureka Roadhouse along the Glenn Highway to detonate a batch of old dynamite discovered at the camp by the property's new owner. According to troopers, the dynamite was discovered Wednesday at a mining camp near the Tyone Creek area in the historic Valdez Creek Mining District. More than 300,000 ounces of gold have been pulled from placer mines in the district since initial mining began in the early 1900s, according to a 1990 report from the Bureau of Land Management . Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said Thursday that a new owner of the property discovered blasting caps and the dynamite at the camp, which she described as "at least five sticks of dynamite...Ben Anderson