Laurel Andrews

MEADOW LAKES -- A barrage of firefighters knocked down a fast-moving blaze at the Motor Rage of Alaska car dealership near Wasilla Friday afternoon, but not before it destroyed the business and displaced a tenant sleeping inside who escaped unharmed.

The fire, first reported in the green two-story metal building around 2:45 p.m., sent thick black smoke billowing into the air near Mile 50 of the Parks Highway once it got going.

About 40 to 50 firefighters responded, tackling the flames erupting from the second floor with two aerial ladder trucks that sprayed water down onto the roof...

Zaz Hollander,Laurel Andrews

The Anchorage Police Department said late Friday afternoon that it canceled an arrest warrant for an 18-year-old whom it had previously named as a suspect in a Thursday shooting.

Dewayne Wilson no longer faces the charges listed on the warrant, including assault and weapons misconduct, said APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad.

“New information came to light, and the warrant was quashed,” Oistad said.

The investigation continues into the Thursday evening shooting that shut down several streets in the Jewel Lake area, police said.

Police are still searching for the person who shot Benjamin Sherbahn after being confronted about a stolen four-wheeler.

Early Thursday morning, four four-wheelers were stolen from a company owned by Sherbahn...

Jerzy Shedlock,Laurel Andrews

Marijuana industry advocates are crying foul about a residency clause in Alaska's draft marijuana regulations that would require all business owners and investors to be Alaska residents.

With the deadline for crafting Alaska marijuana regulations just three months away, the Marijuana Control Board must decide whether the requirement -- which board member Brandon Emmett said "basically crushes the American dream" -- is the best choice for a fledgling market teeming with risk...

Laurel Andrews

A proposed ordinance that would ban smoking and vaping in downtown Anchorage’s Town Square Park and on Alaska Center for the Performing Arts property will be introduced at the Anchorage Assembly next week.

The proposal comes on the heels of the city’s planned pruning of trees in the park, set to take place Thursday morning, which is aimed at increasing public safety.

“I think anybody that goes to Town Square realizes that there’s a problem there,” said Anchorage Assembly Chair Dick Traini, who submitted the ordinance...

Laurel Andrews

The synthetic drug Spice contributed to the death of an Anchorage homeless person, state health officials said Tuesday.

Autopsy results revealed positive test results for the drug, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said in an emailed statement. The cause of death was found to be the "combined effects" of Spice and alcohol, public information officer Jason Grenn wrote.

The results came from one of six autopsies being conducted on homeless individuals found deceased in Anchorage in recent weeks, Grenn confirmed. DHSS did not release the name of the person whose autopsy results were cited...

Laurel Andrews

A small pod of beluga whales was spotted Sunday morning by a group of people heading to Ruby on the Yukon River, hundreds of miles from the Bering Sea.

Clifford Cleaver said he was heading up the Yukon River Sunday morning when he, his wife and several other family members saw a small pod of belugas. Cleaver was returning to Ruby from the Interior village of Galena and was about a half-mile from Dainty Island when he saw something "pretty strange," he said from Ruby Monday.

“I was driving the boat and happened to look over and … see them come up real quick,” Cleaver said.

At least four whales were in the river, Cleaver said.

“They were kind of going pretty fast and we were floating right next to them,” he said...

Laurel Andrews

On Friday afternoon, a crowd gathered around a man struggling to sit upright outside Bean’s Cafe in downtown Anchorage. Emergency responders, employees and clients of the soup kitchen circled around the man as he swayed unsteadily on a bench.

It was the second medical call related to the synthetic drug Spice at Bean's Cafe that day, client services supervisor Tracy Saakvitne said as she watched the scene unfold.

A few minutes later, an ambulance arrived. The man was led away, his body limp and his head rocked forward. Two responders flanked him, one on either side, and held him upright.

As the crowd watched him shuffle away, another Bean’s client, George Shoogukuwrk, stood up and turned to the group...

Laurel Andrews

WASILLA -- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald held a well-attended town hall meeting Thursday night, where Alaska veterans voiced their complaints about the health care system that many said is failing its service members.

Roughly 300 people came to see McDonald speak and field questions at Wasilla's Menard Sports Center. McDonald stood alone on the stage, listening with his arms by his sides as veterans told their stories and aired their complaints about the agency...

Laurel Andrews

Should Alaskans be the only ones allowed to invest in marijuana businesses? What distance should be mandated between a school and a marijuana establishment?

In downtown Anchorage Tuesday, the Marijuana Control Board grappled with these questions as it reviewed the second set of draft regulations , working through each article in turn, and often focusing on areas that had spurred the most public comment...

Laurel Andrews
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The Marijuana Control Board on Monday laid out its most comprehensive set of draft regulations yet for Alaska’s fledgling cannabis industry, including a proposal that would ban marijuana social clubs, even as owners of existing clubs spoke out against any actions by the state that would shutter t...

Laurel Andrews