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Laurel Andrews

Gov. Bill Walker is reviewing whether the state can extend its timeline for crafting marijuana regulations, spokesperson Grace Jang said Friday.

Extending the deadline could aid in crafting better regulations, Jang said. But marijuana industry advocates fear the delay could negatively influence the Legislature, which can repeal the initiative legalizing recreational marijuana two years after its effective date.

“The initiative creates a new industry that will require regulatory infrastructure that Alaska has to create from scratch and within a very short period of time. It’s no easy task,” Jang said...

Laurel Andrews

Ronald Fischer was indicted in Nome Thursday on charges he murdered assistant district attorney Brian Sullivan, who was shot in Barrow in early December.

Thursday’s indictment charges 47-year-old Fischer with first- and second-degree murder and one count of assault in the third degree.

Sullivan, 48, had lived in Barrow since May 2012, when he took the position of assistant district attorney. Sullivan was a former Washington state legislator who had come to Alaska in 2001 on active military duty. Before moving to Barrow, he had worked as a private attorney in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough...

Laurel Andrews

Alaska State Troopers say a major heroin bust involving two arrests in Anchorage and the seizure of $400,000 worth of the drug started with an investigation into Matanuska-Susitna Borough-area trafficking.

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted 37-year-old Seneca Neal of Anchorage and 40-year-old Lamon Washington of Fairbanks on charges of distribution and conspiracy to distribute more than a kilogram of heroin, according to a troopers online release posted Thursday morning. Both have been arrested and remain in custody...

Laurel Andrews

Anchorage police are investigating the death of a homeless woman in downtown Anchorage that occurred over the weekend.

At 4:25 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a report that a 46-year-old woman was unconscious in a tent on 3rd Avenue and Karluk Street, near the Bean’s Cafe soup kitchen and Brother Francis Shelter. The woman was homeless, APD spokesperson Anita Shell wrote.

Medics attempted CPR, Shell wrote, but the woman was ultimately pronounced deceased.

The woman’s boyfriend was on scene and told police that she had no known medical problems. She hadn’t consumed drugs or alcohol, the man told police. No signs of injury were visible on the woman, Shell wrote...

Laurel Andrews

An Alaska assistant district attorney who once was a Washington state lawmaker was shot and killed in the Arctic community of Barrow, according to officials with the North Slope Borough.

Brian Sullivan, a 48-year-old Barrow resident, was killed Monday, according to a press release sent out by borough Mayor Charlotte Brower. Police had responded to a reported shooting at 5318 Laura Madison St. at roughly 10 p.m., which resulted in Sullivan’s death, the release said.

“The incident is being investigated as a homicide,” Brower said in the release.

Ronald Fischer, 47, was being held as a suspect in the case, according to Barrow court clerk Mercy Acheson. Online court records indicate charging documents are pending in a felony case against Fischer in Barrow...

Laurel Andrews

A North Pole man died in a two-vehicle collision late Sunday night, Alaska State Troopers report.

The two-vehicle collision occurred at mile 4 of Chena Hot Springs Road, near Nichols Lane, troopers write. Troopers were notified of the collision just after 11 p.m. Sunday.

North Pole resident David Haase, 52, died in the collision after losing control of his 1988 Honda Prelude and sliding into oncoming traffic.

A witness estimated that Haase was driving east at roughly 80 mph when he lost control and slid into the westbound lane of Chena Hot Springs Road, colliding with an oncoming vehicle being driven by James Graham, 53, of Clear...

Laurel Andrews

An Emmonak man was arrested over the weekend after hitting a woman with an ATV on the Yukon River in Southwestern Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Just before 6 p.m. Saturday, Alaska State Troopers received a report that a woman had been struck by an ATV on the Yukon River.

Christopher Gregory, 19, was identified by four witnesses as speeding along the Yukon River on a Honda Foreman ATV, troopers write.

While driving, Gregory hit Jana Duny with the ATV. Gregory stopped and apologized to 23-year-old Duny , and then drove away toward Alakanuk .

Witnesses took Duny to a clinic in Emmonak by snowmachine. Duny had suffered serious injuries, the clinic found, and she was transported to Anchorage for further care...

Laurel Andrews

Alaska’s new Gov. Bill Walker has made expanding Medicaid a top priority of his administration, but two major problems within the existing system must first be fixed. And those problems are much worse than initially thought, newly-appointed Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Valerie Davidson said Friday.

Backlogs in two systems are “a lot more dire than we thought last week,” Davidson said. One is a payment system that has been plagued with defects since it was unveiled last year. The other, issues with the Medicaid eligibility system...

Laurel Andrews

Update, Dec. 5 2014:

The deceased student has been identified as 48-year-old Scott Austin, University of Alaska Fairbanks spokesperson Marmian Grimes wrote on Friday.

According to Grimes, Austin was a sophomore petroleum engineering student who had attended the university since the fall 2012 semester. He was an Air Force veteran whose hometown was listed as Greece, N.Y...

Laurel Andrews

The Wild Alaskan, a boat-based strip club operating in waters outside the city of Kodiak, had its liquor license revoked Monday by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

The ABC Board voted unanimously to revoke the ship’s license during a meeting in Midtown Anchorage.

“I’m blown away,” Wild Alaskan owner Darren Byler said after the meeting. “Can’t believe it.”...

Laurel Andrews