Suzanna Caldwell

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Maggie Anvil had never worked as a barista before, but after starting at Holy Grounds coffee shop inside Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, she now hopes it's something she can do long-term. Anvil, 39, even hopes to open her own cafe when she finishes her sentence at the women’s...
Suzanna Caldwell,Loren Holmes
Maggie Anvil had never worked as a barista before, but after starting at Holy Grounds coffee shop inside Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, she now hopes it's something she can do long-term. Anvil, 39, even hopes to open her own cafe when she finishes her sentence at the women’s correctional facility. She’d call it "Maggie’s Kuviaq," the Yup’ik word for coffee in her hometown of Napaskiak. Anvil, who’s spent almost a decade in Hiland on a second-degree murder conviction, is the assistant manager at Holy Grounds. She’s been there since June and is in charge of scheduling the 10 to 12 women who work there. She said she’s learned a lot -- and received some high praise for her work. “A guy said it’s the best coffee he’s ever had,” said Anvil, who expects to be released next...Suzanna Caldwell
Fairbanks teen Nick Prayner had a simple question last year: How could he bake bread to donate to the local food bank? "I just wanted to do something to help the community," he said. The answer, it turns out, was a little more complicated than he expected. But after asking a few questions and working with local agencies, the Fairbanks Community Food Bank is bursting with fresh-baked bread from the community. Kim Prayner, Nick’s mom, collected over 700 loaves of fresh-baked bread from Fairbanks schools this week. Each family receiving assistance from the food bank gets one loaf. The idea for the bread drive came a year after the family collected more than 1,000 pounds of regular food for the food bank in 2013. Nick wanted to keep doing more, so last year he and his mom decided he was going...Suzanna Caldwell
A parking problem shut down the Fireweed Take In last month, adding to the latest woes of the Anchorage food truck scene. In October the food truck meet-up -- designed to offer a winter gathering spot for mobile food trucks in Anchorage -- was shut down by the city over a lack of parking spots. The take-in didn’t last long. It opened Oct. 1 and by Oct. 26 had been closed by the city. Event organizer Darrin Huycke said it’s just the latest challenge Anchorage food trucks have faced in the effort to expand their presence. “We've had a dark cloud kind of following us each time we try to expand and evolve the food truck idea,” Huycke said Monday. The idea for the take-in was people could buy meals from the two or three trucks parked outside, then bring it into the building that used to house...Suzanna Caldwell
Independent power producers are celebrating a Regulatory Commission of Alaska decision that will grant them competitive access to electrical transmission, saying it will spur investment in renewable energy projects. The commission voted four to one Wednesday to adopt new regulations, which dictate a number of cost factors used in negotiating with independent power producers. The decision updates a series of complex electrical utility regulations from 1982. Independent power producers said those rules made it difficult to develop renewable and alternative energy sources by creating high cost barriers for small electrical generators to sell wholesale power and access state-owned or -subsidized transmission systems. Non-utility power producers -- generally, small-scale renewable energy...Suzanna Caldwell
John Fox is a plumber by day and a cookie baker by night. While it might sound like an odd U-turn for the longtime Anchorage resident, Fox, who held a soft opening for the first Nestle Toll House Café on Tuesday, said the two aren’t totally independent. “I’m a people person,” he said in his cafe Tuesday. The cafe is the first of its kind in Alaska and the latest chain restaurant to hit the state. Fox said the cafe focuses on cookies, noting that’s what the Toll House brand is known for. If you forget, just walk inside. With bright golden yellow and brown walls, entering the cafe is a bit like walking inside a bag of chocolate chips. There are plenty of cookies -- from classic chocolate chip to white chocolate macadamia nut and beyond -- plus an array of other desserts, including ice cream...Suzanna Caldwell
The Food Bank of Alaska's Ship Creek warehouse is filled with more than 11,000 frozen turkeys, along with thousands of pounds of apples, potatoes and canned vegetables this week, all in preparation for the annual Thanksgiving Blessing grocery distribution. It's the culmination of a year of planning for the Food Bank, which will provide meals for about 10,000 families in Anchorage and the Mat-Su. While food pantries across the state are in charge of fundraising and collecting food for their Thanksgiving Blessing -- an annual meal distribution for families in need -- the Food Bank coordinates some of the most in-demand items: specifically the turkeys, potatoes and apples. The Food Bank doesn't serve the food directly. Instead, the group collects donations for local organizations, like...Suzanna Caldwell
An Anchorage restaurant has found itself overwhelmed with support after its owner shared a Facebook post standing up to mistreatment of an employee with developmental disabilities. It all started with a customer calling to complain to Little Italy Restaurante on Saturday night. On the phone was an irate customer complaining about one of the restaurant’s delivery drivers. According to restaurant owner P.J. Gialopsos, the customer was ranting, using foul language and accusing the driver of using drugs when he brought him the wrong container of food. Gialopsos said her daughter, Emily, took the call and tried to explain to the man that he was mistaken. She told him that the delivery driver, who has worked at the restaurant for the past two years, has autism and a speech impediment. She...Suzanna Caldwell
Private pilot Michael Mackowiak, 56, was so sure his Cessna's fuel tanks were nearly full when he left Juneau for the short hop to Haines Nov. 4 that when his gauges suddenly pointed to zero in midair, he thought they were broken. Mackowiak checked the circuit breakers to make sure there was still power to the gauges, but the breakers were fine, according to a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board report released Tuesday. His engine was still running normally, he told the NTSB, and instead of looking for an emergency place to land, Mackowiak took his plane, with its three passengers, up to 2,500 feet. He tapped the gauges and one jumped to a quarter-tank. Then the engine died. The NTSB report, a preliminary look into the eventual crash, said Mackowiak used the primer control to try to...Suzanna Caldwell
Restaurant owner Christopher Quist does things a little differently at his Fairbanks restaurant, LUNCH Café and Eatery . The cafe uses mostly organic and locally sourced items and has an extensive gluten-free menu. It doesn’t serve any mammal products, including dairy. And, in what is likely an Alaska restaurant first, it doesn’t accept tips. “I think it's the future,” Quist said in a phone interview in Fairbanks on Wednesday. Quist has been going “service compris” (using the French pronunciation) at the restaurant since July. Quist, also a Fairbanks North Star Borough assemblyman, said he introduced the idea of eliminating tips in an effort to create a more “egalitarian” work environment. Any tips left behind are donated to Stone Soup Café , a local soup kitchen. “The dishwasher is...Suzanna Caldwell