Megan Edge

A different kind of animal pack swarmed the Alaska Zoo on Friday -- Anchorage eighth-graders.

With backpacks strung over their shoulders, more than 100 Mears Middle School students piled out of buses and made their way into the zoo to better understand how Alaska animals survive.

“This provides the students with a real-world opportunity to experience what the classroom can’t provide,” language arts teacher Doug Williams said.

Throughout the day, the students visited stations scattered around the zoo, pressing their papers and pencils to the glass of some exhibits or holding them strategically in their hands for other less convenient exhibits, to answer basic survival questions about zoo animals who act as ambassadors for their species...

Megan Edge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has identified people responsible for an Arctic walrus slaughter last month, the Alaska U.S. attorney’s office said Friday in a press release. Fish and Wildlife determined that the deaths of “some” of the walruses were “human-caused,” the release said.

As of Friday night, no charges had been filed, but the investigation was ongoing. Typically, suspects are not publicly named until charges are filed...

Megan Edge

The remains of a 63-year-old man who went missing on the Chitina River were found nearly a week ago by hunters, according to Alaska State Troopers.

According to troopers, on the morning of Sept. 27, a hunting guide reported finding the decomposed remains near the Copper River after the guide's client shot a bear about 25 miles downstream from Chitina, where Kermit Mellon had disappeared more than a month ago.

Mellon went missing Aug. 19 near Chitina after his boat capsized, troopers said. Mellon was reportedly swept downriver while he tended his fish wheel.

When the remains of Mellon were discovered, he was still wearing a life vest and waders...

Megan Edge

After three days of work, power has been restored to most of the 21,000 Fairbanks-area customers hit by Tuesday’s major snowstorm -- but work to bring everyone’s lights back on is continuing.

As of about 6 p.m. Friday, the Golden Valley Electric Association reported it had restored power to about 500 customers, leaving 2,500 still without.

“The access to these areas is by foot, snowmachine and sometimes (all-terrain vehicle),” GVEA officials wrote. “Repairs can take hours, depending on how many trees they have to remove and what damage they find.”...

Chris Klint,Megan Edge

A black bear cub was killed with a spear at a homeless camp in East Anchorage Friday morning. According to officials, the bear was attracted by human food at the camp and was killed after trying to get into a tent with children inside.

At about 11 a.m. David Tandler, 49, speared the male yearling black bear in the woods near Centennial Park, just east of Muldoon Road’s interchange with the Glenn Highway, according to Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

An Alaska Wildlife Trooper arrived shortly after 11 a.m., when the Anchorage Police Department was already on the scene. A sow, assumed to be the dead cub’s mother, was in a tree...

Megan Edge

Each year, more and more Alaskans have been donating a portion of their Permanent Fund dividends to the Pick.Click.Give. program, which financially benefits nonprofits around the state. This year, the nonprofits getting the largest total sum of donations serve a wide range of Alaskans, from the hungry to public journalists.

This year, $3.3 million was donated to the Pick.Click.Give program as of the April 1 PFD filing deadline. Nonprofits could see a slight change in donations as the current number doesn’t include any donations made after the filing deadline or ineligible checks. A final total is expected later this fall...

Megan Edge

Of the 21,000 Golden Valley Electric Association customers that lost power in a record-breaking Fairbanks snowstorm this week, only about 4,000 were without power Thursday night.

In an update issued at 6:40 p.m., the electric company said it restored power to 2,000 customers in 12 hours.

Additional crews from the Matanuska Electric Association and from Anchorage were also headed to Fairbanks on Thursday night to help with repairs, GVEA said.

Anyone whose home doesn’t have power -- and doesn't have obvious electrical problems -- in an area where neighbors have power should try resetting circuit breakers by turning them off and then back on...

Megan Edge

A disaster declaration was being discussed Wednesday evening by the Fairbanks North Star Borough after snowfall caused thousands of customer power outages and paralyzed much of the area, borough spokesperson Lanien Livingston said.

According to Livingston, a final decision on the declaration won’t be made until Thursday or Friday.

At about 6:10 p.m. Wednesday, Golden Valley Electric Association reported 7,000 customers didn't have power. A few hours later, the company said it “continued to make headway,” although there were still “a lot” of trees down on power lines.

GVEA had reported on Wednesday morning that more than 20,000 people had lost power at some point overnight Tuesday as heavy snow fell...

Chris Klint,Megan Edge

Thousands of electric customers in Anchorage and the Mat-Su faced outages for most of Wednesday, in the wake of overnight snowfall that began the season’s accumulation and broke a precipitation record in the city for September.

But by Wednesday night, there were fewer than 10 Chugach Electric customers without power and no Matanuska Electric Association customers without power.

“We are blissfully outage-free,” MEA spokesperson Julie Estey said. “The last outage was restored just after 6. Crews are now home resting and they deserve it.”

On Wednesday morning, Estey said, 3,276 MEA members were without power. The outage was primarily caused by “snow-loaded trees and iced branches interfering with the lines," according to the company's Facebook page...

Chris Klint,Megan Edge

Heavy rain and wet snow wreaked havoc on much of southern Alaska on Tuesday, flooding homes and roads. A large swath of Alaska has been under advisories for storms, heavy rain, wind and flooding since the weekend.


On Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Anchorage, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Arctic Valley, Eagle River and Potter Marsh. According to NWS, rain over the previous 24 hours “caused streams to rise sharply.”

“Heavy rain has also caused ponding of water on many roads in the Anchorage Bowl and Glenn Highway,” NWS wrote.

NWS warned drivers not to attempt to drive across flooded streets and suggested finding alternate routes to travel...

Megan Edge,Chris Klint,Zaz Hollander