Megan Edge

A man suspected of using drugs inside a vehicle in downtown Anchorage and nearly hitting police officers while fleeing before stealing a pickup at gunpoint is being sought by Anchorage police.

The incident began late Monday, just before midnight, when police received a report of a man possibly using drugs inside a white SUV near Third Avenue and Lane Street. When officers approached the vehicle, the driver backed up and “almost struck the officers,” police wrote in a release.

Additional patrol officers were unable to immediately locate the vehicle, which was later discovered to have a stolen license plate, police said...

Megan Edge

Weather forecasters on Tuesday issued a freeze warning for much of Southcentral Alaska for early Wednesday morning.

The warning is in effect from 3 a.m. until 8 a.m. in Anchorage, Eagle River, Indian, Ekultna, Palmer, Wasilla, Sutton and Chickaloon, with temperatures in the 20s and 30s expected, the National Weather Service said.

The weather service said East Anchorage, the Eagle River Valley and the Matanuska Valley west of Wasilla are expected to experience the longest duration of subfreezing temperatures...

Megan Edge

A man and his dogs were rescued by the pilot of a small plane on floats Monday morning after their canoe sank in Knik Arm, city officials said.

The multi-agency rescue began at 8:46 a.m. when a man, publicly unidentified, requested urgent assistance as his boat was sinking, the Anchorage Fire Department reported. The man told emergency responders he had a life vest and two dogs with him.

But before emergency responders arrived, the life preserver floated away, leaving the man to cling to his sinking canoe in the “swift-moving current,” the fire department wrote in a release...

Megan Edge

A early morning high-speed incident on the Kenai Peninsula ended with the suspect's car crashed and burning and the driver and a passenger in the hospital, troopers said Monday.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Monday, Alaska State Troopers attempted to stop a 2001 Dodge Neon near Mile 93 Sterling Highway for a moving violation, but instead of pulling over, the driver, Lucas Lester, 23, of Trapper Creek, accelerated to over 100 mph and traveled into Soldotna, the agency wrote in an online dispatch...

Megan Edge

A large, fast-moving wildfire that forced evacuations and destroyed two homes and a library in the Kodiak Island village of Chiniak appeared to have calmed down by late Friday as residents returned home and firefighters continued to tackle hot spots, emergency officials said.

“It’s not a raging fire right now. It’s active, but not raging,” said Aimee Kniaziowski, emergency services director for the Kodiak Island Borough, Friday evening...

Tegan Hanlon,Megan Edge

The debt of other men and a single bullet to the chest killed Byzantium Hill early Sunday morning in East Anchorage, according to charges filed in the case earlier this week.

The charging documents say the shooting followed a string of violent text messages and death threats from 38-year-old Christopher Winters to two men identified in the documents only by their initials.

“Hopefully I can get cowboy boots made out of your skin ... That would be worth 7K to me!” Winters wrote in one of his final texts to the men early Saturday evening, charging documents state...

Megan Edge

A man attempted to rob a woman at gunpoint Wednesday night in Wasilla as she checked her mailbox, Alaska State Troopers said.

A white man dressed in dark clothing jumped out of the woods at the intersection of Williwaw Way and Tanana Drive and “demanded money” from the woman as he brandished a firearm, troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said.

The woman drove off, Peters said. Troopers did not report any injuries.

Troopers, along with Wasilla police, searched the nearby wood line but were unable to locate the man, the agency wrote Thursday in an online dispatch.

Anyone with information is urged to call troopers at 907-352-5401 or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 907-745-3333.

Megan Edge

Three people were presumed dead in Sitka on Tuesday after heavy rain caused six landslides and at least one sinkhole in the Southeast Alaska town, a municipal spokeswoman said.

The first call about a landslide came in at 9:41 a.m. Tuesday, and emergency responders focused their efforts on one slide near Kramer Avenue, on the outskirts of town, Sitka Police Department Chief Sheldon Schmitt said.

“There are new houses being built and (the landslide) came down the mountain, across the road and hit the houses below,” Schmitt said. “A construction crew and city worker were all in the area and we haven’t located them yet.”

One of the landslides destroyed a home on Kramer Avenue, said Sitka municipal clerk and spokeswoman Sara Peterson...

Megan Edge,Jerzy Shedlock,Tegan Hanlon

Much of Southeast Alaska was being pounded again by rain Tuesday morning, but forecasters are predicting the storm will subside by early afternoon.

On the northeastern Gulf of Alaska coast, 4 to 6 inches of rain had already fallen. In Sitka, 1.4 inches of rain fell in three hours, National Weather Service forecaster Kimberly Vaughan said. On Sunday, 4.39 inches of rain fell in Yakutat, which broke a daily record set in 1993 of 2.86 inches, the NWS said.

According to Vaughan, the rainfall is a more “significant event than normal” but not enough to affect the region's population. Some of the smaller rivers in the region are expected to rise but should be receding later Tuesday.

Vaughan warned drivers to be careful of standing water on roads.

Megan Edge

The 41-year-old former operator of a statewide prostitution enterprise was sentenced in Anchorage Monday afternoon to more than five years in prison on a charge of sex trafficking and violating probation.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Phillip Volland sentenced Amber Batts to five years for the charge of second-degree sex trafficking and one year -- with six months suspended -- for a probation violation in a previous case.

“I don’t want to repeat this again,” Batts said in a statement to the court. “I don’t want to hurt the ones I love.”...

Megan Edge