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Nathaniel Herz

Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is considering an attempt to institute a city sales tax, and is planning a series of public forums to test the idea.

Voters have rejected a sales tax four times in the past, and Sullivan says he's not yet sure that he wants to propose a new one. But based on complaints he's heard about property taxes, Sullivan said he thinks the idea is worth exploring -- and he says that by engaging the public early in the process, there's a better chance of building a consensus.

"My job at this stage isn't to get public support. It's to listen to the public," Sullivan said.

Past efforts, he said, were "just thrown on to the ballot with very little discussion, very little interaction with the people who were going to vote on the tax."...

Nathaniel Herz

Anchorage's municipal unions say they've collected enough signatures to give the public the last word in the months-long battle over the city's controversial new labor ordinance.

On Monday the unions plan to deliver more than the necessary 7,124 petition signatures to City Hall to place a repeal of the ordinance on the ballot, said Gerard Asselin, the chairman of the Coalition of Municipal Unions.

"We are certain that we will exceed that 7,124," Asselin said in an interview Friday. He wouldn't say how many signatures had been collected.

The ordinance, which passed in March, was vehemently opposed by the municipal unions as it worked its way through the Anchorage Assembly with the backing of Mayor Dan Sullivan...

Nathaniel Herz

A 26-year-old man was arrested Saturday after he stole a car, drove it the wrong way down two major streets, caused an elderly woman to crash her car and then ran off through a neighborhood, only to be tackled by an alert citizen who noticed the suspect jogging past with a purse, Anchorage Police said.

Jedediah Smith was finally stopped near Lake Otis Parkway and East Tudor Road, in the backyard of Stephen Bauers, 59, who said he hit Smith and pinned him to the ground until police arrived moments later with a Taser.

"I used to wrestle," Bauers said. "When I get somebody on the ground, it's pretty tough to get me off 'em."...

Nathaniel Herz

An Army National Guard helicopter rescued two injured people from the site of a plane crash north of Kotzebue on Saturday, according to a National Guard official.

There was no immediate word on their condition, but the victims were alive when they left the helicopter to be treated in Kotzebue, said National Guard Sgt. Gail Paculba.

The plane, a Cessna U206F, went down on the side of a hill 24 miles northwest of Kotzebue, said a spokesman for the FAA. A commercial pilot in the area overheard a mayday call Saturday and was able to locate the plane, and then notified the FAA, Alaska State Troopers

The plane was on the north slope of an unnamed mountain, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email...

Nathaniel Herz

A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with shooting and killing his 2-year-old son in the Western Alaska village of Tununak.

The man, Edward Moses, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of his son, Kyle Moses, which was reported to the Alaska State Troopers early Friday morning.

In an affidavit filed with the charges in state court in Bethel on Saturday, a state trooper said Moses entered a home in the village where the child was staying with his mother Thursday night. Moses later shot the child in the head, and told troopers afterward he was upset with his child's mother for being with another man, troopers said.

Moses appeared in court in Bethel on Saturday morning, and was held there with bail set at $500,000...

Lisa Demer,Nathaniel Herz

Anchorage airport planners are putting off construction of a costly and controversial new runway as part of a new long-range plan, and will try to accommodate a projected increase in traffic by tinkering with existing infrastructure.

Under the latest version of the plan -- a draft of which was released this week -- Ted Stevens International Airport would upgrade its runways and connectors, adjust its scheme for takeoffs, and push some flights to Fairbanks before trying to build a new runway.

"It's incumbent upon responsible airport management, on responsible airline partners, to recognize that there might be a day when a project of that magnitude is justified," said Evan Pfahler, a consultant and project manager for the airport's master plan. "That day isn't today."...

Nathaniel Herz

A moose hunter found a badly decomposed body on a bank of the upper Susitna River northwest of Glennallen, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

The discovery was reported Wednesday night, the troopers said in a written statement, and "we think we know who it is," said spokeswoman Megan Peters.

Troopers are waiting for the state's medical examiner to confirm the identity of the body, most likely using dental or X-ray records, before releasing further details, Peters said.

The body was discovered near the Susitna's confluence with Tyone Creek by a moose hunter who had flown into the area, the troopers' statement said, and it was retrieved by a helicopter on Thursday.


Nathaniel Herz

Update, 6:30 p.m.:

Anchorage police said the situation was resolved peacefully on Thursday evening, and that the man had surrendered to officers.

"Negotiators were able to work with the distraught citizen and get him to walk back towards his vehicle which was parked on Campbell Airstrip Road," spokeswoman Jennifer Casto said in an email.

Castro said police were speaking to the man.

Original story:

Anchorage Police are asking people to avoid the trails near Campbell Airstrip Road, where they said a distraught man with a gun was threatening to kill himself Thursday afternoon.

The man had left his family and driven to Campbell Airstrip Road, then headed into the woods on the North Bivouac trail, said police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro...

Nathaniel Herz

An Aleknagik man was killed in a boat accident on Aleknagik Lake when his 16-foot craft collided with another small boat being driven by a man from Hawaii, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

John Tugatuk Sr., 41, died on Tuesday after sustaining trauma to his upper body in the crash earlier in the day, said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.

The crash occurred when Tugatuk was leaving the Aleknagik village boat launch, operating his outboard motor with his back to the other boat's position, the troopers said in a written statement...

Nathaniel Herz

The U.S. Coast Guard said it rescued an Italian crew member from a freighter Wednesday night after he was injured in a 75-foot fall from the vessel's exhaust stack.

The man was picked up by helicopter 117 miles from Adak, in the Aleutian Islands, and transferred to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, the Coast Guard said.

After the Coast Guard received a call about the accident early Wednesday morning from the 738-foot freighter Cinzia D'Amato, a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules plane took off from Kodiak, said Petty Officer Jonathan Klingenberg...

Nathaniel Herz