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Standing in the biting chill of October twilight, city and state leaders said Sunday that they're committed to easing Anchorage’s acute problem with homelessness.

The comments came at a downtown vigil meant to honor people who’d died on the streets of Alaska’s biggest city this year.

“A great city, a great state doesn’t stand idly by while people perish in our streets,” Mayor Ethan Berkowitz told a crowd of about 75 people.

The vigil, organized by Catholic Social Services, which runs Brother Francis Shelter, the city’s largest emergency shelter, included songs from youth choirs, a candle lighting and a moment of silence...

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A fourth candidate has entered what's shaping up to be a crowded race for the Midtown and South Anchorage state Senate seat that longtime legislator Lesil McGuire on Monday announced she'll vacate at the end of her term.

On Tuesday, Democrat Roselynn Cacy announced plans to enter the race for Senate District L.

Senate District L encompasses parts of south Spenard, Midtown, Taku/Campbell, Dimond, Bayshore and Oceanview.

McGuire has represented the district, which was redrawn in statewide redistricting in 2013, since 2007.

Cacy, an educator, ran against McGuire in 2012, garnering about a third of the vote...

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Sen. Lesil McGuire, an influential, longtime Republican state legislator, announced Monday that she would not seek re-election to the Midtown and South Anchorage seat she has held since 2007.

McGuire, 44, first publicly announced her decision Monday while speaking at the Institute of the North’s Arctic Energy Summit in Fairbanks. The summit combined two of her favorite policy concerns -- the North and energy production.

The lawmaker, first elected to statewide office when she was 29, said her decision came down to family.

“Now it’s time for me to create a healthy equilibrium between my family and my work life,” she wrote in a text message. “Therefore, I will not be seeking another term in the Alaska Senate.”...

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More than 100 searchers combing steep terrain south of Girdwood for missing Anchorage man Kevin Mitchell had found no sign of the 38-year-old, last seen nearly a week ago, by Sunday evening.

Mitchell, 38, was last seen Tuesday when he stopped by his South Anchorage home at about 11:30 a.m. in his Municipal Light & Power truck. The father of two and engineer left in his personal 2012 Toyota Tundra without taking his wallet or ID, his wife Nicole Mitchell said. He hasn't been seen since.

A friend who had joined in the search effort found his truck at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday, parked at a pond near Mile 87.5 of the Seward Highway, south of Girdwood...

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An Arctic cold front from Siberia is headed toward Anchorage and by Tuesday could drop the season’s first snowfall on the city, according to the National Weather Service.

The “unseasonably strong” weather system could bring “the threat for accumulating snow” to parts of Southcentral Alaska, including Anchorage and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys, the NWS Anchorage forecast office wrote in a special weather statement Sunday.

Late September snow is far from unheard of, said NWS meteorologist Jason Ahsenmacher, but the system moving in is colder than what's typically seen.

“It is a pretty cold system for this time of year,” he said. “It’s unusual.”...

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KODIAK -- From the window of a yellow floatplane, Kodiak Electric Association president Darron Scott points to towering white wind turbines strung along a green ridge on Pillar Mountain, a pinnacle behind town.

Those wind turbines, a leap of faith for the community six years ago, now account for between 16 percent to 18 percent of the electricity Kodiak uses. So far, they’ve saved the city from using more than 8 million gallons of diesel fuel and have helped to stabilize rates. People in Kodiak now pay less for electricity than they did 15 years ago. A bill for 600 kilowatt hours of electricity, considered a household standard, in Kodiak runs $102.73, cheaper than in places like Homer, Fairbanks, the Mat-Su or even Anchorage...

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A jury on Tuesday awarded a former Bethel woman injured in a car accident more than a decade ago nearly $17 million, the biggest such civil verdict ever in Western Alaska, according to the plaintiff's attorney.

Attorney Myron Angstman, who represented plaintiff Angelina Trailov and her mother, Mary Kenick, in the case against Allstate Insurance Company and its adjustor Kathy Berry, said the judgment was the largest he knew of in the Bethel area, toppling another case he tried in 2004 involving a teenager injured by a folding table.

Trailov was 15 when she was injured in a car wreck in 2002, suffering a skull fracture, a punctured lung and other injuries, some with lingering effects...

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KING COVE -- She’s getting on in years, but to the people who love her, the Tustumena is still the queen.

On a long July evening in Southwest Alaska, Jim Brittain and his daughter Erin-Anne watched for whales from the solarium of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s quirkiest ferry.

The Tustumena is stout, freshly repainted blue, gold and white and creeping into her second half-century sailing some of the wildest seas Alaska has to offer...

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The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman has filed a complaint with the state Department of Public Safety after a veteran Alaska State Trooper pulled over a reporter last week and seized his camera memory card, saying news-gathering images of an arrest constituted “evidence.”

The Wasilla newspaper's complaint says trooper Sgt. Mike Ingram's actions violated constitutional protections of freedom of the press and against unlawful search and seizure.

The Department of Public Safety, which oversees troopers, says it is investigating...

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Zemira James was a bone-thin 15-year-old when she was rescued from the home of the woman who had adopted her from Alaska’s foster care system.

That was back in October 2010...

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