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Michelle Theriault Boots

Anchorage police donned riot gear early Sunday to clear a downtown intersection of an impromptu 200-person street dance party that grew as crowds poured out of closing bars, kicking off a busy few hours for police including numerous reports of shots fired around the city.

Police reported no violence stemming from the initial incident, but two people were arrested for disorderly conduct and failing to leave the area.

Police were called to the intersection of Third Avenue and E Street at about 2:30 a.m. after someone reported gunshots, Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Anita Shell said Sunday afternoon.

About a block away, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and D Street, by the Sunshine Plaza mall, they found an “unsanctioned street party” in progress...

Michelle Theriault Boots

On Sunday, Bianca Pagel-Miller, her mom and her younger brother walked through security at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, strolled through the C gate and boarded a waiting Alaska Airlines jet. Bianca, a jubilant 10-year-old, carried a carefully packed backpack and a stuffed animal, which she showed off to flight attendants.

They weren’t actually flying anywhere -- the plane taxied and returned to the gate without leaving the ground -- but Bianca’s first time on an airplane was a milestone all the same.

The Pagel-Millers rarely travel by air because the rigid procedures, unpredictable timetables, bright lights and loud sounds of airports and airplanes can be intensely stressful and overwhelming for children who, like Bianca, have autism...

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A man who police say appeared to be homeless was found dead near a South Anchorage underpass Saturday night, police said.

Police do not suspect foul play and aren't releasing his name until his family is notified, Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said Sunday evening.

Anchorage Police and medics responded to a report of a body found near an underpass not far from the intersection of Dimond and Arctic boulevards around 5 p.m. Saturday evening, the APD said in a news release Saturday night.

"It appeared the male had been living outside in the area," the release said.

There were no obvious signs of trauma or foul play, police said. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

Michelle Theriault Boots

At night, and especially on weekends, Chilkoot Charlie’s is a raucous cauldron of Anchorage nightlife -- the kind of place that traveling salesmen tell stories about for years after they visit. Maybe no other single bar in Anchorage -- or Alaska -- carries quite such an outsized reputation....

Tara Young,Michelle Theriault Boots

To begin, a very incomplete list of items found inside Chilkoot Charlie’s bar and nightclub:

1. Soviet medal for “Valor in Childbearing, Second Class.” 2. Life-sized replica of the Sputnik satellite. 3. Framed Playboy magazine naming Chilkoot’s as one of the “Best Bars in America.” 4. Framed congratulations letter from then-Anchorage mayor Rick Mystrom on Playboy honor, noting that Anchorage also has the top-rated municipal water and landfill. 5. Photo of bar owner Mike Gordon and 14 Sherpas attempting to summit Mount Everest, clad in Chilkoot Charlie’s shirts. 6. Rare 17th century Russian Orthodox cross. 7. Flier from Koots’ single biggest night ever, the Pauly Shore/MTV “non-stop 24 hour street party.”...

Michelle Theriault Boots

The Anchorage Baptist Temple’s school will not host this year's state wrestling tournament for small high schools, as it has in the past, after the Alaska School Activities Association asked it to stop its practice of including a public prayer in the event.

An attendee of the 2013 event had complained to a national church-state separation watchdog group, which told the ASAA that as a public entity it couldn't sanction prayer at a school extracurricular event.

Removing the prayer "was a show stopper for us,” said Tom Cobaugh, the administrator of the private Anchorage Christian Schools, the Anchorage Baptist Temple's education ministry. “That’s who we are.”...

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A Friday incident that saw teenagers at a Kenai youth detention center riot, attack unarmed guards and escape was the result of a plot involving seven of the nine offenders being held at the facility, officials said Sunday.

“It was a planned escape,” said Karen Forrest, the head of the state Division of Juvenile Justice. “It was not spontaneous. Essentially this is a case of youths planning an escape and assaulting juvenile justice officers and being able to leave the facility.”

The trouble started while the teens were taking part in a planned Friday evening activity at the Kenai Peninsula Youth Facility, on Marathon Road in Kenai. Forrest said she believed they were playing “some kind of game” when the teenagers attacked the guards...

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Investigators are trying to determine what caused a house fire that killed a Palmer couple Saturday.

Arvette Loucks, 59, and Clyde Loucks, 64, died in the fire at their house in downtown Palmer, their daughter Elli Loucks said Sunday.

The couple had long lived in Anchorage but moved to Palmer in recent years. They had two children and three grandchildren, Elli Loucks said.

Neighbors of the house at 1036 Ronda Way, near the Glenn Highway, called dispatchers just before noon on Saturday to report the fire, said Palmer Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Todd Russell Sunday...

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Anchorage police have identified the victim of a vehicle-pedestrian collision in Midtown Anchorage early Saturday morning as Venise Gunlik, 42.

Public records show past addresses for Gunlik in both Bethel and Anchorage.

Her next of kin have been notified, the Anchorage Police Department said in a news release Sunday.

Gunlik was crossing the road near Fireweed Lane and C Street when she was struck by a vehicle driving southbound on C Street around 4 a.m. Saturday morning, police said. She was declared dead at the scene.

Officials have not released any additional details in the collision.

"The collision remains under investigation and no charges or citations have been issued at this time," the APD said.

Michelle Theriault Boots

The University of Alaska Anchorage hopes to add a new doctoral program in nursing practice to its offerings.

The UA Board of Regents is considering the proposal at its board meeting in Fairbanks this week.

The Doctor in Nursing Practice would replace a master’s degree in nursing currently offered through UAA's College of Health, the university said.

Health workforce demand studies undertaken in 2006 and 2011 pointed to the need for more nurses with the advanced training a doctorate in nursing practice offers, officials said...

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