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Michelle Theriault Boots

Tisha Angasan Rochdi, a 37-year-old mother of three and member of a prominent family of Bristol Bay community leaders, on Tuesday became the ninth person to die in an Alaska jail this year.

Other inmates found Rochdi “unresponsive” in a women’s dorm at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility in Palmer at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sherrie Daigle wrote in a news release Tuesday. She had been taken there after an arrest for a probation violation less than 36 hours earlier.

Staff performed CPR but Rochdi was declared dead at 7:07 a.m., according to the DOC.

Authorities have not offered details as to what may have caused Rochdi’s death, but said no foul play is suspected...

Michelle Theriault Boots

Four people were critically injured in a plane crash near the summit of Atigun Pass in northern Alaska on Sunday, the Alaska State Troopers reported.

Troopers and the National Transportation Safety Board said Alyeska Pipeline Service Company security guards first reported the crash around 1:45 p.m.

The plane was reported to have crashed near Mile 243.5 of the Dalton Highway, Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said Sunday evening.

The four injured are believed to have been the only people on the aircraft...

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When a 33-year-old man reportedly showed up in the isolated town of McCarthy with a gun threatening to kill the owner of the McCarthy Lodge on Saturday afternoon, neighbors jumped into the fray, subduing him until Alaska State Troopers arrived.

No one was hurt in the incident, troopers said in an online dispatch.

Troopers said they received 911 calls from McCarthy, a small town of only about 30 year-round residents located in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, at about 3:04 p.m. Saturday. The callers said a disgruntled former employee -- identified by troopers as 33-year-old Josh Pratt of Talkeetna -- had a gun, seemed to be intoxicated and was making threats against his former boss, the owner of the McCarthy Lodge...

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Each of the 14 women suing their former state of Alaska probation officer has a story about the moment visits to James Stanton’s basement office at the downtown courthouse turned bad.

One woman said he fondled her in front of her toddler.

A second knew something was amiss when Stanton asked her if she “liked sex with older men.”

A third said she stopped wearing dresses to her appointments to discourage her probation officer from reaching up them. She wore snug jeans instead, hoping he would have trouble fumbling with the buttons.

Stanton, a longtime state employee and Army veteran, at first seemed harmless enough. He wore a neatly-trimmed mustache and filled his office with pig-themed tchotchkes...

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After a wrenching spring budget process that promised big cuts, the Anchorage School District started the school year Wednesday having rehired all but three of the dozens of teachers who received layoff notices in May.

Most of the laid-off teachers were reshuffled into positions vacated by resignations or retirements, said Todd Hess, the district's human resources director.

The few teachers who remain on the “layoff list” have specialized certifications that made it impossible for them to transfer into open positions, he said.

But as of Wednesday, the district was down 75 positions overall from the first day of school last year, said ASD spokeswoman Heidi Embley...

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The driver of a bus carrying 20 people lost consciousness, veered off the Sterling Highway near Soldotna and died Sunday morning, Alaska State Troopers reported.

Nineteen people on the bus were injured in the incident, said AST spokeswoman Megan Peters.

Troopers said none of the injuries were life-threatening. Some of the hurt passengers were taken to a Kenai Peninsula hospital for treatment.

The coach-style bus was owned by Snug Harbor Seafoods, which is based in Kenai. It was full of Snug Harbor employees, Peters said.

The bus was traveling northbound on the Sterling Highway near Mile 90 when the driver became unconscious and the bus went off the road, troopers said.

"The bus left the roadway and came to rest in a field," troopers said...

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Police have arrested a 27-year-old man who they say beat three men with a cane in a park in the Anchorage neighborhood of Mountain View early Sunday, sending one to the hospital in critical condition.

Police arrived at a park near the corner of North Lane Street and Mountain View Drive just after midnight on Sunday to find an unconscious man on the ground with life-threatening injuries to his face and head, according to a statement from Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to a local hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Two other men at the scene suffered face lacerations and were treated by medics, police said...

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Update 6:37 p.m.:

Police have determined that the death of a woman whose body was found in a room at a downtown Anchorage motel early Sunday was a suicide.

"The scene in general was initially suspicious until APD's Crime Scene Team and detectives were able to further investigate and confirm the death was a suicide," Anchorage Police Department spokesperson Jennifer Castro wrote in an e-mail Sunday night. "The female was from out of state and police are working to notify next of kin."

Original story:

Anchorage police are investigating what is being described as a "suspicious" death after a woman's body was found in a downtown motel room Sunday...

Michelle Theriault Boots

The U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies are searching Knik Arm for a hunter who left Anchorage bound for Point Mackenzie in a 10-foot skiff Saturday and never returned.

George Green, 41, left Anchorage at noon Saturday in a beige fiberglass skiff he launched from the Port of Anchorage boat ramp, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Green was reported overdue after he didn’t return from his hunting trip by Saturday night.

The Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and Anchorage Fire Department searched by air, land and water for Green Sunday.

The search includes a Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew, Anchorage Fire Department boat crews and troopers searching the shoreline near Point Mackenzie...

Michelle Theriault Boots

In the wilderness hamlet of McCarthy, Rick Kenyon was the preacher, newspaper editor, propane salesman, official weather observer and often the loudest agitator against what he viewed as incursions of the federal government on frontier Alaska life.

Kenyon died Aug. 5 after a heart attack. He was 67.

Not everyone in McCarthy agreed with Kenyon, a tall man who wore a bushy beard and started each day with coffee and Bible study.

But many have a hard time imagining the town without him.

“When someone like Rick departs a community, you just stand there scratching your head in shock, wondering how you can go on,” said Kenyon’s friend Ray Kreig, an Anchorage property rights activist who owns land in McCarthy...

Michelle Theriault Boots

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