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In the world of collegiate debate, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Alaska Anchorage are peers. Anchorage’s hometown debate team perennially ranks among the elite...

Michelle Theriault Boots

In the world of collegiate debate, Harvard, Yale and the University of Alaska Anchorage are peers. Anchorage’s hometown debate team perennially ranks among the elite.

From Saturday to Monday evening, UAA hosted the 2015 U.S. Universities Debating Championship on its campus and at the Hotel Captain Cook in downtown Anchorage. It was the first time the premier national college debate tournament has been held in Alaska. The field included teams from such prestigious universities as Stanford, Brown and Cornell.

“(At other tournaments) we’d come back with trophies and press releases,” said Steve Johnson, who has coached debate at UAA for 20 years. “But nobody was seeing what we did.”

So how did the Seawolf Debate Team become a national powerhouse?...

Michelle Theriault Boots
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For the second year, a family of five black bears is roaming Government Hill, a densely populated neighborhood one bridge away from downtown Anchorage...

Michelle Theriault Boots

For the second year, a family of five black bears is roaming Government Hill, a densely populated neighborhood one bridge away from downtown Anchorage.

“We don’t have one bear that’s a problem,” said Rebecca Rogers, who lives in a bluff-side home overlooking what she says has become a bear highway. “We have five.”

Rogers says an adult female sow lunged at her young Rottweiler on Friday afternoon, the first sighting of the year in the neighborhood.

“She swatted at my dog,” Rogers said. “She was standing on hind legs, popping her jaws, saliva coming out.”

Then, on Sunday, the sow and four yearling cubs were seen near Cedar and Dogwood streets on the east side of the neighborhood.

The community council tweeted a warning...

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An Alaska State Troopers unit that has helped solve several high-profile cold case murders could be cut under the version of the state budget currently being considered by the Legislature.

Disbanding the Alaska Bureau of Investigation’s four-person Cold Case Investigation Unit will save the Department of Public Safety $383,000 per year, according to the department.

The Department of Public Safety, along with all other state agencies, was asked by Gov. Bill Walker this spring to identify potential cuts, said Kelly Howell, administrative services director for DPS.

“We were asked to come up with reduction proposals, and that was one of the recommendations that came from the department,” she said...

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Alaska State Troopers are investigating the reported sexual assault of an inmate by another prisoner at a maximum-security prison on the Kenai Peninsula.

Troopers wrote in a online dispatch posted Monday that on Saturday at 2:01 a.m., Soldotna troopers received a call from officers at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward.

"Officers at SCCC advised that an inmate had reported being sexually assaulted by another inmate," the dispatch said.

Troopers traveled to the prison and interviewed the inmate who reported the assault, according to the AST...

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Anchorage police have identified the two people killed in a Friday collision on the Glenn Highway as a 38-year-old father whose son survived the crash and a 25-year-old man whose wife was also seriously injured in the wreck.

On April 3 around 4:30 p.m., a Dodge Durango traveling north on the Glenn Highway near the Eklutna Exit lost control, crossing the median and hitting a Hyundai Santa Fe head-on, police said.

The driver of the Durango, identified as Derek Monk, 38, died. His 15-year-old son, who was also riding in the vehicle, was taken to a local hospital with injuries police described as “non-life threatening.”...

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On Tuesday, Mohammed Hano got the phone call he’d been waiting for.

Hano was standing in the kitchen of the Spenard apartment he has shared for years with other refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan. It’s a place he is now planning to leave after, he says, he and his roommate, also a Sudanese refugee, awoke Sunday to find messages like “Leave Alaska,” “Get Out” and “Go Now” written all over their cars and the tires deflated.

The caller was Dave Koch, a captain with the Anchorage Police Department.

Friends drinking sugary tea around the table perked up their ears...

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Mohammed Hano and Mobarak Albadawi, refugees from a violent conflict in a distant African country who now live in Anchorage, say they woke Sunday morning to find their cars covered in messages telling them to leave the place that was supposed to be their final, safe home.

“Not Welcome,” “Leave Alaska,” “Move out,” and “Go Now” were among the words scrawled on the Chevy Blazer and Chevy Lumina parked in their Spenard driveway. The tires on both vehicles had also been deflated.

Hano, Albadawi and three other roommates at a Dorbrandt Street apartment complex are refugees from Darfur, a region in the African nation of Sudan that has been embroiled in a brutal, ongoing conflict since 2003...

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If anyone should have been locked up tight, it was Kevin Tuckfield.

At the Cook Inlet Pre-Trial Facility, blocks from downtown Anchorage, the 28-year-old was classified as a “two-man” inmate -- so dangerous that two correctional officers were required to escort him every time he left his cell in the jail’s M or “Mike" module, which houses the state’s most acutely mentally ill prisoners.

Tuckfield was serving a sentence for a 2008 abduction and rape...

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