Michelle Theriault Boots

The site of a multiple-vehicle collision on the Seward Highway that killed an Anchorage man and caused a 10-hour traffic jam Friday will see renovations in the future, including new turn lanes, according to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The renovations, part of a major project in the works for years, are planned to reduce congestion and danger at the entrance to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, an increasingly popular tourist destination.

The wildlife center says it is already adding a new entrance several hundred feet north of the existing one, with better placement and visibility on the highway...

Michelle Theriault Boots

Speakers at a downtown Anchorage rally against Planned Parenthood Tuesday, including a state senator, exhorted a crowd of about 100 people to call on their legislators to defund the organization and bar it from Alaska schools.

The Park Strip rally was one of dozens against Planned Parenthood held nationwide Tuesday. The protests come after videos surreptitiously filmed by an anti-abortion group known as the Center for Medical Progress emerged that appear to show Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sale of fetal tissue . A third video was released Thursday...

Michelle Theriault Boots

A rainstorm Saturday night was a “ 50 year rainfall event ” for July in Anchorage, dousing parts of the city with more than 2 inches of rain in less than 12 hours, the National Weather Service said Sunday.

The storm also washed away Janice Anderson’s short-lived stability.

Anderson was one of about 30 people who were ordered to evacuate from an apartment building near 12th and Cordova that partly flooded during the weekend storm. She said that before getting a basement apartment at the complex she’d been homeless for 10 years.

On Saturday night, Anderson was asleep on what she described as heavy medication when her personal care attendant woke her up...

Michelle Theriault Boots,Shelby Lum

The longtime owner of Chilkoot Charlie’s, a historic Spenard watering hole that is perhaps Alaska’s best-known bar, is selling the business to a group of employees.

At the same time, a real estate group headed by the owners of the popular Bear Tooth and Moose’s Tooth restaurants will purchase the Spenard property the bar sits on, becoming its landlord, with plans to use the large parking lot for its own new project across the street.

The deal will likely be finalized by August, said Mike Gordon, who opened the eclectic labyrinth of bars-within-a bar on New Year’s Day in 1970.

Gordon, who is 72, said he has lost money on the operation for years and had been looking to sell Chilkoot Charlie’s for some time...

Michelle Theriault Boots,Jeannette Lee Falsey

Last November, Scott Brown left his Anchorage life of sleeping on the streets, panhandling and cheap vodka to give sobriety one more try.

It would be the last in a lifetime of attempts to shake alcohol.

At 57, he had survived several damaging strokes and was suffering from congestive heart failure brought on, at least in part, by drinking, according to his family. He’d been an alcoholic for 40 years and homeless in Anchorage for the past two.

He was “tired of the whole ball of wax,” he said.

With the help of an outreach worker, Brown was given the opportunity to return to his hometown of Sitka for inpatient alcohol rehabilitation...

Michelle Theriault Boots

Heroin is taking a unprecedented toll on Alaska, with deaths, overdoses and medical costs sharply rising, according to a new report by the state Division of Public Health.

The 18-page report, released Tuesday, details the dimensions of the problem. It comes a week after the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the similarly staggering results of their own survey of heroin and opiate use nationwide.

Among the findings in the Alaska report:

• The number of Alaskans who said they had used heroin in the past year quadrupled between 2002 and 2013...

Michelle Theriault Boots

The authors of a proposed Anchorage ordinance expanding open-container laws to marijuana want you to keep your cannabis in the trunk of your car.

Anchorage Assembly members Ernie Hall and Amy Demboski will introduce four proposed ordinances at Tuesday's Assembly meeting that touch on the finer points of marijuana regulation, from defining "personal cultivation" to possession of cannabis in limousines.

A chance for the public to weigh in will come later.

The proposed ordinances are largely “housekeeping” matters of bringing municipal code into alignment with state statute, Hall said...

Michelle Theriault Boots

A construction worker who disappeared from a job site in Eagle River Saturday morning is still missing, Anchorage police said Sunday.

Vasily Basargin, 38, was part of a construction crew working on a house on the 18000 block of Upper McCrary Road in Eagle River. He was last seen around 10:15 a.m., when he told a co-worker he was going to get something to drink and use a restroom.

Police searched for him from the time his employer reported him missing until 11:30 p.m. Saturday, APD spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said Sunday.

"We did not find any signs or indications of where he might have gone," she said.

Police on Saturday described the area surrounding the construction site as quiet and heavily wooded...

Michelle Theriault Boots

The wedge of land where Strawberry Road and Northwood Street meet is a diverse, middle-class enclave, the kind of neighborhood “where people mow their lawns on Saturday mornings and wave to each other,” as one Anchorage police officer puts it.

For decades, Stan Fenner's rambling, corner-lot split-level fit right into the neighborhood.

“He was a very good neighbor for a long time,” said Frank McQueary, who lives a few houses down on Ascot Street, in a home noted for its Christmas decorations.

But after a steep decline over the past three years, the big brown house on West 79th Avenue is now a magnet for crime and drug calls, neighbors and police say...

Michelle Theriault Boots

Frank Zappa once said that for a nation to have truly arrived, it needs a beer and an airline.

If Anchorage’s version is a farmers market, then count Muldoon as the most recent neighborhood to rack up the distinction.

East Anchorage’s first formal farmers market debuted on the last Saturday of June, on Begich Middle School property with a view of the mountains.

It offered locally grown radishes and spinach, face painting, breakfast burritos and fancy pour-over coffee, homemade soaps and scarves.

Organizer Carla McConnell said she thought more than 500 people walked through over the course of the first day.

“It was really a community thing," she said. "People were just stopping and talking to each other.”...

Michelle Theriault Boots