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Michelle Theriault Boots

GIRDWOOD -- The password to the legalization party was “I get high with a little help from my friends.”

On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

It turned out to be both a historic moment and a deeply understated occasion. With retail pot sales still at least a year off and public consumption banned, people who marked the moment mostly did so in private.

Anchorage police said they had handed out zero tickets for public consumption of marijuana as of midday Tuesday.

But at one rented condominium up a gravel road in Girdwood, legalization day was cause for an all-out party...

Michelle Theriault Boots
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On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana...

Michelle Theriault Boots

A federal grand jury on Monday returned a three-count indictment against the owners of a defunct floating strip club in Kodiak for offenses related to the “improper disposal of human waste.”

Kimberly Christina Reidel-Byler, 46, and Darren K. Byler, 54, both of Kodiak, face charges that they piped waste from bathrooms on the Wild Alaskan directly into the harbor, then lied about it to investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Attempts to contact the two were unsuccessful Monday...

Michelle Theriault Boots

On Tuesday, using cannabis for the heck of it will officially be legal under Alaska state law.

But can it still get you fired from your job?

Under a ballot measure approved by voters in November, possession and recreational use of marijuana by those over 21 will no longer be prohibited. But for employers and employees in Alaska, legalization raises a thicket of questions about privacy, safety, and whether what you do legally on Saturday night can be held against you at work on Monday morning, in the form of a drug test.

Experts say the answers will likely have to be worked out in the courts...

Michelle Theriault Boots

A longtime Mat-Su school bus monitor has been arrested on child sex abuse charges, Alaska State Troopers and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District reported.

Timothy Queripel, 41, of Wasilla had been under investigation by the Mat-Su Child Abuse Investigation Unit of the Alaska State Troopers and the Wasilla Office of Children’s Services since Feb. 6, after officials learned of a “possible sexual abuse incident," troopers said in an online release posted Friday.

As a result of the investigation, Queripel was arrested on five counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor, according to troopers.

Mat-Su Borough School District officials said they have “no knowledge” of any allegations that Queripel abused district students...

Michelle Theriault Boots

The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship sled dog sprint races are the latest victim of warm weather that has obliterated trail conditions around Southcentral Alaska and in Anchorage, despite the work of volunteers.

Race officials announced the decision to cancel the races Sunday. The races had been scheduled to run in Anchorage on Friday, Saturday and March 1, and 20 mushers had signed up for the 2015 competition...

Michelle Theriault Boots

At least 51 percent of women in the Nome census area have experienced physical abuse at the hands of an intimate partner, sexual violence, or both, according to a new study .

The numbers mirror a grim pattern of extreme rates of violence against women statewide.

The results of the “Alaska Victimization Survey: Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence in the Nome Census Area,” authored by the University of Alaska Anchorage Justice Center and the state Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, were released in Nome Feb. 11...

Michelle Theriault Boots

A new set of recommendations from the state regulatory agency charged with managing legal marijuana offers a window into what policymakers are currently thinking about how Alaska's nascent pot industry should run.

Staffers of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control division prepared the report, called "Preliminary Considerations for Implementation of AS 17.38," said Cynthia Franklin, the head of the agency. The ABC Board endorsed its release, she said.

The recommendations, which lean heavily on the experience of Colorado in regulating a commercial pot industry, cover everything from serving sizes of marijuana edibles to local control...

Michelle Theriault Boots

For five summers, the Spenard Farmers Market has been a Saturday morning neighborhood destination in West Anchorage, a place to stock up on Prince William Sound shrimp, Palmer carrots and perhaps a fistful of peonies in the unlikely locale of the Chilkoot Charlie’s parking lot.

For 40 or so local artists, growers and fishermen, the market meant selling to a crowd that on a good day numbered in the thousands.

Now it is ending, at least in its current incarnation.

Board members posted a letter on the Spenard Farmers Market website over the weekend announcing the closure.

The reason is simple, they say: They are exhausted...

Michelle Theriault Boots

Anchorage police said that a man died following an altercation at a Midtown convenience store early Sunday, and an ensuing standoff at a nearby apartment complex ended peacefully with a man taken in for questioning.

According to police, the incident began just after 3 a.m. at a Holiday convenience store at the intersection of Tudor Road and the Old Seward Highway. Police said witnesses reported two men entered the store, and subsequently "got into a verbal disagreement inside the store and then walked out of the store where, moments later, multiple shots were fired."

APD spokeswoman Anita Shell said Sunday that she didn't know whether the two men knew each other prior to the incident...

Michelle Theriault Boots,Ben Anderson