Tegan Hanlon

The nation’s top official for veterans affairs will travel to Alaska in August to attend the Alaska Native Health Board's annual “Mega Meeting,” according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and health board.

Karina Petersen, Alaska communications director for Sen. Lisa Murkowski, said the Alaska congressional delegation received a courtesy travel notification this week about VA Secretary Robert McDonald’s visit, though she said she was told his schedule could change...

Tegan Hanlon

Two Nome residents may face criminal charges after police searched their home Thursday and found 21 mature cannabis plants and six immature cannabis plants, among other items, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers identified the homeowners as Anthony Shelp, 53, and Esther Olanna, 34. The Western Alaska Alcohol and Narcotics Team executed a search warrant at the home of Shelp and Olanna in a Nome subdivision. The home was a "suspected marijuana grow," troopers said in an online dispatch.

Along with the 21 mature and six immature cannabis plants, the team found one pound of " 'bud' marijuana," lights, timers and chemicals used to grow the plants, troopers said. Troopers said that the 21 cannabis plants yielded a dry weight of about 2.3 pounds...

Tegan Hanlon

An intensive inpatient treatment program for veterans and active duty military in need of mental health care that opened a few months ago in Anchorage was dedicated Tuesday to the late Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL who inspired the movie "American Sniper."

The 36-bed Chris Kyle Patriots Hospital is part of North Star Behavioral Health System, an Anchorage subsidiary of the large publicly traded firm Universal Health Services, headquartered in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. The health care management company’s subsidiaries operate more than 220 acute care and behavioral health facilities and surgery centers in the U.S. and overseas, said Alan Miller, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Health Services...

Tegan Hanlon

A 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit south of Mount Iliamna around 6:35 p.m. Tuesday rattled Alaska from Kodiak to Fairbanks, according to the Alaska Earthquake Center.

The quake struck roughly 70 miles below the Earth’s surface across Cook Inlet from Homer, said Michael West, a seismologist at the Alaska Earthquake Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The epicenter was about 144 miles southwest of Anchorage.

“It’s deep -- that’s important,” he said. “That means the shaking was not as strong, but spread widely.”

Linda Hull of Clam Gulch, about 65 miles away from the earthquake’s epicenter, said she heard a very low rumble before a slow rolling motion started. That lasted for several seconds before she felt a jolt...

Tegan Hanlon,Yereth Rosen

The University of Alaska Board of Regents said Tuesday it appointed Jim Johnsen , a senior vice president at Alaska Communications, as the 14th president of the UA system.

Johnsen, a former UA vice president, will succeed Pat Gamble, who became president in 2010 and announced his retirement in December. Johnsen will take over as president of the UA system, which encompasses 16 campuses across Alaska, on Sept. 1, according to a release from UA...

Tegan Hanlon

Update: 8 a.m. Tuesday:

The woman, identified as Amanda Bee, 31, of North Pole, died at Providence Hospital in Seward shortly after 9 p.m. Monday, troopers said in a release Tuesday morning.

Bee's next of kin has been notified. Her body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, troopers said.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Original story:

Alaska State Troopers say a 31-year-old woman had a gun outside of the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward Monday and "stated she would kill herself if the convicted killers were not released."...

Tegan Hanlon

Update 3 a.m. Tuesday:

Anchorage police said in a release early Tuesday morning that the trio had been located and are safe. No further details were provided.

Original story:

The Anchorage Police Department asked the public for help Monday finding a man, woman and child who had not returned from a Saturday fishing trip.

The three people, who police identified as Jessie Urias, 35, his girlfriend Sabra Stinger, 31, and Urias' daughter Shaniah Adams, 7, told family they would return to Anchorage Sunday. They reportedly left Anchorage the day before in a gold Dodge Durango with license plate "FLK550" for a fishing trip near Mile 60, though they did not specify Mile 60 of which roadway, police said in a release sent Monday night...

Tegan Hanlon

The mint-colored shack near Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage has reopened this summer as a snack-selling offspring of the Busy Beans coffee shop tucked in Government Hill. But there's more to the business model than just selling confections and drinks to park and trail users.

The opening of "Busy Beans By the Lagoon" marks the first time a business has operated out of the lagoon-side spot since the Covey Cafe stopped selling coffee there in 2010. But Busy Beans has kept a big part of that former business alive by way of how it handles employment...

Tegan Hanlon
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The mint-colored shack near Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage has reopened this summer as a snack-selling offspring of the Busy Beans coffee shop tucked in Government Hill. But there's more to the business model than just selling confections and drinks to park and trail users...

Tegan Hanlon

A man was found dead Thursday evening across the street from the Bean's Cafe soup kitchen in downtown Anchorage, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Shortly before 5 p.m., medics responded to the intersection of Third Avenue and Karluk Street, said Renee Oistad, police spokeswoman.

The call came in for a person passed out, said Officer James Dokken. Medics attempted to resuscitate the man who lay on the sidewalk. They later pronounced him dead, Dokken said.

Police have not identified the man, but Oistad said they believe he was homeless.

"Nothing suspicious at the scene, no signs of foul play," she said in an email...

Tegan Hanlon