Scott Jensen


The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service posthumously named Ahtna elder and Alaska Native advocate Katie John a Conservation Hero on Tuesday, October 13, 2015, during the Elders and Youth Conference at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. John passed away on May 31, 2013.At the end of the presentation at the Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage, Katie John's family onstage noted that she would have turned 100 on Oct. 15, 2015. Then those attending the conference session sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
Scott Jensen


The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service posthumously named Ahtna elder and Alaska Native advocate Katie John a Conservation Hero on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 during the Elders and Youth Conference at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. John passed away on May 31, 2013."Katie John belongs to you now -- all of us," her son Fred John Jr. said, motioning to the crowd of approximately 1,000. "She belongs to Alaska."According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife website, this honor commemorates pioneers who helped save the environment. Plaques honoring them are placed around the National Conservation Training Center Campus near Washington, D.C.See more: Coverage of the 2015 Alaska Federation of Natives convention and related events
Doyle Woody
The Alaska Aces played their first exhibition game of the season against the Missouri Mavericks at the Sullivan Arena on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015.  
Scott Jensen


This dance conveys the emotions of a hunter who believes he has captured a bearded seal but instead, much to his delight, hauls in a walrus. It was performed Monday at the First Alaskans Institute Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage by Walter Gregg and the Qikiktagruk Northern Lights Dancers from Kotzebue. The conference continues through Wednesday.Read more: Elders and Youth Conference brings celebration, conversation
Jerzy Shedlock
Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, outgoing Chief Mark Mew and incoming Chief Chris Tolley participate in a changing of the chiefs ceremony midday Monday, October 12, 2015, at Anchorage Police Department headquarters.
Scott Jensen


Tlingit and Athabascan youth Kyle Demientieff-Worl performs the two-foot high kick for a crowd gathered at the Elders and Youth Conference in Anchorage on Oct. 12, 2015.
Suzanna Caldwell,Tara Young

Bear roams around Target parking lot in Anchorage, Alaska

Shoppers at an East Anchorage Target on Sunday got a surprise when they came across a black bear trying to enter the store.Elizabeth Shea and her friend were shopping with their two little girls at the Tikahtnu Commons shopping center along Muldoon Road when they heard people screaming."I think there’s a bear over there," said Shea’s friend.Shea turned and saw the bear, which seemed close enough that the women grabbed their daughters and stood in the store's entrance. The bear had wandered by the Target, but then headed in the direction of Sports Authority next door.When the bear couldn't enter the store, it moved toward Shea and the others but then quickly turned away and ran toward a nearby IHOP restaurant."We all felt really bad for him, he didn't seem menacing or threatening at all," Shea said. "In fact, the little girls said he just seemed really scared and lost."Sports Authority manager Steven Spicer realized something was going on when “a bunch of people” suddenly ran into the store. Spicer went to the front door and noticed the bear headed toward door of the sporting goods store.Spicer asked everyone to stay inside and shut off the power to the automatic doors to keep the bear out. He said the group that rushed in stood nearby, taking pictures of the bear near the door.Spicer, who has worked at the East Anchorage location for four years, said it was the first time he had ever seen a bear wander through.“That’s a rare occurrence,” he said.Alaska Department of Fish and Game Anchorage area biologist Dave Battle said he’s received several reports of a bear in the Tikahtnu Commons area, but has not yet responded since reports are always made a day or two after the bears are in the area.He said bears searching for garbage around the shopping center are not uncommon. Some businesses had taken steps to reduce bear encounters by having locking garbage cans, he said.Battle hadn’t seen the video Monday and could not confirm whether the Target bear was related to a group of bears that's been spotted near Bartlett High School, or a group near Centennial Park that saw a cub speared by a resident of a homeless camp earlier this month.“There are plenty of bears around (Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson) and Muldoon (Road),” he said. “It’s hard to say whether it’s the same ones.”To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact the multimedia team at
Scott Jensen


Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz proclaims today, October 12, 2015, "Indigenous Peoples Day" for the municipality of Anchorage at the 2015 Elders and Youth Conference in downtown.Berkowitz made the surprise announcement Monday morning during opening remarks at the three-day conference in downtown Anchorage.Read more: AFN Elders and Youth Conference opens to renaming of Columbus Day in city, state
The annual three-day Elders and Youth Conference, the lead-in to the Alaska Federation of Natives conference, opened Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Anchorage.
Scott Jensen


Outside of the Consortium Library on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus is a concrete slab 8 feet wide and 20 feet long.It looks like your average sidewalk, but it could potentially hold the key to solving a perennial Alaska transportation problem: road ruts.For the past 15 years -- and the past eight in Alaska -- UAA professor of civil engineering Osama Abaza has been developing a road surface that can stand up to Alaska’s road-rut problem. The concrete slab at UAA is the first practical test of the solution. Abaza plans to work with the Alaska Department of Transportation to install a 180-foot lane of the concrete on Abbott Road next summer.“I’m not going to say we have the magic solution, but we’re trying,” Abaza said in a September interview.READ MORE: UAA professor floats 'concrete' solution to Alaska's road rut problem
Rick Sinnott,Loren Holmes
When I was Anchorage’s wildlife biologist and dealt with wildlife and people on a daily basis, I could never fully appreciate the onset of spring like normal folks. With bears emerging from hibernation and humans stampeding to local trails, I braced myself for the inevitable seasonal spike in bear encounters.
Bob Hallinen
St. Cloud State defeated UAA 6-2 in the championship game of the Kendall Hockey Classic at the Sullivan Arena on Saturday.