Authorities look for armed Unalakleet man: Alaska State Troopers are looking for a Unalakleet man after he allegedly threatened a Village Public Safety Officer and a Village Police Officer with a gun in the early morning hours Thursday. According to troopers, the VPSO and VPO noticed lights on in a home that was supposed to be unoccupied at about 3 a.m. Thursday. They entered the home after contacting the owner, and encountered the man, identified as 28-year-old Peter Jackson of Unalakleet. Troopers said Jackson was intoxicated and pointed a rifle at the officers, who immediately retreated and called for trooper backup. Jackson reportedly was able to leave the building and was spotted later -- without the rifle -- at about 9 a.m. Anyone with information on Jackson's whereabouts can call the the Nome trooper post at 443-2835 or Unalakleet post at 624-3075.
The world finally notices how cool Alaska is: How many fads actually roll south from Alaska into the Lower 48? Can anybody think of even one? Well, there is now. Wide-tired, fat bikes pioneered in Alaska and perfected on the Iditarod Trail seem to be popping up everywhere. Canadian manufacturer Norco just unvieled the "Bigfoot;" Specialized, one of the biggest bike companies in the world, has teased the "Fatboy;" and Trek Bicycle, Lance Armstrong's old brand and one of the main competitors of Specialized, is reportedly getting ready to roll out something called the "Farley," or so says a bike shop not far from the company's Wisconsin headquarters. "Fat bikes are now poised to become the must-have vehicle for many riders,'' The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper, reported on Sunday. And to think it all started in cold, dark, remote Alaska.
Fifth season of "Alaska State Troopers" set: The National Geographic Channel's "Alaska State Troopers" begins its fifth season Sept. 5. The show that Alaska Dispatch writer Craig Medred loves to critique follows the daily work of troopers across the state. In a press release, National Geographic said this season will contain such drama-packed segments as, "Suspicious behavior at a gas station leads Troopers into a showdown with a suspect who locks himself into a bathroom in what looks like a last-ditch attempt to destroy his drugs." Or this: "When a brown bear takes over a remote village dump, Sgt. Dobson (a trooper) must fly in to mediate." No word on whether Dobson's mediation efforts involved the people, the bear, or both.
The cost of alcohol abuse: Alaska tops the nation for costs per capita due to alcohol abuse, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2006 data found that excessive drinking cost Alaska $734.5 million, or $2.34 per drink. The cost per capita is $1,096, second only to the District of Columbia.
New federal offshore drilling safety director: Brian Salerno has been chosen to replace outgoing Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement director James Watson in late August. Salerno retired from the U.S. Coast Guard as deputy commandant for operations last year, and he helped lead the Coast Guard response to the 2010 Macondo oil well blowout and Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico that killed 11 workers. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said, "Brian Salerno is an accomplished professional who brings proven expertise in maritime safety and emergency response management to the job." In his new position, Salerno will oversee drilling safety and environmental impact prevention for offshore oil drilling in federal waters.