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Alaska Beat

AK Beat: Berkowitz dog Wizard to be put down Friday

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published June 28, 2013

Wizard's fate: Iditarod musher Jake Berkowitz, said his 1-year-old sled dog, Wizard, that mauled and nearly killed 2-year-old Elin Shuck at his dog lot on May 10, will be put down this evening at the Mat-Su Animal Shelter. Wizard had been held at the shelter since the attack, pending the outcome of several Animal Control Board hearings and appeals by the Mat Su Borough. Berkowitz issued a statement on Wednesday, explaining his decision to give up fighting for Wizard's life. According to her family, Shuck is recovering from ear injuries she suffered in the mauling, damage to two major blood vessels in her neck, and permanent paralysis of one of her vocal chords.

New glossary entry: In case anyone wonders what the Anchorage Police Department meant when it said earlier this week that a man killed in a recent officer-involved shooting had been brandishing "knife bladed weapons," the wait is over. In this case, police announced Friday, it meant a machete and hatchet. Kenneth John, 26, was shot and killed in the Anchorage neighborhood of Fairview -- the scene of another fatal shooting involving John's cousin in April. Patrol Officer Christopher Simmons stopped to check out John's SUV, reportedly parked on the wrong side of the road, when John exited his vehicle and approached Simmons with a weapon in each hand. After refusing to yield to commands, Simmons "was compelled to discharge his weapon," police claimed.

More Alaska reality TV? Maybe not: A recent ad campaign from PBS station THIRTEEN and ad agency CHI and Partners in New York takes aim at the current lowbrow slate of reality television with a set of fake posters for over-the-top reality programs with the tagline "The fact that you thought this was a real show says a lot about the state of TV." Alaska, with its neverending lineup of new and repeating reality TV shows set in the Last Frontier, wasn't exempt from the treatment, being paired up with the deep south, perhaps the second-most popular region of the U.S. for over-the-top reality TV. What do you think? Is "Bayou Eskimos" a show you'd check out?

Buser abode gets Dwell recognition: Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser and his wife, Kathy Chapoton, got a chance to show off their Big Lake home in the latest issue of Dwell. The minimalist design that Buser himself helped build, with its emphasis on killer views of Denali, get special recognition in a slideshow. Buser wasn't the only Alaskan to have a home featured this month; Anchorage residents Valerie Phelps and Peter Burke's house gets a shout out as well.

It came from beneath the water: The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public's help in reporting instances of Elodea, an invasive aquatic plant that's turned up everywhere from Cordova to Fairbanks and can be spread by sticking to everything from waders to floatplanes. "Elodea will cause serious, irreversible harm to fish and aquatic habitats in Alaska if allowed to spread unchecked," the DNR warns. If you spot the plant, the state asks that you note its location, the environment in which it is growing, take a sample if possible and call 877-468-2748.

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