Kodiak stripper boat opens to mixed reviews: An "adult" dinner cruise complete with exotic dancers was shut down over the weekend after authorities were alerted that there were potentially too many people aboard the vessel. Owner and operator Darren Byler told KMXT the vessel was inspected by the Coast Guard, Alaska State Troopers and Kodiak police after an anonymous caller reported the vessel, and the show reopened Monday. Byler said the 120-foot former fishing vessel has been used for long-range extended trips by reality show production companies and hunting groups, but he and his wife decided to find another use for the vessel during downtime and offered a dinner cruise with adult dancers after 8 p.m. Byler apologized to anyone in the community who might be offended by the operation, though he asked that anyone who had enjoyed the entertainment contact the city to voice their opinion. KMXT reported that the business operates as a charter and charges customers $10 per hour until 8 p.m., when it goes up to $20 per hour.
Homeowner fires shot, stops burglary: An apparent attempt to burglarize a Wasilla home was thwarted when the homeowner fired a pistol at the intruders, Alaska State Troopers said. About 3:06 a.m. on Tuesday, Mat-Su dispatchers received a report of a burglary in progress at a home on Limberlost Avenue. The homeowner told dispatchers that someone had forced open her kitchen door and entered her home. It was not immediately clear how many suspects were involved. Troopers found in a preliminary investigation that someone had pulled up into the residence's driveway and first tried to steal a four-wheeler by hot-wiring it. When that didn't work out, the suspect or suspects entered the home, but then fled after the homeowner fired a single shot at them, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. An investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Laptops stolen from Mat-Su Spanish immersion school: Alaska State Troopers are investigating the theft of 14 laptop computers from Fronteras Spanish Immersion Charter School between Palmer and Wasilla. A break-in occurred sometime after June 1, troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. Troopers responded to the school on June 24. Someone had entered the building and stole the MacBook Air laptops plus other items. Ipsen said she didn't know how the thief or thieves got into the building but there was no damage to the school. District spokeswoman Catherine Esary said the Fronteras principal is out of state but plans to meet with troopers when she gets back. Anyone with information about the break-in can call troopers at (907) 352-5401.
Pilot and passenger unharmed after landing gear failure at Talkeetna airport: A pilot and his passenger were unharmed when a small plane's landing gear apparently malfunctioned during a landing at the Talkeetna Airport on Saturday, authorities said. Alaska State Troopers received a report of a plane crash at the airport about 1:43 p.m. A red and white 1947 North American Navion airplane was on its belly on the runway, said Cathy Gagne, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board in Anchorage. Pilot Peter Askeland, 78, and his passenger Merle Askeland, 68, both of Eagle River, walked away without injuries, Gagne said. Peter Askeland told troopers that the landing gear collapsed as the plane was landing. Gagne said it's not clear whether the landing gear folded up under the plane or simply didn't deploy. She also said it appears the plane received minimal damage. The NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration were both notified of the crash. Gagne said the incident doesn't currently meet the criteria required for the NTSB to investigate, though that could change pending further mechanical inspections.
Using wilderness as therapy for Alaska's at-risk youth: How does one break a cycle of abuse and neglect that threatens to overwhelm at-risk youth? One answer in Alaska is a program that takes kids into Alaska's wild spaces, as The Atlantic notes in an article about Alaska Crossings. The Atlantic piece follows the experience of a 13-year-old Anchorage teen on a canoeing and hiking trip run by the program that departed from Wrangell and kept the kids -- some with no previous wilderness experience -- traveling through backcountry for 48 days. The piece details the trips little victories -- and temporary setbacks -- in a program that serves the youth of a state where youth are especially vulnerable: "Alaska had above-average rates of youth who carry weapons, have non-consensual sex before age 13, and attempt suicide. Other reports show the state to have double the average suicide death rate and one of the highest rates of child abuse and neglect in the country," the Atlantic piece notes.
Researchers head to new Thule site in Manitoba: The first time they spotted the archaeological site, 17 years ago, researchers didn't hang around long: "a half-dozen polar bears were 'surveying us for lunch,'" one told the CBC. But now they'll finally get a chance to return to the remote site on Manitoba's Hudson Bay coast to investigate the site, associated with the Thule people, ancestors to Canada's Inuit and Alaska's Inupiat. The site, situated on a cliff overlooking the sea near waters where beluga whales summer on province's border with the territory of Nunavut, is believed to be about 1,000 years old, according to the CBC report. It includes intact tent rings, food caches, burial grounds and even kayak rests.