Gaslight bar fight victim passes away: The man severely beaten when Anchorage's downtown bars closed early Saturday, Oct. 19 has died of his injuries, according to Anchorage police. Police responded to multiple calls of a fight outside Gaslight Lounge on Fourth Avenue that ended with 38-year old Adrian D. Augustine in critical condition. Officers arrived to find the man unconscious with serious injuries to his head and body. Augustine was taken to a nearby hospital. By the time police arrived, the suspects had fled. Detectives are now investigating Augustine's death as a homicide, the 16th of the year in Anchorage. Detectives have interviewed numerous witnesses and know there are additional witnesses that have not been contacted by police. Police are asking anyone with information to call 786-8900 or, to remain anonymous, call Anchorage Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP.
AFN Citizen of the Year: The Alaska Federation of Natives honored retired teacher Toni Mallott as the AFN Citizen of the Year on Friday, recognizing 30 years of work in Yakutat, Anchorage and Juneau. Accepting the award at the AFN Convention in Fairbanks, Mallott said parents are the primary teachers of children and that their cooperation with the schools is essential. "It's really crucial that we have a teacher and parent relationship that's cemented because we need to encourage our children. We need to see their successes in education and their dreams and their aspirations, their creativity and their artistic side," she said. Toni is married to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott; the couple lives in Yakutat and Juneau.
Standoff with police in Anchorage ends peacefully: A man who barricaded himself inside an Anchorage apartment complex has been taken into custody without harm to officers or nearby neighbors, Anchorage police say. The Anchorage Police Department responded to a report of a domestic dispute in the neighborhood of Fairview early Friday morning. A 46-year-old, unidentified man threatened his girlfriend, who was able to escape the apartment between 11th and 12th Avenues on Karluk Street. The man barricaded himself inside, and police are worked to evacuate Fairview residents, said spokeswoman Anita Shell. The man was believed to have several weapons, but attempts to contact him were initially unsuccessful. Police set up a staging area in a parking lot down the street, and negotiations with the man began hours later. More than 30 officers, the entire SWAT team and another armored truck that Shell called "The Bear" were called to the neighborhood.
35-foot-deep landslide covers Denali Park Road: Thankfully the Denali Park road is closed for the winter. If not, someone might have been killed, and many would surely have been trapped on the wild, Kantishna end of the 90-mile route into one of Alaska's iconic national parks. Park officials are reporting a "massive" landslide has buried the road at Mile 37, about seven miles beyond the winter road closure at the Teklinika River. The site is just west of Tattler Creek on the climb to Sable Pass. Park service spokeswoman Kris Fister reported an estimated 30,000 yards of rock and soil covers approximately 200 feet of the road to depths of 35 feet. The debris comes from the side of a mountain that broke off about 500 feet above the road. In photographs, the disaster looks like a massive black avalanche. Fister said that with unusually mild weather settled over the park, crews are going to try to clear the slide before winter. Anyone hiking or biking the road in the the park is asked to stay out of the work zone.
Army reimbursing Stuart Creek 2 wildfire victims: The U.S. Army Alaska said, so far, only a handful of people have asked to be reimbursed for expenses associated with the Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire that burned more than 87,000 acres near Fairbanks in late June and July. After a months-long investigation, the Army recently admitted artillery training during a period of high fire danger sparked the blaze – forcing the evacuation of more than 1,000 people from the Pleasant Valley area – 45 miles east of Fairbanks, near the Chena Hot Springs Resort. Army officials said they expect the number of people asking the military for reimbursement for expenses incurred during the fire and evacuation to increase as news of its admission spreads. For information on how to file a claim, go here.
Part-time employees miss out on federally-financed vacation: The federal Bureau of Land Management is trumpeting the reopening of the Campbell Creek Science Center in the wake of the government shutdown, but noting the staff there who got caught in the crossfire of American politics. Full-time federal employees got what amounted to a paid vacation when the government shutdown, but part-timers are not being compensated for their time off. "Unlike full-time federal employees, our nine intermittent science instructors did not receive any back pay," Meff Brune, manager of the Science Center said in a press release. "These hard-working, talented staff took a real hit to their income." The official pitch, however, mainly focused on how the 16-day closure silenced the "sounds of children. As a result of the shutdown, 19 school programs and 6 meetings were canceled, affecting nearly 1,200 students, teachers, parents, and community members." The science center offers the sort of outdoor education once provided by parents in America. "Hundreds of students were not able to explore hands-on science education during some of the most beautiful weeks of the year," Amanda Smith, president of the Friends of the Campbell Creek Science Center said in the press release.
Alaska LNG pipeline a "Project of the Year" finalist: It hasn't even started -- nor will it anytime soon -- but the Alaska Southcentral LNG project is one of five finalists for the North American Project of the Year award by CG/LA Infrastructure. In a press release, the group, which bills itself as the "nation's premiere infrastructure firm," said the awards recognize "upcoming groundbreaking infrastructure initiatives" and notes that the LNG project is "among the top projects that will help improve North American competitiveness for the next 10 to 20 years." According to the release, all projects considered for the award are planned to begin within the next three to 18 months. However, natural gas from the project is not expected to be delivered until 2022 at the earliest, with years of work still ahead. The winners will be announced Dec. 30 in Washington D.C.