Alaska News

Here’s a look at the most-read ADN stories of 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, it's time to take a look back at the Anchorage Daily News articles that mattered most to our readers. Here are this year's most-read stories:

1. Trump administration threatens retribution against Alaska over Murkowski health votes

The most-read story of the year came after U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, broke ranks with the GOP to vote against debating a repeal of the Affordable Care Act in July.

Sen. Dan Sullivan said he had received a call from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke that heralded a "troubling message" — that the vote had put Alaska's future with the administration in jeopardy.

2. This Aleutian town has lost its entire police department  

The entire Sand Point police force quit in July as the frenzied commercial fishing and processing season hit its peak.

[Related: These are some of the 'most Alaska' stories of 2017]

3. Black bear kills teen runner during trail race near Anchorage

A 16-year-old runner, Patrick "Jack" Cooper of Anchorage, was killed by a black bear as he descended the trail after a Bird Ridge mountain race in June. An intensive search for the bear ended after officials killed four bears, including one they believed was responsible for the mauling.

Cooper was remembered as an exuberant and affectionate boy who loved being outdoors.

4. In lawsuit, Alaska reality TV star alleges she was injured in forced stunt

Susan Aikens, who stars in the reality TV show "Life Below Zero," sued the series' producers in February, alleging that she was forced to drive her snowmachine into overflow and was badly hurt in a crash. The lawsuit was later dismissed.

5. Track Palin, son of former Gov. Sarah Palin, arrested for assaulting his father

Track Palin, the 28-year-old son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was arrested on burglary and assault charges after he repeatedly hit his father at the family home this month, according to charging documents. He has been released from jail to house arrest with an electronic ankle monitor.

6. 'Mom, Dad, there's a bear in my room': A broken window, a dark figure beside the bed

A black bear crashed through a South Anchorage family's first-floor window and into the bedroom of 11-year-old Zach Landis, who said he will never forget the sound of the animal bursting into his room while he lay in bed sleeping.

7. 'It came up from behind them and attacked': Biologists 'courageous' in battle against bear

Erin Johnson, a 27-year-old Anchorage woman, was killed by a black bear while doing contract work for Pogo Mine in Interior Alaska in June. Johnson's death was the second fatal black bear mauling in two days, after Jack Cooper.

Johnson's family remembered her as a compassionate, beautiful person who loved exploring remote places with her husband, friends and family.

8. Crew of lost crabbing vessel declared legally dead in unusual court proceeding

Six men perished on a cold February morning in the Bering Sea after the crabbing vessel Destination sank about 3 miles north of St. George Island. During the search for the vessel, the ship's emergency beacon, buoys and tarps were found, but little else. They were declared legally dead in March.

The men were remembered as hard workers who loved their jobs.

9. 'I can't exaggerate how fast this was': Cyclist mauled by brown bear near Eagle River

Two people were attacked by brown bears on the same day in June. One man, James Fredrick, shared the story of the attack. Fredrick said his friend saved his life during the mauling on a well-used gravel road in Eagle River.

10. Captain of capsized fishing boat jumps from safety back into water to rescue crewman

A dramatic video shows the captain of a commercial fishing boat, who had jumped into 47-degree water, saving one of his crewmen after their vessel capsized near Kodiak Island in July. The captain and a witness to the rescue recounted the scene.

[Related: The news events that shaped 2017, in photos]

Among our other top-read stories of 2017:

59 below recorded in Interior as cold snap settles on Alaska

A soul-shocking temperature of 59 degrees below zero was recorded in January on the Salcha River in Interior Alaska during an extreme cold snap.

A surprise guest: Chinese president makes Anchorage stopover, meets Gov. Walker and takes in some sights

Chinese President Xi Jinping made a surprise visit to Alaska in April, eating a seafood dinner in Anchorage and meeting with Gov. Bill Walker after sightseeing on Turnagain Arm.

In a Bering Sea battle of killer whales v. fishermen, the whales are winning

Killer whales stripping fishing lines and lurking behind fishing vessels caused serious problems for fishermen who can harvest 20,000 to 30,000 pounds of halibut one day — and nearly nothing the next.

Video: Bystander saves kayaker's life in daring whitewater rescue near Hope

A Homer man — who was celebrating his birthday — saved a kayaker's life after the man was entrapped by a submerged log in whitewater rapids, in a dramatic rescue that was caught on video.

Esteban Santiago, the suspect in Florida airport shooting, was an Anchorage resident

The suspect in a January airport shooting in Florida that killed five people was from Anchorage, where he had lived for at least two years.

ADN's reporting revealed that Santiago's life unraveled in 2016 as he crossed paths with authorities in Anchorage again and again. He lied about his criminal history on his application to become an Alaska security guard, and was later fired due to mental illness "affecting his judgment and reason." Santiago faces murder charges that could lead to the death penalty.

Laurel Andrews

Laurel Andrews was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News and Alaska Dispatch. She left the ADN in October 2018.