Articles written by Mark Thiessen

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'A little scary': Iditarod begins with smallest field ever

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The second half-century for the world's most famous sled dog race is getting off to a rough start. Only 33 mushers will participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, the smallest...

 

Alaska firefighters help rescue a moose trapped in a home

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Firefighters in Alaska got an unusual request for assistance last weekend from the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, but it wasn't your mundane cat-stuck-in-a-tree situation. "They were looking for some help getting a moose out of...

 

Damage assessments begin in flooded remote Alaska villages

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Authorities in Alaska were making contact Monday with some of the most remote villages in the United States to determine their food and water needs, as well as assess the damage after a massive storm flooded communities on...

 

Alaska man gets 32 months for threatening to kill senators

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A rural Alaska man who threatened to assassinate both of Alaska's U.S. senators in a series of profane messages left at their congressional offices was sentenced Friday to 32 months in prison. Jay Allen Johnson was also...

 

Man saved after clinging to ice chunk in Alaska's Cook Inlet

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska man walking on a shoreline wound up clinging to a chunk of ice for more than 30 minutes in frigid water when the shoreline ice broke loose and carried him out into Cook Inlet. Jamie Snedden, 45, of Homer, was...

 

Winds whip up volcanic ash from 1912 eruption in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Volcano scientists issued an alert Wednesday, warning that a cloud of ash — from an eruption more than century ago — was headed toward Alaska's Kodiak Island. The ash is from the powerful 1912 eruption of Novarupta, a v...

 

10 seconds of terror: Alaska man survives brown bear mauling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Allen Minish was alone and surveying land for a real estate agent in a wooded, remote part of Alaska, putting some numbers into his GPS unit when he looked up and saw a large brown bear walking about 30 feet away. "I saw... Full story

 

Did agents raid home of wrong woman over Jan. 6 riot? Maybe.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — "We're looking for Nancy Pelosi's laptop," FBI agents told Marilyn Hueper after briefly handcuffing her. Hueper shot back: "That still doesn't explain why you're in my home. Or in Homer, Alaska." The search for the House...

 

US, China spar in first face-to-face meeting under Biden

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Top U.S. and Chinese officials offered sharply different views of each other and the world on Thursday as the two sides met face-to-face for the first time since President Joe Biden took office. In unusually pointed public...

 

Pandemic forces route change, other precautions for Iditarod

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Traveling across the rugged, unforgiving and roadless Alaska terrain is already hard enough, but whatever comforts mushers previously had in the world's most famous sled dog race will be cast aside this year due to the...

 

Alaska woman using outhouse attacked by bear, from below

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska woman had the scare of a lifetime when using an outhouse in the backcountry and she was attacked by a bear, from below. "I got out there and sat down on the toilet and immediately something bit my butt right as I... Full story

 

Cultural 'big deal': Seal oil makes menu at Alaska care home

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Seal oil has been a staple in the diet of Alaska's Inupiat for generations. The oil — ever-present in households dotting Alaska coastlines — is used mainly as a dipping sauce for fish, caribou and musk ox. It's also...

 

Nude photos and death threats: Scandal topples Alaska mayor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A stunning tale of inappropriate behavior between a politician and a television anchor, death threats and nude photos culminated in a joint police and FBI investigation, the arrest of the journalist and the resignation of...

 

Brown bear breaks into the Alaska Zoo, kills popular alpaca

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A wild brown bear tunneled under perimeter fencing and killed a popular alpaca at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, officials said Wednesday. It was killed a day later by wildlife officials. The bear had been hanging around the...

 

More fragments from 1952 crash in Alaska found in glacier

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska (AP) — A lucky Buddha figurine, a flight suit, several 3-cent stamps, a crumpled 1952 Mass schedule for St. Patrick's Church in Washington, D.C., and 480 bags containing individual human remains. Those were...

 

Deaths prompt Alaska officials to remove 'Into the Wild' bus

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness where a young man documented his demise over 114 days in 1992 has been removed by officials, frustrated that the bus has become a lure for dangerous, sometimes deadly pilgrimages...

 

5-year-old Alaska girl is serious about keeping people safe

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Nova Knight is 5, and very serious about keeping others safe during the coronavirus outbreak. She said so in a video, the Fairbanks, Alaska, resident made that's been viewed more than 18,000 times and drawn the praise of...

 
 By MARK THIESSEN    Sports    March 15, 2020

Iditarod mushes on; fans being urged to skip finish in Nome

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — As Iditarod mushers drove their dog teams across Alaska on Saturday, race officials scrambled to make last minute changes prompted by concerns over the new coronavirus, including asking fans not to fly to Nome for the...

 

Iditarod looks for relevance as race across Alaska starts

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — When 57 mushers line up Sunday for the official start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, it will be the second-smallest field in the past two decades. Only last year's field of 52 was smaller. Interest in the world's most...

 

Man heard in strangling video charged in 2nd death in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A man accused of killing a woman who was seen strangled in videos on a digital memory card was charged Thursday with the death of another woman, authorities in Alaska said. Brian Steven Smith acknowledged to detectives...

 

Alaska teens charged in 'murder for millions' slaying

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two Alaska teens hoping to cash in on a $9 million offer from a Midwest millionaire brutally killed a developmentally disabled woman on a popular trail outside Anchorage, shooting her in the back of the head and dumping...

 

Musher's journey from feeding sled dogs to winning Iditarod

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A young Pete Kaiser had the drive to learn about racing sled dogs and the family and community to support his passion. Years later, he won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Growing up, Kaiser had plenty of sled dogs to...

 

Lawyer: Trump exceeded power by reversing Obama drilling ban

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — President Donald Trump exceeded his power when he signed an executive order reversing a ban on offshore drilling in vast parts of the Arctic Ocean and dozens of underwater canyons in the Atlantic Ocean, an attorney argued...

 

Alaska primary race got 7 applications from dead people

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Seven people who are considered dead by the state of Alaska asked for absentee ballots for a hotly contested state House race in last week's primary election. Two others told election officials they didn't vote, even...

 

Shipwreck from only WWII battle in America found off Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Daryl Weathers remembers trying to pull men from the sea off Alaska's Aleutian Islands after a U.S. Navy destroyer hit a mine left by the Japanese following the only World War II battle fought on North American soil. The...

 

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