ConocoPhillips is budgeting $1.7 billion for 2014 capital costs in Alaska, twice what it says it spent in 2012 and $600 million more than was budgeted for 2013.
The company in a release says the larger budget reflects increased spending on the long-planned CD-5 development within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and increased activity due to the oil tax cut passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
Spokeswoman Natalie Lowman says funding also is included for exploration, including two wells in the Greater Moose's Tooth unit, and major maintenance.
She says the tax cut has improved the likelihood of projects ConocoPhillips added to its list following passage of the law moving ahead, including a new drill site at Kuparuk and Greater Moose's Tooth.
ConocoPhillips' total 2014 capital budget is $16.7 billion.
A man’s injury in a Saturday stabbing at a Palmer apartment complex remains under investigation by Alaska State Troopers.
According to a Saturday AST dispatch, troopers were informed just before 7 p.m. Saturday of an assault in progress on Creekwood Park Circle.
“Arriving troopers discovered a 29-year-old Palmer resident suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen,” troopers wrote. “The male was transported to an area hospital for treatment of his injuries.”
Troopers at the scene identified and interviewed a 27-year-old man involved in the altercation.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says in a Monday email that the victim suffered life-threatening injuries, but is expected to survive. She confirms that troopers still have no other suspects in the stabbing Monday, as mentioned in the initial dispatch.
“We are not looking for anyone else,” Peters wrote. “No charges have been filed in relation to the case.”
A 48-year-old Anchorage man will be sentenced April 4 following his conviction on sexual assault charges.
State prosecutors say Ronald McIntosh was convicted Friday of raping and assaulting a woman in April.
The trial lasted three weeks.
Prosecutors say McIntosh strangled the woman and hit her with fists and a studded belt but that she escaped by climbing through the window of McIntosh's apartment.
She was spotted at 1 a.m. by a passer-by on the Old Seward Highway. She had no shoes as she attempted to flag down a car.
McIntosh was convicted of first- and second-degree sexual assault and three counts of felony assault.
Public defender Chong Yim said Monday the case will be appealed.
Prosecutors say McIntosh faces a sentence of 46 to 106 years.
A divided Alaska Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of residency requirements to receive Permanent Fund dividends.
The court, in a 3-2 decision, sided with the state in a case brought by 172nd Stryker Brigade serviceman Richard Heller.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Heller sued after being denied a dividend in 2007.
Heller arrived in Alaska in June 2005. He registered to vote, got an Alaska driver's license and noted Alaska residency in his military records. He deployed to Iraq two months after arriving and spent much of 2006 on duty.
The state determined that because he hadn't established six months of residency before leaving, he failed to qualify for an allowable absence to cover his absence during 2006, thus failing to meet residency requirements for the 2007 dividend.
Power has been restored Monday morning after an outage which affected traffic signals on Dimond Boulevard, severely slowing traffic on the South Anchorage artery.
In a tweet from Municipality of Anchorage traffic officials’ account, MOA Traffic, people were asked to treat the affected signals as all-way stop intersections.
“Signals on Dimond are out (between) Arctic (Boulevard) and Seward (Highway),” officials wrote.
Chugach Electric spokesperson Sarah Wiggers says the outage, which was reported at about 10:18 a.m. Monday, affecting about 6,300 customers in addition to the signals. Power was restored at about 11:15 a.m.
“It’s everybody out of our Sand Lake substation,” Wiggers said. “We’ve got a crew out there looking right now.”
Wiggers says Chugach crews are still investigating the cause of the outage.
Alaska State Troopers are investigating a Friday inmate-on-inmate assault at the Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, with one Anchorage man facing possible charges and another reportedly in critical condition.
According to a Monday AST dispatch, troopers received a call from a sergeant at the maximum security prison at about 7:30 p.m. Friday, reporting that 48-year-old Forrest Ahvakana had been assaulted by 25-year-old Jason Rak.
“Ahvakana was transported to Alaska Regional Hospital for treatment,” troopers wrote. “He was listed in critical condition.”
Troopers say first-degree assault charges have been forwarded to the state district attorney’s office.
Rak was arrested after opening fire on Michael and Matthew Lewis outside Anchorage’s Dimond Center mall in January 2008, hitting Michael Lewis and bystander Mason Sylvester. Rak pleaded guilty in November 2009 to two counts of first-degree attempted murder, as well as one count each of first-degree assault and misconduct involving weapons, receiving a 29-year prison sentence in May 2010.
According to a January 2010 press release from state prosecutors, Ahvakana is serving a 100-year sentence under the state’s “three-strikes” law for a December 2008 felony assault against Billy Kaleak, whom he repeatedly struck in the head with a large empty whiskey bottle. Ahvakana had previously been convicted of robbery and sexual assault in separate 1987 and 1990 felony cases.
Spring Creek has also made headlines after previous disturbances involving its inmates, including an October 2012 assault by three inmates on a correctional officer which left two inmates and the officers injured. This August, 14 inmates faced disciplinary action after refusing to participate in morning inspection, then breaking toilets and sinks in their cells.
AST spokesperson Megan Peters was awaiting more detailed information on the case Monday morning from a trooper handling it, while Department of Corrections spokesperson Kaci Schroeder declined any immediate comment.
“We aren’t going to comment on anything until the troopers are done with their investigation,” Schroeder said.
Alaska Regional Hospital officials say no update is available on Ahvakana’s current condition Monday morning, noting that he may have been classified by DOC as a confidential patient, barring any information about him from being released.
KTUU Channel 2 News presents The Morning Show with David George and Sheila Balistreri.
Anchorage police say four people were injured in a Midtown collision with extrications involving an Alaska Native Medical Center shuttle bus and two other vehicles Monday morning.
In an email synopsis of the crash, APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro says officers had described road conditions on Northern Lights Boulevard, on which the crash slightly east of its intersection with Lake Otis Parkway, as "extremely icy." The ANMC van involved in the crash had been headed east on Northern Lights just after 8 a.m.
"The van rear-ended a Dodge pick-up truck, and the truck then rear-ended a Subaru (station wagon) in front of it," Castro wrote. "Three people in the van, and the driver of the Dodge truck were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries."
Castro says the crash temporarily closed Northern Lights’ eastbound lanes, which had been diverted to nearby Princeton Way, from about 8:15 a.m. to about 9 a.m.
APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro says eastbound traffic on Northern Lights is being diverted to Princeton Way after the crash, which was reported at 8:02 a.m.
In a photo from the scene taken by Channel 2 reporter Garrett Turner, the station wagon was at a right angle to the van's path, with the Dodge truck to the van's right partially driven onto a snow berm along the edge of Northern Lights.
Castro says no citations have been issued in the crash as of 9:45 a.m. Monday.
This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.
Juneau police say they continue to sort out details of incidents that led to the gunshot wounding of a man and a kidnapping report that likely was a fabrication.
The Juneau Empire reports no arrest has been made in the shooting early Friday morning of a 44-year-old man who suffered wounds to his left shoulder and left wrist at the Coho Apartments in the Mendenhall Valley.
Police recovered a small caliber handgun and spent casings.
The shooting victim was wounded after an altercation with a 24-year-old man, who was located and questioned hours later.
Police say a 22-year-old woman reported being kidnapped by the same man. Police Sunday reported her statement likely was false.
Police seized a truck and sedan driven by the man suspected in the shooting.
Four Alaska Air National Guardsmen have been awarded Bronze Star Medals for service on overseas missions.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Maj. Matthew Komatsu, Chief Master Sgt. Paul Barendregt and Master Sgt. Kyle Minshew were honored for efforts Sept. 14, 2012.
Insurgents attacked Camp Bastion in Afghanistan that day. Komatsu, Barendregt and Minshew responded to the attack, entered the conflict and began medical support of soldiers engaged in the fighting.
Senior Airman Andrew Nichols was honored for actions a year earlier.
He and another crew member rushed to recover a soldier with critical gunshot wounds. They brought the wounded soldier to a rescue helicopter. Nichols stabilized the soldier and was credited with saving his life.
The four were honored at a ceremony Saturday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The Today Show's Al Roker compares Anchorage's relatively warm weather to other US cities that are getting hit by an arctic blast.
A head-on Glenn Highway collision near Sutton Friday night left one driver in critical condition and the other facing DUI charges, according to Alaska State Troopers.
An AST dispatch posted early Monday says that troopers, as well as medics from Palmer and Sutton, responded to the crash near Mile 53 of the Glenn at about 11:15 p.m. Friday.
Investigators determined that one of the two Sutton men involved in the crash, 61-year-old Peter E. Wilson, was headed south in a 2008 Ford F-150 pickup truck when he crossed into the oncoming lane, colliding with a Mitsubishi sedan driven by 46-year-old Gerhard Jakits.
“Wilson sustained minor injuries during the collision and was transported to Mat-Su Regional (Medical Center) for treatment and later released,” troopers wrote. “Jakits sustained (life-threatening) injuries during the collision and was transported to an Anchorage hospital for treatment where he remains in critical condition.”
Troopers spoke with Wilson at the hospital, subsequently determining that “he was operating the Ford while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage,” according to the dispatch.
Wilson was arrested on charges of DUI and first-degree assault, as well as an outstanding warrant for leaving the scene of an accident. He has been held at the Mat-Su Pretrial Facility without bail.
“The investigation continues into the collision and other charges will be considered at a later time,” troopers wrote.
Reporter Blake Essig/Photographer Rick Schleyer
Nearly a month has passed since a storm battered Western Alaska.
Many residents of the coastal community of of Kotlik still have no running water, and ice chunks that washed up during the storm make walking off the boardwalk difficult or even dangerous.
The Department of Homeland Security brought in a team of nine people this weekend to help clean up.
Karl Edwards, part of the team, departed Anchorage Sunday on a flight bound for Kotlik.
"It's our job to go out and get the information from them," he said, "verify the loss so we can actually see the damage, then work to coordinate how to fix it."
He said the team plans to interview victims and to help them apply for state aid.
Esther Andrews, a Kotlik resident, said she had difficulty moving after the storm. Her family members cleaned her home after flood waters receded. She relies on supplemental oxygen and said the fumes and smells were taking a toll on her lungs.
Andrews said the city's sewer system is now receiving attention, but it is a slow process: "The hardest part is getting the water and sewer lines in place," she said.
The repair effort was delayed while workers waited for parts to arrive. About half the village has been using honey buckets in the meantime, she said.
Edwards said people have relied on each other throughout the ordeal.
"At this point, it's just the locals helping elders, keeping an eye on them," Edwards said. "They're adapting well ... and the community is pulling together to make things work."
Department of Homeland Security Response Team heads to Kotlik to help residents.
Anchorage police identified the victim of a fatal Seward Highway crash as 82-year-old Robert Brooks.
Brooks was driving a Chevrolet Tracker north when the SUV lost control and spun into oncoming traffic around 10:25 a.m.
A southbound Chevrolet Silverado hit the Tracker, and Brooks was ejected from the vehicle at mile 112 of the highway, near Beluga Point and McHugh Creek.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Both drivers were sole occupants, and the driver of the Silverado was transported to a local hospital for injuries that are not life threatening.
Highway conditions at the time of the collision included slick roads and icy fog.
Police are investigating the death of an Eagle River man as a homicide. The victim is 32-year-old Andrew Conn.
An unidentified witness told police they tried to get in contact with Conn by phone all afternoon Saturday and eventually gave up and headed to the Mountain Vista Drive house where he lived.
The witness made a gruesome discovery, and neighbors called police around 5 p.m.
Details from the crime scene are few, and what exactly happened remains unclear, but investigators are convinced the death was a possible homicide.
Sgt. Slawomir Markiewicz, a homicide detective for the Anchorage Police Department, said “the nature of the injuries and appearance of the scene indicated to (investigators) that someone else was likely involved.”
Markiewicz declined to comment on specifics about the injuries.
“A lot of times for an experienced officer, or for a well-trained officer, it’s apparent” that foul play led to a death, he said.
Investigators were busy knocking on doors Sunday. They asked residents if they know what happened or saw anything out of the ordinary in the hours leading to the discovery of Conn’s body.
Police also ask anyone with information to come forward: tips can be directed to APD at 786-8900 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP.
A neighbor who asked to remain anonymous said Conn lived at the two-story house for a few months.
Residents described Eagle River – and the Mountain Vista neighborhood in particular – as peaceful, calm and usually free of crime.
“We had some concerns when me and my best friend moved here, so we asked around,” said Jane Cox, who has lived nearby for two-plus years.
Everyone said Eagle River is the place you want to live, and in particular, up on Mountain Vista. It's a great neighborhood.”
“I didn't think that would ever happen in a place like this,” said David Majchrowicz, another nearby resident. “It's a nice neighborhood … lots of kids, really family-oriented.”
Homicides are up this year across Anchorage. APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro says Conn’s death marks the 20th person this year whose death has been investigated by police as a homicide, including three people shot by APD officers in the line of duty.
Fifteen people were killed in Anchorage homicides, excluding officer-involved shootings, in 2012. The city's five-year average is 12.8 homicides annually.
Editor's note: An inaccurate Channel 2 total for 2013 Anchorage homicides has been corrected by APD spokesperson Jennifer Castro.
Channel 2's Blake Essig contributed to this story.
95-year-old George Lori was stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Channel 2's Abby Hancock shares the story that carried him to Alaska.
The Anchorage Airport Fire and Police Department is recruiting officers with an interesting tactic.
For the first time ever, the department invited interested recruits into the station on Saturday.
Chief Jessie Davis also showed off the department's 10-ton fire trucks and gave a behind-the-scenes look at how laws are enforced at the airport.
Davis said the new approach to recruitment allows people to have more personal interactions.
"We need to offer them all the information that we can, and blow away the fog and allow them to ask questions," said Davis, "so they know what they're getting into before they take that first step."
Davis said the department plans to hire as many as a dozen officers following recent retirements of several people who have been with AAPFD for many years. He said they are looking for people interested in a long-term position.
"It's a very unique job opportunity, because we do both police and fire," Davis said. "It's challenging for us to find that right applicant."
More than 20 people showed up for the recruitment event Saturday.
Training to become an AAFPD officer can take more than a year. No prior law enforcement experience is necessary. More information can be found on the stations job opportunities webpage.
The AAFPD has the largest fire department in the state and the third largest police force, according to Davis.
Woman charged with second degree murder.