Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage
Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

Anchorage police chief says body camera footage of Handy shooting to be released ‘probably within a week’

A new body camera policy starting on Monday mandates the release of footage of police shootings within 45 days.

After a dry June sparked wildfire concerns, Alaska has had a very rainy July

Climate researcher Brian Brettschneider says the rain has “certainly, quite literally put a damper” on wildfire concerns.
two men stand by a lectern

Alaska officials say they’re working to speed up investigations of police shootings

So far this year, officers have shot nine people during responses, killing six of them. Five of those shootings involved Anchorage police.
A sign that reads "Anchorage Police Department"

Anchorage police set timeline for release of body camera footage in new draft policy

The policy would have the department release footage of “critical incidents” like police shootings within 45 days.
A man in a red shirt.

After a spree of Anchorage police shootings, advocates call for a citizen review board

The board would be staffed by professional investigators who would be guided by a board made up of Anchorage residents, aimed at holding the Anchorage Police Department accountable.
evidence markers

Anchorage man fired shotgun at police and stranger before officers shot him, charges say

Damien Dollison, 51, is charged with felony assault for firing a shotgun at officers and a witness at an Anchorage gas station early Monday morning.
police vehicles

Police shoot and critically injure man near East Anchorage gas station

The man is the fifth person shot by Anchorage officers during a police response since mid-May. Three of those people have died.

Alaska Pacific University to receive millions from NASA to study microplastics

APU is set to receive roughly $5 million from NASA to establish a microplastics research and education center.
A woman speaks at a podium.

Anchorage Mayor LaFrance announces 6 new executive hires

LaFrance announced a deputy chief of staff, policy advisor, constituent relations and external affairs directors and two special assistants.
A woman hugs her mother at a podium.

Suzanne LaFrance sworn in as first woman elected Anchorage mayor

“Today's about this special place we call home and what we're going to do together to fix it up and make it the place we all know it can be,” LaFrance said.
yellow trees along a country road

This recently-launched news outlet aims to expand coverage of the Mat-Su Borough

The Mat-Su Sentinel is a new online news platform aimed at providing local news to an area the size of West Virginia, with a population of roughly 110,000 people.
two fishermen

Anchorage’s popular Ship Creek to close to sport fishing for 2 weeks

When the fishery reopens on July 14, anglers will not be allowed to retain any king salmon for the rest of the season.
a meeting room

Anchorage Assembly narrowly passes zoning change to allow for more duplexes

On a 7-5 vote, the Assembly effectively ended single-family zoning in the Anchorage Bowl in hopes of boosting housing.

Anchorage woman who died during SWAT team standoff had pointed a rifle at her neighbor, police say

The police chief says it’s still unclear how 58-year-old Lisa Fordyce-Blair died. SWAT team members were not wearing body cameras.

In his final days as Anchorage mayor, Bronson says he’s focused on a smooth transition

Dave Bronson says he has a number of accomplishments he's proud of as well as a few regrets.

4 men have died in Alaska’s North Slope oil fields in just over a year

Before the recent string of workplace fatalities, there had not been a death in the area since 2018.

LaFrance names municipal attorney, announces new chief administrative officer position

The new position of chief administrative officer will oversee the city’s human resources and IT departments, as well as purchasing and financial functions.
The front of a building with a line of street lights lead to a building. The sign above the entrance reads "Federal Building US Courthouse."

Anchorage man charged with making false bomb threat at federal building

James Pearce, 40, is accused of falsely claiming he had planted bombs at seven Anchorage locations.
a choir performs onstage, outside

Anchorage Juneteenth festivities kick off this weekend

Juneteenth is recognized as the oldest African American holiday in the United States, and marks the anniversary of when the last American slaves were freed in Texas on June 19, 1865.
a man in a hat

Family of man fatally shot by Anchorage police lobbies to view body camera footage

Monte Handy, father of 34-year-old Kristopher Handy, said the family wants to see what happened for themselves.