Fighting a killer: How Nome built a safety net for drinkers

NOME — So many people died outdoors or vanished here that the FBI searched for signs of a serial killer. Hollywood made a movie blaming space aliens. The truth, federal investigators concluded, was simple and sad. People were coming to Nome and drinking too much, sometimes freezing to death in the wind and cold or […]

Voting on prohibition

The Inupiat village of Shishmaref is the latest Alaska town to face a thorny, high-stakes choice. Voters are expected decide in a city election Tuesday whether to lift a 30-year-old ban on alcohol. Here, three voters say why they’re voting wet or dry. “We need to train and raise our kids to be responsible because […]

Wet or dry? Shishmaref must make a choice

SHISHMAREF — Two skiffs are already anchored off the sandy tip of this arrow-thin island when 27-year-old Curtis Ray Nayokpuk, the last seal hunter to arrive, cuts the outboard on his boat. “What took you so long?” someone asks. “Traffic, man,” Nayokpuk replies. As his skiff bobs in the milky green inlet, half a dozen […]

Bars breaking badly: Police get closing-time fights on video

Hands in his pockets, the guy in the black hoodie never sees the punch coming. One right cross to the chin and he’s out cold in the snowy Legislative Information Office parking lot. Cut to the pavement in front of the Gaslight Lounge, yellow under the streetlights. A fall-down drunk backhands a cop. Across the […]

4 ideas for curbing drunken driving in Anchorage

Nick Hornshuh, 60, began tailing the Nissan on Sixth Avenue, looking for clues in the pre-dawn fog. The sedan drifted lazily between lanes, Hornshuh noted as he followed in an unmarked pickup. No turn signals. The car swerved and jerked, nearly missing an exit. Hornshuh, a volunteer, dialed 911. That call in mid-September marked […]

Inside the crash that killed Citari Townes-Sweatt

Citari Townes-Sweatt, 20, stopped home to change clothes after her shift at Costco. She picked out a cute brown-and-white dress, posted a selfie to Instagram and nibbled the steak her mother had made for her. Another warm, sunlit Saturday night began in Mountain View. Citari bounded down the apartment stairs and a friend drove her […]

‘I was so angry’

Lanita Sweatt-Sanders lost her daughter to a drunk driver on June 30, according to Anchorage police. The death of Citari Townes-Sweatt, 20, began a string of deadly DUI accidents in the city that sent police scrambling for solutions. Lanita last saw her daughter alive here in her Mountain View home. “Nothing prepares you for this. […]

Expert: Health care bills for children with FASD are 9 times higher than other kids

No one knows exactly how many Alaskans have fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The disability is tough and time-consuming to diagnose, and symptoms may take years to surface. What we do know is that no matter how many children, teens and young adults have FAS, researchers are finding time and again that […]