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STORIES

  • Alcohol & Me: “My goal in life is to give her the best life she can have”

    Helen Benson changed her life while staying at a shelter for abused women. Pregnant with her daughter, Serenity, she turned away from a lifestyle of alcohol and drugs that she was desperate to overcome.Now sober for seven years, other challenges remain. In 2012, Serenity was diagnosed with partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. For Helen it helps […]


  • Alcohol & Me: ‘I Guess I Thought I Was Invincible’

    Twice a day, Larry Berg responds to the sound of a siren coming from his south Anchorage bedroom. He must blow into an alcohol monitor on his dresser and prove to Alaska Pretrail Services and the state that he hasn’t been drinking. If he drinks or misses a test, he’ll go back to jail to […]


  • Alcohol & Me: ‘It’s a blessing to have gone through such bad stuff’

    Within weeks of landing in Anchorage, George McBee was learning how to be homeless on the streets of Anchorage.Camping on “Party Hill,” a slope of urban woods just a block from Bean’s Cafe, experienced street people showed him how to keep condensation out of his tent and taught him not to “party” alone.It was a […]


  • Alcohol & Me: ‘I don’t believe anymore that I’m nothing’

    Looking back on the person she used to be, Donna Fischer isn’t sure whether she wants to slap that woman or just give her a hug.Starting at age 9, alcohol was her companion as she made choices that led her to juvenile detention and several prison terms as an adult. Felony drug possession and sale […]


  • Alcohol & Me: “We’re sharing the same nightmare”

    On Friday evening, Jamey and Dayna Durr stood with Gary and Shanna McPheters in an icy parking lot along Abbott Road. Surrounded by about 50 of their friends and supporters, they lit candles in memory of their daughters, Jordyn Durr and Brooke McPheters, who died at that spot in August. The two 15-year-olds were struck […]


  • Alcohol & Me: ‘Limitless amounts of money, as long as they’re not caught’

    In the northernmost city in the United States, Barrow police say enforcing the local ban on alcohol sales is a top priority for detectives like Det. Sgt. Nick Sundai. Head of investigators for the North Slope Borough Police Department, Sundai said his unit has several unique tools to suppress bootleg booze.Among them: – The department […]


  • Alcohol & Me: ‘I think about my past and it hurts me inside’

    At about age 14, Thomas Ahtuangaruak, Jr., was confused when someone in Wainwright offered to pay $100 to a family member for juice.“No, not that kind of juice,” the family member explained.T.A., as he is known, walked away with $50 for handing off a bottle of liquor.“That got me started, right there,” he said.T.A says […]


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