Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.
Two people in front of a large portrait of a blond woman

Wasilla artist who died of COVID leaves legacy of kindness

Deb Lestenkof is remembered as generous and kind. Her family says her spirit is embodied in a popular Facebook group she started a decade ago that's meant to promote connection, kindness and paying it forward.
A black woman with hoop earrings

Bronson fires director of Anchorage’s Office of Equal Opportunity

Heather MacAlpine served in the position for seven years. She says she was not given a reason for her firing.
A blond woman smiles in front of some trees

Penalty partially reversed for 2 Iditarod mushers who sheltered dogs inside during storm

Mille Porsild and Michelle Phillips were the top female finishers in this year’s race. On one of the final runs they moved their dogs indoors to get out of a severe windstorm.
a man in uniform

Soldier killed by brown bear on JBER was marking course for navigation training

A bear den was found near the spot where a group of soldiers was attacked by a bear on Tuesday afternoon, killing one of them.
An excavator dumps dirt from a pile next to a mountain

Dozens of cars are still stuck behind Seward landslide as road clearing begins

Two excavators worked through the day Monday to start removing a 300-foot landslide that cut off the community of Lowell Point on Saturday evening.
A mirrored building.

Anchorage budget director returns to retirement

Longtime public servant Cheryl Frasca said after wrapping up the bulk of the first quarter budget revisions for the Bronson administration, she's returning to retirement.
A white man in a suit and glasses speaks into a microphone on a podium in front of some flags

Bronson submits lengthy records request to city clerk for information about April election

A critic called the move a ‘perpetuation of the Big Lie’ of former president Donald Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud from 2020.
A truck with officers

Two years after Anchorage police and fire departments commit to improving diversity, data shows little change

Police and fire officials say they’re hampered by a tight labor market, limited budgets and recruitment barriers that extend outside of their departments.
Passengers wait at a luggage gate

Anchorage air travelers say few passengers are wearing masks following this week’s court ruling

Alaskans at the Anchorage airport estimated about 10% of passengers on their recent flights had masks on.
An aerial view of a parking lot next to some woods.

Listening session on 200-person shelter in East Anchorage rescheduled for Monday

At the first listening session last week, some members of the public asked for more specifics about the plan and more input from officials involved.
a police officer outside

Wasilla man charged for terroristic threatening in downtown Anchorage hotel standoff

John Holman threatened to shoot Alaska Natives from a hotel room at the Captain Cook, according to a sworn affidavit from an Anchorage police officer.
Three people in snowshoes stand around a snow machine in a birch forest

As Alaska warms, birch tree tappers in Talkeetna wrestle with erratic season

Kahiltna Birchworks say they’ve seen more variability in the date of the first sap harvests, shorter seasons, less sugary sap and more pests.
Two african american adults stand in a hotel room next to two queen beds and a high chair

For this Anchorage family, the road out of homelessness is a test of patience

Rhonda Tate, Richard Brady and their six kids have been waiting six months for housing they can afford that's big enough. They don’t feel any closer to it than when they started.
A man talks excitedly

Hugh Neff wins Kobuk 440 sled dog race by 2 minutes

Richie Diehl gained about an hour on Neff during the last run of the race in the Northwest Arctic.
A white woman speaks into a microphone

At Anchorage conference, Arctic nations say they’re ramping up military spending

Purchases of new submarines and F-35 fighter jets from countries like Norway and Finland come in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
An Alaska Native woman stitches some pieces of leather

IñuPiphany aims to teach Alaska Native women craft skills in Anchorage — and help beat addiction

Helen Lane says the space’s twin purpose fills a void in Anchorage, where many Native women don’t have access to elders’ knowledge about crafts and where many struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism.
Two people walk over a snow berm with a giant pile of snow in the middle

Hiland Road reopens after massive avalanche near Eagle River

Truckers hauled out more than 30,000 cubic yards of snow from the area. That’s the volume of about nine Olympic-sized swimming pools. 

Hundreds gather at Anchorage Baptist Temple to remember the late Congressman Don Young

The more than 500 attendees included Don Young’s family, plus many current and former politicians and Anchorage Baptist Temple’s religious leaders.
A blue building with a water tower that says 'palmer'

What’s wrong with the word ‘colony’? Here’s what’s behind a Palmer festival’s name change controversy.

After the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce announced its decades-old summer festival Colony Days would be renamed the Braided River Festival, public backlash led to a reversal. Some tribal advocates of the new name say angry residents missed the point.
A sign that says Emergency Route next to a snow machine and outhouses

Cut off by avalanche, Hiland Road residents lean on snowmachine shuttle and each other

Now that residents are feeling less at risk of further slides, some say they’re enjoying their temporary isolation.