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AK Beat: Magnitude 4.1 earthquake rattles Southcentral Alaska

Alaska Dispatch
Kids take a break from swimming in Anchorage's Goose Lake to get ice cream from Bob Hickey's Alaskan Polar Bear Ice Cream truck during the heat wave gripping the 49th state. Loren Holmes photo

Shakin' awake: An earthquake registering 4.1 on the Richter scale shook Southcentral Alaska late Tuesday night, according to the U.S. Geological Service (USGS). The quake struck at approximately 11:19 p.m. local time, 15 miles north of Anchorage and 35 miles southwest of Palmer, near the Mat-Su community of Big Lake. Residents 73 miles southwest of the epicenter, in West Anchorage's Sand Lake neighborhood, felt the aftershocks from the approximately 35-feet-deep temblor, the third quake in Alaska of the day greater than 3.0 magnitude.

Alaska heat waveTuesday afternoon brought record-breaking heat to Anchorage, which recorded a balmy 81 degrees at the National Weather Service office at 4 p.m. Seward also broke its record high for the day, with a temperature of 70 degrees. Kodiak (79 breaking old record of 78 set in 1958) and McGrath (94, topping old record of 90 set in 1969) set all-time highs. Homer (74 degrees), Talkeetna (89 degrees), Galena (87 degrees), and Palmer (78 degrees) all tied their previous records. Kotzebue (56 degrees) set a new high for its low temperature for June 18. 

Bear climbs hunter's tree stand: A YouTube video from 2010 is making the Internet rounds again, and since it gives viewers a first-person view of a black bear climbing into a Minnesota hunter's tree stand, the scare-factor has hardly diminished with age. Watch it below.

Alaska hotter than eastern US: The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang is taking note of Alaska's current summertime heat wave, and quickly decided to use the "Baked Alaska" pun we all saw coming. While we in the state have been focused on records falling around Alaska, with mid-90s in the Interior and the coastal communities of Valdez and Cordova reaching 90 degrees, the folks at the Weather Gang note that the middle of the Last Frontier is actually warmer than anywhere east of the Mississippi River. That's hot, folks.

Unusual outage: General Communications, Inc. (GCI) customers in parts of Anchorage and the Matanuska-Susitna Valley may have experienced an outage in service beginning on Father's Day Sunday and carrying into the beginning of the week. GCI reported on Twitter that the outage was caused by an unusual source:

At least one GCI customer was upset that she would miss Sarah Palin's triumphant return to Fox News:

GCI also reported that an outage on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was unrelated to the Wasilla and East Anchorage outage caused by the bullet.

Beware of Bears: The Angel Rocks Trail, a popular hiking trail east of Fairbanks, is currently closed due to numerous reports of bears spotted near the trailhead, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. At least six reports of bears have come in, including of a sow with at least one cub. An Alaska state parks employee said that they would give the closure "a couple of days" in hopes the bears would move out of the area.

Want to buy a WWII vessel?: The historic Coast Guard Cutter Storis, which spent most of its career patrolling Alaska waters, costs too much to maintain and has been put up for auction by the Feds despite hopes that the ship would return to Juneau to be set up as a museum and training facility. Opening bid for the World War II vessel last week was $60k, which fell below the reserve price. Any takers?

New eyes on “Bridge to Nowhere” data: A consulting agency will review data used by the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA), the corporation behind the proposed toll bridge reaching across the Cook Inlet, following a Legislative Audit that called KABATA’s projected revenues “unreasonably optimistic.” The audit found that the bridge, once deemed a “bridge to nowhere,” would have less traffic than projected, leaving the state on the line to pick up the tab.

Going for gold: Alaskan director Kyle Aramburo won big at the regional award ceremony of the 2013 Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, taking home an Emmy for his post-production work on "Ketchikan: Our Native Legacy," a documentary on the Southeast Alaska community. "Our Native Legacy," which KRBD reports is one of five parts of a series dubbed "Ketchikan Stories," also won for best historical or cultural program.