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AK Beat: Shot by .22, suburban Anchorage cow moose's killer at large

Alaska Dispatch

Troopers seek sneaky moose murderer: Alaska State Troopers reported Monday that a dead cow moose had been discovered in an area locally known as "moose pond" about four miles from the Nature Center at the end of Eagle River Road in the suburb north of Anchorage, shot more than once with .22-caliber rimfire ammunition. According to troopers, one of the shots pierced the moose's lungs and caused it to die. The perpetrator could face charges of illegally taking a moose during a closed season with improper ammunition, and wanton waste of meat. The moose was estimated to have been killed between 11:45 p.m. Saturday and 6:00 a.m. Sunday. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-478-3377 or 907-352-5401.

One courageous Frenchie: Sad news about a brave dog in Soldotna over the weekend. A 6-year-old, 22-pound, tan French bulldog named Gretzky gave up his life to defend his family and home turf from a brown bear sow and two cubs. “He thought he was 10 feet tall and bulletproof. He fought right to the end,” said Ryan Kapp of his family’s stalwart protector. Pull up a hanky and read the whole story at The Redoubt Reporter.

Stuart Creek 2 Wildfire a national priority: The Stuart Creek blaze near the Interior town of Two Rivers is the nation's third most pressing wildfire concern, according to the National Interagency Coordination Center, which ranks the nation’s highest priority fires and regions in its daily Situation Report. The fire has burned through more than 84,000 acres of boreal forest; as recently as Monday it was the nation's number one wildfire priority but was downgraded as cool weather and rain allowed firefighters to make headway in containing it. Nevada’s Carpenter Fire is now ranked number one priority in the U.S., with the Bison Fire in Nevada coming in at number two.

Murkowski votes for LGBT nondiscrimination bill: Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski was one of three Republicans who voted in support of bill that would prevent employers from firing someone based on sexual orientation. The bill easily passed through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee and now heads to the full Senate, where it's expected to pass, though whether it will find support in the House is uncertain. The bill has been around in one form or another for nearly a decade. It's easy passage through the Senate committee is seen as another step in rapidly changing attitude on gay rights in Congress.

Stuart Creek fire: The Stuart Creek 2 fire near the Interior town of Two Rivers is still growing but its pace has slowed considerably -- thanks to cool, rainy weather and 770 firefighters battling the blaze. As of Wednesday morning, the fire has consumed 84,275 acres of boreal forest, up 2,000 acres from the day before. Firefighters are “aggressively attacking” the northern corner of the fire, near the Chena River, said Alaska Fire Service spokesperson Joe Anderson. The fire is 22 percent contained.

Check out the above video of the fire posted on Tuesday by Dan Byrd, Safety Officer on the California Team battling the fire. The video was shot Sunday afternoon and shows flames raging near the Chena River, according to the U.S. National Weather Service

New record for oldest McKinley climber: The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that 78-year-old Anchorage mountaineer Tom Choate has become the oldest person to summit Mount McKinley, North America's highest peak. Choate is two years older than the previous record holder, Japanese climber Michio Kumamoto, who made it to the top of Denali at the age of 76. Choate has reportedly climbed McKinley five times, including once every decade since the 1980s, and made this most recent ascent with an artificial hip he had put in last year.

Remembering fallen officer: Twelve years ago, Anchorage Police officer Justin Wollam was killed on the job when a drunk driver struck his patrol car in a head-on collision on the Glenn Highway July 7, 2001. His death is the last time an Anchorage officer was killed in the line of duty. The accident killed Wollam, the driver of the vehicle, and two occupants. The Anchorage Police Department had hired the young officer two years earlier, but Wollam had served in law enforcement for a total of five years. To honor him, the state’s Department of Transportation and the city’s local military base is planning a memorial site.

Heating winter walkways:  A new product from a startup company connected to the University of Alaska Anchorage is billed as “an innovative and cost-effective approach to prevent snow and ice from accumulating.” CFT Solutions has a patent pending on an embedded carbon-fiber tape that goes under pavement to heat walkways, roads, roofs and driveways. CFT Solutions is a Seawolf Holdings company created two months ago by UAA Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies Dr. Helena Wisniewski and faculty inventor Zhaohui “Joey” Yang, a UAA engineering professor, and is part of UAA’s effort to fund start-up companies.