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AK Beat: Likely winner emerging in Fairbanks mayoral race

Alaska Dispatch

Fairbanks' likely new mayor: Fairbanks City Council Member John Eberhart seems about to become the next mayor of the City of Fairbanks, but that won’t be known for sure until nearly 500 absentee and questioned ballots are counted Tuesday. Eberhart, a longtime Fairbanks attorney, leads former City Council Member Vivian Stiver by 84 votes, 1,340 to 1,256. Incumbent Mayor Jerry Cleworth, who did not run for re-election, campaigned for Stiver. To win, Stiver would need to pick up about two-thirds of the remaining votes, while she collected only 48 percent of the votes counted Tuesday. Only about 15 percent of registered Fairbanks voters turned out. The lowest turnout was on Fort Wainwright, where seven people out of the 3,843 registered voters cast ballots. That was a turnout of 0.2 percent. In the borough election, Eielson also had 7 voters, a turnout of 0.3 percent. The military installations routinely have the lowest turnout in local elections.

Fatal fire in Nikolaevsk: One person was found dead early Thursday in a fire in the Russian Old Believer community of Nikolaevsk on the Kenai Peninsula, according to Alaska State Troopers. Soldotna dispatchers received multiple reports of the single-story, ranch-style home burning about 3:30 a.m., and firefighters eventually put the flames out. They found a body inside, which was sent for an autopsy -- to determine the person's identity -- in Anchorage, troopers said. Friday update: Troopers have identified the dead person as Andres “Andy” Afonasiev, 46 of Nikolaevsk.

Get ready to rumble: Alaska Dispatch's own football team is gearing up to play in the Boys and Girls Club Under 12 championship on Saturday. Our own Eastside warriors square off against undefeated West in the season's last game, to be held at Begich Middle School -- neutral ground -- on Oct. 5, kicking off at 12 noon. Come on out to support the kids as they engage in an epic struggle between the 40-yard lines. (Full disclosure: Go East!)

It's PFD day: In what equates to an unofficial holiday in the Last Frontier, the 2013 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend checks began to go out on Thursday morning for those who signed up for direct deposit. This year's check came to a nice round $900, and will be spent on everything from fuel oil to big-screen TVs to kids' college funds. But if you signed up for direct deposit and don't see the money in your account, who can you call? First, check out this handy list of frequently asked questions from the PFD Division, and if you don't find your answer there, you can call your nearest dividend information office. Happy PFD day, Alaska!

Pair pleads guilty to taking tribal funds: The former village president in Tatitlek, 30 miles northwest of Cordova, has admitted to stealing more than $100,000 in tribal funds, with her brother admitting to filing a false tax return in relation to taking some of the money. The ex-president, 45-year-old Anchorage resident Lori “Sue Johnson” Clum, and her brother, 48-year-old Valdez resident James Edward Kramer, entered guilty pleas Wednesday, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Prosecutors said Clum wrote checks to herself on the tribal organization's account, in one case after she'd been contacted by law enforcement in a drug possession investigation.