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Back-to-back earthquakes rock Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Islands

Alaska Dispatch
Creative Commons photo

Alaska has the shakes: The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.3-magnitude earthquake rocked the Alaska Peninsula at 8:44 p.m. Saturday night, just hours after a 5.2-magnitude quake struck 23 miles underneath the Pacific Ocean in the Aleutian Islands vicinity. The bigger quake struck Saturday afternoon around 2:30 local time, the USGS reported. The evening quake, centered 27 miles northeast of Cold Bay, was felt in Sand Point. The Aleutian chain marks the northernmost boundary of the Pacific Rim, a region that boasts Earth's hottest volcanoes and most active tectonic plates.

Back in uniform: East Anchorage Assemblyman Paul Honeman is back in blue. Several gumshoes have reported seeing him in a University of Alaska Police Department cruiser in the Midtown U-Med District; UPD confirmed it Saturday. University police are state employees so Honeman's isn't recused from the Assembly's current labor law quagmire. He carries a weapon but most likely will be busting keggers and shooing moose off the campus of Alaska's largest university. Honeman served with distinction at APD, rising to lieutenant and serving as the department spokesperson, and retired after a 20-year career. Last year, he failed in a bid to unseat Mayor Dan Sullivan, who questioned APD leadership by connecting Honeman to Anthony Rollins during the campaign.

Alaska Trails RV Park drama: A Wasilla man was involved in a physical fight with his girlfriend that ended with gunshots and a mad dash into the woods. As Friday dawned, troopers responded to an assault in-progress at the Alaska Trails RV Park in Wasilla. They say that following a physical fight with his girlfriend, 26-year-old William Kelly fled into the woods with a rifle. When neighbors tried to help de-escalate the quarrel, Kelly replied with verbal threats and a single gunshot. Troopers arrested Kelly and charged him with two counts of assault, weapons violations, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief. Kelly has in the past pleaded no contest to an assault charge. 

Raid by bear forces hungry canoeist to eat his dog: Here's another reason to make sure to keep your food away from bears when traveling in the wilderness. Canadian authorities report a canoeist on a lengthy trip near St. James Bay in the far northern part of that country was forced to kill his beloved dog and eat it in the three months after a bear invaded his camp, smashing his canoe and getting all of his food. According to the Toronto Sun, 44-year-old Marco Lavoie used a rock to kill his German shepherd. While it was a bad end for the dog, things didn't go that much better for Lavoie. "By the time provincial police airlifted him out three months later,'' the newspaper reported, "Lavoie was barely able to speak or eat. He suffered hypothermia and dehydration while losing about 90 pounds." He is now reported to be hospitalized in "very serious" condition.

Talking subsistence in rural Alaska: The Federal Subsistence Board has decided it needs a lecture hall at Alaska Pacific University to hold its planned hearing Wednesday on who qualifies for special hunting and fishing privileges in the 49th state. The Alaska Joint Board of Fish and Game just got done dealing with the issue of subsistence, which generally gives rural Alaskans priorities over urban Alaskans. The board was considering removing the priority for people living in Bethel and Kodiak, but at the end of the day nothing changed. The feds have their own subsistence program that applies solely to residents of communities designated "rural.'' Federal officials are now reviewing the rural determinations, according to a press release, to "ensure that the program is best serving rural Alaskans and that the letter and spirit of Title VIII of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) are being met.” The hearing will run from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday in the Carr-Gottstein Lecture Hall at Alaska Pacific University. Written comments can be submitted here through Dec. 2, where there is much more information available, too.