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Matthew Smith, KNOM - Nome

Matthew Smith is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.

Business owners, nonprofit workers, and residents (including Rep. Neal Foster, left) made for a full house in Nome City Council chambers Monday as the council debated contentious tax issues. (Photo: Matthew F. Smith, KNOM)

Nome Churches, Nonprofits Keep Sales Tax Exemption

Nome’s nonprofits and churches will remain exempt from city sales tax—and retailers won’t have their unsold inventories taxed—but at Monday night’s City Council meeting, efforts to charge property tax on airplanes moved forward.

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November 25, 2014
First-place finisher Pete Kaiser arrives at the finish line in Nome at the end of the 2012 Norton Sound 450. (Photo: David Dodman, KNOM)

Norton Sound 450 Race Ready to Run in 2015

The Norton Sound 450, a regional sled dog race along the western coast of Alaska, will run in 2015, race officials say, committing to a race that was canceled last year and severely shortened the year before.

November 14, 2014

Some Communities Investigating Local Option To Ban Marijuana

Though the final count is still pending, unofficial results show Alaskans voting “yes” to legalizing marijuana in last week’s election. But the road to a legal and regulated marijuana market is months away, and communities who still want to keep the divisive drug out are looking at doing so the same way many currently ban alcohol: the local option.

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November 10, 2014
U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Robert Papp (Ret.) addresses the 2014 Arctic Circle meeting in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo: ArcticCircle.org)

As US Outlines Arctic Council Goals, Native Groups and State Lawmakers Left Wanting

The state department has outlined the nation’s top priorities as the U.S. prepares to chair the international Arctic Council in April, but some Alaska Native groups and state officials argue the national goals are lacking.

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November 3, 2014
A map of the Chukchi Sea offshore leases. The green squares are Shell leases. (Image: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

New Environmental Review Could Move Offshore Chukchi Drilling Forward

A new draft environmental review of leases off Alaska’s northwest coast could bring oil companies one step closer to resuming offshore oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea.

November 3, 2014

20 Alaska Native Languages Now Official State Languages

Twenty Alaska Native languages are now official languages in the State of Alaska — after Governor Sean Parnell signed House Bill 216 into law this morning at the Alaska Federation of Native conference.

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October 23, 2014
A musher leaves the starting line of the 2011 K300 sled dog race. (Photo from the K300 Facebook page)

Kusko 300 Officials Waive Entry Fee

Race officials for the Kuskokwim 300 are waiving the entry fee to any musher looking to run the organization’s three races this January.

October 10, 2014

Arctic Summit Tackles A Diverse Spread of Issues

The Institute of the North is bringing together policy makers and local shareholders to discuss short- and long-term goals for America’s presence in the far north during it’s “Week of the Arctic” in Nome, Kotzebue, and Barrow.

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October 7, 2014
Nome Man Injured After Crane Crushes Truck Cab

Nome Man Injured After Crane Crushes Truck Cab

A Nome man was seriously injured Sunday in what police are calling an “industrial accident” when the neck of a crane fell on to the cab of a truck he was driving at a local gravel pit.

September 29, 2014
Fire at Nome Multiplex Injures 2, Displaces at Least 20

Fire at Nome Multiplex Injures 2, Displaces at Least 20

Fire tore through a Nome eight-unit multiplex Thursday night, displacing more than 20 people and gutting the building with flames that refused to subside after more than an hour of active firefighting.

September 26, 2014
Shishmaref. (Photo: KNOM file)

Five Arrested in Connection With Medication Theft from Shishmaref Clinic

Five people, including two adults, have been arrested in connection to a break-in at the Shishmaref clinic and the theft of more than 100 painkillers—a theft Alaska State Troopers say was accomplished using tools the group stole earlier from the community school.

September 24, 2014
The Kiana School on November 14, 2011. Photo: Justin Rummel via Flickr Creative Commons.

Kiana Teacher Arrested on Missouri Child Sex Abuse Charges

A Missouri man who spent the last four years teaching throughout western Alaska has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing his adopted daughter—and is alleged to have subjected his six other adopted children to “years of physical abuse and neglect.”

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September 5, 2014

Meeting in Nome Attempts to Elucidate Arctic Policy Goals

The Alaska Arctic Commission has been working for more than a year and a half to write the state’s first comprehensive arctic policy—a policy the commission hopes will lay out not just Alaska’s future, but America’s future, in the arctic. But with priorities ranging from international to extremely local, Tuesday’s meeting in Nome saw lawmakers, researchers, and coastal representatives still working out just what that policy will be.

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August 27, 2014
Muskox Killed in Wales While Attacking Dog

Muskox Killed in Wales While Attacking Dog

Nome has been experiencing a summer of “urban muskox,” where the uniquely shaggy arctic mammals have made their home close to town, threatening dogs—and, occasionally, people. Now the same thing has happened more than 100 miles west of Nome, in the community of Wales.

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August 25, 2014
Little Diomede sits on the border of Russia and the United States. Photo: U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm, August 25 2008.

Diomede Helicopter Service Resumes

The helicopter to Diomede is flying today. The first flight to the island took off around 11 o’clock Friday morning after a new contract was formally signed by Erickson Aviation, Kawerak and Federal Department of Transportation officials Thursday.

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July 18, 2014
Fall Chum Season Opens on the Yukon

Fall Chum Season Opens on the Yukon

The fall chum salmon season on the Yukon begins Wednesday.

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July 16, 2014
Drift ice camp in the middle of the Arctic Ocean as seen from the deck of icebreaker XueLong, July 2010. Photo: Timo Palo via Wikimedia Commons.

Chinese Icebreaker Set for Sixth Arctic Expedition

China’s icebreaking research vessel Xuelong, orSnow Dragon, will soon begin another summer in the arctic. Chinese state media Xinhua reports the Snow Dragon is set to leave its Shanghai base next week to embark on a sixth summer expedition to the North Pole.

July 9, 2014
Bobby Curtis is a Dental Health Aide Therapist in Shishmaref. (Photo by  Matthew F. Smith, KNOM - Nome)

Nonprofit Touts Alaska Dental Therapists As Oral Health Pioneers

Dental health aide therapists have been providing mid-level dental care in the Norton Sound region for about a decade. Now a report from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights Norton Sound Health Corporation’s dental therapist program as one of the leading efforts in the nation for increasing access to dental care.

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July 7, 2014

Family of Wade’s Alleged New Victim Demands Justice

As Wade promises details about additional murders he claims to have committed, the family of one of his alleged new victims says they’re feeling their loss once again… and they’re angry Wade won’t face new charges or a trial for the murders.

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June 20, 2014
A fifth 5.7 magnitude quake rocks Brooks Range near Noatak. (Image: Alaska Earthquake Center)

Seismic Storm Continues in Noatak with Fifth 5.7 Quake

The seismic storm in the far-western arm of the Brooks Range that began nearly two months ago continued early Monday morning.

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June 16, 2014