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AK

KLA student Theresa Corp buzzes her classmate David Evon's hair in support KLA teacher, Connie Sankwich. Photo by Angela Denning Barnes, KYUK - Bethel.

AK: Hair

Hair is important, especially in high school, but that didn’t stop a few dozen students at Bethel’s Kuskokwim Learning Academy boarding school from shaving off their hair in support of a teacher undergoing chemotherapy. It was also a chance for some students to remember family who died from the disease.

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December 27, 2013
Johnny Khongsuk sets up the Unalaska Raiders' robot on the game board. Photo courtesy of John Conwell, Unalaska school superintendent.

AK: Robotics

This month, five rural Alaska schools squared off in a virtual engineering competition run by Lego and GCI. It was a big learning experience for everyone – but especially, for the squad from Unalaska. They were competing for the first time, and they brought some unique strengths to the table.

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December 20, 2013
AK: Ancient Shorelines

AK: Ancient Shorelines

Most of us like to know something about our family history. And we might want to get some idea of who was here before us.

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December 13, 2013
Photo by Rachel Waldholz, KCAW  Sitka.

AK: Fortress of the Bear

In 2003, a Sitka couple proposed creating a bear rescue center from the remains of the town’s decommissioned pulp mill – a plan that raised some local hackles. Ten years later, the Fortress of the Bear is home to five brown bears and two new black bear cubs – and it has converted some skeptics, including a local biologist.

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December 6, 2013
Photo by Robert Woolsey, KCAW - Sitka.

AK: Banding Birds

Alaska has its share of big science projects, to be sure. But to get results, science doesn’t always have to be huge.
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November 29, 2013
The Begich Tower, a large pastel residential tower, would look more at home in New Jersey than small town Alaska.

Teaching in the City Under One Roof

It takes a different kind of person to live in Whittier, Alaska. The town is accessible only by water or by tunnel, the weather is extreme, and the only housing option is an ugly apartment building. But the community has managed to win over grade school teacher Erika Thompson. 

Alaska Public Media video producer Travis Gilmour spent a day with Thompson and found out life in this one-building town is unique, even by Alaska’s standards.

See more.

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November 22, 2013
Charlie is Carlton Smith’s second puppet. Smith first started doing ventriloquism 50 years ago as a ten year old boy. Photo by Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau.

AK: Tlingit Ventriloquism

Like many other indigenous languages, Tlingit is in survival mode. Revitalizing the language was the focus of this year’s Tlingit Tribes and Clans Conference held in Juneau last week. A Juneau resident has one solution for how to keep the language alive. During a conference session, realtor and assemblyman Carlton Smith gave participants a lesson in how to teach Tlingit to children with puppets. And he does it with the help of a special guest.

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November 15, 2013
The students crowd into the control room to review the Halloween show and go over problems. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/ KTOO)

AK: Live TV

Outside room 119 at Juneau-Douglas High School, a sheet of paper taped to the wall says, “FOG MACHINE IN USE.” It’s the Friday before Halloween, and the usually no-nonsense control room and JDTV News anchor desk is dressed with spider webs, skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, black lights, and strobes.

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November 8, 2013
Photo by Ariel Van Cleave, KBBI - Homer.

AK: Road Trip

There aren’t many highways suitable for road-tripping in Alaska, but the ones we do have are dotted with plenty of interesting road-side attractions.

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November 1, 2013
Photo by Lori Townsend, APRN - Anchorage.

AK: Native Crafts

The Alaska Federation of Natives Convention is focused on serious issues and politics. But one of the most popular attractions at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks is a massive ten filled with Native arts and crafts. The vendors’ tent offers a lot of traditional works, with a few surprises.

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October 25, 2013
Whitefish only spawn at night. Locals say they’re best smoked. Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks.

AK: Spear Fishing

For one month each fall, Interior residents wade into the crystal clear waters of the Chatanika River to catch whitefish. They spawn in the fall, unlike other fish in Alaska. The state limits both the number of permits and the harvest. This isn’t your typical fishery. Instead of rods and reels, or nets, fishermen use spears.

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October 18, 2013
Photo by Alison Eskelin,  DNR.

AK: Float

At 1.6 million acres, the Wood Tikchik State Park is the largest of its kind in the United States. With no road or trails, the park remains a quiet preserve for the fish and wildlife it was created to protect.

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October 11, 2013
Ivory cribbage boards sit in custom storage mounts made by museum professional Jon Loring. Photo by Lisa Phu, KTOO - Juneau.

AK: Museum Moving

Construction workers in Juneau are making progress on the State Library Archives Museum building – otherwise known as SLAM. What most people don’t see is all the work behind the scenes.

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October 4, 2013
AK: Baby Boost

AK: Baby Boost

As in many small towns in Alaska, there are no babies delivered in Wrangell’s hospital. Expectant mothers have to leave town to give birth. When they return, there aren’t many services to help them adjust to life with a new baby. Hannah’s Place is a non-profit that provides free courses for expecting couples and new parents. In exchange for taking these classes, parents have access to a “free” store that has nearly everything an infant needs.

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September 27, 2013
Photo by Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB - Unalaska.

AK: Salvage

For more than 30 years, Dan Magone has run around Alaska bailing out vessels in distress. In the process, he’s developed a multimillion-dollar marine salvage business – and a reputation. Magone is a daredevil to some, and a savior to others. But now, he’s the one being saved. Facing rising debt, Magone is selling his shop in Unalaska to a larger company. It’s enough to keep the lights on, but it’s going to be a big adjustment for the man at the center of Alaska’s salvage industry.

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September 20, 2013
Photo by Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau.

AK: Football

It’s football season in Alaska. The sport continues to gain popularity in the 49th state, where the first official high school football championship game was played less than 25 years ago. But in Alaska and nationally concerns over football’s safety have grown, and more and more parents are refusing to let their children play youth football because of the risk of injury. Football officials at all levels have responded by trying to make the game safer.

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September 13, 2013
AK: Preservation

AK: Preservation

In June, the Keku Cannery in Kake was named one of the 11 most endangered historic places in the country by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The building is an artifact of Alaska’s salmon canning industry and its a reminder of the different people that worked there.

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September 6, 2013
AK for August 30, 2013

AK: Surfing Turnagain Arm

It’s one of the few sports that most Alaskans haven’t tried in the state. Our water is freezing, our beaches are rocky and there aren’t many places to catch good waves. But none of that kept Anchorage resident Robert Stormo from attempting a daring surfing adventure along Turnagain Arm.

August 30, 2013

AK: Fishing

This week on AK: We go fishing. A group of four female soldiers spent a weekend last month on the Naknek river. The weather was gorgeous, the fish were biting, and the company was unmatched at the Project Healing Waters retreat. Through the program, the fishing community and veterans organizations hope to help injured veterans in their long recovery. KDLG’s Ben Matheson takes us out on the water.

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August 23, 2013
Photo by John Hagen.

AK: Home Grown Garlic

The Chilkat Valley near Haines in Southeast is known as the Valley of the Eagles. But some residents are trying to bring the valley back to its roots, literally. Agriculture is making a comeback in the where longtime resident George Campbell believes he has the largest crop of garlic in the state this year.

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August 16, 2013