Iditarod mushers Jeff King and Aliy Zirkle are on the final stretch into Nome. King left the White Mountain checkpoint after eight hours of mandatory rest at 3:02 this afternoon. Zirkle followed just under an hour later. Dallas Seavey will leave about two hours behind Zirkle and his father Mitch will leave about two hours after that.
The Alaska Department of Health is looking into possible coal ash health impacts from Aurora Energy’s downtown Fairbanks plant. Coal ash is increasingly coming under scrutiny around the country due to contamination from large scale spills, but the situation in Fairbanks is different.
A new effort to help a once healthy population of eiders is using unique methods to try to turn sparse numbers around. Stellers eiders used to be common on parts of the YK Delta coast decades ago. Due to some combination of lead poisoning, predators, and changes of habitat they all but disappeared and were listed as threatened under the federal endangered species act in 1997.
Iditarod teams are expected in Nome tonight, and some mushers still do not have a place to sleep once they get there. Mushers have long depended on Nome residents to provide them a place to rest after the almost 1,000 mile journey. However, over the last five years, it’s become more difficult to find hosts to house mushers.
Dems Take Issue With State Assessment Review Board Candidate; Bill Arming VPSOs Passes House; King, Zirkle Leave White Mountain; Officers Shoot, Kill Driver Near Wasilla; Sarah Palin, Superstar, Rocks Conservative Faithful; Furie Applies For New Cook Inlet Platform; Fairbanks Coal Ash Health Impacts Under Scrutiny; US Fish & Wildlife Proposes Reintroducing Steller’s Eiders To YK Delta; Musher Housing At A Premium In Nome
Sarah Palin fired up thousands of conservative activists who came to hear her give the closing speech of the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C. this weekend. Palin hasn’t held elected office since she resigned as Alaska governor in 2009. But at this gathering of 11,000, she was an A-list celebrity.
After taking the lead from Aliy Zirkle early Monday morning, Jeff King has extended his Iditarod lead to nearly an hour, rolling into White Mountain at 7:02 a.m. Zirkle checked into White Mountain at 7:59 a.m. with 11 dogs to King’s 12.
Mushers were met with an unforgiving trail as they pushed up the coast from Unalakleet to Koyuk, Sunday. They battled wind, miles of glare ice and more snow free trail. They’re also battling extreme fatigue and grappling with how best to cut rest and maintain speed as they close in on Nome.
Jeff King overtook Aliy Zirkle early Monday morning in the 2014 Iditarod. King took off from Elim about 1 a.m. and Zirkle, who had battled King and Martin Buser for the lead, left less than 10 minutes later. Dallas Seavey, who won two years ago, jumped into third place and was out of Elim about 2:52 this morning. While Zirkle, and King had spent more than an hour in Elim, Seavey was in and out of the checkpoint in minutes.
Aliy Zirkle maintained her lead in the 2014 Iditarod Sunday, leaving Shaktoolik about 7:12 a.m. She was fighting off challenges from former champions Jeff King and Martin Buser who followed her out of Shaktoolik on Sunday morning.
Teams running at the front of the pack have reached the Bering Sea Coast at Unalakleet. Despite a rough trail, teams are still on record pace as they continue to make their way for Nome.
Aliy Zirkle continued her lead over Martin Buser and Sonny Lindner Saturday night in the 2014 Iditarod. She arrived in Unalakleet first and left first. Buser, Lindner, Jeff King and Aaron Burmeister were still in Unalakleet at 10:00 p.m.
Iditarod mushers kept volunteers in the Nulato checkpoint busy overnight. Some teams that weren’t expected to stay grabbed a few hours rest in the sleepy Yukon River village, while others who could have used the rest decided to blow through.
Aliy Zirkle, hoping to end her streak of second-place finishes, was the first out of Kaltag early Saturday morning. She left about 3:18 with 11 dogs in her team. She spent just a few minutes at the checkpoint before darting off for Unalakleet.
Martin Buser, racing with 14 dogs, kept up his bid to win the 2014 Iditarod, leaving Nulato about 9:34 Friday night. Still in Nulato were Sonny Lindner, Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King.
After sitting in limbo for nearly a year, a controversial permitting bill is on the move again. House Bill 77 has been sent back to the Senate Resources Committee, and it’s scheduled for hearings on Monday and Wednesday.
Last year, HB77 stalled in part because its opponents were vocal. People packed town hall meetings to tell their legislators to fight it, and tribes across the state passed resolutions asking for a “no” vote. But how widespread was that opposition? The Hays Group released a poll this week the gauges public sentiment on the bill.