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AK

Aliy Zirkle heads out of Willow at the start of the 2014 Iditarod. Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage.

AK: Women Who Mush

This year 78 mushers are signed up to drive dog teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but only a third of them are women. In the Yukon Quest, only 3 of 26 mushers who started this year were women. Despite the small numbers, many are up-and-coming mushers who are redefining what it means to run dogs.

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March 6, 2015
(Photo by Amanda Compton)

AK: Tracking Halibut

Pacific halibut are one of Alaska’s most valuable fish, but we know surprisingly little about what happens to the species during an important time in their life – their spawning period. Amanda Compton caught up with a study in Glacier Bay focused on just how halibut spawn using a special type of tracking equipment.

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February 20, 2015
James Hoagland learned the art of wig making while performing as a drag queen for eight years. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

From Frozen To Cover Girl, Drag Queen Style Hinges On Hair

James Hoagland is in the business of wigs. Not just your ordinary costume and fashion wigs – his are specifically for drag queens. He spends hours styling hair and stitching it into wig caps. Last year, he sold 300 mostly to clients in the Lower 48 and internationally.

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February 13, 2015

Climate Change, Weather Variability Challenge Yukon Quest Personnel, Mushers

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race starts Saturday. For more than 30 years, the race course has followed an old Gold Rush era trail that took advantage of the frozen Yukon River. But recently, there have been places where the river hasn’t frozen up. That’s starting to raise question about the impacts of climate change on Alaska’s state sport.

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February 5, 2015
Curling stone. (Photo by Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI - Homer)

AK: Curling

A warmer winter has pushed many Homer residents inside the local ice rink, looking for a blast of cold air and a good winter sport. And curling seems to be just the ticket. It’s a centuries old game that can be played by people young and old, highly athletic or not, by rookies and experienced players alike. KBBI’s Shady Grove Oliver stopped by an open curling night at the rink to find out just what attracts new people to this unique sport and keeps them coming back.

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January 30, 2015
Alaska Air Guardsman Capt. Johh Romspert, a 212th Rescue Squadron combat rescue officer, prepares to be lowered via hoist out of an HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter during a training mission held near Mount Susitna Dec. 16. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Balinda O’Neal)

AK: Rescue Training

In 2014, Alaska’s Air National Guard rescued more than 90 people. They picked up individuals from downed aircrafts, snow machines that fell through ice, and lost hikers in the wilderness.

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January 23, 2015
Members of Unalaska's Holy Ascension Cathedral congregation spin traditional stars for Russian Christmas, or Slaaviq, which took place last week.  (Photo by Annie Ropeik, KUCB - Unalaska)

AK: Starring

Last week’s Russian Christmas in Unalaska looked a little different than elsewhere in the state. Over the years, the town has evolved from a Native village into an industrial hub. Now, it has miles of roads and thousands of residents from countless different faiths.

So the little congregation of the oldest Russian Orthodox Church on the continent has had to evolve, too. KUCB’s Annie Ropeik has more on how their Slaaviq has become a community celebration.

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January 16, 2015
(Photo by Annie Feidt, APRN - Anchorage)

AK: The Art Of Medicine

Physicians spend a lot of time thinking about how to fix the human body. A group of young doctors in Anchorage recently had the chance to draw it instead. They are all overworked, over tired interns-midway through their first year of residency. But they spent a morning in an intro to drawing class in an effort to get them to think more creatively about their careers.

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January 9, 2015

AK Essay: Barenaked

Nude is what is it is called. Nude is artsy and sophisticated. But when I crumpled onto the small wooden platform, I was just plain old naked. And then when I crawled the several feet between me and my robe, I was even more naked.

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January 9, 2015
(Photo by John S. Hagen)

AK: Puppet Town (Archive)

Haines seems like a quintessential Southeast Alaska town. There are eagles, bears, salmon, big mountains and rough water. It’s a picture-book no stoplight, no movie theater, low crime type of community. But there’s a seedier and eclectic side of Haines that emerged late this winter: the underground puppet scene.

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January 2, 2015
AK: Exploding History (Archive)

AK: Exploding History (Archive)

It’s been more than 70 years since Unalaska came under attack during World War II, but you don’t have to look hard to find the remnants. The community is littered with old gunnery installations, battered Quonset huts and bunkers – some of which are being preserved for posterity.

But there’s history, and then there’s hazard, and the shells and bombs that keep washing up on Unalaska’s shores fall somewhere in between.

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December 26, 2014
Tanner Sorenson takes aim at the net outside at the Bonnie Cusack outdoor rink in Anchorage. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

AK: Hockey Homecoming

Anchorage has a close knit hockey community, but if players want to continue on to college hockey or eventually play professionally, they have to move away from Alaska at a fairly young age – leaving friendships behind. They use their short breaks back home to re-live some of those childhood memories on the ice. And, the 5th Annual Christmas Classic gives them that opportunity.

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December 19, 2014
(Photo by Kayla Desroches, KTOO - Juneau)

AK: Maps

If you want to find a rare book or unusual map in Juneau, there’s only one place to go – Dee Longenbaugh’s shop. Longenbaugh is the owner of The Observatory: a rare book shop, used bookstore, and treasure trove all in one. You can find everything from local cookbooks about how to prepare halibut to maps of the Great White North.

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December 12, 2014
(Photo by Anne Hillman, KSKA - Anchorage)

AK: Drumline

Imagine you’re in middle school. You don’t love math or history or any other subject. But there’s this thing you look forward to everyday after school. It’s called drumline. And a teacher at Clark Middle School thinks it can help kids learn about music and teach them some other skills too.

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December 5, 2014

AK: Amazon in the Arctic

Black Friday kicks off the rush of holiday shopping, and its also given rise to a fraternal twin of sorts, Cyber Monday. But there’s one place you might not expect online retail to be turning into a fact of life: Bush Alaska.

November 28, 2014
Photographer James Norman shared this picture of eagles along the Chilkat River. (Photo by James Norman)

AK: Eagles Up Close

Each fall, thousands of bald eagles flock to a stretch of the Chilkat River about 20 miles north of Haines. The birds fly there for a late chum salmon run. It’s thought to be the largest gathering of eagles in the world. Dozens of people travel to witness the raptors each year, filling up almost every hotel room in Haines.

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November 21, 2014
Heather Powell, Education Director at the Sitka Native Education Program, poses with some young dancers after the Naa Kahídi Dancers' 20th anniversary performance at the Sheet'ká Ḵwáan Naa Kahídi. "We are giving them an opportunity to have a sense of pride, a sense of community," said Powell.

AK: Tlingit Dance

Dancing can be a celebration, an expression of joy or sorrow, or a way to tell a story. For one man in Sitka, it’s a way to teach people about his Native culture and values, and to carry on his tradition. With elders in the community growing older or already gone, he says it’s his responsibility to learn and pass along the teachings to the younger generation so they grow up proud to be Tlingit.

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November 14, 2014
Dr. Donna Chester operates the da Vinci robot during surgery. (Photo by Annie Feidt, APRN - Anchorage)

AK: High Tech Surgery

Surgeons these days have a lot of futuristic tools at their disposal in the operating room. They use robots, high definition cameras and special dyes to help them complete complicated procedures. And you don’t have to travel to big cities in the Lower 48 to find the most up to date operating room technology.

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November 7, 2014
The Art of the Murder Mystery

The Art of the Murder Mystery

Today: murder. Don’t worry, nobody’s actually getting killed. This week we’re planning a murder mystery party. And for it, I’ve enlisted Elisa Hitchcock and Kimberly Gray. They’ve been hosting murder mystery parties for more than 20 years.

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October 30, 2014
Taylor White is the aquarium manager at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Since sea star wasting disease hit Sitka a month ago, the aquarium has lost 35 sea stars and now, only two remain in the touch tanks.

AK: Sea Star Mystery

A trip to the coast usually means you’re going to see sea stars, but a mysterious disease is killing them along the West Coast. There had been a few reports of sick sea stars in Alaska, but recently in Sitka, the first mass die offs in the state were detected. Scientists in Sitka are tracking the progress.

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October 24, 2014