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Alaskans love a challenge, and our educational system has plenty of them - with shrinking budgets, serious workforce deficits, and poor retention rates for teachers and students.

When a fire breaks out, it’s not always obvious how it started. Not only could the entire structure be wiped out, but items that started the fire could be partially destroyed or altered beyond recognition. That’s the job of the fire investigator: interview witnesses and find clues at the scene that would help them determine how the fire started. Listen now

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KSKA: Friday, May 26 at 2:45pm Of the three elements that go into making performing arts what it is, one is the space in which both performers and audience share. It is that place where we, as a community, come to share common experiences. Seventy years ago, Cap Lathrop created such a space in the 4th Avenue Theatre. This weekend, a 70th Anniversary Celebration is occurring to commemorate that founding and on today's Stage Talk Sandy Harper and Ron Holmstrom gather to share stories about the theatre and to let us in on some of the goings on of the celebration. The Celebration will happen May 27-29 on 4th Avenue, the Performing Arts Center and the Anchorage Museum.

Over the last few decades, the role of women in media and newsrooms has dramatically changed. From being confined to writing mostly about humor or household tips, now, women commentators and columnists write about politics, sports, the economy and yes, family life, too. From Erma Bombeck to Molly Ivins, the role for women in society's dialogue has matured. Three of the state's columnists join us on the next Talk of Alaska. Listen Now

Juneau poet Ishmael Hope has released his new book of poetry titled “Rock Piles Along the Eddy. KTOO’s Scott Burton spoke with Hope and brings us this preview of the new collection two years in the making. Listen now

KSKA: Thursday, May 25, at 2:00 p.m. On the next outdoor explorer, we’re talking about a different kind of race, one where you have as much support and camaraderie as you do competition. Long distance road relays have been around for a while, including the Klondike Road Relay that follows the gold rush route of 1898 every fall, with teams of runners who ride along in vans while taking turns on foot. A new one is getting started in Anchorage this summer, from Eagle River to Seward and we're looking forward to hearing about it. LISTEN HERE

The Fourth Avenue Theatre has private owners and public fans. What should happen to it? Is there a path for a public/private partnership that could result in a viable business plus a community keepsake? LISTEN HERE