Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

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Casey Grove is a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media covering the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, among other things.. cgrove [at] alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.550.8446 | About Casey

Iditapod: Kaiser Racing team hangs on for first Iditarod win

That’s right: Iditarod has a new champion. And it’s really looking like we’re going to have three women in the top 10 for the first time in 47 years for the Last Great Race. As for the pride and swelling hearts of Bethel, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, maybe all of Western Alaska, Peter Kaiser and eight dogs crossed under the Burled Arch in Nome at 3:39 a.m. Alaska time Wednesday trailed only 12 minutes later by the 2018 champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom.

Iditapod: Kaiser poised for first Iditarod win

Heading into a final, mandatory, eight-hour rest in White Mountain about 40 minutes in the lead, Bethel's Peter Kaiser could be set up to win his first Iditarod in his team's 10th race. But anything can happen in that final 77 miles, and the defending champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, is not far behind. We also talk to some former champs about how they're in the middle of the pack and running a totally different kind of race. Plus: There's no sea ice! But there is Snack Attack with Ben and Zach!

Kaiser first into White Mountain with Ulsom hot on his heels

At the front of the 2019 Iditarod, Bethel musher Pete Kaiser and his dog team arrived in White Mountain this morning. Kaiser must continue to hold off the defending champion -- Joar Leifseth Ulsom -- to secure his first Iditarod victory.

Iditapod: Heartbreak for Petit as team quits on the coast

The team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the edge of Norton Bay, allowing Bethel's Pete Kaiser to race past, as well as several others. Petit had been leading for most of the race, and Monday afternoon, it was still uncertain if he'd even finish. We hear from Petit, and we hear from Kaiser who now might be set up to win his first Iditarod. That, plus explanations of Mushergrams, Teacher on the Trail and... whatever happened to Pilot Rob?

Breaking: Team Petit stalls in Iditarod, Kaiser seizes lead

Monday morning saw a huge lead change in the 2019 Iditarod, as the team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the coast, allowing Bethel’s Pete Kaiser to move into first place. At least three others have also passed Petit.

Iditapod: Big push to the coast

Girdwood's Nicolas Petit stayed in the lead of the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday after making a long 90ish-mile run from Kaltag to Unalakleet overnight. We hear from a couple Yukon-Kuskokwim-area rookies in this year's race, and a couple YK-area parents with kids in the Iditarod. Plus, a question about climate change and a conversation with Iditarod musher Kristin Knight Pace, who has a book out called "This Much Country."

Iditapod: Mushing the Mighty Yukon

Mushers headed north on the Yukon River on Saturday, with the front of the pack on their way to Kaltag, where they turn west and head toward the coast of Alaska. Bethel's Pete Kaiser had advanced his team to the front, and we hear more about how he's managed that from earlier planning, as well as about sled modifications and repairs happening on the trail. Also, Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes somehow works in an interview about Harry Potter books on tape with Martin Apayauq Reitan and Meredith Mapes.

Iditapod: Making it to the Yukon River

Top teams in the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are reaching the Yukon River on Friday as the race enters its fifth day, with snow and more warm temperatures in the forecast. Girdwood's Nicolas Petit and Norwegian-by-way-of-Willow musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom have continued to leapfrog each other, with Nic winning a five-course meal in Anvik. We hear more about the different strategies as they came into focus earlier in the race and take a listener question about team positions for dogs.

Iditapod: Injuries, wildlife and Zirkle first to halfway. Plus: naming dogs

Two Rivers musher Aliy Zirkle and all 14 of her SP Kennel dogs made it to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's halfway point, the Iditarod checkpoint, for her 24-hour layover. Other mushers coming off their 24s are expected through there Thursday. Earlier on their breaks, mushers shared stories of injuries, sled mishaps and wildlife encounters, as well as sled dog litter-naming conventions.

Iditapod: Taking 24-hour rests, as Aliy takes the lead

In this episode, we have a race update as mushers start to take their mandatory 24-hour rests at different checkpoints, part of the strategy of running the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we...

Iditapod: Rainy Pass, race rookies and Rohn axe-throwing

In Episode 7, we talk to mushers making preparations at the Rainy Pass checkpoint, as well as some first-time Iditarod racers and... some volunteers staying entertained by throwing axes? Speaking of throwing axes (loosely), we also answer a question about what happens if you get hurt out on the trail.

Iditapod: The first 100 miles

We check in from the trail, where mushers covered the first 100-plus miles from the Willow restart Sunday to the first checkpoints, Yentna and Skwentna, and on to Finger Lake. Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes talked to mushers at Skwentna overnight, and we take a listener question on sled design. Also, today's episode features an extended interview with Ester musher Paige Drobny, an Iditarod veteran and one of a record field of female mushers.

Iditapod: Clock ticking after Willow restart

Fifty-two mushers headed out of Willow as the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began in earnest Sunday, March 3. Iditapod host Casey Grove is joined by KNOM's Ben Matheson and Braver Mountain Mushing's Quince Mountain for discussions of the restart, early-race strategy and some of the numbers of the Iditarod, including that this year's race features the highest-ever percentage of female mushers.

Iditapod: The ceremonial start

We talk about why the Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage is a thing, hear what mushers are talking about this year, and visit with the Trailgaters. It's the last time anyone gets to catch their breath before the real start of the race. And maybe catch a few hotdogs, too

Iditapod: This year’s race

We talk about trail conditions, which teams look like contenders for the Top 10, our Rookie Of The Year Picks, and the best ways to follow the race. Also, a quick intro to our team on the trail.

Alaska’s first female African American judge: ‘Justice is not just done. Justice is seen. And justice is experienced.’

Anchorage District Court Judge Pamela Scott Washington is like a lot of dedicated public servants: a member of the community trying to help others resolve conflicts, in her case, through the justice system. But, as Washington put it, "Justice is not just done. Justice is seen. And justice is experienced."

2019 Yukon Quest champ Sass talks about return to elite dog mushing — and Iditarod

He's sitting out this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race -- that starts March 2 in Anchorage -- but Eureka musher Brent Sass just won the Yukon Quest again, after taking a year off from racing. Sass is a former Iditarod Rookie of the Year, and though he's struggled in a couple other attempts at that race, he said his young dog team will likely be ready for an Iditarod run next year.

Iditapod: Iditarod pre-season and a chat with the Yukon Quest champ

We take a quick look back at competitive mid-distance sled dog races that many Iditarod mushers use as qualifier or tune-up races. And though he's not in Iditarod this year, we talk to Yukon...

For Anchorage’s Ed Wesley, sense of duty to civil rights activism runs deep

Ask Wesley about his history as an African American leader, especially in the context of Black History Month, and he mostly defers to give credit to the contributions of others. But Wesley does tell a story that shows -- from his arrival in Alaska with the Army, to working security during construction of the pipeline and later settling in Anchorage -- he has a sense of civic responsibility that formed during the civil rights movement that has stayed with him over the years.

A Wasilla teacher is charged with abusing students. Now their parents are suing the school district

The families of three Wasilla children allege a teacher molested their kids and are now suing the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District, accusing officials of negligence.