Wendi Jonassen, APRN - Anchorage


The Alaska Sealife Center welcomed the birth of a new harbor seal pup in June. Since then Kobuk has been steadily growing and getting healthier. Once the chubby seal weaned off his mother’s milk, the Center began his training regime, which will help the center take care of him. Having a well-trained harbor seal can also help educate the public about Alaskan sea life.

This year's Nelchina caribou herd population is at an unexpected high, and the department of fish and game issued an additional 2,425 hunting permits in an effort to keep the population within a manageable range.

The Department of Defense spends $20 billion on fuel for the military every year. It accounts for 2.5 percent of the defense budget. Now the department has created a new position – The Assistant Secretary for Energy – devoted to solving the military’s energy problem. The new appointee, Sharon Burke, spent a few days touring Alaska this week, hoping the state could supply a fresh perspective.

The G String Orchestra is comprised of four young musicians, wearing tight jeans and sporting black tattoos covering their arms, necks, hands, and some of their faces. They first starting playing as a band when they met in Homer three summers ago and they perform music that an audience may not expect to hear – Eastern European Gypsy music.

Paola Pivi: How I Roll from Public Art Fund on Vimeo.

An Anchorage artist is garnering attention for her unusual installation in New York’s Central Park. Paolo Pivi’s latest work involves a single-engine plane, the kind often seen in the skies above Alaska.

The first walrus calf rescued by the Alaska SeaLife Center has been gaining weight since he arrived last week. And as he develops, scientists are hoping he can shed light on the illness afflicting seals and walruses on the North Slope.

Alaska is approaching its centennial anniversary for aviation. The first flight took off out of Fairbanks in 1913. Since then Alaska has maintained deep roots in air travel. And this Saturday, Anchorage will celebrate its history with the Arctic Thunder Air Show.

A man was mauled by a brown bear Sunday in Eagle River. He sustained serious, but non-life-threatening injuries. It was the fourth bear attack in Anchorage this year, one of the highest numbers ever. And the city is on its way to reaching a new record.

A resolution may be near for a dispute between the tribe in Sand Point and Pen Air. Last month, the company issued a letter restricting several tribal members from flying, shipping cargo or even entering the terminal. Pen Air is the only commercial carrier that services the remote Aleutian Island Community. PenAir offers the quickest and most reasonable way off and on the island and residents have felt stuck.

The Alaska Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is looking for a new building. The only no-kill shelter in Anchorage closed its adoption center six weeks ago following a gas leak. The leak was one of many problems that ultimately convinced the SPCA board of directors to abandon the rickety old building.

Alaska is one of 17 states that helps pay for medically-necessary abortions. More than half of the over 1,600 performed last year in Alaska were paid by Medicaid adding up to about 900 state-funded abortions. Right now the Health and Social Services Department is proposing to change the regulations for Medicaid-funded abortions, resurrecting a contentious debate about low-income women and abortion.

The newly built Goose Creek Prison is beginning preparations to house inmates. For the last few weeks, about 30 low-security prisoners from Point Mac Correctional Farm have been in and out of the facility, testing plumbing, cooking facilities and cleaning.

An animator from Fairbanks just raised over $40,000 on Kickstarter to build an interactive story about a whale on driftwood stilts. Kickstarter is a website that provides a platform for grassroots, do-it-yourself fundraising for projects like movies, music and journalism. Now based in San Francisco, Gabriel Smetzer is able to devote himself fully to the project with the money he raised.

The Seward Chamber of Commerce is considering ways to make the Mount Marathon race safer in the wake of two tragedies during this year’s July 4 race. Over the weekend, the State Troopers suspended the search for missing runner Micheal LeMaitre.

The beluga calf that the Alaska SeaLife Center rescued from Naknek Bay has died. The cause of death is unknown, but experts say it’s difficult to keep a neonatal whale alive in captivity.

The Aleut and Alutiiq people invented the kayak over 5,000 years ago. Since 90 percent of their diet came from the ocean, the kayaks were traditionally used for hunting sea life. At the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, a group of adults are learning the traditional methods of building a kayak. Well, almost traditional.

The International Whaling Commission voted 48-10 to uphold the catch limits for the Alaska subsistence whaling communities which were set to expire this year. Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission members were worried political debate over commercial and research whaling would interfere with their catch limit.

The obesity epidemic among young people in America has been garnering national attention for the last decade. Experts blame sugary sodas and unhealthy snacks in schools, coupled with a decrease in exercise...

Anchorage's Mayor's Marathon was Don Wright's 45th. By December he hopes to say he's run a marathon in all 50 states since his diagnosis 10 years ago. Read More

The 39th Mayor’s Marathon held near summer solstice every year attracts thousands of visitors to Anchorage. This Saturday the organizers of the road race expect 4,300 runners to tackle the course through Anchorage, including one man with an extraordinary story.