AK: Independence

The Fourth of July in Alaska is all barbecues, parades, and – depending on how south you are — fireworks. But for one man in Unalaska, Independence Day came a week later. Koang Deng, a South Sudanese refugee, observed the first anniversary of his homeland’s independence by celebrating vicariously through relatives half a world away.

AK: Feeding the hungry Susitna Valley residents

The Upper Susitna Food Pantry, with locations in Talkeetna and Trapper Creek, provides food assistance to hundreds of Susitna Valley residents. While many volunteers work together to help in that process, there is one person without whom the pantry could not function as it does. Listen now

AK: After 75 years, a bittersweet homecoming for Attu descendants

Seventy-five years after Japan invaded the furthest tip of the Aleutian chain, Attuans are returning home. Listen now

AK: Mom

In honor of Mothers' Day we pay tribute to Mom. We'll meet an Anchorage teen who already teaches parenting class and learn about becoming...

AK: Like A Seafaring Santa, Kachemak’s Mailman Always Makes His Route

Like many rural areas, the south side of Kachemak Bay doesn't get traditional mail service. Instead, its communities rely on a mail boat to deliver to small postal drop offs. It’s the kind of job that attracts a special type of person who’s willing to make the trek across the bay, rain or shine, snow or ice, twice a week, every week, year-round. There the mailman takes the shape of a 60-something ex-fisherman who's been on the job for nearly 30 years. Download Audio:

AK: A 12-Year-Old Ambassador

Imagine you arrive in a world where it rains all year round, and daylight swings from 17 hours in summertime to a paltry six in winter. And you’re only seven years old. That’s the situation Jasmine Molina found herself when she first got to Sitka, over 5,000 miles from her native city of Manila in the Philippines. Sitka’s Filipino population has grown substantially in the past five years, but there remains no formal system to help new students transition to school. That is, until Jasmine came to town. Listen now:

AK: Leaving Alaska on the ferry

Alaska is a big place, but doesn’t have a lot of roads to show for it. It does have the Alaska Marine Highway System, and Alaskans travel all over the state on the ferry. Some people use the it to move to Alaska, and others when it’s time to leave. That latter group includes Alaska Public Media correspondent Vikram Patel, reporting from from somewhere between Haines, AK and Bellingham, WA, last November.

AK: Bees

This week on AK... bees. We've all seen them, fat and fuzzy, zigzagging from flower to flower in a seemingly erratic flight to somewhere. Bumblebees were so named for their clumsy trip from bud to bud, not to mention their signature sound, like tiny buzzsaws.

AK: $15,000 and 2,000 miles later, Kotzebue High volleyball players show Sitka their skills

Alaska’s high school sports teams spend a lot of time and money on travel. But $15,000 and 2,000 miles for a single trip? That’s unusual. Earlier this month the Kotzebue Girls Volleyball team travelled to Sitka to play Mount Edgecumbe and Sitka High School. Listen now

AK: Close combat trooper training in Sitka

Twice a year the Trooper Academy in Sitka gets a new class of recruits. Over a 15-week period they go through everything from spelling tests to target practice. They also get close combat training. Listen now

AK: Garrison Keillor’s Sitka pen pal

With a new year often comes the resolution to be well. Do good work. Keep in touch. Sound familiar? That’s the famous outro to the daily “Writer’s Almanac,” hosted by legendary writer and radio host Garrison Keillor. He visited Alaska last year on a cruise and made a pit stop in Sitka to visit a pen pal. Because it turns out, when it comes to resolutions, Keillor is good on his word. Listen now

AK: New “marriage” between Iditarod and politics

It’s not rare to see mushers touting various brands and companies as they drive their dog teams down the Iditarod trail. Sponsorship is a major source of financial support. This year a few mushers have gotten involved in touting political candidates as both the congressional and presidential election season heats up. Download Audio

AK: Aniak Gets Ready for Christmas

We dug into the archives for this story about a Christmas play in Aniak. The village doesn't have a mall, a movie theater or even a sit down restaurant. But in December a few years ago, there was no shortage of entertainment in the community. Most of the town packed into the high school gym for the show.

AK: Smokejumpers

The first Red Flag warnings have already been issued for parts of Southcentral and the Interior and wildland firefighters are gearing up for the season. Some of them will approach wildfires from the ground, but there’s one elite group that’s been training for more than two months to fight fire from the air. Download Audio

AK: Know the risks before you visit Mendenhall Glacier’s newest ice cave

Although the famous blue caverns from several years ago have disappeared, word of a new cave spread over social media this winter and brought crowds to the glacier. But while hiking to the cave is a remarkable experience, it also comes with some risk.

AK: Celebrating Turkish culture in Anchorage

The Republic of Turkey is about as far as you can go from Alaska on the other side of the globe. The country of nearly 80 million people straddles the edges of Europe and Asia, with a Mediterranean climate, and a rich history as the seat of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Again, not a lot of parallels with Alaska. But both places have food and dance at the center of their cultural traditions. Listen now

AK: Welding

There are more than 100 people employed at Ketchikan’s Vigor Industrial Shipyard. Out of all of them, Cat Wong might have the most unusual story about how she got there. The 25-year-old is a pipe fitter and welder. She was born in the U.S., but grew up with her family in Singapore. When she was 21, Cat made an unusual choice, and moved to Ketchikan. Download Audio

AK: From tree to cream; how birch syrup makes its way to dessert bowls

The chartreuse leaves of the birch tree are one of the first signs of spring in Southcentral Alaska. But for a few weeks before the leaves unfurl the trees offer a sweet treat –a watery liquid that when tapped and boiled down turns into a rich, nutty syrup. Birch syrup is becoming a favorite flavor in the state's budding local food scene. Listen now

AK: Renovating Hilltop’s Ski Jump

Anchorage has always been known for its cross country skiing. Now a group of volunteers are hoping to revive interest in another snow sport in the city- ski jumping. The 40 meter jump at Hilltop Ski Area had fallen into disrepair over the years. But after a flurry of activity this fall- it’s ready for a new generation of jumpers to begin taking flight.

AK: For Tlingit-Unangax artist Nicholas Galanin, first retrospective a lifetime in the making

Nicholas Galanin strives to create fearlessly. The Tlingit artist works in multiple mediums from his home in Sitka, and has made a name for himself in the indigenous art world. Listen now