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Alaska Dispatch's Best of the Week: April 15-22

Alaska Dispatch staff

Another week of topsy-turvy Alaska news is behind us, and boy, was it a doozy: the Alaska Legislature adjourned but was quickly called back for a special session to address the perpetually looming oil tax reform that they can never quite seem to nail down. In light of that, Craig Medred took a look at the man who called that special session, looking closely at perhaps a governor more tangled up in oil than just about any other in Alaska's short state history.

Alex DeMarban took a look at the special session itself, and asked the question: How "special" is it, really? And the answer came back: Not special at all. Indeed, there have been 36 special sessions since Gov. Bill Egan called the first one in 1964 for disaster relief in the wake of the Good Friday earthquake.

But in unrelated news, Doug O'Harra took a looooong look back at a new study that concluded polar bears as a species may be as many as 600,000 years old -- much older than previously thought. Alaska Quarterly Review debuted a world-class collection of photography from award-winning photojournalists to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the deaths of two photographers covering the uprising in Libya. And just in time for tax day, Jill Burke tells us why it's a bad idea to prepare returns for drug dealers.

So get caught up with Alaska Dispatch's best of the week!

  1. 1 Polar bear DNA reveals species much older than previously thought

    A new study says that polar bears diverged from grizzlies about 600,000 years ago, considerably earlier than most scientists believed up to now. 

  2. 2 Sean Parnell: The Manchurian Governor?

    The threads of Sean Parnell's life look a little like plot lines for a John Grisham novel, but Grisham's books are fiction. This is reality.

  3. 3 Alaska Quarterly Review debuts world-class photography project

    On Wednesday, a well-loved Alaska literary journal will debut a powerful collection of photographs commemorating the deaths of two award-winning photojournalists killed during the Libya uprising of 2011.

  4. 4 Signs of Spring in Alaska

    Spring can be a teasing thing in the Last Frontier, but when it begins in earnest, Alaskans jump on the opportunity to emerge from hibernation and enjoy the outdoors.

  5. 5 Why call them special sessions when they happen so often?

    Alaska is now up to 36 special sessions since Gov. Bill Egan called the first one in 1964 to provide disaster relief to victims of the Good Friday earthquake.

  6. 6 Alaska GOP warned to stop meddling with Ron Paul delegates

    Paul campaign attorney accuses Alaska Republican Party Chairman Randy Ruedrich of "political shenanigans" aimed at hampering Paul supporters. What's going on in the Alaska GOP?

  7. 7 Why preparing taxes for Alaska drug dealers is a bad idea

    Trying to outsmart the taxman didn't work out so well for one Wasilla woman, whose clients, prosecutors say, made money selling marijuana and heroin.

  8. 8 What role does the Bering Strait play in moderating global temperatures?

    Squeeze shut the 53-mile-wide narrows between the Pacific and Arctic, and Earth could abruptly be returned to ice age conditions.

  9. 9 Israel Keyes charged with kidnapping, killing Anchorage barista

    Though the indictment sheds some light on the timeline of events, the night of Koenig's abduction remains somewhat ambiguous.

  10. 10 Commission wants details of Anchorage election breakdown

    Anchorage's eight-member Election Commission will conduct meetings starting Saturday to collect information about what went wrong in the April 3 municipal election.