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In a video making the rounds on the web, skier Reese Hanneman is towed behind an Aviat Husky aircraft through a snowfield. But is it legal?

Colleen Mondor

At any given day at Southside Gym in Anchorage, Alaskan powerlifters who compete in the Special Olympics can be found working out, trash-talking and joking around. 

Tara Young

A woman is suing long-time Anchorage attorney Peter Walton over an agreement they allegedly made more than a decade ago, in which he agreed to provide her with long-term housing in return for her companionship.

The case, filed in 2011, went to jury trial this week in Anchorage. During opening statements on Tuesday, the prosecution argued that Walton breached a lease he had provided to plaintiff Mia Tan when his family reclaimed the property in 2008. Tan is asking upwards of $100,000 in damages. The defense argues that Tan gave up the lease years ago, and is now attempting to grab money she is not rightly owed.

Tan, now 51, and Walton, 87, entered into the agreement in 2002. Tan would be provided a lease on an apartment in downtown Anchorage for 60 years -- essentially, the rest of her life. “What she would do was have a monogamous relationship with Pete,” for his remaining years, Walton’s defense attorney Kenneth Jacobus said...

Laurel Andrews

A group opposing a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in Alaska has finally staked its claim.

The group "Big Marijuana. Big Mistake. Vote No on 2" officially filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission Thursday. Their goal? Making sure Ballot Measure 2 fails this fall.

"When you look at the evidence, the harms far outweigh the benefits," said Deborah Williams, deputy treasurer with the group, said in an interview with Alaska Dispatch Tuesday.

Williams is one of a handful of Alaskans involved with the group. Others include Northwest Strategies owner Tim Woolston, Dittman Research's Matt Larkin and Alaska Native leader Mike Williams of Aniak, an Iditarod musher who's long been an advocate for sobriety. While still small, the group plans to spend the next four to five months fighting the initiative, though in what capacity is still yet to be determined. They are the first group that has appeared in opposition to the measure...

Suzanna Caldwell

After the results of the April 1 municipal election, the Anchorage Assembly swore in two new members and elected new leadership at its Tuesday night meeting at the Z.J. Loussac Public Library.

Pete Petersen -- who beat out incumbent Adam Trombley and Mao Tosi in the East Anchorage race -- and Bill Evans -- who won a three way race for the South Anchorage seat vacated by Chris Birch -- took their oath of office during the short meeting. Their ascension to the Assembly marked a left turn in the political make-up of the body.

Before the election, and with Trombley as vice-chair, the Assembly was divided 6-5, with conservatives holding a slight majority. Now that Petersen has taken that seat, the political pendulum has swung ever so slightly to the left, with liberals now enjoying the same 6-5 majority...

Sean Doogan

After getting hammered by his opponents for dodging debates, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s re-election campaign said on Tuesday that the governor will participate in a “full slate” of eight debates between now and the November general election, with the first debate set for later this month.

Parnell will debate at two Anchorage events in April, two in August in Fairbanks and Kodiak and four in October in Ketchikan, Soldotna, Fairbanks and Anchorage, his campaign said. Three of the debates will come before the Aug. 19 primary election, while the rest will come before the general election on Nov. 4.

Parnell’s competition, independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott, have criticized the governor for not attending candidate forums and debates .

The Parnell campaign has said the governor would not debate until the Legislature ended its session, set for April 20, because of the urgent matters being discussed in Juneau. Nonetheless, Parnell has participated in fundraisers in Anchorage during the session...

Alex DeMarban

The second tribal chief of the Alaska village of Allakaket has skin in the game when it comes to promoting Native culture, after getting dragged along icy ground and suffering a minor concussion during sprint sled dog races at a recent spring festival in the Interior village of Huslia.

Turns out sprint mushing was more dangerous than PJ Simon expected. But at 42, he’s just a rookie.

Simon got into mushing in the most modern of ways, after the makers of a reality TV show for Animal Planet wanted to feature him living off the land, at times using old-school techniques. Simon, both a villager and corporate leader, jumped at the chance to highlight life in the Bush...

Alex DeMarban

Eagle River’s Amy Winczura of Texas Woman’s University ended her college career in style, hitting seven of seven routines at USA Gymnastics Nationals over the weekend in Providence, R.I.

The senior was her team’s most consistent performer during the three days of competition, with her final floor routine serving as a last dance.

Winczura, an East High graduate, capped her career with another trip to nationals, where Texas Woman’s University finished second in a bid for the school’s 10th national title.

On the first day, Winczura scored 9.75 on vault, 9.775 on bars and 9.775 on floor, qualifying to Sunday’s individual event finals on floor. TWU won the session with a season-high 194.375.

In the day two team finals, Winczura scored a 9.75 on vault and tied a career-high with a 9.8 on bars and tied her career high on floor with a 9.825.

In the individual event finals, she had the second-highest score on floor with another 9.825. There was a four-way tie at 9.875...

Van Williams

The northern allowance payment for some government employees in Canada's Northwest Territories was reduced at the start of April.

In the Arctic community of Tuktoyaktuk, it has been cut by CA$2,600 ($2,366) a year. In the Arctic town of Inuvik, people will take home nearly CA$400 ($364) less a year.

The territorial government's reductions are not sitting well with Inuvik mayor Floyd Roland, who says food prices, fuel and transportation costs in the region have actually increased.

Roland says he and other Beaufort Delta leaders have requested the territory provide them with the formula that is being used.

“We need to look at that to make sure we are not unfairly being dealt with, in a sense, because they have avoided the bigger factors," he said.

Roland hopes the new allowances can be adjusted. He’s especially concerned because many organizations and companies adopt the territorial standard for northern benefits.

The territorial government maintains the cost of living in towns like Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk has decreased, and that is why it has reduced its northern allowance rate to these two communities...

CBC News

Shipping in the Arctic is no easy task.

Distances from southern Canada to the country’s High Arctic is long. Trips can be slow going, with captains navigating through hazardous ice up to 5 feet thick.

But one Montreal-based shipping company called Fednav says it has found a way to make the going a little bit easier by using drones to and from Canada’s High Arctic.

Currently, captains navigate through treacherous ice with satellite software that sends images to the ships. But still, nothing can beat seeing the conditions first hand. Especially when the costs of running these ships to the Arctic runs from over $63,000 to nearly $100,000 per day.

“If we can save a day of sailing, it’s very significant,” says Tom Paterson, Fednav’s Senior Vice-President for Shipowning, Arctic and Projects.

Drones in the North

Interest in employing drones throughout the circumpolar world is increasing in everything from mining to the oil and gas industry.

In Canada’s northwestern Yukon territory, prospectors are using unmanned aerial drones to survey land for gold deposits...

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

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