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The company seeking state help for a 200-mile one-lane road to mining prospects in Northwest Alaska says “substantial doubt exists as to our ability to continue as a going concern,” a statement it has repeated to investors as recently as Oct. 14.
Dermot Cole
Big Lake can become a second-class city if the state Local Boundary Commission approves and locals vote for property taxes that turn out to be a sliver lower than the ones they pay now. Commission staff this week recommended incorporation. 
Zaz Hollander
The company agreed last week to plead guilty to eight felony criminal counts and to pay $12.2 million -- $8.2 million in penalties and $4 million for a community service payment -- for environmental and safety violations during Shell’s mishap-laden 2012 drilling season.
Yereth Rosen
Despite worries its facility sponsor, FedEx, would pull out, the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering will go on as scheduled next year. FedEx announced this week it would allow the Alaska Airmen's Association to use its Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport hangar for the 2015 event, as it has for the past 17 years. 
Sean Doogan
The government filed a civil lawsuit Monday against a gold dredge captain who has appeared on Discover Channel’s “Bering Sea Gold,” alleging he refused to take care of his 117-foot landing craft that sank in the Cordova harbor.
Jerzy Shedlock
The 350-foot-wide avalanche was triggered by the skier and ran downhill an estimated 1,000 feet on the southwest face of Sunburst Ridge. The man's companion, who escaped the avalanche, helped dig him out. OutdoorsMegan Edge
The project manager for a proposed dam that would rise 735 feet in the Alaska wilderness said it could improve salmon spawning habitat on the Susitna River, a statement that drew sharp criticism from opponents.EnergyAlex DeMarban
UAA said the decision would not affect 95 current students majoring in chemistry, but the school will not be accepting new chemistry majors until the program can be restarted.EducationSean Doogan
This isn’t the first calendar with Anchorage firefighters posing for charity, but it is the most risqué. Alaska NewsSuzanna Caldwell

News & Politics

Second credit ratings agency issues warning on Alaska budget risk

A second credit ratings agency raised a warning flag Thursday about Alaska’s state budget. Standard & Poor’s said that “to avert credit quality deterioration, we believe the state must make material progress in reducing the deficit in its fiscal 2016 budget.”Dermot Cole

Adventure

Alyeska to reopen upper mountain to snowboarders and skiers Friday

The bottom of the mountain remains brown, but the upper mountain got seven inches of new snow early Thursday for a total depth of 54 inches, according to the resort's snow report.Beth Bragg

Nation/World

We Alaskans

To get from farm to fork, pigs at the Van Wyhe Family Farm travel more than 200 miles from the grassy reaches of Copper Center in eastern Alaska along the Richardson Highway to the urbane confines of Torchon Bistro in South Anchorage.
Loren Holmes,Zaz Hollander