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A dose of economic reality was the takeaway message as Gov.-elect Bill Walker and running mate Byron Mallott's three-day transition conference began Friday night in Anchorage, a gathering of Alaskans from across the state notable for its diversity. 
Alex DeMarban
Mayor Dan Sullivan and members of the port project team unveiled another new design for the Port of Anchorage on Friday, taking a simpler approach to fix what the municipality started years ago. But less than a third of the projected $485 million price tag is currently covered. 
Tegan Hanlon
An Anchorage jury was unable to reach a verdict on an attempted murder charge Thursday against a man accused of grabbing an 11-year-old boy away from his mother inside a mall sky bridge over Sixth Avenue and holding the boy at knifepoint.
Jerzy Shedlock
Outgoing Gov. Sean Parnell said the state's new National Guard leader needs to have the stamp of approval from the incoming administration.
Becky Bohrer | The Associated Press
A 56-year-old Fairbanks man imprisoned there on weapons charges since last October now stands accused of asking an unidentified person to murder federal officers.
Jerzy Shedlock
The world’s most acidic ocean waters are found in the winter in the Bering Sea, according to 40 years of measurements. But its acidification appears to be increasing less quickly than that in the rest of the world’s ocean waters.EnvironmentYereth Rosen
A giant Pacific octopus named Dot laid thousands of eggs this fall at the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, but that means her days are numbered. WildlifeMegan Edge
The Kusko 300 sled-dog race, one of mushing's crown jewels, will reduce the size of dog teams and increase the purse this winter in an effort to draw more teams to the Y-K Delta.SportsMike Campbell
Three Galena black bear cubs finally have a home. The triplets, orphaned during the first weeks of September, will be sent to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado, said the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.WildlifeMegan Edge

Culture

Chris Thompson: Black Friday creep, Thanksgiving and a Christian ethic

One key factor weighing against people of faith is consumerism. Consumerism appears to be destroying our national holiday celebration of Thanksgiving and has successfully destroyed the true spirit of Christmas.Chris Thompson

Arctic

Warmer winter weather brings hazards but can benefit caribou

Unseasonably high temperatures across Alaska have raised concerns about flooding, early river breakup and now, the Western Arctic Caribou Herd.Jillian Rogers | The Arctic Sounder

Adventure

Sharpen your blades: Backcountry skating in Southcentral Alaska doesn't get much better

Ice-covered lakes are not unusual this time of year in Alaska. What is unusual is the lack of snow on top of the ice, leaving backcountry skaters such as Anchorage’s Kevin Turinsky a little gaga. “Yesterday, we went to Nancy Lake, and the conditions were just sublime," he said.   Brian Brettschneider

Nation/World

  • President Barack Obama signed a secret order in recent weeks authorizing a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures U.S. troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.

  • President Obama opened up a campaign Friday to convince Americans that 5 million undocumented immigrants should be protected from deportation as he told an audience of mostly Latino high school students that Congress had to revamp what he called the nation’s broken immigration system.