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In 2010, President Obama temporarily withdrew offshore waters in the northern Aleutians and Bristol Bay from consideration for oil drilling, but that protection had been set to expire in 2017. Now it’s extended with no end date.
Lisa Demer
Javier Antonio Martinez, a convicted felon who had once been ordered out of the United States, was sentenced Tuesday to 99 years for the shooting death of his former supervisor at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel in October 2011. The life sentence will run consecutive to a decades-long federal sentence tied to the murder.
Jerzy Shedlock
Many prices and fees for overnight camping, annual parking passes and boat launching that have been the same for more than a decade are changing at Alaska State Parks.
Megan Edge
In a unanimous vote Monday, the Anchorage School Board put the largest chunk of money, $17 million, toward next school year’s budget in an effort to soften the blow of a projected $19.8 million budget deficit. 
Tegan Hanlon
A 46-year-old man who Anchorage police have identified as the former boyfriend of Irma Williams, who was reported missing about two weeks before her body was found near a Mountain View park, has been charged with murder in Williams' death.
Jerzy Shedlock
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials made an unusual discovery hidden away inside luggage bound for China as it passed through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport -- more than 200 live baby turtles.WildlifeSean Doogan
Avalanche dangers and closures at Turnagain Pass have been a cause of frustration for backcountry enthusiasts. The area was still closed to snowmachiners Tuesday, and a recent storm has made skiing and snowboarding more dangerous. OutdoorsMegan Edge
 Moody's Investors Service said Tuesday it lowered the credit outlook for Alaska because the plunge in oil prices "threatens to rapidly and significantly reduce the state's budgetary reserves."EconomyDermot Cole
The recent passage of the federal defense spending bill, which President Barack Obama is expected to sign, includes provisions that lift restrictions on five parcels in downtown Anchorage, including the land beneath the Egan Convention Center. AnchorageDevin Kelly

News & Politics

Woman found dead in tent near downtown Anchorage identified

Police have identified a woman who died after being found unconscious in a tent at a burgeoning encampment on sidewalks near Third Avenue and Karluk Street Saturday as 46-year-old Dorothy Marie Noel, also known as Dorothy Kinzy. Michelle Theriault Boots

Sports

UAA women reach highest ranking since 2009

The UAA women's basketball team is ranked No. 3 in the most recent Division II national poll, the team's highest ranking since the 2008-09 season. Alaska Dispatch News

Culture

Eielson chaplain hears the call at 6:15 a.m. to become Fairbanks bishop

The Rev. Chad Zielinski, who became the sixth bishop of Fairbanks Monday afternoon, considers himself one of the most unlikely people for the job -- a major in the Air Force who is on active duty as a chaplain at Eielson Air Force Base.Dermot Cole

Arctic

Ruble crash expected to hurt cross-border trade

The free-fall of the ruble -- and the Russian recession that is expected next year -- will create hardships for neighboring areas of Norway that depend on Russian customers. Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer

Adventure

Last winter, snow conditions were perfect for a line that a group of extreme skiers had been eyeing for years, and professional skier Cody Townsend stepped up and dropped into the ridiculously narrow chasm, plummeting more than 2,000 vertical feet down a tight, cliff-lined chute.
Alaska Dispatch News

Nation/World

  • The United States and Cuba have agreed to establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday.

  • With Russia already staggering under the weight of one of its worst financial crises in years, the United States signaled Tuesday it would further increase the economic pressure with a new raft of sanctions targeting the Russian defense, energy and banking industries.

We Alaskans

Just wait -- that dreaded fruitcake will eventually look delicious

Eager to please, I tried mother’s fruitcake every year and just about every year there would be a neglected slice on the fruitcake plate with one bite taken out. As the youngest, the baby, I will admit that the thing I wanted most was to put a smile on Mom’s face and continue to be her favorite.Laureli Ivanoff