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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

Hundreds of smuggled turtles intercepted at Anchorage airport

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.Sean Doogan

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

Stormy weather wreaks havoc -- only 36% of McKinley climbers reach summit

Most years, slightly more than half of those who try reach the top of Mount McKinley, the tallest peak in North America. Not since 1998 has the success rate fallen so low. By contrast, 68 percent made it in 2013, when the weather gods smiled on Alaska.Craig Medred

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

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