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The M/V Susitna, the Mat-Su Borough's ill-fated ferry, will get some long-delayed maintenance -- but no hull scraping -- even as federal officials press for the return of more than $12 million in grants. 
Zaz Hollander
A chapter of world history closed on Thursday when the U.S. Army’s 793rd Military Police Battalion was removed from active duty at a ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. The battalion is probably best known for protecting the “Red Ball Express” supply lines after D-Day and for its involvement in the Nuremberg war trials.
Mike Dunham
Two men were hiking in the Hatcher Pass Management Area on Thursday when they got lost and came upon the Little Susitna River.
Laurel Andrews
About 70 bears were killed by hunters on the Kenai Peninsula last year and another 51 in a spring hunt this year.  Closing refuge lands will sharply cut the area in which people can hunt this fall. 
Alaska Dispatch News
Gov. Sean Parnell on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have made thousands of court records confidential in cases where charges are dismissed or defendants have been acquitted, saying the bill went too far.
Dermot Cole
OPINION: Alaska State Troopers report they cannot say who they believe perished in the Tonsina Creek drainage near Seward because of Department of Public Safety policies. Consequently, the man's name may never be known.CommentaryCraig Medred
North Slope ravens have forced one researcher to go incognito so she can get closer to the birds to determine why they live in such a harsh climate. ScienceNed Rozell
New genetic research on ancient bones reveals that a prehistoric population of hunters migrated into the high Arctic of North America and Greenland and survived for 4,000 years in almost complete isolation from the rest of humanity. Then, about 700 years ago, they vanished.ArcticJoel Achenbach
The last few times I’ve returned home to Mountain Village, it’s been mainly in the winter months. This year, I made a decision to go home to go berry picking for my 85-year-old grandmother, Maria, who is elderly and disabled, and not so mobile anymore.CultureTrina Landlord

Sports

South gymnasts sweep tri-meet

South High swept the individual events to earn a victory over Dimond and Chugiak Thursday in prep gymnastics. Alaska Dispatch News

Culture

Chris Thompson: Blessing can be a beautiful gesture

This week I’ve been thinking about blessings, both offered by clergy and the kind we bestow to others our lives may touch. In my contact with churches and clergy recently, I’ve been touched by the blessings I’ve seen given, and saddened by missed blessing opportunities. Chris Thompson

News & Politics

Shell's new Chukchi plan: Two rigs drilling wells at the same time

In the latest revision of its Arctic drilling plan, Shell envisions two rigs drilling in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's Northwest coast and operating as each other's required backup. The revised plan doesn't necessarily mean the company will drill in 2015, but it keeps that possibility open.Yereth Rosen

Arctic

Genes show mysterious ‘paleoEskimos’ survived 4,000 years until sudden demise

New genetic research on ancient bones reveals that a prehistoric population of hunters migrated into the high Arctic of North America and Greenland and survived for 4,000 years in almost complete isolation from the rest of humanity. Then, about 700 years ago, they vanished.Joel Achenbach

Nation/World

  • A federal judge in Austin, Texas, on Friday blocked a stringent new rule that would have forced more than half the state’s remaining abortion clinics to close.

  • Backed by Russian troops and weaponry, hundreds of Ukrainian rebel militiamen mobilized on Friday in this southeastern town, vacated by the Ukrainian military two days ago, and began to push toward the strategic seaport of Mariupol 27 miles away. The leader of the rebels called the advance a broad new effort to wrest control of a wide swath of coastal territory from the central government.