For the second year in a row, Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska said it needs rate increases of more than 35 percent in the individual health insurance market, in large part because it had 37 customers in the first quarter this year who had $4.1 million in claims among them.
Dermot Cole
Gov. Bill Walker said Monday he’s still hoping for a budget solution from the Alaska Legislature but that without one he has no choice but to move forward with planning for a shutdown of unfunded government agencies.
Pat Forgey
The air taxi pilot involved in Sunday's midair crash at Talkeetna Airport told supervisors he didn’t know he’d "merged" with another plane until he landed and opened his door.
Zaz Hollander
A dozen environmental groups told a federal court Monday they are renewing a challenge to the 2008 federal petroleum lease sale off Alaska's northwest shore, where Royal Dutch Shell PLC hopes to drill exploratory wells this summer.
Dan Joling | Associated Press
By Monday night, federal crash investigators were at the scene trying to piece together the “highly fragmented” wreckage of a Yute Air plane discovered in a Southwest Alaska river but the pilot was still unaccounted for. 
Michelle Theriault Boots
The state Department of Fish and Game has budgeted $40,000 for a test fishery on the Kuskokwim River near Aniak to provide information on when -- and if -- various species of salmon reach upriver waters, a state management biologist said.Rural AlaskaLisa Demer
Juneau-based Alaska Robotics and musicians Molly Lewis, Marian Call, and Seth Boyer teamed up to create a parody of David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity" with a twist. David Bowie's website picked up the parody days later, and the video is steadily racking up views. MusicLaurel Andrews
Intermittent closures on parts of the Chugach State Park trail will begin this month. Then the entire trail from Powerline Pass to Indian will be closed in July and August, when construction activity will include helicopters near the trail bringing in large power poles.OutdoorsMike Campbell
The Interior Alaska community of Delta Junction just experienced its warmest May on record, but you'd never guess it if you stepped outside Monday and saw that an inch of snow had fallen to usher in the month of June.WeatherSuzanna Caldwell

News & Politics

Assessment board again values Alaska pipeline at billions more than oil companies do

The State Assessment Review Board has placed a value of $9.6 billion on the trans-Alaska pipeline for property tax purposes, $7 billion more than BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil say it is worth.Dermot Cole

Have a news tip? Let us know at newstips@alaskadispatch.com


Popular columnists
Jeff Lowenfels  •  Heather Lende •  Shannyn Moore  •  Paul Jenkins  •  Elise Patkotak  •  Mike Dingman
Steven Haycox  •  John Havelock  •  Alan Boraas  •  Michael Carey  •  Rick Sinnott • Laureli Ivanoff

Voices

Alaska Railroad head: Controlling right-of-way is vital to operating safely

OPINION: Opening the Alaska Railroad's right-of-way to unrestricted use by adjoining landowners and the public would pose an unacceptable safety risk for our neighbors, our train crews and thousands of passengers.Bill O’Leary

Adventure

Visiting where the first Americans may have tread

This Bering Sea coastline, which seemed so blank and barren at first glance, has always been a good place for people. Many scientists believe that this region -- Beringia -- was the first place in North America people lived.Erin McKittrick

Sports

Prep season wraps with East chasing 4th straight softball crown

The last three high school state championships of the school year drop this week with the baseball tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage and two softball tournaments in Fairbanks.Alaska Dispatch News

Culture

'Space Weird Thing': Watch David Bowie parody by Alaska Robotics

Juneau-based Alaska Robotics and musicians Molly Lewis, Marian Call, and Seth Boyer teamed up to create a parody of David Bowie's 1969 song "Space Oddity" with a twist. David Bowie's website picked up the parody days later, and the video is steadily racking up views. Laurel Andrews

Arctic

Japan wants wind power from Arctic Norway

Finnmark, Norway's northernmost county, has plenty of wind and wind-generated power. The challenge is finding a way to export it to eager buyers. Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer

Nation/World

We Alaskans

Bella Hammond: A reclusive, no-nonsense activist

This fall will mark 10 years since the passing of former Alaska Gov. Jay Hammond at age 83, and the only part of living at Lake Clark that nags at his wife Bella is that “Jay isn’t here to enjoy it.” And she’s certain that if Jay were around today, he’d be as involved as ever in Alaska’s political landscape.Steve Kahn