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Craig Medred

Sunspot region AR 2192 could be about to light up the atmosphere over Alaska. Lovers of the aurora borealis should cross their fingers and hope for clear skies. The National Weather Service Space Weather Prediction Centers says a sunspot cluster the size of Jupiter has broken out in region 2192. It's the largest sunspot in 20 years on the earth-facing side of the sun. "If [the sunspot region] maintains this level of complexity, we still believe more X-class flares are likely, and that should continue for next six or seven days,” researcher Doug Biesecker told The Washington Post ....

Craig Medred

Once there was fact, and then there was fiction, and finally along came something called reality TV to marry the two into some new, bastardized product one might just call bizzarotainment.

As first defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary , this was reality TV: "Television programming that features videos of actual occurrences (as a police chase, stunt, or natural disaster) -- often used attributively 'reality TV'."

At least that was the definition before reality TV journeyed to Alaska and went into the wild. Clearly the original definition is now outdated...

Craig Medred

Downstream from Wellness Drive in the heart of Anchorage's busy and ever-expanding University-Medical District, the city's most abused creek was showing signs of healing itself this fall...

Craig Medred

Progress may be telling the handful of hardy Alaskans who try to ski every month of the year that it's time to move to move south. Serious year-round skiing is on the way to the second-biggest state in the nation -- sans any requirement for grunting your way far back into the mountains beneath a a heavy backpack in search of the last of the snow. Texas is talking drive-to, lift-served skiing year-round on the outskirts of Dallas....

Craig Medred

Where the Pebble mine stumbled, Alaska's other great hope for a major, new mine appears to be attracting supporters.

A hearing on a proposal to build a 350-mile natural gas pipeline across the Alaska wilderness from Cook Inlet to the proposed Donlin Gold project along the Kuskokwim River in the Interior turned into something of a love fest for the mining company Wednesday night at Loussac Library in Anchorage...

Craig Medred

The widow of Seward Mount Marathon runner Michael LeMaitre and the Seward Chamber of Commerce have settled a lawsuit over his 2012 disappearance for $20,000.

After the settlement was announced Wednesday, the chamber issued a press release claiming victory. Hours later, Peggy LeMaitre -- Michael's widow -- countered with a statement of her own, saying "the suit was never about money.''

Peggy had asked for $5 million when she went to court in July of last year, claiming the negligence of race officials played a role in Michael’s disappearance on the mountain...

Craig Medred

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is teaming with Dartmouth College in an effort to focus national attention on the Arctic as the U.S. prepares to assume leadership of the eight-nation Arctic Council next spring.

Appearing on MSNBC Tuesday with U.S. Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brezinski, UAF vice chancellor Mike Sfraga announced the Interior university will co-lead a new Arctic Fulbright Scholars program with its Ivy League counterpart.

UAF is the nation's northernmost university...

Craig Medred

Before the Iditarod Sled Dog Race became an Internet phenomenon featuring reality TV stars who reach the finish line in Nome and claim to be unaware they have won, it belonged to a bunch of wild-and-crazy folks who headed off into the wilderness each March on the grandest of Alaska adventures...

Craig Medred

Sometimes there are things better not seen. Watching the death of Anchorage cyclist Eldridge Griffith was one of those things, and now it haunts me.

The collision that killed the 65-year-old cyclist was caught on videotape by a surveillance camera outside the Carrs gas station on Northern Lights Boulevard in January. Anchorage authorities only revealed the existence of the tape earlier this month when Assistant District Attorney Daniel Shorey sent a six-page memorandum to the Anchorage Police Department detailing why prosecutors decided not to bring charges against the driver who struck Griffith ...

Craig Medred

TWENTYMILE RIVER -- The human hand has 29 bones, 34 muscles and 123 ligaments. When you are young, you never give a thought to any of this intricate anatomy.

Sometime along about middle age, if you live a life that regularly exposes those hands to cold and abuse, you think about the anatomy more.

And when you find yourself trying to use your nose to push the auto-opener on the key fob of your truck because your hands aren't working well, you think a lot about the cold, the abuse and how we take our hands for granted.

Over the years, my hands have been sliced, burned, frost nipped and beaten with all sort of tools, sophisticated and not -- hammers, sledges, axes, logs and rocks used to drive stakes of wood.

I am by no means alone in this regard...

Craig Medred

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