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Craig Medred

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- A chill wind gusted to 30 knots across Faxafloi Bay on Friday as the Arctic Circle Assembly convened in the Harpa Convention Center on the bay's southern shore. The wind stirred sea foam above the white caps to remind those here of the harshness of the Arctic world only two degrees latitude north of this picturesque and friendly port city.

Inside the modernistic Harpa, there was nothing but warmth, or at least that's the way things started out.

After Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson opened the proceedings with a call to "manifest the experience of Arctic cooperation," the word "cooperation" got tossed around more than the F-word at Palin family brawl in Anchorage...

Craig Medred

Anyone who has been watching Alaska TV for the past month might by now believe the race for the state's U.S. Senate seat is a contest between the devil and a guy with two horns, a spear and a tail. Or at least that's the way it looks if you are a non-partisan. Things are simpler if you're a card-carrying conservative or liberal. Then it's a lot more black and white. Then there's a good guy, and there's a bad guy.

Which guy -- Democrat incumbent Mark Begich or Republican challenger Dan Sullivan -- gets to be the good guy simply depends on which side of Alaska's vast partisan divide you stand...

Craig Medred

REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- As winter closes its icy grip on the Arctic for another year, world leaders from around the globe are converging on this island nation in the North Atlantic to discuss what never was but might someday be in what appears to be a warming world.

The Arctic Circle Assembly here, co-founded by Alaska Dispatch News publisher Alice Rogoff, is drawing both those who hope to find new riches waiting beneath the Arctic's melting ice and those who fear the changes the thaw -- and the subsequent hunt for riches -- might bring.

There is history. One-hundred-fifty years ago, the Europeans and the Americans showed up in the Arctic looking for wealth. They killed nearly all the region's whales for oil, and then they left...

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

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