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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

Just when an unseasonably mild fall in Alaska's largest city has many thinking "global warming,'' the National Weather Service is out with a summer summary that paints a far more complex climate picture statewide.

The summer of 2014 was the coldest, wettest and warmest on record, the agency reports. Which version you witnessed depends on where you live. The report illustrates the size and variety of Alaska weather and terrain.

Generally, the Alaska Weather and Climate Highlights , June 2014-September 2014, paint a picture of a state that experienced three zones of weather...

Craig Medred

Four years ago, a man named Bill Fulton -- Drop Zone Bill to many -- became a hero to Alaska's ultraconservative right after he manhandled and handcuffed Alaska Dispatch editor Tony Hopfinger at a rally for Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller.

The move put the media and media behavior smack in the middle of the 2010 state Senate race.

Flash forward four years to the next statewide Alaska election and guess what? The media is smack in the middle of a statewide election debate once again, though the circumstances are decidedly dissimilar this time...

Craig Medred

Alaska is in its deadly time now. Hunting seasons are in full swing and with them comes death, but it is not just the animals that die.

With days growing shorter, the weather changing, and people pushing to get things done before the onset of the long, dark Alaska winter, human deaths in the 49th state spike, too.

Alaska epidemiologist Deborah Hull-Jilly has noted the plane crashes, all-terrain vehicle rollovers, accidental shootings, drownings, and heart attacks and begun a closer examination of the deadly season. Anyone paying careful attention to the news might have noticed a trend.

"It's not just the hunting," Hull-Jilly added...

Craig Medred

With two words, Anchorage television reporter Charlo Greene has become a vi-lebrity -- or "viral celebrity," as US Magazine calls it now vying with Alaska pol-lebrity Sarah Palin for national attention, and proving that.... Well, it's almost scary to go on. Who even wants to think about how this state must look to the rest of the country at the moment? Reasonable Americans can only be thinking Alaska is the airhead capital of the continent...

Craig Medred

Alaska's original grizzly bear wrangler -- the wildlife biologist who pioneered the live capture and tagging of Kodiak's famous brown bears -- died Sunday at his home in Cooper Landing on the Kenai Peninsula.

Over the years, biologist Will Troyer got up close and personal with more big bears than most people will ever see and lived unscathed to the ripe old age of 89. He died from complications related to surgery for colon cancer.

Until this summer, Troyer was among the fittest of octogenarians in the state, a man for whom it remained second nature to lace up boots and go for a long hike.

"I think this was the first fall he didn't go grouse hunting,'' said his son, Eric...

Craig Medred

If you're 8 1/2 months pregnant, craving meat and find the freezer empty, what do you do?

Well, if you're a woman in Homer, Alaska, you go out and shoot a moose. That's what Ashley Switzer did.

The 22-year-old, soon-to-be first-time mom was home alone in early September when it came time to put food on the table. Husband Scott was off working on a fishing boat somewhere near Kodiak Island, about 130 miles to the southwest.

Ashley wasn't sure when he'd be home, so she decided she best do something about providing for the family. She borrowed her dad's rifle and headed for the hills above the Kenai Peninsula community of about 5,200 at the end of the Alaska road system some 220 miles south of Anchorage...

Craig Medred

Alaska’s running man reached the finish line of his Anchorage-to-Fairbanks run shortly after 5 p.m. Friday -- in time to secure his entry in Saturday's Equinox Marathon.

Willow's David Johnston finished his long, wet run at 5:12 p.m., giving him plenty of time to make the Equinox's 5-8 p.m. bib pickup.

His how-I-got-here story proved good enough to convince Equinox organizers to allow him to switch his entry from the 40-mile ultramarathon to the standard 26.2-mile marathon. Ordinarily, race organizers are loathe to accommodate such requests on the eve of a race.

"I told him what I'd just done," Johnston said, "and he said yes.

"Then he bought me two beers."

Consider that a well-earned reward...

Beth Bragg,Craig Medred

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