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Suzanna Caldwell

When it comes to campaigning for U.S. Congress, Forrest Dunbar got a little desperate, in a way most young, single people can relate to.

He considered starting an online dating profile.

His idea? Creating a profile under the name “Horace Gunbar.” His profession? “Definitely not running for congress.” His profile pic? Dunbar (or technically Gunbar) wearing a fake felt mustache.

His hope was a journalist might encounter the profile on OKCupid and give it a write-up. The idea was squashed, Dunbar said in an interview earlier this month, ultimately seeming a little too goofy even for a campaign that has prided itself on being playful...

Suzanna Caldwell

In the almost 20 years Alaska Common Ground chair Cliff Groh has been involved in the organization, he has spent a lot of time organizing, participating and moderating debates.

So when it came time to find an Alaskan willing to argue against Ballot Measure 3, an initiative that could increase Alaska’s minimum wage, he was surprised to find it was a challenge to come up with participants.

“It’s usually not this hard,” Groh said...

Suzanna Caldwell

NEWHALEN -- Things are quiet on the north shores of Iliamna Lake.

Gone are the early mornings when dozens of trucks and four-wheelers would commute from the communities of Newhalen and Iliamna to the Pebble Partnership offices, located about 5 miles north of Newhalen, to prepare for exploration work at the site of the proposed Pebble mine. Also gone are the numerous helicopters, which each day would zoom from the Iliamna airport, a mere 18 miles from the proposed mine site...

Suzanna Caldwell

Anchorage’s first pop-up restaurant has deflated.

Harvest Restaurant announced on its Facebook page that it would be closing up shop after a mere two months in business.

In a Facebook post, the restaurant’s owners -- Nathan Dolphin-Chavie and Josh Plesh -- said they came to the restaurant’s location Wednesday to find a sign on the door from the municipal health department saying the building was closed and could not be used to serve food.

In the post, the pair said they thought they had valid permits needed to serve food through their sub-lease, though that was later found to be incorrect...

Suzanna Caldwell

The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples are entitled to benefits when their partner dies, despite a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

In an opinion Friday, the state’s high court overturned a decision by the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board that denied death benefits to Deborah Harris after the death of her partner, Kerry Fadely.

Under state statute, only “widowers and widows” are eligible for the benefits, according to the compensation board, which acts independently from the state as a quasi-judicial body overseeing workers’ compensation claims. The board found that since widows and widowers are only the product of marriage, which is illegal for same-sex couples in the Alaska, they denied Harris the benefits...

Suzanna Caldwell

A group looking to introduce a ballot initiative that would ban commercial setnets in Alaska’s urban areas received approval to move forward Wednesday.

State Superior Court Judge Catherine Easter overturned the state’s decision to reject a ballot initiative that, if passed, would ban setnets in the state’s urban areas.

Clark Penney, executive director of the Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, the group behind the initiative, praised the court’s decision in a statement. Penney said the group would be acting swiftly to begin gathering signatures to bring the ballot measure to the 2016 primary ballot...

Suzanna Caldwell

Fifteen years ago, Bobby Wilken was just a typical college student living in Missoula, Montana, who dabbled in home brewing and frequented nearby breweries. But the more time he spent in those breweries, the more he found himself fascinated with the science of beer.

It was there that the idea of opening his own brewery was sparked. Born and raised in Fairbanks, he figured maybe one day the carboys he filled with homemade beer might be something more than just drinks between him and his friends. Maybe they would be something he could bring back to his hometown.

Today, Wilken, who opened Fairbanks’ HooDoo Brewing Company in late 2012, said it’s a surreal experience to see T-shirts representing his brewery around town...

Suzanna Caldwell

The party days of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in Dawson City just got a little shorter.

The 1,000-mile dog sled race announced Tuesday it was shortening its mandatory 36-hour layover in Dawson City to 24 hours, changing for the first time in history one of the race’s most defining characteristics...

Suzanna Caldwell

Recreational marijuana is legally for sale in the state of Washington, and law enforcement officials in Alaska say they aren't bracing for any kind of mass influx of the drug. Still, Alaskans shouldn't get any ideas about importing marijuana to the Last Frontier, even if purchased legally from our neighbor state to the south.

“Our enforcement is pretty strict as it is,” said Dave Schulling, deputy chief of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport police. “We’re not anticipating any less or more.”

Tuesday marked a significant step in Washington’s legalization process, with a few of the 24 newly-licensed stores opening for sales of recreational marijuana. Prices are expected to be steep for the drug, at least initially, given limited supplies...

Suzanna Caldwell

Believe it or not, musk ox milk is a real hit in coffee.

It's rich and fatty and not the least bit offensive in flavor, at least according to taste tests by managers at the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer.

Last week, cows started to wean their babies, and for the first time in two decades managers decided to try milking the musk oxen.

Turns out they can, with somewhat surprising results...

Suzanna Caldwell