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Sean Doogan

An Alaska college student studying in Missouri is trying to get other young Alaskans to vote with a web-based app that allows them to sign up for an absentee ballot without having to use the mail or a fax machine.

It is easy to download and fill out a request for an absentee ballot in Alaska. But even though you can get the form online at the Division of Elections website, it still requires a voter to print out and then fax or mail the completed form to the Division of Elections headquarters. Fax machines are so 20th century, as today's youth might say -- and don't ask them about the last time they used the mail...

Sean Doogan

If you live near Anchorage or Eagle River and see bright lights in the sky late Thursday night, don't worry: It's not an alien invasion.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson officials say the 517th Airlift Squadron's C-17 Globemaster III planes will be conducting nighttime drop exercises at the Malemute Drop Zone, just west of Lower Fire Lake, beginning at 11:30 p.m.

During the training, the heavy-lift aircraft will be dropping equipment and vehicles and parachuting personnel to practice nighttime operations. Countermeasure flares will burn with a bright white light. The flares typically burn for about 15 seconds, according to JBER spokesperson Jim Hart, and can sometimes prompt people to call Air Force officials reporting that they have seen an otherworldly sight...

Sean Doogan

The Anchorage Animal Care and Control Center has opened a new after-hours drop-off facility for stray animals. Its temperature-controlled cages will allow people who find strays to turn in the animals even when the shelter is closed. A previous drop-off program was discontinued in 2011, and the shelter has been without an after-hours option since...

Sean Doogan

The state of Alaska is not going to be receiving eight demilitarized C-23 Sherpa cargo aircraft from the U.S. Army after all.

The Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said there were too many questions surrounding Federal Aviation Administration flightworthiness requirements for the C-23. The department had planned to lease the aircraft to private companies in exchange for air time in other planes...

Sean Doogan

About 350 Anchorage-based paratroopers will be deploying to Kosovo at the end of the month.

Elements of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division will first spend a month in Germany for training before heading to two NATO camps in Kosovo, a country torn apart by war since the breakup of Yugoslavia in the late 1990s. The Alaska troops held a deployment ceremony Friday afternoon at Buckner Field House on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

While in Kosovo, the Alaska paratroopers will work alongside the Kosovo police force and European Union troops to keep the peace in heavily Serbian and Albanian ethnic areas. But the Alaska troops will not be on the front lines...

Sean Doogan

Six Russian military planes were intercepted by U.S. jets off Alaska's west coast on Wednesday evening, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

NORAD said two F-22s took off from an undisclosed Alaska location to meet the Russian planes after they were spotted on radar entering the Alaska Air Defense Identification Zone . The AADIZ is an area – extending up to 200 miles from Alaska's coastline – in which, upon entering, unidentified planes are met and visually identified by U.S. military aircraft...

Sean Doogan

Uber -- the company that lets people order, monitor and pay for a ride via its smartphone app -- began operating in Anchorage on Wednesday night when members of the indie-rock band Portugal. The Man got aboard a red SUV to take a ride .

Anchorage is Uber's 206th city worldwide. Eager users have rejoiced at the ride-sharing service's appearance in Alaska. And until at least Sept. 27, all rides on Uber in Anchorage are free up to $25.

"We launch our services in new cities with the free promotion to help introduce the application to riders and potential driver partners," Eva Behrend, Uber's Western Region spokeswoman, wrote in an email...

Sean Doogan

The number is $1,884. That's the amount of this year's Permanent Fund dividend as announced by Gov . Sean Parnell on Wednesday in downtown Anchorage.

"I'm frankly grateful for the Permanent Fund dividend at whatever amount, and I know Alaskans are too, as they save it or spend it for their own needs," Parnell said.

The governor made the announcement in a small conference room at the Atwood building in front of a crowd of dozens of media and about 100 state employees.

The 2014 dividend will be the third-largest check issued since the yearly distributions to Alaska residents began in 1982. The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Division said checks and direct deposits will go out on Oct. 2...

Sean Doogan

Uber , the nation's largest ride-sharing service, has plans to begin operations in Anchorage this month. The company operates a smartphone app that connects ride-seekers with drivers looking to make a few extra bucks by using their vehicles to shuttle people around.

But Uber's path in Alaska may be a bumpy one.

Anchorage transportation inspector Eric Musser said he believes the company and its drivers should be regulated as taxis, or as a car service. Such regulations could subject Uber drivers to licensing and permitting requirements, in turn setting up a legal showdown with municipal transportation regulators even before Uber's Anchorage rollout, expected to be announced later this week...

Sean Doogan

Meet "Bella" -- a house with a name and a purpose.

The 1,686-square-foot, two-story, single-family home was the star of the kickoff of the 50th annual Parade of Homes in Anchorage on Friday evening. Bella is the name of the floor plan for the home, part of an ongoing 40-acre condominium development by the Peterson Group , but it's also billed as the "Made-in-Alaska House" -- because this particular Bella has been built with as many Alaska-made and -sourced products as possible.

The house features Alaska-made insulation, foundations, windows, tiles, countertops, cabinets, furniture, artwork and lighting in an effort to showcase locally made building materials...

Sean Doogan