Tegan Hanlon

An Alaska Senate subcommittee diverged from the House on Friday and recommended that the state's medical school program continue to receive full funding .

Earlier this month, the House passed an operating budget that called for the eventual termination of Alaska's participation in WWAMI, a program named for its five participating states: Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. In fiscal year 2014, WWAMI cost the state $2.9 million...

Tegan Hanlon

The Anchorage House Majority Caucus on Thursday lambasted the Anchorage School District for its 2015-16 school year budget , calling it "irresponsible" and "shortsighted." On Friday, the Anchorage School Board fired back.

In a news release , School Board members said the majority caucus did not accurately reflect budget reductions already taken by the school district.

"We have done our job. It is time for the Legislature to do theirs," board member Bettye Davis, a former state senator and representative, said in the release...

Tegan Hanlon

An Alaska lawmaker has introduced legislation that would write into law a parent’s right to withdraw a child from state standardized exams, but the state Department of Education and Early Development said too many withdrawals could lower school ratings and legalizing refusals could potentially affect federal funding.

Currently, Alaska students who do not take standardized exams do not face repercussions, but no law says the refusal is allowable, according to Deputy Education Commissioner Les Morse.

“Our expectation is that districts give (the exam) to all of their students,” Morse said Thursday. “There might be a student that doesn’t take it, but that’s usually pretty rare.”...

Tegan Hanlon

A 55-year-old man from Nevada has been found dead at a logging site on Zarembo Island in Southeast Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Around 5 p.m. Tuesday, troopers received a report of the death of David Fussell, who worked for Evergreen Timber, said troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

Ipsen said a cause of death was not immediately known.

Fussell's body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy. No foul play was suspected, Ipsen said, and there were no obvious signs that the death was directly related to a logging incident.

Tegan Hanlon

The Anchorage Assembly passed the Anchorage School District’s $784 million 2015-16 budget Tuesday night after a flurry of debate over whether it reflected the cuts discussed in Juneau...

Tegan Hanlon

Alaska State Troopers have identified a woman killed in a crash on the Glenn Highway this month as 26-year-old Camille Plancher of France.

On March 12, a pickup driven by Trenton Shepersky, 22, of Wasilla crossed the Glenn Highway median near the Knik River bridge and smashed into an RV that carried Plancher and three others . The truck also hit a van driven by Jeremy Doty, 43, of Palmer, according to troopers...

Tegan Hanlon

Another dog on four-time Iditarod champ Lance Mackey's team died while racing Friday. It was the second dog in his team to die suddenly in just over a week.

The death occurred while Mackey and his team made the 45-mile run from Elim to White Mountain. Around 5:15 p.m., his 3-year-old dog named Stiffy died of unknown causes, according to Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officials.

On a post on Lance Mackey’s Comeback Kennel website , Mackey commented on Stiffy: "Can you say A.D.D. x 5?"...

Tegan Hanlon

Anchorage police said Friday they could not substantiate a rumor circulating through the Service High community about a gun threat at the school.

Anchorage Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Castro said it was unclear where the rumor originated, though she believed it started Thursday and quickly traveled via text messages, emails and conversations.

Police officers went to the high school in South Anchorage on Friday morning and interviewed students about the rumor, Castro said.

"A threat to us has a person, place, location, time -- some substance to it," she said. "This was purely a rumor. We followed up on it and found no credible evidence."...

Megan Edge,Tegan Hanlon

Two days after Iditarod musher Ellen Halverson scratched in Galena , she found herself riding on the back of a snowmachine and searching for another musher's sled dog -- still hundreds of miles from her home in Wasilla.

She caught the dog but paid a bloody price.

“I know Ellen was disappointed in having to scratch, as anyone would be, but the silver lining was that she was here,” said Jon Korta, Galena mayor and musher...

Tegan Hanlon

This month, for the first time, Alaska's students will log onto computers to take a statewide exam -- one that abandons pencils and paper and stands to test the strength of servers and bandwidth across the state.

The Alaska Measures of Progress, or AMP, assessment has triggered a wave of laptop purchases, a gathering of headphones and a sprint to upgrade bandwidth or set up new servers at Alaska schools. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development says teachers have spent many hours helping students learn how the tests work.

“Being able to use technology is one of the skills that we know is important for our graduates,” said Elizabeth Davis, assessment administrator for the Department of Education...

Tegan Hanlon