Alaska Dispatch's Best of the Week: Sept. 29-Oct.5, 2013

Craig Medred

Government shutdown blues for Alaska's approximately 13,000 furloughed Feds and the Alaskans who depend on the government's services; the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges went live on Tuesday and we offered Alaskans some explanation on Obamacare. Spice and bath salts continue to make news as Alaska grapples with chemical drug compounding, and much, much more: Here's a look at the news week in review from Alaska Dispatch.

  1. 1 11 ways Alaskans can help a furloughed Fed through shutdown

    Alaskans, usually happiest when left alone, are known to band together in times of need. With winter coming and Congress gridlocked, here are 11 ways Alaskans can extend a hand to the 16,000-strong federal civilian workforce.

  2. 2 State orders independent review of '97 murder, Fairbanks Four convictions

    In the wake of an Alaska Innocence Project court filing that seeks new trials for the Fairbanks Four, the state Department of Law has asked Alaska State Troopers to examine the facts of the case.

  3. 3 Guide to Obamacare rollout: Mandates, exchanges, and more on way

    The individual mandate aims to insure 21 percent of Alaska residents who currently do not have health coverage. But with the mandate comes a slew of laws, tax code tweaks and intricacies for those 139,422 people.

  4. 4 Will push to sign Alaska Natives up for Obamacare work?

    The Alaska Regional Health Coalition is hoping Alaska Natives will sign up for private health care under the Affordable Care Act. Yet why would Alaska Natives pay for additional coverage, when basic health care services are already available for free at tribal health clinics across the state?

  5. 5 Moose-friendly Anchorage unsettled over Kincaid Park bull shooting

    Residents of Alaska's largest city love their moose. Or at least some of them love their moose, or love them until they attack children. Then we kill them.

  6. 6 Why is Parnell keeping secret state report on Medicaid expansion?

    Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is obstructing hundreds of millions of federal dollars that would pay to insure 66,000 Alaskans who are either uninsured, underinsured or hard to insure under the new health reform law. And he's keeping secret a state-funded study that likely answers many as-yet unresolved questions about the Medicaid decision.

  7. 7 Small Alaska town amends charter in response to Citizens United ruling

    The Southeast Alaska community of Haines has passed a ballot proposition saying that "artificial entities" like super PACs or corporations don't have the rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution to human beings.

  8. 8 Discovery Channel's 'Gold Rush' crew makes questionable last impression in Haines

    Skagway's Windy Valley Boys gave a great show in Haines last week that was marred by the bizarre behavior of a partying televison crew. Maybe reality producers should turn the cameras on themselves instead of Alaskans.

  9. 9 Alaska PFD: Oil wealth dividend will help federal workforce

    The partial shutdown of the U.S. government may be a little less painful in Alaska than it is for the hundreds of thousands of employees furloughees Outside. On Thursday, $900 will magically appear in their bank accounts as the Great Land celebrates its oil wealth and Alaska PFD Day.

  10. 10 Air Force F-16 decision brings early Christmas to North Pole, Alaska

    For the second time in eight years, Eielson Air Force Base has won a reprieve after a prolonged political battle that seemed hopeless.

  11. 11 Photos: Fall wildlife in Denali National Park

    In Denali, one of America's best-known national parks, the animals largely roam free, meeting civilization only rarely to cross the road that slices 92 miles into the park. 

  12. 12 Chemical designer drugs like Spice pose new puzzle for lawmakers

    Three smoke shops in Fairbanks recently saw hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of spice seized as part of a sting operation, but state and federal law -- along with an ever-changing cocktail of ingredients in the synthetic drug -- makes the outcome of the case uncertain.