Alaska Dispatch's Best of the Week: Nov. 3-9, 2013

Craig Medred

With the loss of Daylight Savings Time comes early darkness and, typically, shivering temperatures across most of the 49th state. Here are a few notable stories that Alaska Dispatch writers and contributors toiled to report the week of Nov. 3-9, 2013. From health care to criminal justice, to moose diseases and Hatcher Pass snows teasing, a few of the stories that mattered most in Alaska.

  1. 1 Photos: Anchorage Opera's Lucia di Lammermoor

    The Italian opera "Lucia di Lammermoor" embodies the human fascination with other worlds, and with "places we don't know anything about." It opens Friday in Anchorage.

  2. 2 Massive moose die-offs: is Alaska next?

    Alaska Department of Fish and Game veterinarian Kimberlee Beckmen has “great concerns” about winter ticks infesting Alaska moose. Once limited to lower latitudes, winter ticks are crawling north, hitching rides from moose to moose. 

  3. 3 Growing state deficit signals new era in Alaska finances

    The state has gone into deficit spending in a big way, starting what could be a long-term trend of depending increasingly on savings while oil income continues to decline.

  4. 4 Like first aid for mental health, program aims to educate Alaskans on mental illness

    From substance abuse to suicide, behavioral health issues have long plagued Alaska. Now, a partnership of health care organizations are ramping up efforts to tackle the stigma and fear surrounding mental health issue in the state.

  5. 5 Ambler mine, road projects dependent on each other

    Copper mining in the Ambler district of Northwestern Alaska depends on road access for commercial feasibility, but the road would be long and poses its own complications.

  6. 6 Premera Blue Cross cancellation letters worry Alaskans facing health care rate increases

    Premera Blue Cross announced to thousands of Alaskans that it would be canceling individual health care plans that fail to meet federal standards under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act and would be automatically enrolling them in new plans, which would cost more for some.

  7. 7 Native foster parents sought in rural Alaska

    Some 2,100 foster youth are placed in various homes across Alaska. Nearly 1,300 of them are Alaska Native, yet there are only 322 Native foster homes in Alaska, a problem the state hopes to address.

  8. 8 State department heads come together to figure out Alaska food security

    With local food trending, Alaska state commissioners hope to start a conversation of what food policies are working and which ones aren't -- and what can be done to make food more accessible to all Alaskans.

  9. 9 Rape trial evidence battle yields small victory for victims

    Should a defendant charged with rape be allowed to discredit his accuser's credibility by going after her private medical and mental health records? Here's how a trial underway in Anchorage, Alaska, is changing the state's legal landscape.

  10. 10 Waiting for snow? Stop waiting and start skiing

    The foothills of the Chugach Range are mostly bare. Little snow has fallen across the Interior and bears are still awake in some places. Lucky you, we've found some fresh powder for Alaskans to enjoy as they await winter's white bounty.

  11. 11 Evergreen International Airlines going out of business?

    The storied aviation firm, which began as a whirlybird operation in Alaska and capitalized on the oil boom, has been unable to pay its bills and may cease operations this month after more than 50 years in the air.

  12. 12 Whalers find good fortune this fall and land Arctic bowhead 'butterballs'

    They're tender and tasty and a sure sign of Thanksgiving. Colonials may enjoy butterball turkeys but on Alaska's Arctic coast, Iñupiat Eskimo whalers and their families give thanks with a bowhead -- preferably one that's young, round and succulent.