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Marc Lester
The Anchorage Curling Club on Government Hill is closed indefinitely because of a the coolant system used to create its two ice sheets is broken.
Mike Dunham
As the curtain comes down on the 2014 theater season, two monologues are among the works that have stuck with me. 
Kim Sunée
By the time New Year’s Eve comes rolling in, if you’re like me, you might be over the meatiness of the holidays. Just in time for New Year’s, some friends shared some of their beautiful fish from this summer’s catch.
Nathaniel Herz
In Anchorage, residents worked, played, relaxed and celebrated on Christmas Day after a morning snow squall gave way to afternoon sun and warmth. 
Alaska Dispatch News
Humpback whales feed in a truly unique way called bubble net feeding. These baleen whales swim in a circle around a school of fish, blowing bubbles to confine the fish. The ring of bubbles encircles the school and eventually the whales break the circle and gulp thousands of fish in one swallow. In this video shot by AkXPro Productions, a pod of humpback whales feeds in Prince William Sound while a drone hovers overhead. 
Alaska Dispatch News

Winter Solstice Sunrise to Sunset in Nome, Alaska

Winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, is particularly dark in the Arctic Circle. Nome, Alaska, situated on the coast of the Bering sea, gets less then four hours of sunlight during winter solstice.Read more: The science of winter solstice
The UAA Cheerleaders performed during the Seawolves' 80-58 home victory over Portland Bible at the Alaska Airlines Center on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
Suzanna Caldwell
Iditarod veteran Karin Hendrickson broke three vertebrae in an accident last month but is moving forward, thanks to an outpouring of support. Although she won't be on the sled, her dogs will run the Iditarod in March. 
Tara Young

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The Nutcracker first premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia at the Mariinsky Theater on Dec. 18, 1892. More than 120 years later, The Nutcracker has become a long-held Christmas tradition in America, enjoyed by families across the country. On Nov. 28-30, the Alaska Dance Theatre partnered with the Eugene Ballet Company to bring Anchorage audiences a bit of holiday magic at the Atwood Concert Hall.“Nutcracker is a great holiday tradition for most families, it’s relatable, there’s something in it for everyone.” said Erika Sandre, director of the Alaska Dance Theatre. “There’s a little bit of wonder, some mystery, some magic, also some little funny moments as well.”For the children and young adults of the Alaska Dance Theatre company, this performance may have been their first time working in a professional theater and -- working with the Eugene Ballet Company -- their first time performing alongside the pros. According to Sandre, “they’re sharing a stage with professional dancers, many of whom these young girls and our young boy will likely grow up idolizing. So to be able to work with them side by side is pretty remarkable.”Dancer Hannah Stieren, 10, said that her favorite part of performing in The Nutcracker is working with the dancers from Eugene company.“I love mostly the experience of it, that we get to perform with the company," she said. "I like performing with the company because it makes me feel like a ballerina. It makes me feel like I’m a part of them.”Watch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.Read more: For many young ballet dancers, the annual 'Nutcracker' is a rite of passage
Alaska Dispatch News

Nature's Fury: The Next Alaska Quake - Rehearsing a Response

Ever since the 1964 Good Friday earthquake, Alaskans have speculated when the next big earthquake will occur. To test the preparedness of responders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency designed an earthquake-response simulation called Alaska Shield, which replayed the 1964 event in Anchorage and the surrounding region.FEMA is responsible for prepping for and responding to disasters, so they wanted to assess what areas would see the most impact and experience the most intense shaking during an earthquake. Their risk analysis used to create Alaska Shield was based on existing data from the U.S. Geological Survey.Read more: 50 years after huge earthquake, building moratorium expiring
Bob Hallinen
About 130 players turned out on Saturday at the newly-christened Bonnie Cusack Memorial Outdoor Rink Center at the Chester Creek Sports Complex for the Fifth Annual Anchorage Christmas Classic, a 32-team, double-elimination three-on-three tournament that featured some of Anchorage’s best hockey talent. 
Tara Young

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Sporting costumes and gutsy smiles, more than 1,000 people willingly leaped into the frigid waters of Anchorage’s Goose Lake on Saturday for the sixth-annual Polar Plunge.  Participants braved freezing temperatures for the event, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Alaska. Organizers were expecting to receive $400,000 in donations to support athletes with intellectual disabilities as a result of the event.“Where in the world would you rather be today?” said Special Olympics Alaska president and CEO Jim Balamaci, watching the event unfold in a deerskin and red fox fur hat. “Every year, it gets bigger and stronger.”This year’s crop of “plungers” included Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan, who jumped in with their families. This was the first time making the plunge for Murkowski, dressed in a work suit and acting on a promise made to Special Olympics athletes last year. Asked how it felt after her plunge, the dripping-wet senator replied, "Refreshing!" with a broad smile.SEE PHOTOS: 2014 Special Olympics Polar PlungeWatch this video on Vimeo or YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos. Contact Tara Young at tara(at)alaskadispatch.com.

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