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Jerzy Shedlock
Over nearly four decades, Joe “The Waterman” Shults has crammed art, artifacts and animals of the Arctic into a second-story apartment. 
Tara Young

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Bell's Nursery has several locations in Anchorage with thousands of square feet in greenhouse space. The bulk of Bell's business comes from hanging baskets of flowers, poinsettias, and the thousands of pounds of cucumbers and tomatoes it grows and sells annually. But Mike Mosesian, farmer and owner of Bell’s Nursery, is also trying his hand at a more unusual Alaska crop: wine grapes.“There’s a few wineries up here, but they make it out of concentrate, which makes an inferior product,” he said. “ It’s like how you make orange juice out of frozen concentrate.”A fourth-generation farmer with a graduate degree in viticulture and a minor in chemistry from the University of California Davis, Mosesian has the know-how needed to grow wine grapes indoors. His Armenian family immigrated to the United States from Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century. He says his great-grandfather was one of the farmers who started Sun-Maid raisins in Fresno, Calif., in the 1920s, and his father owned and operated a thousand acres of California farmland growing table and wine grapes.Mosesian decided that he could make a superior Alaska wine by growing the grapes himself indoors. What makes a great wine “is hot days and cool nights,” he says. According to Mosesian, Alaska is the only state in the United States that does not have a wine-grape winery because it’s too cold to ripen grapes outside.“You have to put them in a hoop house or greenhouse for them to ripen. And since these greenhouses are somewhat warm in the winter, it made for an ideal environment.”Mosesian is teaching himself winemaking and making wine at home in his basement. He doesn’t have a license to sell wine, but he can give it away or drink it. To make wine production in Alaska a viable industry, Mosesian says he would need partners to go in on 10 acres of land on which to build inexpensive greenhouses. Mosesian says he could propagate the grapes from the cuttings he already has at Bell's Nursery; they would just need a location with the right soil.“We could have a winery if people were interested in going to an area like Point MacKenzie or Wasilla -- we could have the first wine grape winery in Alaska,” he says.Read more: Tomato grower toys with the idea of a winery in AlaskaWatch 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.
Bob Hallinen
Ullrfest, named for the Norse god of winter, was capped off Dec. 26 with a bonfire fueled by old skis.
Alaska Dispatch News
When Angelica Haakenson woke up in the hospital and learned both her legs had been amputated, a family member says the 11-year-old's first thoughts weren't for herself -- they were for her mother, also seriously hurt in the Christmas Day accident on the Sterling Highway.
Tara Young

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Aaron Dollison, 49, grew up in Anchorage and learned to cook from his mother. He went on to cook at Susitna Foods & Spirits and Denny’s, but he learned how to cook in bulk in prison.Dollison said he would never get involved in drugs, but it surrounded him when he was growing up. He got into marijuana, and then cocaine, and then eventually started dealing cocaine, for which Dollison was busted and sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison. His first stint was at Taft Federal Correction Institution in California, where he eventually became lead cook for 1,800 inmates. Then he cooked as lead cook for 1,600 in Sandstone, Minn. The last leg of his time was in Lompoc federal prison in California, where he was lead cook for 500.After he served his time, Dollison tried to find a job, but no one wanted to give him a second chance -- until he met Michael Bailey, food and facility director of Anchorage nonprofit Bean’s Café.Dollison has now been a chef at Bean’s Cafe for the past year and a half and says he’s happy to wake up at 5 a.m. to get to work: “I love my job.” He recalls a Bean’s fundraiser, The Pour in 2013, as the transformative moment when he knew he was welcome in society again. After much coaxing from colleagues he left the kitchen and walked around the event, talking to heads of banks and lawyers, all of whom made him feel welcome.“Right then, that changed my life,” Dollison said.Now Dollison hopes to be a model for the clients at Bean’s. Some are homeless; others are just down on their luck, he says. Dollison wants to show them that with hard work, determination, and a little encouragement from others, anything is possible.“The majority of these clients, they’re wonderful. We all make mistakes; they’re human just like we are,” Dollison said.“We’re like a big family here because we know each other. It’s great.”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.
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.

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