Alaska Dispatch News

GoPro Downtown Pittsburgh Dog Sledding 2016

Early Saturday morning, Jan. 23, 2016, as the East Coast's big winter storm was dying down, Matt Philips and his dogs Kaske, Sitka and Nike went for a ride around downtown Pittsburgh.Philips got into mushing about three years ago when he rescued a German shepherd-husky mix that he named Kaskae and wanted to do some snowboard-joring. He met the West Penn Mushers group that winter, and they hooked Kaskae to a sled along with a well-trained mushing dog. Kaskae took to it right away and eventually  took over as lead dog. Since then, Philips and his girlfriend, Sarah White, adopted two more dogs and started making videos.For this adventure, they built a GoPro mount and used a chest-mounted Gimbal to shoot the video. Philips says, “We practice almost every weekend when it is cool enough for the huskies. (The West Penn Mushers) are a great bunch of people that have taught me pretty much everything and got me hooked.”To submit your video to Alaska Dispatch News contact the multimedia team at photo(at)  
Erin Kirkland,Loren Holmes
As much about place as play, the forest school movement represents a growing method of educating children in both Alaska and the Lower 48 outside the boundaries of traditional classrooms. Advocates claim that's particularly important for growing minds and bodies. 
Erin Kirkland,Loren Holmes

Alaska Forest School

One by one, Lia Keller’s students hopped down from their parents’ mini-vans or SUVs and scooted across the parking lot of North Bivouac Trailhead off Campbell Airstrip Road. Clad in snowsuits, boots, and mittens, the kids, ranging in age from almost 3 to 6, drew pictures on the ground with sticks, caught snowflakes on tongues, and chattered to each other about the weather, dogs, and the quality of snacks in their pint-sized backpacks.Keller, founder of The Alaska Forest School and its chief administrator, instructor, and trailside cheerleader, gathered her charges in a huddle and asked for some guidance on finding a landmark from the previous week.Read more: Using nature to nurture: Alaska forest schools move the classroom outdoors
Annie Zak
Alaska Airlines’ fleet is getting a new look.
Erik Hill
Supporters of Z.J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage take one last walk down the notorious steps connecting the parking lot with the second-floor entrance at the Slip Slide N’Away event Monday morning. 
Alaska Dispatch News

Earthquake home explosion in Kenai

Four homes burned on the Kenai Peninsula Sunday after a magnitude-7.1 earthquake jolted Southcentral Alaska awake in the early morning hours.One of the people who lost everything after the earthquake is Vinnie Calderon.Calderon and his family gathered at the armory with others who had lost their homes or who were evacuated along or near Lilac Lane.Calderon, his fiancee and two children had just moved into a home on Lilac Lane in Kenai two weeks ago, after previously spending time homeless and couchsurfing.Working as a tattoo artist, Calderon finally saved up $5,000 to put a payment down on the house.Sunday morning, a gas leak after the earthquake caused that house to explode not once, but twice, he said.Immediately after the quake, Calderon said he smelled gas but that the odor went away. Everyone was getting ready to go back to sleep when "the house came a foot up off the ground" he said. READ MORE: Magnitude-7.1 quake rocks Alaska, damaging roads and displacing residents
Alaska Dispatch News

Earthquake clean up at Anchorage True Value

Anchorage True Value Hardware was hit hard by Sunday morning's magnitude-7.1 earthquake, with shelves knocked over and tools, nuts and bolts strewn across the floor. The destruction was captured on security video.More earthquake coverage:Quake felt in Anchorage gets whole town talking
Southcentral Alaska was rocked by a strong and prolonged magnitude-7.1 earthquake early Sunday morning.The quake struck 86 miles west-southwest of Anchor Point at 1:30 a.m. Alaska time, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.  The Alaska Earthquake Center said it hit on the west side of Cook Inlet, about 65 miles west of the town of Homer and about 160 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Scott Jensen

Anchorage is 'fat bike' heaven

You've seen them all around town. It's clear that fat biking is here to stay. This growing trend in Anchorage's bicycling community is now a mainstream way for even the casual rider to take advantage of Anchorage's easily accessible trail system, and Alaska's outdoor lifestyle, all year long.On the morning of Jan. 15, a small group of avid fat-tire bikers met Alaska Dispatch News in Anchorage's Far North Bicentennial Park for a explanation and demonstration of fat-tire bike basics. Clinton Hodges, Laura Fox, Ryan Greeff and Nick Blades have all been riding fat-tire bikes for several years. Watch this video to learn more about fat-tire biking and see this group of friends in action.Want more fat-tire biking? Click below to see raw video of the ride.FRONT VIEWREAR VIEWTIRE VIEW
Alaska Dispatch News
Southcentral Alaska was rocked by a strong and prolonged magnitude-7.1 earthquake early Sunday morning.
Loren Holmes,Beth Bragg

With lack of snow in Anchorage, mushers head north

The Montana Creek Dog Mushers Association is holding its club championships this weekend, an event that should mark the end of the racing season on the Willow sled dog trails.But it won’t. Next weekend, Montana Creek will host the Norma Rasmussen Memorial Race, a one-day, limited class race usually held at Anchorage’s Tozier Track.And Montana Creek’s season could be extended even beyond next weekend, for one simple reason: “We’re the only game in town,” club president Jerry Raychel said.Read more: With scant snow in Anchorage, sprint mushers head to Willow
Beth Bragg,Loren Holmes
Montana Creek’s season could be extended even beyond next weekend, for one simple reason: “We’re the only game in town,” club president Jerry Raychel said.