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Alaska Dispatch News

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Anchorage firefighters on Wednesday demonstrated the dangers of a Christmas tree fire.Within a minute of being ignited, a tree decorated with ornaments and yellow caution tape was completely engulfed in flames. The demonstration took place at the Anchorage Fire Department Training Facility near Merrill Field.According to firefighters, Christmas tree fires aren’t the most commonly occuring home fire, but they are very dangerous.
Megan Edge
Two unrelated black bear cubs are getting acclimated to life in captivity and to one another at the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage before being shipped to a new home in Texas. Until their 2015 departure, the zoo will be allowing the public to view the duo. 
Sean Doogan
Inspectors with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service made an unusual discovery at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in September: more than 200 live baby turtles.
Alaska Dispatch News
Wide-eyed children wended between tables mounded with cookies and gingerbread houses, and asked parents just how many cookies it was acceptable to pile on a plate, while the adults shook hands with new Alaska Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov Byron Mallott and their families at the governor's mansion Tuesday, Dec. 9.While Juneau was enjoying a traditional wet holiday afternoon, residents appeared to not notice the rain as they lined up to do something they've done 100 times now -- visit the annual open house at the governor's residence in Alaska's capital city.Read more: State business takes back seat as Walker hosts open house in Juneau
Alaska Dispatch News

Most insane ski line EVER

The camera-wielding owners and athletes behind Crested Butte’s Matchstick Productions had been eyeing a line in Alaska’s Tordrillo Mountains for years.Last winter, snow conditions were perfect in the mountain range 75 miles northwest of Anchorage that includes volcanic Mount Spurr and 11,413-foot Mount Torbert, and the crew put the line on the to-do list. Professional skier Cody Townsend stepped up and dropped into the ridiculously narrow chasm, plummeting more than 2,000 vertical feet through a cliff-lined choke that seems too tight. The 31-year-old skier’s segment in MSP’s “Days of My Youth” is storming the Internet, with more than a million views and Townsend’s debut on ESPN’s SportsCenter. Stories appeared nationwide, including this one in The Denver Post. -- The Denver PostRead more: 'Most insane ski line ever' pierces vertical chasm in Alaska's Tordrillo Mountains
Lisa Demer
Dozens of volunteer searchers from three Western Alaska villages and the hub of Bethel traveled Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014, by snowmachine, four-wheeler and truck to a dangerous open hole on an offshoot of the Kuskokwim River, looking for three travelers feared dead under the ice. 
Alaska Dispatch News
More than 300 students walked across the stage during UAA's first graduation in the Alaska Airlines Center on Sunday. It was the first graduation on campus since 1987, and first fall graduation in almost 30 years.   
Bob Hallinen
High school skiers compete in the Lars Spurkland Scramble cross-country ski race at Service High on Saturday, December 13, 2014. 
Loren Holmes,Zaz Hollander
To get from farm to fork, pigs at the Van Wyhe Family Farm travel more than 200 miles from the grassy reaches of Copper Center in eastern Alaska along the Richardson Highway to the urbane confines of Torchon Bistro in South Anchorage.
Loren Holmes

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With a few quick toots from the horn, this year's Alaska Railroad holiday train took off from the Anchorage depot on Saturday morning with scores of excited children and their parents in tow.As the train slowly made its way through town, a group of carolers started at one end of the eight-car train, while a troupe of balloon artists made their way from the other end.Adding to the excitement was Santa Claus himself, who visited each and every child during the 2.5-hour trip down Turnagain Arm.The holiday train is one of the Alaska Railroad’s many special event trains, which include a Halloween train, Easter train, and the ski train, among others, and it has been running each year for over a decade. This year approximately 1,700 people enjoyed the holiday train.Watch this video on YouTube and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos.Photos: Alaska Railroad's 2014 holiday train
Loren Holmes
With a few quick toots from the horn, this year's Alaska Railroad holiday train took off from the Anchorage depot on Saturday morning with scores of excited children and their parents in tow.
Mike Dunham
“Christmas Belles” goes a long way toward coaxing the jaded back into the spirit of things, and it does it with a smile. 

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