Erik Hill
A cow moose and her twin calves wander Turnagain on Thursday, October 22, 2015, in West Anchorage. 
Scott Jensen

One man's positive outlook after spending years in prison

Having served nearly two decades behind bars, Marvin Simpson said he is ready for serious life changes. At 44, he believes returning to a criminal life “on the streets” is out of the question.“There’s a saying I heard: ‘The streets ain’t made for everybody. That’s why they make sidewalks.’ I’m on the sidewalk now. I bypass the streets,” Simpson said. “On the sidewalk I’m safe, but once I venture off that curb into the streets, that’s when it gets all bad for me. It’s like I’m brainwashing myself. I’m not, but I killed that old ‘Messy Marvin.’ That’s what they used to call me. I’m Marvin Simpson. Messy Marvin is dead and gone and he’s never coming back.”Simpson moved to Alaska at 17 with his sister, her husband and their children. Things went well for a while. He got good jobs, he said.He was 21 when he was first arrested for a serious crime, brandishing a gun. He spent time in prison for felony assault. Then he moved in and out of prison in the following years for probation violations and got a longer sentence for running from the police.Once released, he settled in Anchorage and was doing well for a while. Then he started selling cocaine. In 2005, he was pulled over on the Old Seward Highway. He threw a bag of cocaine out the window. The bag was retrieved, which started an investigation ending in a 10-year sentence.“The federal sentence woke me up. I was going to federal prison, where you deal with real-time criminals from drug dealers to white-collar guys,” he said.READ MORE: Federal offenders find new hope at Alaska re-entry court
Jill Burke
Just because it's winter in Alaska doesn't mean you have to stay cooped up indoors. Here are four fun, family-friendly projects that help you embrace the cold.
Scott Jensen
After four months of unconventional court proceedings, Marvin Simpson says the more stringent but personal tone of an experimental federal court for former prisoners has kept him grounded and focused on what’s most important.
Marc Lester

Standout student dancer uses prosthetic leg

When she was in eighth grade, Taylor Haines had the moxie to try out for the East Anchorage High School dance company. That meant an audition in front of a crowded studio of 60 or 70 older dancers, a big deal for a middle schooler.Her dance teacher, Ariel Graham, remembers the day.What stood out was not the girl’s prosthetic leg, but her confidence.Read more: East High student dances past her differences
Devin Kelly
Work begins to wind down on the new Thomas Center for Senior Leadership housing facility on Monday, November 9, 2015, on the St. Mary's Episcopal Church campus. A grand opening for the 15-unit building is scheduled for Sunday, November 22. 
Alaska Dispatch News
Soft opening of the Nestlé Toll House Café at 901 E. Dimond Boulevard on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. 
Alaska Dispatch News
Penn State rebuffed UAA’s early comeback and bagged a 5-2 nonconference hockey win Friday night at Sullivan Arena.​
Alaska Dispatch News
A major search was underway Friday -- the third day in a row -- in the Western Alaska village of Unalakleet for a 74-year-old woman last seen Wednesday, Alaska State Troopers said.
Alaska Dispatch News
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree arrives in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015.
As hockey assists go, they don’t come much bigger than the $200,000 donation that will allow girls high school hockey to continue in Anchorage for at least another three seasons.
Kim Sunée
I always save space on my plate for a few spoonfuls of jiggly canned cranberry sauce, but I also like to offer a fresh version that marries bergamot-scented Earl Grey tea with whole warming spices that play well with tart cranberry.