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Huslia, long famous in sled dog racing circles, is eagerly preparing to play host to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for the first time ever.

Alaska Dispatch News
The town of Galena is changing up its traditional checkpoint location in an effort to not derail the wedding plans of Keilah Redman and Jeremy Havener.Suzanna Caldwell
One thing the Interior Alaska village of Huslia, famous for its successful sled dog racers, can’t lay claim to is being a checkpoint for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. That's changing this year, and the residents are thrilled. Suzanna Caldwell

Only once in its 42-year history has the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race not started from Southcentral Alaska. Here's what the race looked like in 2003, when it started from Fairbanks. This year, poor snow coverage on rugged stretches of the Iditarod Trail north of the Alaska Range has prompted the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race board of directors to move the restart to Fairbanks again.

Alaska Dispatch News
East dropped the first set against Juneau Thursday night before rallying for a 3-1 win Thursday in prep volleyball at East High. Alaska Dispatch News
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly, worried about revenue loss, has delayed action on a proposal to waive registration fees for owners of older cars, trucks and trailers.Zaz Hollander
Perhaps the biggest surprise for Galena came from mushers. Generally, Iditarod dog drivers arrive in the community of 400 Friday night or that afternoon at the earliest, but with this year's blistering pace, volunteers running the checkpoint were surprised to see two-time runner-up Aliy Zirkle pull into the checkpoint just after 6 a.m.Suzanna Caldwell
The Kuskokwim River village of Nikolai, a checkpoint along the Iditarod trail, is grappling with a serious decision about its stance on alcohol even as the mushers approach.Alex DeMarban
Brinker has hung on as the owner and operator of a log-cabin Bush lodge since 1978 because she likes it -- and there are just enough part-time residents at Shell Lake and visitors that she can survive. "I don't make a lot of money,'' she confesses, "but it supports my lifestyle. I just love the wilderness.''Craig Medred