Gov. Bill Walker defended a company-paid trip taken by his top environmental official last year to an anniversary celebration of Alaska’s largest mine -- a polluter regulated by the official’s department.

Nathaniel Herz

Concerns about housing affordability, Medicaid expansion and youth involvement emerged as focal points Monday night at what was described as the first-ever mayoral forum organized by members of Anchorage’s Samoan community.

Erik Hill
Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey devoted his opening statement at a Monday forum to defusing the backlash over the letter his lawyer sent last week to radio and TV stations aimed at suppressing an accidental recording in 2008.Devin Kelly
House Speaker Mike Chenault wants to order the federal government to transfer upward of 166 million acres of federal lands to state ownership on or before Jan. 1, 2017, but legislative attorneys said, "The bill is unconstitutional." Dermot Cole
Clashes with Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on gas line issues and Medicaid expansion could complicate any effort to end the session in 90 days, Republican lawmakers say.Pat Forgey
The FCC chairman joined other critics of the deal that resulted in billions of dollars in bid discounts when Dish Network joined with the regional Native corporation Doyon Ltd. under a "very small company" program.Dermot Cole
Republican legislators have proposed a new, broad-based fuel tax to prop up the state’s oil spill program, which is in the red after years of falling revenues from a surcharge on North Slope oil. Nathaniel Herz
Esther Cox, a longtime state Board of Education member from Anchorage reappointed by Gov. Bill Walker, flubbed a pair of basic questions in a confirmation hearing this week, saying later that she’d been “a little nervous” after being peppered with detailed questions about her past.Nathaniel Herz
An attorney for Anchorage mayoral candidate Dan Coffey has sent a threatening letter to local radio and TV stations this week seeking to prevent a repeat disclosure of an embarrassing recording widely distributed seven years ago.Devin Kelly
With the April 7 Anchorage mayoral election drawing near, we sent identical questionnaires to all the candidates, giving them a chance to clarify their positions on a wide range of issues. Here are their unedited responses.Alaska Dispatch News