A dispute continues between Flint Hills Resources and the state regarding treatment of water polluted with sulfolane at the company’s North Pole refinery in Interior Alaska.

In a public notice posted Thursday, Flint Hills contested the state Department of Environmental Conservation's decision to not revisit the pollution standard for the chemical sulfolane and asked for a review by the department's commissioner.

At the heart of the dispute is the level of sulfolane allowed in treated water at the North Pole refinery. The Alaska DEC has set the standard at 14 parts per billion, pending a long-term toxicology study...

Laurel Andrews

It’s the million-dollar question: What can we expect from our climate in the future? A new study of Arctic ecosystems aims to help answer just that question and an Alaska professor has been named as the chief scientist for the study.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Vladimir Romanovsky has been named chief scientist for the U.S. Department of Energy initiative titled the Next-Generation Ecosystem Experiments . Romanovsky is a professor of geophysics at the UAF Geophysical Institute .

“The NGEE project represents really good coordination for integrated field campaigns,” Romanovsky said in a release. “I don’t know of any other project which has this kind of breadth and depth at the same time.”

The study will provide data essential to improving climate predictions, Romanovsky said...

Carey Restino | Arctic Sounder

The embattled Alaska Moose Federation has a new executive director, and with that, a mission to get back to basics.

Don Dyer officially took over the organization in mid-August, according to filings with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. Dyer is the current president and owner of the MatSu Economic Development Corporation and former economic development director for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

He said his goal in the coming months is to tighten up the organization, both financially and in terms of its mission, by limiting its scope.

“It’s absolutely about rebuilding trust, rebuilding credibility,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Dyer said AMF “spread itself way too thin” in programs, leadership and financial matters. For him, rebuilding starts with limiting the organization’s scope and “trimming” everything that doesn’t fit its core mission.

To Dyer, that mission is focused on roadkill pickups and charity delivery of moose meat. He said AMF would also evaluate what kind of role it will have in moose feeding and habitat building...

Suzanna Caldwell

Arctic August, an outdoor celebration at the Anchorage Museum, took place on Sunday Aug. 30, 2015. 

Shelby Lum

Two severely hypothermic Anchorage men were rescued Sunday afternoon from Portage Lake, where they were reported to have been in the water for 35 minutes after their kayaks flipped, the Alaska State Troopers said Sunday.

Troopers wrote in an online dispatch that at 1:08 p.m. Stephanie Hawkins, 25, reported to troopers that two kayaks had overturned in the glacial lake and “two (people) were floating in the water with life jackets, motionless, drifting in the lake.”

Hawkins and two others pulled the men into a skiff and took them to shore.

Troopers found that Ronald Wray Stafford, 64, and Ryan Christopher Stafford, 37, had been in the water “for 35 minutes or more.”

Troopers and the Girdwood Fire Department treated the men for severe hypothermia at the scene before the two were transferred to Providence Alaska Medical Center for additional treatment.

Michelle Theriault Boots

President Barack Obama may be traveling into unfriendly political territory as he heads north to Alaska Monday, but he has been slowly paving the way with announcements aimed at ensuring a welcoming populace.

The most substantial move thus far is clearly Sunday’s announcement that Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has officially renamed the tallest peak in North America to “Denali,” a name used by Alaska Natives for thousands of years.

But that wasn’t the only announcement Sunday, or over the last few weeks as the White House and Alaskans prepare for the 44th president to arrive in the 49th state...

Erica Martinson

Firefighting crews worked to contain two 25-acre wildfires that sprouted in the Mat-Su Saturday and Sunday, stoked by gusty, dry conditions.

The Horseshoe Lake fire, burning in a forested area northeast of the lake and southwest of the Millers Reach Road subdivision in Houston, was first reported Sunday afternoon. It was headed toward containment Sunday evening, Mat-Su Borough officials said.

Bulldozers were expected to finish building a perimeter around the fire by nightfall, with some 20 firefighters from the Division of Forestry on scene, along with 10 borough firefighters. A helicopter with a drop bucket was also working the fire, which is in the area of the under-construction Port MacKenzie rail extension.

No structures were immediately threatened and no evacuations had been ordered as of Sunday evening, according to borough spokeswoman Patty Sullivan.

More crews and an additional helicopter were expected Monday morning.

Fire crews in the Mat-Su were stretched thin fighting both fires Sunday afternoon...

Michelle Theriault Boots

It’s official: Denali is now the mountain formerly known as Mt. McKinley.

With the approval of President Barack Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed a “secretarial order” to officially change the name, the White House and Interior Department announced Sunday. The announcement comes roughly 24 hours before Obama touches down in Anchorage for a whirlwind tour of Alaska.

Talk of the name change has swirled in Alaska this year since the National Park Service officially registered no objection in a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C.

The tallest mountain in North America has long been known to Alaskans as Denali, its Koyukon Athabascan name, but its official name was not changed with the creation of Denali National Park and Preserve in 1980, 6 million acres carved out for federal protection under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The state changed the name of the park’s tallest mountain to Denali at that time, but the federal government did not.

READ MORE: President Obama OKs renaming of Mount McKinley to Denali
Alaska Dispatch News

It’s official: Denali is now the mountain formerly known as Mount McKinley.

With the approval of President Barack Obama, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has signed a “secretarial order” to officially change the name, the White House and Interior Department announced Sunday. The announcement comes roughly 24 hours before Obama touches down in Anchorage for a whirlwind tour of Alaska.

Talk of the name change has swirled in Alaska this year since the National Park Service officially registered no objection in a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C...

Erica Martinson

Crews are working to contain a 25-acre wildfire burning in the Talkeetna area, the Alaska Division of Forestry said Sunday.

The Sheep Creek fire is burning in forested land just around Mile 90 of the Parks Highway, but the highway and nearby railroad aren't currently threatened, said Norm McDonald, the Division of Forestry's Mat-Su area fire management officer.

No structures have been destroyed and there are no current evacuation orders for residents in the area.

“The nearest structure is about 1,000 feet away from the fire,” he said.

Crews have a perimeter around the blaze and “without major events” should be able to contain it by tonight, he said.

Conditions in the area are dry with gusty winds. People need to take "extreme caution" with burning and campfires in the area.

“It’s drier than people recognize,” he said.

Michelle Theriault Boots