Verizon announces Sept. 19 Alaska store opening date: Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday that after a long buildup, it will be opening its Alaska stores on Friday, Sept. 19. Verizon said that in addition to Smart Store locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, it will open more than 30 retail stores across the state. Verizon public relations director Scott Charlston said that the new stores would be offering a range of phones including Apple's iPhone 6 -- which is released to the public on the same day as the Alaska stores' openings, following its Tuesday unveiling in California -- and Samsung's Galaxy S5. Verizon's Alaska network will be the first in the nation entirely made for 4G VOLTE service.
PFD amount to be announced Sept. 17: Gov. Sean Parnell will announce the official amount of the 2014 Permanent Fund Dividend check Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 10:30 a.m. during a press conference in Anchorage's Atwood building, according to spokesperson Sharon Leighow. Alaska Dispatch News has estimated that this year's check – sent to qualifying Alaskans who applied – will be $1,930 (plus or minus $100.) Last year's check was $900. According to the Permanent Fund Dividend Division, direct deposits will be made, and checks will be sent out on Thursday, Oct., 2.
Ship thought to be from lost Franklin expedition discovered: A recent expedition has found wreckage of a ship believed to belong to the lost expedition of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer who disappeared in the Arctic with two ships during an 1845 attempt to sail the Northwest Passage. The famous lost expedition has been the subject of numerous searches, almost since its disappearance, but the new discoveries mark the first artifacts to surface in modern times, according to a CBC report. The wreckage was first discovered Sunday by an underwater drone operated by Parks Canada, the CBC reported. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the finds in Ottawa, a day after Nunavut officials announced the discovery of a pair of artifacts from the Franklin expedition. The search involved high-tech equipment and techniques, from the underwater drone to ice forensics, but it also validated Inuit traditional knowledge: "The beauty of where they found it is it's proof positive of Inuit oral history," Peter Mansbridge, a correspondent who for years covered efforts to find the Franklin expedition, told the CBC. "The Inuit have said for generations that one of their hunters saw a ship in that part of the passage, abandoned and ended up wrecking …. It's exactly where this guy said it was."
When warm water fish head north: Could a tuna fishery be in store for Alaska's future? It seems unlikely, but scientists at the University of Copenhagen recently found several large bluefin tuna in the Denmark Strait, the body of water that separates Greenland and Iceland -- well north of their normal range, according to findings published in Global Change Biology and reported by Eco-Business. The scientists attributed the fish's travel to unusually northern latitudes to warmer water temperatures and the presence of favored prey species. If something similar did occur in the Pacific, it wouldn't be the first time. Reports of warm water fish -- including tuna -- traveling north to Alaska have cropped up in the past, according to a UAF Sea Grant report from 1997.