Mark Thiessen

No more flying with reindeer: Unique Alaska planes to retire

Claire Richardson remembers taking off in an airplane uniquely configured for Alaska when a horrible smell seeped into the passenger area.

The captain soon came on the speaker to apologize for the odor, which was coming from 70 skittish baby reindeer headed for Texas. "Guess they all pooped as we lifted off from the runway," Richardson said.

Those days will be coming to a close as the special plane that hauls people, goods and even animals on the same flight is taken out of service in a state with few roads.

Premera cuts rates further for 2018

Alaskans buying health insurance on the individual market will see a decrease of 26.5 percent in rates next year, the sole insurer in the state announced Tuesday.

Alaskans had been paying some of the highest premiums in the nation.

Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield attributed the decrease to a significant reduction in the use of medical services and the state’s establishment of a program to address high claims separately, called reinsurance.

Tillerson: US won’t rush climate change policies

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Arctic nations have renewed calls for the world to address climate warming, but U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will not rush to make a decision on its policies.

Tillerson spoke Thursday in Fairbanks at a meeting of the Arctic Council, an advisory group made up of the eight Arctic nations and indigenous groups.

Giant cruise ship makes historic trip in melting Arctic

The giant luxury cruise liner was anchored just off Nome, too hulking to use the Bering Sea community’s docks on its inaugural visit.

Instead, its more than 900 passengers piled into small transport boats and motored to shore, where they snapped photos of wild musk oxen, lifted glasses in the town’s colorful bars and nibbled blueberry pie while admiring Alaska Native dancers at Nome’s summer celebration.

Subscribe to RSS - Mark Thiessen