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January 28, 2020 / This week from The Signal

What did Dunleavy say last night?
How's the weather in Haines?
And how much does a pizza cost in Skagway?
The Kuskokwim 300, mushing’s marquee mid-distance race, wrapped up a little over a week ago. Bethel musher Pete Kaiser won his fifth title, much to the delight of his hometown crowd. But the real excitement came later, when musher Matthew Failor proposed to his girlfriend, KTVA news anchor Liz Raines, after finishing the K300 in second place. (Photo by Katie Basile/KYUK; story by Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

But first… Send me your Super Bowl picks


The Super Bowl is this Sunday, much to the delight of KTOO's professed Super Bowl Super Fan Adelyn Baxter. I've been told the matchup features the San Francisco 49ers and some team from Kansas City. I'm more of a baseball fan myself, but because I forced you guys to predict the World Series last fall, I thought I'd do the same for Super Bowl LIV. So send your Super predictions to ryanc@ktoo.org. I'll give a shoutout to the Signaliens who send me the correct winner and most accurate score. My prediction: some team from Kansas City, with a score of 34-30.

What's in the news today?

A question only the bravest among us are willing to ask.
  1. "Alaskan agenda": Against the backdrop of an on-again, off-again, on-again recall effort, Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivered the annual State of the State address Monday night, revealing his agenda for this year. Among some of the proposals highlighted by Andrew Kitchenman of KTOO and Alaska Public Media: a state lottery, a PFDs-for-land swap, and a push for more renewable energy.
  2. Wash your hands: China's coronavirus outbreak has grabbed stateside headlines, especially after a confirmed case in Washington state. The CDC currently ranks the immediate risk to Americans as low, but how are Alaska health officials preparing? According to this story from KTOO's Jeremy Hsieh, the precautions are similar to how health care providers gear up for flu season.
  3. A bit of weather: Things haven't been easy for folks in the Upper Lynn Canal lately: Five feet of snow in eight days, highways and roads shut down, and a broken-down ferry all add up to a lot of Netflix-and-chill time for many Hainesians and Skagwaynites. Alaska Public Media's Abbey Collins says a private day-cruise company was the only ticket out of town on Monday.
  4. But at least there's this: A couple months ago, the owner of The Skagway News announced he was giving his entire paper away for free. Henry Leasia of KHNS-Haines reports that Larry Persily has decided to give the paper to two Chugiak schoolteachers — for $20. Why? “I’m selling it for $20, because I figure I should at least get a pizza out of this.”

Video of the week

On Monday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy delivered his State of the State address to the Alaska Legislature. Did you miss it? Watch the full speech here, courtesy of Gavel Alaska and KTOO Public Media.

Just one more thing…

Some of us in Juneau are old enough to remember when it was really cold here a couple weeks ago. Now, we'll never get a Fairbanks Freeze. We'll never be Nome Numb or Kotzebue Kold. But a brisk winter snap can still cause problems down here.

At the Thunder Mountain Mobile Park, January's cold spell combined with some corrosion busted the water pipes, meaning most of the neighborhood had barely any running water for days. KTOO's Rashah McChesney says part of the problem is that the mobile park isn't connected to the city's water supply — they depend on a shared well water system.

More news around Alaska

State government news Other news

The Signal is written by KTOO digital media editor Ryan Cunningham
and edited by KTOO managing editor Jennifer Pemberton.

KTOO News is member supported.

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What are you waiting for? For an entertaining inside take on the biggest news in Alaska, try The Signal – just enter your email to get the latest edition delivered every week - it's free, we keep your email safe, and you can easily unsubscribe any time.