Aliy Zirkle handles her dogs during a rest in Galena along the Yukon River, her last stop before heading towards Nulato. Late in the night, as she approached Nulato, Zirkle was attacked by a snowmobiler a few miles outside the small community. Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media hide caption

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The Tesoro Refinery at Nikiski in Kenai, Alaska, in 2008. Farah Nosh/Getty Images hide caption

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Alaska Faces Budget Deficit As Crude Oil Prices Slide

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Alaska legalized pot this year and is the first state to have pot cafes where people can consume marijuana. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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Alaska's Pot Cafes Will Give Patrons A Taste Of Cannabis

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The Capitol Christmas Tree is unloaded from a truck following its journey from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. After it is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with thousands of ornaments, handcrafted by children and others from Alaska communities. Yuri Gripas/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A field near harvest time at Meyers Farm in Bethel, Alaska, can now grow crops like cabbage outside in the ground, due to rising temperatures. Daysha Eaton/KYUK hide caption

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Rising Temperatures Kick-Start Subarctic Farming In Alaska

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Anchorage dental hygienist Victoria Cronquist pays $1,600 a month for a health insurance policy that covers four people in her family. Next year, she says, the rate is set to jump to $2,600 a month. Annie Feidt/APRN hide caption

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Steep Hikes In Insurance Rates Force Alaskans To Make Tough Choices

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ShellNo flotilla participants float near the Polar Pioneer oil drilling rig during demonstrations in May against the presence of the first of two Royal Dutch Shell oil rigs in the Port of Seattle. David Ryder/Getty Images hide caption

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Outreach coordinator Sonny Weahkee (left) talks with a restaurant customer about health insurance for Native Americans in Shiprock, N.M., in early August. Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Spreading The Word: Obamacare Is For Native Americans, Too

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Valerie Davidson, Alaska's health and social services commissioner, drives her 1983 Chevy truck to pick up salmon for a dinner party for 50 people. Annie Fiedt/Alaska Public Media hide caption

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Fishing, Cooking And A Yup'ik Upbringing Made Alaska's Health Commissioner

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President Obama makes his way across the tarmac Monday to greet well-wishers upon arrival at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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President Obama is renaming Alaska's Mount McKinley in an effort to strengthen cooperation between the government and Alaska Native tribes. The peak is returning to its traditional name, Denali. Al Grillo/AP hide caption

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Smoke billows from a forest fire in southern Saskatchewan, Canada, in late June. Thousands of Canadians have been forced to evacuate their homes because of wildland fires. AP hide caption

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Wildfires In Canada And Alaska Drive Thousands From Homes

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Alaskans attend a rally in Anchorage for Medicaid expansion. Jonathan Casurella/Alaska Public Media hide caption

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State Legislatures Quarrel Over Whether To Expand Medicaid

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Tim Meyers on his four-acre vegetable farm in southwestern Alaska. Behind him: an endless sea of tundra, and a glimpse of the town of Bethel. Eugenie Frerichs for NPR hide caption

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Leaders of the Alaska Cannabis Club share a joint at their medical marijuana dispensary in Anchorage. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana use. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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In the dog mushing world, 44-year-old Lance Mackey is like Michael Jordan. The sled dog racing veteran returns to the Yukon Quest this year. Katie Orlinsky for NPR hide caption

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Facing 1,000 Miles Of Frigid Winds With Loyal Dogs And Willpower

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