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Rhonda McBride

Alaska truly is the Last Frontier of great storytelling. Although I’ve been a reporter in Alaska since 1988, my “to do” list of stories is ever a work in progress.

Stories by Rhonda McBride

  • US/World

    Canadian ‘Ghost barge’ drifts 500 miles across Arctic Ocean

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 19, 7:20

    After a barge was cut loose from a tug during a severe October storm north of Canada, it was dubbed the “ghost barge,” because no one was on it. But somehow it managed to travel 500 miles and remain intact. The Marine Exchange of Alaska, which tracks shipping in the Bering Sea, says it recently […]

  • Local

    Anchorage firefighters torch Christmas tree to prove a point

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 18, 14:45

    It was Anchorage’s first Christmas tree fire of the year. And it was set on purpose by firefighters to prove a point: It only takes a minute for a Christmas tree to be engulfed in flames. “There are over 200 fires annually caused by Christmas trees. And unfortunately a lot of fatalities are involved with […]

  • Local

    Middle school energy efficiency competition has its rewards

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 18, 12:04

    There were no losers in the “2014 Power Pledge Challenge,” a competition sponsored by Chugach Electric and the Renewable Energy Alaska Project, mainly because finding ways to save energy is always a win-win. About 1,200 seventh-graders in the Anchorage School District took part. They were armed with information about what causes energy inefficiencies and were told […]

  • State

    Alaska’s Land Trusts: 25 years of conservation

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 12, 8:00

    When legislation was passed 25 years ago to promote conservation through land trusts in Alaska, some people wondered why. Places like Anchorage were surrounded by wilderness, and it didn’t seem like the land was threatened by development. But fast forward 25 years and many of those lands are crowded with condos and mini-malls. Today, Alaska […]

  • State

    Let’s play Monopoly: Understanding Alaska’s revenue forecast

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 11, 1:46

    When the Legislature convenes in January, Gov. Bill Walker and state lawmakers will have to deal with some grim realities. The latest state revenue forecast points to a $3.5-billion budget gap for the current fiscal year. The reason for this gap is rapidly declining oil prices. In April, when the Department of Revenue issued its […]

  • State

    Valerie Davidson: Commissioner in a kuspuk

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 06, 17:12

    Wherever you see Val Davidson, she’s usually wearing a brightly patterned kuspuk, the traditional garb for many Alaska Natives, especially those in Southwest Alaska where Davidson’s roots run deep. And it looks like she’ll continue to wear them as Alaska’s commissioner of the Department of Health and Social Services. She was dressed in one on Friday, […]

  • News

    Eklutna strikes conservation deal with Great Land Trust

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 04, 22:50

    This isn’t the first time Eklutna, Inc., an Alaska Native corporation and the Great Land Trust have struck a land deal. Together, they’ve conserved more than 7,400 acres of environmentally sensitive land in Southcentral Alaska. This latest transaction involves about 1,300 acres near Eagle River and Palmer. The Eklutna Native Corporation says it strikes a good […]

  • State

    More changes for Walker administration include 1 hire, 1 resignation

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 03, 22:20

    A spokesperson for Gov. Bill Walker’s administration confirmed reports that Doug Vincent-Lang is no longer director of Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation. Walker has accepted Vincent-Lang’s resignation, says Grace Jang, spokeswoman for the governor’s office. Vincent-Lang has held the position since February 2012, when Corey Rossi — a Sarah Palin […]

  • State

    First day in office: Bill Walker transitions to new role as Alaska’s governor

    by Rhonda McBride on Dec 02, 1:05

    With clear skies and a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains encircling Juneau, Monday was a picture-perfect day for an inauguration. David Katzeek, the Tlingit elder who gave the welcoming speech for Gov. Bill Walker and Lt Gov. Byron Mallott just before their swearing in at Centennial Hall, referred to the fresh snowfall. “May […]

  • State

    Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker appoints law partner as attorney general

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 27, 1:57

    On Monday, Dec. 1, Bill Walker will leave his private law practice behind to become governor of Alaska. But he won’t be leaving behind his longtime partner, Craig Richards, who will now serve as attorney general. Richards says he took the job because he believes the governor needs a good lawyer. “I was being a […]

  • State

    Building an Alaskan legacy: Murkowski looks ahead to new leadership roles

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 26, 2:48

    Come January, when the Republican majority takes over the U.S. Senate, Sen. Lisa Murkowski will have the power to strike a double whammy. She will wield two gavels: chair of the Energy and Natural Resources committee and chair of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee. Political observers say it’s unusual to see such a combination of chairmanships. […]

  • Local

    Official portrait rite of passage for Alaska Gov.-elect Bill Walker

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 24, 23:15

    The sunshine streamed through a glass wall into a large, empty room in downtown Anchorage’s KeyBank building. Even so, photographer Josh Martinez and his assistant had lights and a screen set up, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their subject, the next governor of Alaska. A view of the sky bridge to the Alaska Center for […]

  • National

    A visit to Don Young’s office: An Alaska show-and-tell experience

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 21, 7:41

    Congressman Don Young has the largest office of any House member on Capitol Hill, and says he wound up with the extra space after plans for an escalator were scrubbed. So how does Young use that additional room in the Rayburn building? He has 55 animal trophies on the wall, many of them from Africa. […]

  • National

    Mark Begich prepares for transition

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 20, 7:17

    From the scaffolds encrusting the Capitol dome to the politics inside, Congress is definitely going through a period of reconstruction. The Democratic majority in the Senate will soon be history, as will Mark Begich’s time in the Senate. The new Alaska senator, Dan Sullivan, will be sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 6. He’ll be part […]

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Chevak carver makes a Byron Mallott doll

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 17, 8:11

    Earl Atchak’s masks and carvings are usually inspired by his life as a hunter and gatherer in Chevak, a village in Southwest Alaska where you can find strips of beluga whale meat hanging on wooden racks or sealskins stretched out to dry. But politics is what prompted Atchak to make an ivory Byron Mallott doll, […]

  • Campaign 2014

    Voter turnout: Alaska ranked third in the nation

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 14, 7:40

    There are lots of stats about Alaska we’d rather not be known for, but here’s one we can be proud of. The New York Times ranked Alaska third in the nation for voter turnout. Maine topped the list with a 59 percent turnout, followed by Wisconsin with almost 57 percent. Alaska’s turnout was a little […]

  • Campaign 2014

    First day of absentee count sees minimal change in Senate, gubernatorial races

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 11, 21:06

    The Alaska Division of Elections hoped to get to 15,000 ballots on the first day of the absentee and questioned ballot count. DOE staffers worked their way through absentee and questioned ballots methodically on Veterans Day — a holiday for most state workers — counting about 15,257 ballots. The DOE’s goal was reached, but the […]

  • Campaign 2014

    Alaska DOE to count absentee and questioned ballots

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 10, 23:43

    It’s been a week since the general election, but with candidates in the races for governor and U.S. Senate not ready to concede, Alaska is still in political limbo. There should be some clarity by the end of Tuesday. The Alaska Division of Elections will begin counting more than 50,000 ballots. The head of the […]

  • State

    Rep. Mike Chenault serves record 4th term as House speaker

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 07, 7:40

    Rep. Mike Chenault is often heard to tell people that he’s not a smart guy — because he never went to college and relies on common sense. Still, no one’s been able to top his record as House speaker, which was set again Thursday night when he was chosen by members of the House Republican […]

  • Local

    Anchorage School District asks lawmakers to inflation-proof funding

    by Rhonda McBride on Nov 06, 22:17

    The Anchorage School District invited lawmakers to lunch, prepared by culinary students at the King Career Center, but what it’s after is a bigger slice of the budget pie. The district says it’s staring down another $20 million budget gap, which it blames on a 3 percent inflation rate. If the trend continues, lawmakers were […]