I won’t be offended if most of you Frontiers viewers are out in the country hunting, fishing or camping this Labor Day weekend, or enjoying the Alaska State Fair. This is the time of year we say our goodbyes to summer. And what a summer it’s been.

We picked a few of our favorite KTVA and Frontiers stories from this past summer to share with you and mark this rite of passage.

Here are some of the highlights of this week’s show:

  • Juke’s Story — I’d have to say this is some of KTVA’s Heather Hintze’s finest work, and that’s saying a lot because she regularly hits her stories out of the park. Heather recently went to Unalakleet to tell the story of Juke, a service dog who has been forced to retire because of hip dysplasia – and for a teenager named Logan, severely impaired by autism, Juke has made all the difference. What will life be like for the Erickson family without him? And where will Juke go? Heather is not only a reporter, but also a videographer. I love how she shoots this story from Juke’s perspective at ground level. Warning: I’ve seen this story several times, and it brings tears to my eyes every time.

  • Return of the Kusko Kings — For the first time in many years, the king salmon run on the Kuskokwim River in Western Alaska has been strong enough to allow a limited subsistence fishery. We retrace our journey from the summer of 2014, when severe restrictions were in place – and what a difference between then and now.

  • Journey to Halibut Cove — If the hustle and bustle of the Homer Spit is too much for you, head across Kachemak Bay to scenic Halibut Cove. We check out the Saltry Restaurant, a gourmet dining experience that’s more than a meal – but an adventure.

NEXT WEEK: Don’t miss our show next week as we take you to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center in Eagle River, where women have come together – inmates and some outstanding local musicians – to write lullabies for the inmates’ children.

This is truly a frontier of the heart. As parents, most of us take for granted the freedom that we have to raise our children. Inmates lose that right, and perhaps for good reason, but most of those we talked with feel tremendous guilt and pain over the loss of their kids.

In the meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend, enjoying some freedom from work. Safe travels home.

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