"Northwest Arctic Borough" written on the side of a government building.

A group of representatives from each of the 11 borough communities met this week in Kotzebue to define criteria for the projects. “It can’t be directed toward one entity or one person. It has to be something that’s sustainable and is shared with all the community,” according to Hiram Walker, the capital projects manager for the Village Improvement Fund. Teck Resources will contribute $8 million to the VIF this year.

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Nicolas Petit in Cripple

The sun was just creeping over Bornite Mountain when Nicolas Petit rode into Ambler in first position. It’s the third checkpoint in the Kobuk 440 and where mushers tend to take longer rests.

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Snowy sled dog, Ambler

Sixteen dog teams took off from Kotzebue this afternoon at the start of the 2018 Kobuk 440. Leading the pack across the sea ice was this year’s Iditarod Rookie of the Year, Jessie Holmes. Absent was Kotzebue musher Katherine Keith, although some of her kennel’s dogs will be on the trail.

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