Articles written by Claire Stremple

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 By Claire Stremple    News    February 21, 2024 

Head of troopers says state lacking in rural communities

Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell told lawmakers on Feb. 6 that he doesn’t know how the state can justify the relative lack of resources it has provided to rural Alaska. “Since statehood, the state has followed a... Full story


School funding supporters continue work in state Capitol

Supporters of education funding crowded a legislative committee room on Feb. 5, advocating for a permanent increase in the state funding formula for public schools. Though the advocates were unified in their message to a joint meeting of House and Se... Full story


Alaska courts still dealing with backlog of cases from COVID shutdown

Alaska’s courts have had a backlog of cases since courts shut down for months during the COVID-19 pandemic. The backlog has persisted, in part because of attorney shortages. The court typically carries many pending cases, but the number of pending... Full story


State troopers, other agencies struggle under high vacancy rates

To keep Alaska communities safe and workloads manageable, Department of Public Safety Commissioner Jim Cockrell said he would need 35% more state troopers than he has now. After he fills the 62 vacancies in the department, he wants to ask for about 9... Full story


Alaska back at risk of losing federal money for food stamp program

Alaska’s Department of Health risks losing federal funding for its food stamp program, warned a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture on Jan. 30. It said the department is out of compliance with federal standards for the... Full story


Quakers' reparations help fund start of Native healing center near Kake

An unused U.S. Forest Service building in Kake may soon be a healing center for the community to move forward from generations of trauma after a boarding school harmed members of the Alaska Native... Full story


State council says no to hiring prison guards at 18

The Alaska Police Standards Council has voted down a regulation change that would have allowed the state to hire corrections officers as young as 18 years old — the current minimum age is 21. The Department of Corrections floated the proposal as a... Full story


State works to clear backlog of delayed food stamp applications

The Alaska Division of Public Assistance processed more than 2,000 food stamp applications over eight days in mid-December as it works to clear a backlog that has kept thousands of Alaskans waiting for benefits. Earlier in December, food aid was... Full story


State domestic violence services running short of federal funding

A major source of funding for Alaska’s domestic violence response has decreased significantly the past five years, leaving a multimillion-dollar hole in the budget for services. That reduction, paired with the end of federal pandemic relief money... Full story


Advocates say more funding needed to stop cycle of domestic violence

When Kara Carlson experienced sexual assault as a teenager, she said it was traumatic but not shocking: “I was the last of my friends to experience sexual violence,” she said. “We live in this world where you have to prepare women for surviving... Full story


State may lower minimum age for prison guards to 18

The state council that sets and enforces standards for employment, training and certification of law enforcement officers in Alaska has approved a proposal to lower the minimum age of state prison guards from 21 to 18 years old. The proposal requires...


Paperwork problems continue to kick Alaskans off Medicaid

When Brandy Barnes got the first notice that she might be dropped from Medicaid, she was worried. One of her teenage sons is autistic and needs significant care to lead a full life. “My main concern is that my son is disabled,” she said. “He... Full story


State caught up on old food stamp applications but behind on new requests

Officials from the state Division of Public Assistance said its staff has worked through the backlog of applications for food stamps that stressed Alaska families for more than a year. But that success came at the cost of what officials are calling... Full story


AmeriCorps wants to expand work with Alaska communities, including elder mentors

On a visit to Alaska last month, the leader of the national community service agency AmeriCorps said the group plans to increase its investment in the state. AmeriCorps received an additional billion dollars for its nationwide budget as part of the... Full story


Federal grant will fund canoe carving program for Southeast students

Federal money for arts, culture and educational programs will fund the creation of two dugout canoes in Southeast Alaska. Goldbelt Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit arm of Goldbelt, the Native corporation for Juneau, will teach Alaska Native youth... Full story


Thousands of Alaskans lose Medicaid as state reviews eligibility

The number of Alaskans covered by Medicaid has dropped by more than 14,000 since April, after federal protections for the health care benefits ended with expiration of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. The number losing their benefits may increase... Full story


First-time state report lists 24 missing Alaska Natives

According to a new state report, nearly 200 Alaska Native or American Indian people went missing between the beginning of April and the end of June in Alaska. Two dozen of them have not been found. Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native... Full story


Federal grants will help Tlingit and Haida bring back more artifacts

Alaska tribes, including the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks will receive more than $350,000 in federal grants to use toward... Full story


Sealaska Heritage plans Alaska Native educators support program

As Alaska grapples with a shortage of teachers and high turnover rates, a regional nonprofit is recruiting Alaska Native educators to a new statewide program designed to support and retain them. Amber Frommherz, of Sealaska Heritage Institute, said... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    August 9, 2023

Sexual assault survivors can track rape kit tests online

A new online tool will allow survivors to check the status of their sexual assault kits, Alaska’s Department of Public Safety announced last month. The department developed a tracker so survivors can stay up to date on their case in “the least... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    August 2, 2023

State exceeds time limit on food stamp appeal hearings

While Alaska’s state government has made progress in getting more people the food stamps they are entitled to receive, advocates say the process to appeal denials or delays is breaking down. Food stamps are a federal benefit managed by the states,... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    July 19, 2023

Governor's budget veto hits Head Start programs statewide, including Wrangell

Only a third of Alaska children meet the state’s goals to be ready for kindergarten. But the state’s share of funding for Head Start, a mostly federally funded child care and health program that promotes school readiness specifically for... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    July 19, 2023

New program will train volunteers to provide free legal aid services

Alaska’s Supreme Court, with support from the state bar association, approved a waiver at the end of last year that will allow specially trained nonlawyers to represent Alaskans in court on some issues. Nikole Nelson, Alaska Legal Services... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    July 12, 2023

Report says rural districts need to pay more to hire and retain teachers

Alaska school districts that are remote and serve mainly students from low-income households need to pay substantially more than they currently do to attract and retain teachers, a study from University of Alaska researchers found. Matthew Berman, a... Full story

 By Claire Stremple    News    July 5, 2023

State's new task force hears child care shortage is getting worse

Alaskans are having a harder time accessing child care now than they were five years ago, an expert told a new task force charged by Gov. Mike Dunleavy with developing a plan to make child care in the state more available and affordable. The task for... Full story


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