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Articles written by Mark Sabbatini

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 By Mark Sabbatini    News    February 8, 2023 

State Senate proposes sizable boost in public school funding

A proposal to boost state funding for public schools by about 17%, increasing the current $5,960 per-student formula by $1,000, was unveiled Feb. 1 by state Senate leaders as the “beginning of the beginning” of a long debate about the future of...

 

State director leaves job amid backlog of unanswered food stamp applications

A monthslong backlog in processing food stamps applications is now the responsibility of a new director. Shawnda O’Brien, who had served as director of Alaska’s Division of Public Assistance, departed with no explanation or indication of moving o...

 

State forecasts continued jobs recovery in Southeast this year

Southeast Alaska saw a “stronger than expected” 6.5% increase in jobs in 2022 compared to the previous year, due to ongoing recovery from being one of the state’s hardest-hit regions during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Alaska Department...

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    January 4, 2023

State says it will take months to clear backlogged food stamp applications

A months-long backlog of food stamp applications has denied aid to thousands of Alaskans. And although the state plans to add additional employees during the next few weeks to process the applications, the director of the statewide program said Dec....

 

Congress directs Coast Guard to buy used icebreaker until new ones are built

Federal legislation sent to the president for his signature directs the U.S. Coast Guard to spend $150 million to purchase a used, privately owned ice-breaking vessel to help cover operational needs until a fleet of new Coast Guard icebreakers can...

 

BIA accepts Juneau parcel to hold in trust for Tlingit and Haida

A tiny parking lot on a little-traveled downtown side street is now a landmark achievement for Alaska Natives in Juneau, with the federal government approving a “land-into-trust” application last Thursday that paves the way for a range of...

 

U.S. Senate candidates shows their differences on issues

The three candidates for U.S. Senate in November’s general election shared familiar political stances on Southeast Alaska issues during an hour-long forum at the Southeast Conference in Ketchikan on Sept. 13. Incumbent U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a...

 

Federal program awards additional $12.4 million for Southeast projects

Grants totaling $12.4 million for Southeast Alaska projects ranging from a greenhouse in Yakutat to workforce development in forestry-related fields in Hydaburg were announced Sept. 6 by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the...

 

Historian tells story of 1908 shipwreck in 5-part podcast series

The story of a 1908 shipwreck near Wrangell that killed 111 of the 138 men on board – mostly Asian cannery workers returning home after the salmon season had ended – is narrated by current and...

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    August 31, 2022

Federal order opens more land to selection by Alaska Native Vietnam veterans

More than 50 years after many Alaska Natives were unable to apply for their rightful 160 acres of land because they were fighting in Vietnam, a solution is now in place that overcomes laws and regulations that stifled their efforts for decades....

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    July 27, 2022

Murkowski has huge fundraising lead over Tshibaka

Incumbent Lisa Murkowski has a dominant fundraising advantage over challenger Kelly Tshibaka in the U.S. Senate race. In the race for U.S. House, Nick Begich enjoys a big cash-on-hand advantage despite raising the least of the three main contenders...

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    July 13, 2022

Poll shows election wins for Murkowski, Dunleavy, Begich

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and U.S. House hopeful Nick Begich III are poised for dominant victories during this year’s special and general elections, according to an online Alaska Survey Research poll of 1,201 likely voters conducted between July 2-5. The...

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    June 29, 2022

Police do not recommend charges in milk mix-up at Juneau school

There is “nothing obvious” to recommend criminal charges in the milk mix-up earlier this month in Juneau when 12 children and two adults drank floor sealant served to them at breakfast during a summer program at Sitʼ Eeti Shaanáx̱ – Glacier...

 
 By Mark Sabbatini    News    May 11, 2022

Juneau may drop sales tax on food in exchange for higher summer tax rate

Juneau voters will likely be asked this fall if they’re willing to increase the city’s 5% sales tax to 6% during the summer in exchange for exempting food from sales tax year-round. The Juneau Assembly, meeting as the Committee of the Whole,...

 

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