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 By Larry Persily    News    May 18, 2022 

Motor fuel tax holiday bill could die in state Senate

It’s up to the Senate in the final days of the legislative session whether Alaskans will get a year of gasoline and diesel at the pump without the state tax of eight cents a gallon. The House by a 36-2 margin on May 4 passed the measure — which...

 
 By Becky Bohrer    News    May 18, 2022 

Legislature closer to passing tribal recognition bill

JUNEAU (AP) — The state Senate passed legislation last Friday to formally recognize tribes in Alaska, which supporters say is an overdue step that would create opportunities for the state and tribes to work together. The measure passed 15-0 and...

 
 By Felicia Fonseca    News    May 18, 2022 

Interior Department report says there were over 400 Native boarding schools

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A first-of-its-kind federal study of Native American boarding schools that for over a century sought to assimilate Indigenous children into white society has identified more than 400 such schools that were supported by the...

 
 By Peter Smith    News    May 18, 2022 

Report details collaboration in boarding schools between government and churches

A new Interior Department report on the legacy of boarding schools for Native Americans underscores how closely the U.S. government collaborated with churches to Christianize them as part of a project to sever them from their culture, their...

 
 By The Associated Press    News    May 18, 2022 

U.S. commercial fishing harvest fell 15% in value in 2020

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — America's commercial fishing industry fell 10% in catch volume and 15% in value during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, federal regulators said last Thursday. The 2020 haul of fish was 8.4 billion pounds, while the...

 

Democrat files to run for Murkowski's Senate seat

A retired Matanuska-Susitna Borough teacher has filed to run as a Democrat for U.S. Senate in Alaska. Pat Chesbro filed candidacy paperwork with the state Division of Elections on May 11. She would join a crowded field of 16 candidates in the Aug. 16...

 
 By Shannon Haugland    News    May 18, 2022 

Cruise ship knocks Sitka mooring dolphin out of commission

The cruise ship Radiance of the Seas struck a Sitka Sound Cruise Terminal mooring dolphin on May 9 as it was preparing to dock, limiting the facility to one berth instead of two until repairs are completed in a few weeks, terminal manager Chris...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 11, 2022

Legislature moves closer to suspending motor fuel tax for 1 year

The state House has passed legislation that would suspend Alaska’s 8-cents-a-gallon motor fuel tax for a year to help consumers pinched by high prices at the pump. The bill was scheduled for its first committee hearing in the Senate this week as la...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 11, 2022

Legislation would allow online raffle sales to continue

Unless the Legislature acts, Alaska nonprofits will have to stop selling raffle tickets online June 30. The state has allowed online sales by registered nonprofits since early summer 2020, as the pandemic shut down or made difficult group events and...

 

Carnival cruise ship pulls into Seattle with COVID outbreak

SEATTLE (AP) — Passengers on the Carnival cruise ship Spirit that docked May 3 in Seattle say more than 100 people aboard the ship tested positive for COVID-19 and the crew was overwhelmed. Multiple passengers said they were quarantined at...

 
 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,...

 

Federal panel to focus on murdered and missing Native Americans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Nearly 40 law enforcement officials, tribal leaders, social workers and survivors of violence have been named to a federal commission tasked with helping improve how the...

 

Capitol rally held in support of investigating missing Alaska Natives

Adorned with red handprints across their mouths and carrying signs bearing the faces of the missing, hundreds gathered last Thursday at the Capitol in Juneau. Elected officials and Alaska Native dignitaries spoke before a solemn crowd amid flags bear...

 

Maine terminates application for 120-acre salmon farm

GOULDSBORO, Maine (AP) — A state agency in Maine has terminated an application for a 120-acre salmon farm opposed by lobstermen in Frenchman Bay. American Aquafarms, which was notified of the decision April 19, proposed a pair of 60-acre, 15-pen...

 

Operator will temporarily shut down Maine dams to help Atlantic salmon

PORTLAND, Maine (AP)— The owner of hydroelectric dams in Maine has said it’s going to make changes to some of its operations to try to help save the final remaining wild Atlantic salmon in the United States. The country’s last wild populations...

 

Alaskan Brewing wins awards for beer can art

Juneau-based Alaskan Brewing Co. won a platinum and a gold Crushie - symbolized by a crushed beer can in a raised fist - for two of its designs from the Craft Beer Marketing Awards, an international...

 
 By Mark Thiessen    News    May 11, 2022

Landslide cuts off road access for 200 people near Seward

Efforts were underway Monday to clear a road where a 300-foot-wide slide — taking down dozens of fully grown evergreen trees as well as rocks and dirt — toppled into the bay in front of Seward, covering the narrow roadway and cutting off road...

 

Truckload of mail burns up on its way to Kenai Peninsula

HOMER (AP) — A trailer containing mail intended for a dozen communities on the Kenai Peninsula caught fire and was destroyed, including all the contents. The driver of the truck hauling the trailer was not injured in the April 25 fire. The cause...

 
 By Annie Berman    News    May 4, 2022

End of federal COVID emergency could end Medicaid for thousands of Alaskans

Thousands of Alaskans could lose Medicaid benefits as soon as July, when the federal government’s COVID-19 health emergency is expected to end. Alaska’s state health officials face the daunting task of combing through pandemic-swollen Medicaid ro...

 

Alaska distributor loses 5 million honeybees in airfreight reroute

About 5 million honeybees bound for Alaska got waylaid when Delta Air Lines routed them through Atlanta, where most of the bees died after being left for hours in crates on the ground during hot weather. The bees were the first of two shipments...

 
 By Shannon Haugland    News    May 4, 2022

Rising costs force developer to cancel new boat haul-out in Sitka

A developer has notified Sitka that high construction costs have caused the partnership to withdraw its proposal to build a new boatyard and haul-out. Sitka's last haul-out operator, Halibut Point...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    May 4, 2022

Senator wants Alaska to set up its own flood insurance program

Alaska property owners have paid more than four times as much in premiums than they received back in claims under the National Flood Insurance Program going back to 1980. “It’s kind of ugly,” Lori Wing-Heier, the state’s insurance division...

 

Governor continues to push for larger dividend

JUNEAU (AP) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy last Thursday reiterated his push for payments of at least $3,700 to residents this year, with the legislative session in its last weeks and the size of the annual dividend check paid to residents still unresolved....

 

House Republicans boot controversial member from their caucus

Alaska House Republicans have removed Rep. David Eastman from their caucus, citing tensions with the controversial Wasilla Republican that have built up over time. The decision comes with less than three weeks left in the legislative session that beg...

 

Legislature considers whether state should take over wetlands permitting

JUNEAU (AP) — Alaska lawmakers are considering a request by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration that the state take over part of a federal environmental permitting program for development in wetlands, though some members of the Senate's budget-wr...

 

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