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 By James Brooks    News    August 10, 2022 

Permanent Fund lost money for first time since 2012

For the first time in a decade, the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp., source of more than half of Alaska’s general-purpose state revenue, posted negative investment returns for an entire fiscal year. As of June 30, the last day of the just-ended fiscal...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    August 10, 2022 

At-sea COVID cases drop back down to summer average

After a mid-July surge to 1,021 COVID-19 infections among tourists at sea in a single week, the state Health Department reports the case count the past two weeks fell to an average of 550 per week. The record number of infections among...

 
 By Iris Samuels    News    August 10, 2022 

Palin skips Kenai candidates forum for Minneapolis fundraiser

One of the three U.S. House candidates was missing at a candidates forum in Kenai on Aug. 3: Former Gov. Sarah Palin instead held a fundraiser in Minneapolis, according to photos she posted on her Instagram account. The next day, she was in Dallas...

 
 By Chris Basinger    News    August 10, 2022 

Petersburg swimmer tried but could not reach the mainland

At 8 a.m. on July 30, Andrew Simmonds, 60, entered the chilling waters of Sandy Beach in Petersburg, setting out to prove that age has not slowed him down. His goal was to swim across Frederick Sound...

 
 By Max Graham    News    August 10, 2022 

Colorado organization rescues six suspected Haines wolfdogs

While thousands danced and dined at the Southeast Alaska State Fair in Haines last weekend, Drew Robertson of Sedalia, Colorado, was rescuing a half dozen puppies that might be part wolf. The state...

 
 By Mark Thiessen    News    August 10, 2022 

Another bad year for Alaska wildfires, and the worst could be ahead

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska is burning this year in ways rarely or ever seen, from the largest wildfire in a typically mainly fireproof southwest region to a pair of blazes that ripped through forests and produced smoke that blew hundreds of miles to...

 

Anchorage, Fairbanks school districts short of bus drivers

Students return to school soon, and Alaska’s larger districts are facing a shortage of school bus drivers. The Anchorage School District was short 75 bus drivers less than two weeks before classes begin on Aug. 18. The shortage could lead to some...

 

Murkowski part of bipartisan group in support of abortion access

WASHINGTON — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Aug. 1 joined a bipartisan coalition to introduce a bill that would protect abortion and contraception access. The measure faces an uncertain future in a Senate that failed to pass a broader measure...

 

Petersburg assembly sets up task force to look at housing shortage

The Petersburg Borough Assembly voted 4-1 on Aug. 1 to establish a new task force to address the community’s housing crisis. Assemblymember Jeff Meucci said the task force would work with the assembly’s backing to look at housing needs in the...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    August 10, 2022 

Sitka 9-year-old reels in 45-pound king

For many Southeast residents, fishing is a way to fill the freezer or earn a living. But for Sitka’s 9-year-old Miles Lawrie, fishing is a chance to spend time with his grandparents on the water. It was a bonus for Miles when, while fishing with...

 
 By Garland Kennedy    News    August 10, 2022 

Sitka starts site prep for small cabins to house homeless

After years of work and planning, site preparation is underway for the cabins to house Sitka’s homeless people. The plan is to build a dozen small cabins at the end of Jarvis Street, about a mile east of the downtown waterfront. The Sitka Homeless...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    August 3, 2022

Sealaska Corp. endorses Walker and Murkowski

The Sealaska Corp. board of directors last Friday endorsed Bill Walker for governor and Sen. Lisa Murkowski in her reelection bid for U.S. Senate. The board also announced its opposition to the measure on the Nov. 8 statewide election ballot that...

 
 By James Brooks    News    August 3, 2022

State subsidy will provide more help with high-cost rural electric bills

Up to 82,000 rural Alaskans will see lower electric bills because of legislation signed into law last month. Senate Bill 243, passed by the Legislature this spring, raises the maximum subsidy under the state’s Power Cost Equalization program,...

 
 By Lisa Phu    News    August 3, 2022

State says public funds can help pay for materials, services at private schools

The Alaska Department of Law issued an opinion July 25 saying public money can be spent for homeschool students to attend one or two classes in a private school, but cannot be used for most of a student’s private school tuition. The 19-page...

 
 By James Brooks    News    August 3, 2022

GCI continues to carry One America News as bigger carriers drop the channel

Alaska cable company GCI has no immediate plans to drop the right-wing TV channel One America News, a spokesperson said July 27. Verizon, the last remaining major carrier to carry the channel, stopped airing the channel last Saturday. That action fol...

 
 By Tess Williams    News    August 3, 2022

New law allows prosecution for rape if victim says 'no'

A bill signed into Alaska law last Thursday will make it possible for the state to prosecute sexual assault on the basis of a victim saying “no,” instead of requiring physical force or threats for such assaults to be considered crimes. The bill ...

 

Sitka will vote on spending $8 million to build boat haul-out

A proposal to build a boat haul-out facility in Sitka with the money the city received from selling its community hospital property will be on the Oct. 4 city election ballot. On a 6-0 vote July 26, the assembly gave final approval to an ordinance...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    August 3, 2022

State parks ferry for 1 week due to lack of crew

The state ferry Tustumena was tied up in Homer for several days last week, lacking enough crew to operate. Due to crew shortages, the Tustumena’s sailings were canceled as of July 26, and were scheduled to resume seven days later on Tuesday,...

 

Ceremony officially opens Metlakatla Veterans Cemetery

After two years of construction, the new $3.1 million Metlakatla Veterans Cemetery officially opened on July 25. A pair of seven-foot-tall totem poles carved by David Boxely were dedicated to the cemetery at the event. Both totem poles represent...

 
 By James Brooks    News    July 27, 2022

Almost 1 in 5 state jobs are vacant as hiring struggle gets worse

The top employees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. are some of the highest-paid public workers in Alaska, but with wages rising across the country and employers competing for skilled labor, even the $80 billion Permanent Fund is struggling to keep...

 
 By Marc Lutz    News    July 27, 2022

Tlingit & Haida behavioral health services reaches out across Southeast

In November of last year, Tlingit & Haida Community and Behavioral Services opened a healing center in Juneau to provide care to tribal citizens and other Alaska Natives. At the time, care was provided through Zoom Health or over the phone. The...

 
 By Lisa Phu    News    July 27, 2022

Statewide teachers shortage gets worse every year

Bobby Bolen is trying to fill around 50 teaching positions at the North Slope Borough School District. “This is our focus 24 hours a day right now — to get classrooms staffed for students,” Bolen said. Bolen is the brand-new human resources dir...

 
 By Chris Bieri    News    July 27, 2022

Petersburg basketball player gets his wish and shoots hoops with NBA star

Joseph Tagaban is excited to suit up for the Petersburg High School basketball team this winter as a sophomore. A year ago, that was anything but a certainty. In December 2020, Tagaban was diagnosed w...

 
 By Max Graham    News    July 27, 2022

Haines commercial longliners pull in 425-pound halibut

Three Haines commercial fishermen caught a 425-pound halibut measuring 91 inches in length. “It was just an epic fish,” said fisherman Cole Thomas, who hooked the fish with his father and captain Bill Thomas and friend Jeff Wackerman. “This...

 
 By James Brooks    News    July 27, 2022

State sues federal government over polluted lands transferred to Native corporations

The state has sued the U.S. Department of the Interior in an attempt to hold the federal government responsible for the identification of thousands of polluted sites on land given to Alaska Native corporations. A complete inventory is a first step...

 

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