News / State Of Alaska

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 By James Brooks    News    February 21, 2024 

Legislature starts process to reject governor's change to ferry advisory panel

The Alaska Senate has taken the first formal steps needed to reject some or all of the 12 executive orders Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued at the start of this year’s legislative session, including the order that would take away the Legislature’s... Full story

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    February 21, 2024 

NOAA reports 45 killer whales caught up in fishing gear since 1991

Over the past three decades, 35 killer whales were entangled in fishing gear in Alaska, resulting in 25 deaths, according to a report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The report from NOAA Fisheries covers documented case... Full story

 
 By Alaska Beacon    News    February 21, 2024 

Boss of proposed gas pipeline project is highest-paid state executive

The head of the state corporation in charge of a long-dreamed Alaska North Slope natural gas pipeline is once again Alaska’s top-paid public executive. Frank Richards, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corp., received $479,588 in... Full story

 
 By Lex Treinen    News    February 21, 2024 

Klukwan church given to tribe after century of Presbyterian ownership

The church, originally known as the Klukwan Presbyterian, has been holding regular Sunday services for nearly a century. But one thing about the church has changed: its owner. More than a year ago, a...

 
 By Lex Treinen    News    February 21, 2024 

Haines loses appeal of census count that showed 17% population drop

The U.S. Census Bureau has rejected Haines’ appeal of the agency’s 2020 count, which showed the Southeast Alaska community’s population dropping by 17%, or 428 residents. “I’m deeply disappointed. I really thought that our response was...

 
 By Sentinel staff    News    February 21, 2024 

State offers grants for locally grown food efforts

The state is offering an additional $2.2 million in small grants this year for individuals and groups around Alaska to increase the quantity and quality of locally grown food. The grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations...

 
 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

 

It'll be hard for state to resume ferry service to Prince Rupert

Numerous challenges are stopping the resumption of Alaska Marine Highway service to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the ferry system’s director said at a conference of Southeast officials last week. During a Southeast Conference transportation...

 

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

 

Southeast trollers pull in record king salmon catch in January

Despite the rough weather, Southeast trollers recorded a record chinook salmon catch for January in the winter troll fishery, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. The January catch totaled 7,200 kings, well above the previous record o...

 
 By James Brooks    News    February 14, 2024

Alaska governor would like to send state Guard troops to Texas

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told reporters on Feb. 7 that he’d like to answer Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s request for National Guard soldiers to support a state-run effort along the Mexico border, but he’s not sure the Alaska Legislature will approve the... 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

 
 By James Brooks    News    February 14, 2024

Legislator wants to require armed volunteer on school grounds

A new proposal from Palmer Republican Sen. Shelley Hughes would require Alaska school districts to train a volunteer able to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds. Schools would be exempted only if no one agrees to accept the duty or if no one... 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

 
 By Yereth Rosen    News    February 14, 2024

U.S. preparing to claim ownership of large areas of Arctic seafloor

United States ocean territory could expand by an area more than twice the size of California, with most of that in ocean areas off Alaska, under a claim being prepared by the federal government. The U.S. State Department in December announced... Full story

 
 By James Brooks    News    February 7, 2024

Scientists wire up Mount Edgecumbe to measure volcanic activity

Sitka’s Mount Edgecumbe volcano is wired. On Jan. 26, the Alaska Volcano Observatory announced the completion of a new instrument network intended to measure the activity of a volcano that could be awakening after a period of dormancy. The network... Full story

 
 By Amy Bushatz    News    February 7, 2024

Mat-Su borough assembly advises residents to arm themselves for protection

A new Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly resolution urges residents to own weapons and ammunition to compensate for limited local law enforcement in Alaska’s fastest-growing region. The action, which doesn’t have the power of law, reflects...

 
 By Sean Maguire    News    February 7, 2024

Bill would tighten resident definition for fish and game licenses

A bill before the House Resources Committee would tighten residency requirements for Alaska sportfishing, hunting and trapping licenses. Community groups have raised concerns that a gap in state law allows people who don’t live year-round in...

 

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

 
 By James Brooks    News    February 7, 2024

Dunleavy supports Texas in battle over border razor wire

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has joined 24 other Republican governors in support of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to ignore a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing federal agents to remove razor wire installed by Abbott’s administration along... Full story

 

State employee drops candidacy for Southeast seat in Legislature

Robb Arnold has withdrawn his candidacy to represent Ketchikan, Wrangell and Metlakatla in the state House. Arnold wrote in a statement to the Ketchikan Daily News on Thursday, Feb. 1, that he had ended his campaign. Under state law, Arnold could...

 

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

 

Alaska resumes flying 737 Max after FAA clearance

Alaska Airlines has begun flying Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliners for the first time since the aircraft were grounded after a panel blew out of the side of one of the airline’s planes. The airline said it resumed flying the Max 9 with a flight from...

 

Alaska trollers will gear up to fight endangered listing for king salmon

Southeast salmon fishermen say they weren’t surprised by the news that the nonprofit Wild Fish Conservancy has launched a fresh effort that could shut down Alaska’s king salmon fisheries. Last year, Southeast Alaska king salmon troll fisheries we...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 24, 2024

Governor wants to take over appointment of entire ferry system advisory board

Unless the Legislature decides otherwise by mid-March, Gov. Mike Dunleavy will take over appointment of the entire nine-member Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board. State law reserves four of the seats for appointment by legislative leaders, but...

 

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