News / State Of Alaska

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Governor proposes parental-rights legislation and teacher retention bonuses

While education advocates continue to push for increased state funding to Alaska public schools, Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week opted to introduce proposals that would limit sexual education in schools and impose new requirements on...


Alaska Human Rights Commission cuts back its jurisdiction in LGBTQ cases

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Alaska’s human rights commission has reversed an earlier policy and now is only investigating LGBTQ discrimination complaints related to workplace discrimination and not for other categories like housing and financing. The Anchor...


ConocoPhillips gets federal go-ahead for North Slope oil project

The Biden administration on Monday approved an $8 billion oil development on Alaska’s North Slope. ConocoPhillips’ Willow prospect in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska is expected to be one of the largest oil fields developed in the state in...

 By Kyle Clayton    News    March 15, 2023 

Stolen money from Haines Senior Center windowsill unfolds at pot shop

Haines police have connected a suspect to a Senior Center break-in after locating stolen tightly folded, pyramid-shaped $2 bills that had decorated a windowsill and were later spent at the local pot s...

 By Madeline Perreard    News    March 15, 2023 

Haines sits on 7 tons of plastic it can't afford to send out for recycling

“Plastic is a wonderful product because it lasts. It’s also a really horrible product because it lasts,” Haines Friends of Recycling board chair Melissa Aronson said, standing in the operation’s warehouse. In a shipping container outside,...

 By Iris Samuels    News    March 15, 2023 

Alaska may quit nationwide effort that helps maintain accurate voter rolls

Newly appointed Alaska Division of Elections Director Carol Beecher said last Thursday that she was considering severing ties with a nonprofit that helps maintain voter rolls nationwide, after several Republican-led states announced earlier this...

 By KINY Juneau    News    March 15, 2023 

Postal Service selects skateboard stamp by Juneau Tlingit artist

Crystal Kaakeeyáa Rose Demientieff Worl is a Tlingit, Athabascan and Filipino artist and co-owner of Trickster Company in Juneau. And a postage stamp designer, too. On March 24, she will attend the A...

 By Patrick Whittle    News    March 15, 2023 

Maine dam operator accused of not protecting last Atlantic salmon run

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Environmental groups and a Native American tribe have accused the operator of a Maine hydroelectric dam of not fulfilling its obligation to protect the country’s last remaining Atlantic salmon river run. The last wild...

 By James Brooks    News    March 15, 2023 

Walgreens will not sell abortion pills in Alaska, at request of state attorney general

Following criticism from Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, the nationwide pharmacy chain Walgreens will not seek to sell the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone in Alaska, the company said earlier this month. Though abortion is legal in Alaska,... Full story


Electric vehicles drain batteries faster in the cold - that's a problem in Alaska

Alaska's rugged and frigid Interior, where it can get as cold as minus 50 Fahrenheit, is not the place you'd expect to find an electric school bus. But here is Bus No. 50, quietly traversing about 40...

 By Larry Persily    News    March 8, 2023

House committee starts work on PFD legislation

A state House committee last week held its first hearing on a bill intended to settle the Legislature’s biggest annual political battle: The amount of the Permanent Fund dividend. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dan Ortiz, who represents Ketchikan,...

 By Clarise Larson    News    March 8, 2023

Email scam costs Juneau School District nearly $270,000

A scammer stole nearly $270,000 from the Juneau School District this fall — and it’s unlikely the district will recover the money. In a memo shared with the City and Borough of Juneau Finance Committee at its March 1 meeting, Finance Director...

 By James Brooks    News    March 8, 2023

Alaska Airlines salmon 737 will make final run to Wrangell

Alaska Airlines will paint over "Salmon Thirty Salmon," the custom Boeing 737 that looks like a 129-foot-long Alaska king salmon, the company confirmed Feb. 27. Tim Thompson, director of public... Full story

 By James Brooks    News    March 8, 2023

Moving magna prompts observers to install monitors on Mount Edgecumbe

The Alaska Volcano Observatory is planning to install a series of seismic instruments on Mount Edgecumbe near Sitka after preliminary measurements showed magma moving deep below the Mount Fuji-shaped... Full story


State commits $1.7 million to help feed Alaskans hurt by delays in food stamps

State funding is being directed to help stock Alaska food pantries — including those serving rural communities — as part of a broader effort to address a monthslong state backlog in processing food stamp benefit applications. Major delays in...

 By Yereth Rosen    News    March 8, 2023

State senator tries again for e-cigarette tax and raising age to 21

Nearly six months after Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed a bill aimed at reducing youth use of electronic cigarettes, its primary sponsor is trying again to pass similar legislation. Senate President Gary Stevens on March 1 introduced Senate Bill 89, which... Full story

 By Mark Sabbatini    News    March 8, 2023

State wants to take over wetlands permitting from federal government

State regulators say that taking over what are known as Clean Water Act Section 404 permits will allow more flexibility to benefit businesses and the environment in “Alaska’s unique conditions.” Most construction, resource and community develop...

 By Riley Rogerson    News    March 8, 2023

Tlingit totem pole dedicated in Murkowski's D.C. office

WASHINGTON - Tlingit leaders dedicated a storied totem pole in Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski's office on Feb. 28. The 10-foot tall, 900-pound totem pole, which is on loan from the Sealaska Heritage Insti...

 By Shannon Haugland    News    March 8, 2023

Northern Southeast hatchery group donates to trollers fight against lawsuit

The Sitka-based Northern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association board voted March 1 to provide up to $75,000 toward legal expenses to help fight a lawsuit that threatens to shut down the Southeast commercial troll fisheries. The 22 members at...

 By Riley Rogerson    News    March 8, 2023

Murkowski testifies in support of Equal Rights Amendment for women

WASHINGTON — Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski testified in support of the Equal Rights Amendment at a Senate hearing this week, opposite a fellow Republican senator who opposes it. The Equal Rights Amendment, which was proposed in Congress in...

 By Sam Stockbridge    News    March 8, 2023

Ferry system advisory board unhappy with flow of information from state

At its two meetings last month, members of the Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board expressed frustration over the state Department of Transportation’s communication with the board on significant decisions, including the state ferry system’s...


State senators introduce new pension plan for public employees

A proposed overhaul of Alaska’s public employees retirement system would provide a new pension plan for state and municipal workers, intended by supporters to address the ongoing inability to recruit and retain enough employees. Half of the...

 By James Brooks    News    March 8, 2023

Public employee retirement plan falls short of benefits under previous system

Alaska’s 401(k)-style retirement system for new employees is providing significantly smaller benefits than the pension-style retirement system discontinued for new hires in 2006, according to an analysis from the state Division of Retirement and... Full story

 By Shannon Haugland    News    March 8, 2023

Senate Finance co-chair says proposed spending cap that excludes PFD is 'nonsensical'

Bills under consideration in the Legislature to cap state spending are not addressing the main challenges Alaska is facing, said Sitka Sen. Bert Stedman, co-chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “We don’t have a spending-side problem; we have a...

 By Zaz Hollander    News    March 8, 2023

State will close most of Cook Inlet to king salmon sportfishing

The state is shutting down most summer king salmon sportfishing around Cook Inlet amid continued declines in the strong, hard-running fish that not that long ago filled freezers and fueled tourism in the state’s most populated region. The Alaska...


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