Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes, center, along with leaders of the House majority coalition, Rep. Bryce Edgmon, left and Rep. Kelly Merrickspeaks, right, speak to reporters on the final day of a special legislative session in Juneau, Alaska Friday, June 18, 2021. The special legislative session limped toward a bitter end Friday, with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreeing over the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this week. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Special session limps toward its end, another looms

Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreed on the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers.

 

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A recently released map by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows the vast areas of low data speeds and access by broadband users across Alaska and the rest of the U.S.

White House laying groundwork for improved internet infrastructure

In Alaska, providers are looking at their own improvments to access.

 

A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron taxi during exercise Red Flag-Alaska 21-02 at Eielson Air Force Base on June 14. 
Tech. Sgt. Peter Thompson / U.S. Air Force

Air Force kicks off major multinational exercise in Alaska

More than 100 aircraft from three countries will be involved.

 

Ron Gillham, who represents District 30 in the Alaska House of Representatives, is seen here in this undated photo. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)

Gillham files intent to run in 2022 primary

Gillham did not indicate the office he plans to run for.

Ron Gillham, who represents District 30 in the Alaska House of Representatives, is seen here in this undated photo. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn’t rectify by Friday issues with the budget passed earlier this week.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn’t rectify by Friday issues with the budget passed earlier this week.
Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire)

State avoids shutdown, but PFD questions remain

Capitol reopened, and lawmakers prepare for take off.

Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire)
In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry speaks in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday, June 15, 2021, by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. Doughty’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction to those states said his order applies nationwide. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Federal judge blocks Biden’s pause on new oil, gas leases

The decision is a blow to Democratic President Joe Biden’s efforts to rapidly transition the nation away from fossil fuels

In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry speaks in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington. The Biden administration’s suspension of new oil and gas leases on federal land and water was blocked Tuesday, June 15, 2021, by a federal judge in Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed in March by Louisiana’s Republican attorney general, Jeff Landry and officials in 12 other states. Doughty’s ruling granting a preliminary injunction to those states said his order applies nationwide. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche prepares for the start of a brief Senate floor session on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. Lawmakers were trying to reach resolution on a state spending package during the special legislative session. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Budget talks break down as shutdown looms

Legislative leadership met for most of the day Tuesday.

Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche prepares for the start of a brief Senate floor session on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. Lawmakers were trying to reach resolution on a state spending package during the special legislative session. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Alaska House and Senate members who make up a budget conference committee are shown before starting a meeting in Juneau, Alaska, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Lawmakers decry ‘bully tactics’ in budget proposal

The proposal allocates an Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payment of $1,100 but splits the funding sources for the payment.

Alaska House and Senate members who make up a budget conference committee are shown before starting a meeting in Juneau, Alaska, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Juneau residents place hundreds of pairs of children’s shoes in front of the statue at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park on Saturday as they mourned for the 215 dead children uncovered at a residential school in Canada.

Juneau community holds vigil for residential school victims

Many of the residential schools in Alaska ran until the late 20th century.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
Juneau residents place hundreds of pairs of children’s shoes in front of the statue at Mayor Bill Overstreet Park on Saturday as they mourned for the 215 dead children uncovered at a residential school in Canada.
In this July 31, 2013, file photo, tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest are reflected in a pool of water as they make their way to Nugget Falls in Juneau. The federal government has announced plans to repeal or replace a decision by the Trump administration to lift restrictions on logging and road building in a southeast Alaska rainforest that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plans for the Tongass National Forest were described as consistent with a January 2021 executive order from President Joe Biden that called for reviewing agency actions during the Trump administration that could be at odds with Biden’s environmental priorities. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

US will revisit Trump-era decision on Tongass

Conservationists cheered the announcement as a positive step.

In this July 31, 2013, file photo, tourists visiting the Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest are reflected in a pool of water as they make their way to Nugget Falls in Juneau. The federal government has announced plans to repeal or replace a decision by the Trump administration to lift restrictions on logging and road building in a southeast Alaska rainforest that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plans for the Tongass National Forest were described as consistent with a January 2021 executive order from President Joe Biden that called for reviewing agency actions during the Trump administration that could be at odds with Biden’s environmental priorities. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, talks during an interview in the Empire’s offices. During the conversation, Young discussed ongoing infrastructure bill negotiations, the Arctic’s strategic importance to the U.S. and why he’s seeking a 26th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Sitting down with Rep. Young

Congressman shares thoughts on infrastructure, the Arctic and reelection.

Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, talks during an interview in the Empire’s offices. During the conversation, Young discussed ongoing infrastructure bill negotiations, the Arctic’s strategic importance to the U.S. and why he’s seeking a 26th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

‘A lot of work to do’: Officials hope for summer bounce in vaccinations

Zink said just six months ago she didn’t think the state would have as much vaccine stock as it does now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Gavin Hunt, 13, receives his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Data show vaccinated people less than 1% likely to get COVID

As of April 30, approximately 101 million people in the U.S. were considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gavin Hunt, 13, receives his second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
University officials are hoping that increased collaboration between the University of Alaska’s three schools of education will result in more Alaskans becoming teachers. The Univerity of Alaska Southeast, seen here in this October 2020 file photo, offers teacher training and retention programs. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Help wanted: Alaskans to teach Alaska’s students

New consortium and marketing campaign aims to retain and recruit teachers

University officials are hoping that increased collaboration between the University of Alaska’s three schools of education will result in more Alaskans becoming teachers. The Univerity of Alaska Southeast, seen here in this October 2020 file photo, offers teacher training and retention programs. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
In this July 13, 2007, file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)

Proposed conservation plans could affect Pebble project

Terms of the deal would bar the execution of any right-of-way agreements with the mine project.

In this July 13, 2007, file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives an interview in the state Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The governor urged legislative action on his proposal for the dividend paid to residents from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Dunleavy urges lawmakers to take action on dividend plan

“Every time we come up with a thing to move this along, it’s not enough for some people …”

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives an interview in the state Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The governor urged legislative action on his proposal for the dividend paid to residents from Alaska’s oil-wealth fund. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Without a budget to vote on, many lawmakers were absent from the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, as negotiations continue in committee. But even the conference committee isn't scheduled until later in the week as deep divisions among lawmakers remain. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Without a budget to vote on, many lawmakers were absent from the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, as negotiations continue in committee. But even the conference committee isn't scheduled until later in the week as deep divisions among lawmakers remain. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
With a shortened cruise season rapidly approaching, companies are working to get ready and staff seasonal positions up and running. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Shaping up, shipping in: Southeast tour companies eagerly readying for shortened season

Even if it’s a short season, it’ll set them up for success in 2022, companies say.

With a shortened cruise season rapidly approaching, companies are working to get ready and staff seasonal positions up and running. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage, Alaska. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)

CDC: Florida lawsuit imperils summer cruises to Alaska

Alaska estimates that cruising contributes $3 billion a year to the state economy.

The Cunard cruise ship Queen Elizabeth sails through Cook Inlet Thursday, May 16, 2019, for a port call in Anchorage, Alaska. Federal officials say a lawsuit in Florida could block cruise ships from visiting Alaska in summer 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)