Abbe Hensley, of Best Beginnings, shows off her phone case during a hearing for SB 6 in front of the Senate Education Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The bill is to provide money for prekindergarten education. The case reads: Alaskans for Early Education. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Abbe Hensley, of Best Beginnings, shows off her phone case during a hearing for SB 6 in front of the Senate Education Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The bill is to provide money for prekindergarten education. The case reads: Alaskans for Early Education. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Amanda Price, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, is surrounded by Department of Public Safety officials during a press conference on her confirmation to the position at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

On eve of vote, public safety commissioner pick tries to win over lawmakers

She said reports of her past have been “incredibly distorted.”

Amanda Price, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, is surrounded by Department of Public Safety officials during a press conference on her confirmation to the position at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, works a calculator as he and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, listen to public testimony on the state budget in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Friday, April 12, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, works a calculator as he and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, listen to public testimony on the state budget in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on Friday, April 12, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Tammie Wilson, right, speaks to other representatives on the House of Representatives floor on Wednesday. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Tammie Wilson, right, speaks to other representatives on the House of Representatives floor on Wednesday. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, center, speaks with Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak and Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, during a House floor session on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, center, speaks with Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak and Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, during a House floor session on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
In this March 8, 2019 photo, Margie Beedle, left, hugs her mother, Sally Thibodeau, as they chat with Alaska Pioneer Home employee Laura Minne during the home’s weekly ice cream social. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska eyeing proposal to raise Pioneer Home rates

Proposal would add two tiers to an existing three-tier program.

In this March 8, 2019 photo, Margie Beedle, left, hugs her mother, Sally Thibodeau, as they chat with Alaska Pioneer Home employee Laura Minne during the home’s weekly ice cream social. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, left, speaks with Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, on the House floor as amendments to the budget are proposed on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, left, speaks with Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, on the House floor as amendments to the budget are proposed on Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Bills look at PFD’s future, spending cap for Legislature

One bill is meant to be a “conversation starter.”

State health care director is out

She’s been in that position since 2012.

In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo, House Republicians huddle for a decision on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this Jan. 15, 2019 photo, House Republicians huddle for a decision on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

State’s top public defender resigns

He’ll stay on until the state finds a replacement.

Native women hold up red dresses to symbolize missing and murdered indigenous women during the Women’s March on Juneau in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Native women hold up red dresses to symbolize missing and murdered indigenous women during the Women’s March on Juneau in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, introduces his bill, House Bill 105, to the House Fisheries Committee on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. The bill relates to claims against protection and indemnity insurance policies of vessel owners. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, introduces his bill, House Bill 105, to the House Fisheries Committee on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. The bill relates to claims against protection and indemnity insurance policies of vessel owners. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska hospitals have critical need for blood

Donate at the Blood Bank of Alaska center.

James Biela, lead field advocate the Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, speaks during an informational meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

New data shows Alaska suicide rate increase

Someone in Alaska dies by suicide every 44 hours.

James Biela, lead field advocate the Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, speaks during an informational meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)