COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Amid steep rise in COVID-19 cases, officials see reasons for optimism

COVID cases increased 145% from this week to last week, according to state data.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Micciche briefs community ahead of session

Micciche seeks path forward on budget, looks to pass legislation on fishing permits, alcohol regulations

State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Statewide average case numbers double in 1 week

Alaska reported an estimated rolling average of 583.3 cases per 100,000 people daily over the past seven days.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Image via labor.alaska.gov

Uncertainty clouds future of state’s economy; modest job growth expected

That’s according to the January edition of “Alaska Economic Trends”

Image via labor.alaska.gov
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, leave the chamber after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Jay Allen Johnson, 65, who faced charges of sending a series of profanity-laced voice messages to the two senators, entered guilty pleas, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in federal court in Fairbanks, Alaska, to two counts of threatening to kill a U.S. official. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline accepted Johnson’s pleas and set sentencing for April 8. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Alaska man who threatened to kill senators pleads guilty

He faces up 10 years in jail on each charge.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, leave the chamber after a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, early Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Jay Allen Johnson, 65, who faced charges of sending a series of profanity-laced voice messages to the two senators, entered guilty pleas, Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in federal court in Fairbanks, Alaska, to two counts of threatening to kill a U.S. official. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline accepted Johnson’s pleas and set sentencing for April 8. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building in October 2020. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire file)

PFD filing period opens

The 2022 PFD application period opened Jan. 1 and will close on March 31.

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation building in October 2020. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire file)
The Alaska State Capitol is seen here in this June 7, 2021, file photo. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Higher Alaska lawmaker salary, allowance cut proposed

The proposal would raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers from $50,400 to $64,000

The Alaska State Capitol is seen here in this June 7, 2021, file photo. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell after a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 27, 2021. (Jim Bourg/Pool via AP, File)

Jan. 6 committee prepares to go public

In the coming months, members of the panel will start to reveal their findings

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., speaks with U.S. Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell after a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on Capitol Hill in Washington, on July 27, 2021. (Jim Bourg/Pool via AP, File)
Humpback whales breach the ocean’s surface in this undated Juneau photograph. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)

To the rescue: Volunteers stand ready to help stranded marine animals

When animals need help, a network of dedicated volunteers are trained and ready to pitch in.

Humpback whales breach the ocean’s surface in this undated Juneau photograph. (Michael Penn /Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer speaks during a press conference announcing the administration’s push for changes to the state’s election system on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kevin Goodman, State of Alaska)

Governor proposes sweeping changes to election system

Dunleavy plans to put the “election integrity” bill before the Alaska Legislature next session.

Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer speaks during a press conference announcing the administration’s push for changes to the state’s election system on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kevin Goodman, State of Alaska)
This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. The Capitol will be the site of a committee hearing next month that will focus on the recent firing of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. CEO Angela Rodell. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. The Capitol will be the site of a committee hearing next month that will focus on the recent firing of Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. CEO Angela Rodell. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
An emergency worker holds a COVID-19 test sample at the Juneau International Airport in Juneau, Alaska, in October 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

COVID tests at airports catch 6K cases since June 2020

The program to test travelers will stop at Alaska airports at the end of January.

An emergency worker holds a COVID-19 test sample at the Juneau International Airport in Juneau, Alaska, in October 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

More omicron cases reported

Alaska will no longer offer testing at airports in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau beginning Feb. 1.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
This photo shows the stern of the MV Matanuska on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Matanuska delayed as repair work continues

Jan. 24 sailing to Bellingham canceled.

This photo shows the stern of the MV Matanuska on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

Cases down, but officials urge vaccination against omicron

The state reported an average of 159.1 cases per 100,000 people across the state cumulatively over the past seven days.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Miss Alaska Emma Broyles, center, reacts after being crowned Miss America at Mohegan Sun, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

New Miss America 1st Alaskan, Korean American title holder

Broyles, 20, said her grandparents immigrated from Korea to Anchorage about 50 years ago, before her mother was born.

Miss Alaska Emma Broyles, center, reacts after being crowned Miss America at Mohegan Sun, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin speaks during a press briefing by the Alaska State Department of Public Health on Dec. 16, 2021. (Screenshot)

‘Yes, this pandemic will end’

But it’s going to take proactive work, health officials say

State Epidemiologist Dr. Joe McLaughlin speaks during a press briefing by the Alaska State Department of Public Health on Dec. 16, 2021. (Screenshot)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is seen here at an Aug. 16, 2021 news conference. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Governor revisits proposal to divide DHSS

The move would create a Department of Health and a Department of Family and Community Services.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is seen here at an Aug. 16, 2021 news conference. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Image via State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

‘Urgent’ need to address youth mental health in Alaska

In 2019, suicide was the leading cause of death for young adults ages 15 to 24 in Alaska.

Image via State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks about the proposed State of Alaska fiscal year 2023 operating and capital budget on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)

Dunleavy releases $11 billion budget plan

The Kenai Bluff Stabilization project is among those that would receive funding

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks about the proposed State of Alaska fiscal year 2023 operating and capital budget on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Office of the Governor)