Staff, lawmakers and members of the press gather for the first Senate Judiciary Committee meeting of the 32nd Legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. While Senators moved ahead with work, the House of Representatives was once again unable to organize. (Peter Segall /  Juneau Empire)

Deadlock continues as senators forge ahead

Only one member of the House Coalition — a 20-member group of mostly Democrats that also includes independents and a Republican — attended Wednesday’s floor session.

Staff, lawmakers and members of the press gather for the first Senate Judiciary Committee meeting of the 32nd Legislature on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. While Senators moved ahead with work, the House of Representatives was once again unable to organize. (Peter Segall /  Juneau Empire)
This photo shows a sign marking the Division of Motor Vehicles office in the Mendenhall Valley area of Juneau. Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced Monday that she was ordering a review of Division of Motor Vehicles’ processes to determine how plates reading “3REICH” were issued. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

State to investigate issuance of offensive license plate

Division of Motor Vehicles plans to investigate the issuance of “3REICH” personalized license plates

This photo shows a sign marking the Division of Motor Vehicles office in the Mendenhall Valley area of Juneau. Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced Monday that she was ordering a review of Division of Motor Vehicles’ processes to determine how plates reading “3REICH” were issued. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer leaves the Alaska House of Representatives chamber Monday, Jan. 25, 2020 after presiding over yet another floor session in which lawmakers were unable to elect leadership. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer leaves the Alaska House of Representatives chamber Monday, Jan. 25, 2020 after presiding over yet another floor session in which lawmakers were unable to elect leadership. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Protesters march for women’s rights in Juneau in 2020. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced a bipartisan bill Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 to move forward the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, granting equal legal protection to the sexes, stalled in its ratification stage since 1972. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Murkowski co-sponsors bipartisan bill to affirm ratification of Equal Rights Amendment

Stalled since 1972, the ERA would guarantee equal legal protection to all sexes.

Protesters march for women’s rights in Juneau in 2020. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced a bipartisan bill Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 to move forward the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, granting equal legal protection to the sexes, stalled in its ratification stage since 1972. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses the public during a virtual town hall on Sept. 15, 2020 in Alaska. ( Courtesy Photo / Austin McDaniel, Office of the Governor)

Dunleavy pitches dividend change amid legislative splits

No clear direction has emerged from lawmakers.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses the public during a virtual town hall on Sept. 15, 2020 in Alaska. ( Courtesy Photo / Austin McDaniel, Office of the Governor)
Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, left, leaves the Alaska House of Representatives chamber Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, with George Rauscher, R-Sutton, after a brief floor session where lawmakers failed to nominate a temporary speaker. Meyer will preside over the body until a leadership is elected. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

House members optimistic, but still deadlocked

‘Not everyone stand at once here.’

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, left, leaves the Alaska House of Representatives chamber Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, with George Rauscher, R-Sutton, after a brief floor session where lawmakers failed to nominate a temporary speaker. Meyer will preside over the body until a leadership is elected. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
New signage at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Jan 15, 2020, reminds visitors of health mitigation strategies. Committees from the previous legislature had their final meetings Monday as the new session starts Tuesday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State will audit CARES Act funding

Public money, public information.

New signage at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Jan 15, 2020, reminds visitors of health mitigation strategies. Committees from the previous legislature had their final meetings Monday as the new session starts Tuesday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) listens to testimony in Juneau, Alaska, in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of Peter Micciche)

Local lawmakers prefile first bills of 32nd legislature

State Sens. Peter Micciche and Gary Stevens and State Rep. Sarah Vance have prefiled bills

Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) listens to testimony in Juneau, Alaska, in this undated photo. (Photo courtesy of Peter Micciche)
U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Koby I. Saunders
U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 prepare to take off from the flightline during Red Flag-Alaska 17-2 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in June 2017.

Elected officials welcome Navy’s new Arctic strategy

The Arctic — and the Navy’s strategy — are changing.

U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Koby I. Saunders
U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornets assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 prepare to take off from the flightline during Red Flag-Alaska 17-2 on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, in June 2017.
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)
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)
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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) transits the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle on Dec. 4, 2020. The crew is deploying on rare wintertime mission to the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)

Coast Guard needs more focus on Alaska bases and ships, Sullivan says

Recent Russian exercises and America’s sole functional icebreaker are all cause for concern, the senator opined.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star (WAGB-10) transits the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle on Dec. 4, 2020. The crew is deploying on rare wintertime mission to the Arctic Circle. (U.S. Coast Guard / Petty Officer Steve Strohmaier)
A lawsuit against the Trump Administration for removing protections on the Tongass National Forest, seen here on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, was filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 23, 2020. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Coalition files lawsuit against Trump Administration over Roadless Repeal

The lawsuit, formed with 21 plaintiffs, was filed in U.S. District court Wednesday.

A lawsuit against the Trump Administration for removing protections on the Tongass National Forest, seen here on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, was filed in U.S. District Court on Dec. 23, 2020. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
This photo composite shows Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Sullivan announces intent to override Trump’s defense budget veto

The bill to provide Americans with $600 is also in danger of a Trump veto.

This photo composite shows Alaska’s congressional delegation, from left to right, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young, all Republicans. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
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Gov. Mike Dunleavy participates in a livestream press conference via Facebook regarding the reorganization of the state’s Department of Health and Social Services on Tuesday.

Dunleavy to split DHSS into 2 new departments

The two new departments would be the Alaska Department of Health and the Alaska Department of Family and Community Services

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Gov. Mike Dunleavy participates in a livestream press conference via Facebook regarding the reorganization of the state’s Department of Health and Social Services on Tuesday.
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Douglas Island, part of the Tongass National Forest, breaks through the fog on Dec. 15, 2020.  A federal investigation found the U.S. Forest Service violated federal law in 2018 when it appropriated a $2 million grant to Alaska for input on Roadless Rule changes. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Douglas Island, part of the Tongass National Forest, breaks through the fog on Dec. 15, 2020.  A federal investigation found the U.S. Forest Service violated federal law in 2018 when it appropriated a $2 million grant to Alaska for input on Roadless Rule changes. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This photo shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020. BRH immediately began vaccinating its personnel upon receipt of the vaccine. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Adverse reaction to vaccine reported in Juneau

Health officials said it was the first reported instance in the U.S.

This photo shows vials of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020. BRH immediately began vaccinating its personnel upon receipt of the vaccine. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
This map shows the boundaries of Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources, KBSP and KBSWP management plan)
This map shows the boundaries of Kachemak Bay State Park and Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park. (Image courtesy Alaska Department of Natural Resources, KBSP and KBSWP management plan)
The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Personal watercraft allowed in Kachemak Bay once again

Fish and Game repeals ban that kept them out of critical habitat areas

The Homer Spit stretching into Kachemak Bay is seen here on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)