Rose Carney organizes supplies at the food pantry at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Eagle River, Alaska, on April 17, 2023. Carney and thousands of Alaskans who depend on government assistance have not received food stamps for months, exacerbating a hunger crisis. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Food stamp woes worsen hunger in Alaska

The backlog, which began last August, is especially concerning in a state where communities in far-flung areas

  • Apr 24, 2023
  • By Mark Thiessen and Becky Bohrer Associated Press
  • NewsState News
Rose Carney organizes supplies at the food pantry at Harvest Christian Fellowship Church in Eagle River, Alaska, on April 17, 2023. Carney and thousands of Alaskans who depend on government assistance have not received food stamps for months, exacerbating a hunger crisis. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building is photographed in Juneau in 2021. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Health officials say Alaska falling behind on key cancer screenings

Screenings for breast and cervical cancer in Alaska have been on a downward trend for several years, Anne Remick, the program director for the Section… Continue reading

The Alaska Department of Health And Social Services building is photographed in Juneau in 2021. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Kenai Public Health Center is seen on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska lags national average for childhood vaccinations

All vaccines administered in Alaska are reported to the Alaska Immunization Information System

The Kenai Public Health Center is seen on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
A chart shows the number and type of Alaska residents receiving Medicaid coverage based on either 2022 Alaska Medicaid Claims data (yellow) or 2021 U.S. Census data (orange). More than 260,000 residents are currently enrolled, about 30,000 more than 2020, due to a federal provision that kept states from removing people during the COVID-19 pandemic. That provision ended April 1 and Alaska officials are scheduled review eligibility of all residents enrolled during the next 12 months. (Alaska Division of Public Assistance)

Department of Health to reevaluate every Medicaid beneficiary

The state has to begin redetermination for everyone receiving benefits by March 31

A chart shows the number and type of Alaska residents receiving Medicaid coverage based on either 2022 Alaska Medicaid Claims data (yellow) or 2021 U.S. Census data (orange). More than 260,000 residents are currently enrolled, about 30,000 more than 2020, due to a federal provision that kept states from removing people during the COVID-19 pandemic. That provision ended April 1 and Alaska officials are scheduled review eligibility of all residents enrolled during the next 12 months. (Alaska Division of Public Assistance)
Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting sex and gender content in schools. A second meeting for public testimony is scheduled Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

Peninsula voices among ‘parental rights’ debate in Juneau

People who spoke in opposition outnumbered those who spoke in support by three to one

Apayauq Reitan, the first transgender woman to participate in the Iditarod, tells the House Education Committee on March 30, 2023, why she opposes a bill restricting sex and gender content in schools. A second meeting for public testimony is scheduled Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
This March 10 photo shows fentanyl pills seized by police. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

State health alert issued for fentanyl mixture

Xylazine is not approved for human use and naloxone will not be able to reverse its effect

This March 10 photo shows fentanyl pills seized by police. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 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)
Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 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)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19: Sharp decline in statewide hospitalizations

According to state data, 12 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alaska

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge, left, and Sen. Jesse Bjorkman address constituents during a town hall event on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bjorkman, Ruffridge report back from Juneau

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s “parental rights” bill, state finances and funding for education were discussed

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, left, and Sen. Jesse Bjorkman address constituents during a town hall event on Saturday, April 15, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
In this photo provided by Christopher Hayden, a light baby blue spiral resembling a galaxy appears amid the aurora for a few minutes in the Alaska skies near Fairbanks, Saturday, April 15, 2023. The spiral was formed when excess fuel that had been released from a SpaceX rocket that launched from California about three hours earlier turned to ice, and then the water vapor reflected the sunlight in the upper atmosphere. (Christopher Hayden via AP)

Odd spiral appears amid northern lights in Alaska night sky

The cause early Saturday morning was a little more mundane than an alien invasion

In this photo provided by Christopher Hayden, a light baby blue spiral resembling a galaxy appears amid the aurora for a few minutes in the Alaska skies near Fairbanks, Saturday, April 15, 2023. The spiral was formed when excess fuel that had been released from a SpaceX rocket that launched from California about three hours earlier turned to ice, and then the water vapor reflected the sunlight in the upper atmosphere. (Christopher Hayden via AP)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, discusses what she considers inadequacies in state education funding during floor debate Monday, April 17, 2023, about the House’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget approved by a 23-17 vote will next be considered by the Senate, with a compromise version likely drafted to resolve differences before the end of the session.

House passes budget as final month of session begins

Senate expected to take public testimony on its proposed spending plan later this week

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, discusses what she considers inadequacies in state education funding during floor debate Monday, April 17, 2023, about the House’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget approved by a 23-17 vote will next be considered by the Senate, with a compromise version likely drafted to resolve differences before the end of the session.
Eric Osuch tries to offer papers related to his arrest in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, April 17, 2023, to a reporter as Juneau Police Department officers escort him to a nearby patrol vehicle. Osuch, who was staging a solo protest about fisheries bycatch policies, was banned from the Capitol after causing a public disruption and was arrested a short time later for another alleged disturbance inside the State Office Building. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Fisheries activist arrested at Capitol

Juneau man staging solo protest disrupts committee hearing

Eric Osuch tries to offer papers related to his arrest in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, April 17, 2023, to a reporter as Juneau Police Department officers escort him to a nearby patrol vehicle. Osuch, who was staging a solo protest about fisheries bycatch policies, was banned from the Capitol after causing a public disruption and was arrested a short time later for another alleged disturbance inside the State Office Building. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alaska LNG Project Manager Brad Chastain presents information about the project during a luncheon at the Kenai Chamber Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Feds OK exports for LNG project

Thursday’s action reaffirms a 2020 authorization by the department that was challenged by environmentalists

Alaska LNG Project Manager Brad Chastain presents information about the project during a luncheon at the Kenai Chamber Commerce and Visitor Center on Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner-designee John Boyle presents information about carbon capture, utilization and storage during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Friday, April 14, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

State officials tout carbon capture initiatives at chamber chat

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner-designee John Boyle attended Friday’s Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner-designee John Boyle presents information about carbon capture, utilization and storage during a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Friday, April 14, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a crater and an ash cloud after the Shiveluch volcano erupted in Klyuchi village on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka Peninsula’s most active volcanoes, started erupting early Tuesday, spewing ash more than 300 miles northwest. Several Russian villages were covered in grey volcanic dust in the largest fallout in nearly 60 years. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)

Ash from Russian volcano prompts Alaska flight cancellations

The ash cloud is from Shiveluch Volcano

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a crater and an ash cloud after the Shiveluch volcano erupted in Klyuchi village on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, Wednesday, April 12, 2023. Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka Peninsula’s most active volcanoes, started erupting early Tuesday, spewing ash more than 300 miles northwest. Several Russian villages were covered in grey volcanic dust in the largest fallout in nearly 60 years. (Satellite image ©2023 Maxar Technologies via AP)
Mandy Iworrigan via AP
In this photo provided by Mandy Iworrigan is Nanuq, in the middle with Brooklyn Faith, after the 1-year-old Australian shepherd was returned to Gambell, on April 6.

Dog arrives home after sea-ice odyssey

About a month after Nanuq disappeared, people in Wales, 150 miles northeast of Savoonga on Alaska’s western coast, began posting pictures online of what they described as a lost dog

Mandy Iworrigan via AP
In this photo provided by Mandy Iworrigan is Nanuq, in the middle with Brooklyn Faith, after the 1-year-old Australian shepherd was returned to Gambell, on April 6.
AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
Mitchell Thomas Watley, right, listens to his attorney Nick Polasky before a scheduled court hearing on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. A preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday for Watley, a children’s book illustrator, was pushed to April 21. Watley has been accused of terroristic threatening after authorities said he posted in locations in Juneau transphobic notes that referenced shooting children.

Hearing pushed back for Alaska illustrator on threat charge

Mitchell Thomas Watley, 47, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing Tuesday

AP Photo / Becky Bohrer
Mitchell Thomas Watley, right, listens to his attorney Nick Polasky before a scheduled court hearing on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. A preliminary hearing that was scheduled for Tuesday for Watley, a children’s book illustrator, was pushed to April 21. Watley has been accused of terroristic threatening after authorities said he posted in locations in Juneau transphobic notes that referenced shooting children.
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19: Local cases remain low

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 13 cases were reported this week

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
In this Thursday, April 6, 2023, image provided by Providence Alaska, a moose stands inside a Providence Alaska Health Park medical building in Anchorage, Alaska. The moose chomped on plants in the lobby until security was able to shoo it out, but not before people stopped by to take photos of the moose. (Providence Alaska via AP)

Moose feasts on lobby plants in Anchorage hospital building

A young moose trudging through the snow looking for a meal spotted green plants in the lobby of a medical building

In this Thursday, April 6, 2023, image provided by Providence Alaska, a moose stands inside a Providence Alaska Health Park medical building in Anchorage, Alaska. The moose chomped on plants in the lobby until security was able to shoo it out, but not before people stopped by to take photos of the moose. (Providence Alaska via AP)
The American island of Little Diomede, Alaska, left, and on the right, the Russian island of Big Diomede, are seen from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica in the Bering Strait, on July 14, 2017. The Alaska Air National Guard on April 3, 2023, traveled nearly 660 miles to rescue a pregnant woman on a small island two miles from Russia who had severe abdominal pains, a reflection of the challenges patients face in the nation’s largest state where the most remote areas have no roads and hospitals can be hundreds of miles away. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Rescue flight highlights Alaska’s unique challenges

The Alaska Air National Guard this week traveled nearly 660 miles to rescue a pregnant woman on a small island

The American island of Little Diomede, Alaska, left, and on the right, the Russian island of Big Diomede, are seen from the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica in the Bering Strait, on July 14, 2017. The Alaska Air National Guard on April 3, 2023, traveled nearly 660 miles to rescue a pregnant woman on a small island two miles from Russia who had severe abdominal pains, a reflection of the challenges patients face in the nation’s largest state where the most remote areas have no roads and hospitals can be hundreds of miles away. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)