Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Masks were made optional Friday in the Alaska House of Representatives, but lawmakers are still trying to get their work done. Gov. Mike Dunleavy called two special sessions Thursday, but the proposal was met with mixed reactions.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Masks were made optional Friday in the Alaska House of Representatives, but lawmakers are still trying to get their work done. Gov. Mike Dunleavy called two special sessions Thursday, but the proposal was met with mixed reactions.
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

1 in 2 Alaskans 16 and older have received at least 1 dose of vaccine

44.16% of residents 16 and older in the Kenai Peninsula Borough had received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, gave his annual address to the Alaska State Legislature on May 3, 2021, but some Democratic lawmakers said the speech brought the partisanship of Washington D.C. to Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, gave his annual address to the Alaska State Legislature on May 3, 2021, but some Democratic lawmakers said the speech brought the partisanship of Washington D.C. to Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, looks out on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, May 10, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House on Monday resumed debate on a version of the state operating budget. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, Pool)

Dunleavy calls 2 special sessions

Dunleavy cited the inability of the Alaska House of Representatives to formally organize until more than one month into the regular session.

Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, looks out on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, May 10, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House on Monday resumed debate on a version of the state operating budget. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, Pool)
This photo provided by Nathan Hadley Jr. shows flooding in the village of Buckland, Alaska, on Thursday, May 13, 2021. An ice jam on the Buckland River, a half mile below the community, has caused the entire village of about 500 residents in northwest Alaska to be completely inundated. (Nathan Hadley Jr. via AP)

Widespread flooding reported in northwest Alaska community

At least three families were evacuated overnight because of the raging water and ice.

This photo provided by Nathan Hadley Jr. shows flooding in the village of Buckland, Alaska, on Thursday, May 13, 2021. An ice jam on the Buckland River, a half mile below the community, has caused the entire village of about 500 residents in northwest Alaska to be completely inundated. (Nathan Hadley Jr. via AP)
Then-Gov. Sean Parnell speaks during an interview at the governor's mansion in July 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Then-Gov. Sean Parnell speaks during an interview at the governor's mansion in July 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
A DNR map of navigable and non-navigable waters are seen on the Kenai Peninsula. (Screenshot)

State unveils maps in effort to ‘unlock’ Alaska waters

The maps are part of an initiative to assert control of state lands.

A DNR map of navigable and non-navigable waters are seen on the Kenai Peninsula. (Screenshot)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska, with a number of state legislators around him. Dunleavy discussed a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund dividend. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Dunleavy proposes new changes to Permanent Fund

The changes are an amendment to updates he proposed earlier this year.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks during a news conference on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska, with a number of state legislators around him. Dunleavy discussed a proposed constitutional amendment dealing with the Alaska Permanent Fund and the Permanent Fund dividend. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Youth 12-15 years old can now get vaccinated

Borough emergency management is working to assist the Pfizer vaccine rollout efforts to the new eligible population.

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The entrance to the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska, photographed on Feb. 26, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Identity of Alaska Court System hacker still unknown

The system was able to restore email access Tuesday.

The entrance to the Kenai Courthouse in Kenai, Alaska, photographed on Feb. 26, 2019. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Southcentral Alaska at increased risk for ‘severe’ wildfires in future

A study from researchers across Alaska said that the region should expect future fire seasons comparable to 2019.

Smoke from the Swan Lake Fire impairs visibility on the Sterling Highway on Aug. 20, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

State reports 2 new deaths as cases continue downward trend

DHSS reported 62 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a drop from over 100 reported a week ago.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit flies over the Gulf of Alaska in support of Northern Edge 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin)

Marines and sailors take part in largest joint exercise of 2021

Ships, aircraft, and 15,000 servicemembers all came together to hold the huge interservice exercise.

A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 164 (Reinforced), 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit flies over the Gulf of Alaska in support of Northern Edge 2021. (U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Brendan Mullin)
Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left and Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, questioned Attorney General Treg Taylor about the administration’s approach to legal matters at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, March 23, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Alaska lawmakers confirm attorney general, department heads

Taylor was the only Cabinet-level appointee who generated debate among lawmakers meeting to consider Dunleavy’s nominees.

Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left and Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, questioned Attorney General Treg Taylor about the administration’s approach to legal matters at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, March 23, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, looks out on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, May 10, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House on Monday resumed debate on a version of the state operating budget. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, Pool)

Alaska House passes budget; dividend amount unsettled

The budget next goes to the Senate.

Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, looks out on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, May 10, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House on Monday resumed debate on a version of the state operating budget. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, Pool)
George Bennett pictured shortly after arriving in Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Bennett served in the 2/12th Infantry 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and was assigned to Dau Tieng Base Camp. (Photo courtesy George Bennett, Sr.)

Opinion: It’s time to correct a Vietnam-era injustice

Let’s give our Alaska Native Vietnam-era veterans the land they’re owed and honor their legacy of service before it’s too late.

George Bennett pictured shortly after arriving in Vietnam in 1967. Mr. Bennett served in the 2/12th Infantry 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division and was assigned to Dau Tieng Base Camp. (Photo courtesy George Bennett, Sr.)
A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

COVID cases drop 31% statewide this week, 29.8% locally

Positive COVID-19 cases statewide dropped about 31% in the last week, according to data from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. From April… Continue reading

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Data from the Alaska State Department of Epidemiology on Thursday, May 6, 2021 show the media usage of respondents in a survey about COVID-19 information. The report notes that this is about general media usage, not just as it pertains to COVID-19. (Photo provided by the Alaska State Department of Epidemiology)

Survey: Friends, family most trusted among vaccine hesitant

The study analyzed the subset group of those surveyed who were not planning to get vaccinated, but who were open to learning more about the shots

Data from the Alaska State Department of Epidemiology on Thursday, May 6, 2021 show the media usage of respondents in a survey about COVID-19 information. The report notes that this is about general media usage, not just as it pertains to COVID-19. (Photo provided by the Alaska State Department of Epidemiology)
Adam Kiffmeyer and Billy Adamson scale a communications tower on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Task force to look at statewide broadband access

The task force will consist of 11 voting members and two ex officio members.

Adam Kiffmeyer and Billy Adamson scale a communications tower on Thursday, Jan. 7 in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)