This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol where lawmakers have been briefed on a plan state regulators say will allow more flexibility that benefits both businesses and the environment in “Alaska’s unique conditions.” However, some senators expressed skepticism over efforts to take over what are known as “Clean Water Act Section 404” permits. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Alaska seeking a 404 redirect for wetlands development

State wants to take over permitting control from feds, but costs and murky legal questions linger.

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol where lawmakers have been briefed on a plan state regulators say will allow more flexibility that benefits both businesses and the environment in “Alaska’s unique conditions.” However, some senators expressed skepticism over efforts to take over what are known as “Clean Water Act Section 404” permits. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File
“I voted” stickers await voters on Election Day 2022. That election was the first regular general election in Alaska to include ranked choice voting, which was narrowly approved by voters in 2020. Bills to do away with ranked choice voting have been introduced in the Legislature and a petition to put the matter before voters is circulating. However, a pro-ranked choice petition has been launched to show support for the state’s current elections system, which also includes open primaries.

Pro-ranked choice petition launched

Signatures sought to persuade Legislature not to overturn RCV and open primaries.

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File
“I voted” stickers await voters on Election Day 2022. That election was the first regular general election in Alaska to include ranked choice voting, which was narrowly approved by voters in 2020. Bills to do away with ranked choice voting have been introduced in the Legislature and a petition to put the matter before voters is circulating. However, a pro-ranked choice petition has been launched to show support for the state’s current elections system, which also includes open primaries.
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Rebecca Himschoot, I-Sitka, offers an overview Wednesday of Southeast Alaska’s commercial troll fisheries while asking for support on a resolution opposing a lawsuit by a Washington-based group that would shut the fisheries down due to their alleged impacts on species in that state. The resolution passed by a 35-1 vote.
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Rebecca Himschoot, I-Sitka, offers an overview Wednesday of Southeast Alaska’s commercial troll fisheries while asking for support on a resolution opposing a lawsuit by a Washington-based group that would shut the fisheries down due to their alleged impacts on species in that state. The resolution passed by a 35-1 vote.
A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alberta., on May 4, 2016. Smoke from boreal fires in 2021 contributed the most to global fire CO2 emissions since 2000, according to a new study in Science being released with a press briefing at the annual AAAS meeting. Using satellite-based atmospheric measurements, researchers from around the world determined that boreal fire smoke made up 23% of global fire CO2 emissions when it typically accounts for 10% of these emissions. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, file)

Carbon emissions from boreal forest fires rose in 2021

Smoke from these wildfires made up 23% of global fire emissions

A wildfire moves towards the town of Anzac from Fort McMurray, Alberta., on May 4, 2016. Smoke from boreal fires in 2021 contributed the most to global fire CO2 emissions since 2000, according to a new study in Science being released with a press briefing at the annual AAAS meeting. Using satellite-based atmospheric measurements, researchers from around the world determined that boreal fire smoke made up 23% of global fire CO2 emissions when it typically accounts for 10% of these emissions. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP, file)
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, (left) answers questions from attendees at a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bjorkman bill aims to expand local grading of lumber

The bill, if passed, would establish a lumber grade training program under the Alaska Division of Forestry

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, (left) answers questions from attendees at a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Alaska residents with disabilities and advocates providing services intended to support self-sufficiency wave a banner and noisemakers during a noontime Wednesday rally in a blizzard on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol.

Rally for disability services held at Capitol

About 20 people made their way to Capitol to seek solutions for service shortages.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Alaska residents with disabilities and advocates providing services intended to support self-sufficiency wave a banner and noisemakers during a noontime Wednesday rally in a blizzard on the steps of the Alaska State Capitol.
Brent Sass heads down the Yukon River between Ruby and Galena, Alaska, on March 13, 2020, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Only 33 mushers will participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on Saturday, March 4, the smallest field ever. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)

Iditarod begins with smallest field ever

Only 33 mushers will participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday

Brent Sass heads down the Yukon River between Ruby and Galena, Alaska, on March 13, 2020, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Only 33 mushers will participate in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod on Saturday, March 4, the smallest field ever. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP, File)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
This 2019 aerial photo provided by ConocoPhillips shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. The Biden administration is weighing approval of a major oil project on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope that supporters say represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities in the region but environmentalists say is counter to Biden’s climate goals. A decision on ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project, in a federal oil reserve roughly the size of Indiana, could come by early March 2023. (ConocoPhillips via AP, File)

Biden faces dilemma in fight over Willow project

A decision on ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project could come by early March

  • Feb 28, 2023
  • By Becky Bohrer and Matthew Brown Associated Press
  • NewsState News
This 2019 aerial photo provided by ConocoPhillips shows an exploratory drilling camp at the proposed site of the Willow oil project on Alaska’s North Slope. The Biden administration is weighing approval of a major oil project on Alaska’s petroleum-rich North Slope that supporters say represents an economic lifeline for Indigenous communities in the region but environmentalists say is counter to Biden’s climate goals. A decision on ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Willow project, in a federal oil reserve roughly the size of Indiana, could come by early March 2023. (ConocoPhillips via AP, File)
LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bjorkman talks state finances, fishing permit buyback at Soldotna town hall

About 25 people filed into the George A. Navarre Admin Building on Saturday, where Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, R-Nikiski, held a town hall to brief residents… Continue reading

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19: 13 new deaths confirmed, cases and hospitalizations up statewide

Hospitalizations and statewide reported cases of COVID-19 are both up this week, according to the State Department of Health. Cases were reported down in the… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the ten-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

COVID-19 stable in AK; flu and RSV in steep decline

Flu and respiratory syncytial virus have both seen a steep decline in Alaska, health officials said on a recent Public Health ECHO, held via Zoom… Continue reading

Nurse Sherra Pritchard gives Madyson Knudsen a bandage at the Kenai Public Health Center after the ten-year-old received her first COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Carol Beecher, the new director of the Alaska Division of Elections, speaks during a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. Beecher’s appointment as director was announced a day earlier by Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, who participated in a Thursday news conference by phone. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Dahlstrom defends pick for top Alaska elections role

Beecher most recently led the state’s child support division

Carol Beecher, the new director of the Alaska Division of Elections, speaks during a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. Beecher’s appointment as director was announced a day earlier by Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom, who participated in a Thursday news conference by phone. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Anchorage School District superintendent Dr. Jharrett Bryantt speaks with a reporter in the library at Denali Montessori Elementary School on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska’s largest school district repeatedly and inappropriately secluded and restrained students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday following an investigation into alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

DOJ faults Alaska district for use of seclusion, restraints

The Justice Department investigated alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Anchorage School District superintendent Dr. Jharrett Bryantt speaks with a reporter in the library at Denali Montessori Elementary School on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Anchorage, Alaska. Alaska’s largest school district repeatedly and inappropriately secluded and restrained students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday following an investigation into alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Loren Holmes/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
AP Photo/Becky Bohrer 
People rally in support of renewable energy policies, such as strengthening a renewable energy fund, across from the Alaska Capitol on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. Some environmentalists are skeptical of legislation proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy that aims to capitalize on carbon storage and carbon markets.

Alaska carbon plan: Boost state coffers without cutting oil

The newest idea would have the state capitalize on its oil and gas expertise to tap into a developing industry — carbon storage

AP Photo/Becky Bohrer 
People rally in support of renewable energy policies, such as strengthening a renewable energy fund, across from the Alaska Capitol on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, in Juneau, Alaska. Some environmentalists are skeptical of legislation proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy that aims to capitalize on carbon storage and carbon markets.
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Assembly OKs project list for state funding consideration

The list outlines work for which the borough would like financial assistance from the State of Alaska

One of the two buildings used to teach elementary school children in Kachemak Selo sits on the outer edge of the village Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in the village at the head of Kachemack Bay. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Dan Robison (on screen, bottom) presents a chart showing Alaska’s 10-year trend of negative net migration during a Soldotna City Council work session on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. (Screenshot)

Soldotna brainstorms how to lure new employees

It took the city 12 months to hire a new city clerk and eight months to hire a new utility operator

Dan Robison (on screen, bottom) presents a chart showing Alaska’s 10-year trend of negative net migration during a Soldotna City Council work session on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. (Screenshot)
Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File
Emergency lights flash on top of a police car. On Wednesday, a trio of bills seeking to increase penalties for sex and drug crimes was introduced by by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Governor targets sex and drug crimes

Bills increase penalties for sex trafficking and fatal overdoses, but effectiveness questioned

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File
Emergency lights flash on top of a police car. On Wednesday, a trio of bills seeking to increase penalties for sex and drug crimes was introduced by by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Lawmakers, staff and other workers inside the The Alaska State Capitol are preparing this week for the upcoming session of the Alaska State Legislature that starts Jan. 17, including the release of the first round of prefile bills published Monday by the Legislative Affairs Agency. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers, staff and other workers inside the The Alaska State Capitol are preparing this week for the upcoming session of the Alaska State Legislature that starts Jan. 17, including the release of the first round of prefile bills published Monday by the Legislative Affairs Agency. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)