After months of successfully avoiding COVID-19 in its facilities, more than 40 percent of inmates in Alaska’s prisons have now been infected with the disease.

That has frustrated advocates and families who point to overcrowding in prisons, inconsistent precautions, and a general lack of transparency about what is happening inside the Department of Corrections.

Anchorage’s pandemic jobs program wraps up, for now

Jan 12, 2021

Anchorage’s municipal beetle-kill spruce removal team wrapped up work for the season.

“Today’s actually our last day,” Andy Ethington, 26, said as he walked through a warehouse in South Anchorage. “So, we’re just cleaning out all the trucks, cleaning out the storage room. This is where we keep all the chainsaws and stuff,” he said, pointing inside.

Akiak Technology has been accepted into the Small Business Administration’s business development program, according to a news release.

The company is an information technology consulting business owned by Akian Native Community, a federally recognized Alaska Native Tribe.

The program is designed to level the playing field of federal government contracting for businesses that may be socially or economically disadvantaged.

Princess and Holland America cancel Alaska cruises through mid-May

Jan 11, 2021

Two cruise lines have canceled at least some of their sailings to Alaska in 2021.

Princess Cruises announced it was pausing all its operations through at least May 14. Holland America will cancel all Alaska cruises through mid-May, and three additional sailings in early June, the pair of Carnival Corporation subsidiaries said in statements.

In rural Alaska, COVID-19 vaccines hitch a ride on planes, sleds and water taxi

Jan 11, 2021

One of the biggest challenges for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech is keeping it cold.

But Dr. Ellen Hodges, contending with sub-zero temperatures on a remote Southwest Alaska airport tarmac last month, had the opposite problem as she prepared to vaccinate frontline health-care workers.

“It became immediately apparent that the vaccine was going to freeze in the metal part of the needle,” she said. “It was just kind of wild.”

Washington state’s attorney general and a legal coalition of 40 Tribes, states and community organizations filed a motion (January 7, 2021) to block the sale of the National Archives building in Seattle.

The facility houses an immense collection of historical documents and records, including records about Alaska and the Indigenous peoples of the area.

Updated at 11:45 p.m. ET

Congress reconvened Wednesday night to certify President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory, just hours after the U.S. Capitol was thrust into chaos by supporters of President Trump — an angry mob that breached the complex in an unprecedented violent act at the seat of America's federal government.

Haines among 6 DMVs to close if the proposed state budget passes

Jan 6, 2021

The Haines DMV is among a half-dozen rural branches on the chopping block in Governor Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget. The administration has suggested Haines residents travel to Juneau — by ferry — so the state can save on employees and offices.

Gov. Dunleavy’s proposed budget rolled out earlier this month proposes saving money but eliminating state jobs and lease expenses by shuttering six DMVs.