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Updated at 2:32 a.m. ET Friday

The Census Bureau is cutting short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 census amid growing concerns among Democrats in Congress that the White House is pressuring the bureau to wrap up counting soon for political gain, NPR has learned.

As 2020 Census efforts continue throughout the United States, Alaska is well behind other states in regards to households self-responding either through online, telephone or by mail. In fact, the only thing that’s keeping Alaska from being in last place is Puerto Rico. And the coronavirus could impact how census takers in rural Alaska fill that gap.

New bridge opens access to land and economic opportunity west of Nenana

Jul 29, 2020

The mayor of Nenana and other local leaders are celebrating completion of an $18 million bridge project that will open up hundreds of thousands of acres west of town to development year-round. The leaders hope the bridge over the Nenana River will boost the area’s economy through land sales and resource development, and provide more access to hunting and fishing.

Language survey seeks responses in Iñupiaq country and beyond

Jul 28, 2020

An Iñupiaq language survey is currently underway across the state. Organizers hope the survey helps build a comprehensive ten-year language plan to help grow and sustain the language.

Yakutat sees first case of COVID-19

Jul 24, 2020

The community of Yakutat has its first case of COVID-19

Yakutat’s Incident Commander John Waldron found out Thursday morning that a resident who recently travelled outside of the community had tested positive for the virus. 

The Yakutat Community Health Center, where the person was tested, said in a media release that the person is currently isolating at home. 

Editor’s note: This story is produced in part through a partnership between First Alaskans Institute and Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. Willie Iġġiaġruk Hensley serves on the First Alaskans Institute board of trustees, and previously served on the board for Koahnic Broadcast Corporation.

It’s a relatively quiet summer on Alaska waters, since COVID-19 mostly cancelled the cruise ship season and limited tourism. But this hiatus is an opening for scientists to gather water quality data in harbors across the state.

It’s flat calm on Portage Cove in Haines, Alaska as a small charter boat comes into the harbor. But its passenger isn’t a fishing enthusiast from the Lower 48.

After two seasons without a commercial fishery, herring stocks in Sitka Sound are on the rebound, according to state scientists tracking the data. But subsistence users are skeptical: What herring there are in the Sound seem to be both thinly distributed and moving farther out of reach, suggesting that stocks remain stressed.

Longtime broadcaster and journalist Harlan McKosato, 54, was “instrumental” in establishing "Native American Calling."

A citizen of the Sac and Fox Nation, McKosato had a natural ability to connect with listeners. On air, he was just as adept at taking on career politicians as he was engaging artists about their inspirations.

McKosato died July 21, 2020, at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Survivors include son, Nekon Che McKosato, brother, Kenneth Robert McKosato, and sisters Deanna Lynn McKosato and Shelley Magdalene McKosato-Haupt. 

A tsunami warning that sent coastal Alaskans to higher ground has been canceled

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