The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Project to increase access to justice in rural Alaska receives $1M boost from National Science Foundation

BY: - September 26, 2023

Alaska Legal Services Corp. was awarded a million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to expand a program that aims to increase access to legal services for people who live in remote areas. The group has been training nonlawyers, called “community justice workers,” to represent Alaskans in court for some lower level legal issues. […]

A marijuana activist holds a flag during a march on Independence Day on July 4, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Alaska relaxes rules for marijuana ads, allows free samples

BY: - September 25, 2023

Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom has signed new regulations that allow the state’s legal marijuana businesses to advertise more widely and to distribute free samples of marijuana at retail stores. The regulations, signed Sept. 8, go into effect Oct. 8, and are part of a broad wave of regulatory changes affecting the state’s marijuana industry. […]

Afternoon traffic is seen in downtown Fairbanks on March 1. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

U.S. Department of Labor asks federal judge to force inspections of Fairbanks-area gold mine

BY: - September 22, 2023

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration is asking a U.S. District Court judge for an unusual court order requiring a Fairbanks gold mine to open its gates for inspectors. On Sept. 8, attorneys representing the Department of Labor asked Judge Josh Kindred for speedy consideration of their request. According to court documents, mine operator […]

Alaskans will receive a $1,312 Permanent Fund Dividend payment this year, near legislators’ estimate

BY: - September 21, 2023

This year’s Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend will be $1,312. The Alaska Department of Revenue announced the figure Thursday, two weeks before the annual cash payments will be delivered by direct deposit. PFD applications that were filed electronically, slated for direct deposit and have been deemed eligible will be paid out Oct. 5.  The Department of […]

A sign at the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium campus in Anchorage, seen on Sept. 19, 2023, advises patients that a testing site that once operated there is now closed. COVID-19 is no longer considered a new disease, and health-care providers are no longer required to report cases to state officials, under updated Alaska Division of Health regulations. But some different testing requirements have been added to the regulations. The public health reporting requirements are updated every few years, and the latest update went into effect on Sept. 3. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska regulations drop some COVID-19 reporting requirements, add requirement for RSV reports

BY: - September 20, 2023

Alaska medical providers no longer need to report patients’ COVID-19 cases to the states, but there are some new requirements for reporting other diseases and emerging health concerns, under new regulations that went into effect earlier in the month. COVID-19 slips out of the reporting requirements for two main reasons, said Louisa Castrodale, an epidemiologist […]

Bethel Superior Court Judge Terrence Haas, left, is becoming the leader of the Alaska Public Defender Agency and Anchorage District Court Judge David Nesbett, right, is moving up to the Superior Court, under appointments made by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Alaska Court System photos)

Gov. Dunleavy appoints Bethel judge to be top public defender and Anchorage judge to Superior Court

BY: - September 19, 2023

A judge who has served at the Bethel Superior Court has been named by Gov. Mike Dunleavy to lead the state Public Defender Agency.  Judge Terrence Haas worked as a public defender in Bethel for more than a decade before he was appointed as a Superior Court judge in the city in 2018. Haas replaces […]

(Photo by Eyecrave Productions/Getty Images)

Alaska schools stay open after bomb threat email

BY: - September 19, 2023

Alaska schools are not closing their doors after multiple districts received a bomb threat by email on Tuesday. Authorities have determined the threat is not credible, but its source is under investigation. Austin McDaniel, communications director for the state’s Department of Public Safety, said Alaska State Troopers and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Anchorage field […]

an Alaska license plate in frame, with many overlapping renewal stickers in the upper right corner

Alaska DMV considers eliminating license plate stickers

BY: - September 18, 2023

The Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles is considering whether to eliminate the month and date registration stickers that adorn state license plates here. In a request for information published earlier this month, the division put out an open call for answers, asking about the pros and cons of the idea. The agency, through a spokesperson, […]

Alaska gains jobs during summer peak but is still below pre-pandemic figures

BY: - September 18, 2023

Buoyed by a record tourist season, Alaska employers hired thousands more workers this year than they did during last year’s summer peak, but state employment remains stubbornly below what it was in 2019, figures from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development show. “We’re not there yet, and the reasons are a little murky,” […]

Alaska begins process of examining workers’ pay for competitiveness

BY: - September 16, 2023

The state of Alaska has begun a sweeping analysis of state employees’ salaries to determine whether poor pay is contributing to ongoing hiring woes in the executive branch. On Thursday, the Alaska Department of Administration published a request for proposals, seeking a contractor to perform a comparison between state pay in Alaska, pay in the […]

Study: Alaska is failing to keep most Alaska-born residents

BY: - September 14, 2023

More than half of Alaskans born within the state have moved away, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.  A state’s ability to retain native-born residents is an indicator of its economic health and attractiveness, and Alaska ranked near the bottom of the analysis conducted […]

A sign alerting customers to the availability of flu vaccines is seen on Sept. 10, 2023, at an an Anchorage Fred Meyer grocery store. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska flu cases increased last year, spiking in early winter, while vaccine rates lagged

BY: - September 13, 2023

After a period when COVID-19 restrictions halted the spread of other respiratory diseases, Alaska had a big increase in influenza cases, state data shows. The overall influenza case load during the 2022-23 season was much higher than in prior years, reports a new bulletin issued by the epidemiology section of the Alaska Division of Public […]