Briefs

Oil price drop endangers plan to fund Alaska schools a year early

BY: - September 20, 2022

North Slope oil prices are expected to run well below spring predictions, endangering a bonus year of K-12 school funding approved by Gov. Mike Dunleavy and state legislators.  The change to the state’s outlook was made public in a notice published Monday by the Alaska Department of Revenue. The notice was part of a department […]

A group of caribou from the Western Arctic Herd swim across the Kobuk River during fall migration in 2017. Much of the debate over the Ambler road and the associated mine development concern impacts to the herd, one of the largest in North America. (Photo by Matt Cameron/National Park Service)

New environmental study of Ambler road project kicks off with call for public input

BY: - September 20, 2022

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said it will start collecting public input on how it should carry out a new environmental review of the controversial Ambler Access Project. The scoping period for a supplemental environmental impact statement on the project starts on Tuesday and will run for 45 days, the BLM said Friday. Scoping […]

To boost local lumber, Alaska plans to alter quality-testing requirement

BY: - September 16, 2022

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources is preparing a new program that would allow Alaska sawmills to sell lumber for local construction without having that wood graded for quality by an Outside inspector.  The program was announced Tuesday at Southeast Conference, a gathering of Southeast Alaska political and business leaders, by Alaska State Forester Helge […]

Sweetheart Lake south of Juneau, seen from the air in 2017, will be the site of a new hydroelectric project supplying the Kensington mine and other Juneau-area customers, under a plan that is the subject of a development agreement with a major Japanese hydroelectric company. (Photo by Robert Johnson/Provided by Juneau Hydropower)

Agreement with Japanese company boosts fortunes of planned hydropower project near Alaska’s capital, developers say

BY: - September 16, 2022

A new agreement with Japan’s leading hydroelectric operator will give the long-planned Sweetheart Lake project south of Juneau a boost toward development, developers promoting the project said on Thursday.  The agreement is between Juneau Hydropower, the corporation planning the Sweetheart Lake hydro project, and J-Power, a major Japanese hydroelectric company. The Sweetheart Lake project is […]

Peltola: Fisheries law and oil project are first priorities

BY: - September 15, 2022

Democratic Alaska Rep. Mary Peltola intends to prioritize the renewal of a federal fisheries law and wants to “move the ball forward on Willow,” a major North Slope oil project, she told attendees of a regional political and business conference Thursday in Ketchikan. Peltola’s brief remarks to Southeast Conference were her first as a sitting […]

This symbol is inside of the Alaska Department of Corrections office on Sept. 7, 2022, in Douglas, Alaska. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

In 12th Alaska Corrections death of the year, man dies after just 10 days in custody

BY: - September 14, 2022

James Rider, 31, died on Sept. 9 at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center after 10 days in the custody of the Alaska Department of Corrections, becoming the 12th person to die in the state’s prison system this year. Of the dozen deaths to occur so far this year, several have taken place after only a short […]

A gray beluga whale calf and three adults swim together in Cook Inlet. (Photo by Paul Wade/NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center)

Citizen science event focused on endangered belugas returns after pandemic interruption

BY: - September 14, 2022

After a two-year hiatus, crowds of wildlife lovers will be back this weekend at designated observation points to count beluga whales swimming in Cook Inlet. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will be staging a citizen-science event on Saturday called Belugas Count! The annual event was put on hold by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it […]

A small boat rests on Sept. 30, 2020, at the shore of Safety Sound, a sheltered area located east of Nome. A Nevada-based company was seeking federal permission to conduct a major gold-dredging operation in the sound, an imporant site for fish, migratory birds, seals and for subsistence food gathering. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has denied the permit sought by the company, IPOP LLC. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Corps denies permit for company seeking to dredge for gold in sensitive area near Nome

BY: - September 13, 2022

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has rejected an application from a Nevada-based company that was seeking to operate a controversial mining project near Nome. The Corps said on Friday it denied IPOP LLC’s application for a wetlands-fill permit for a gold-dredging operation that would have affected about 195 acres at Safety Sound and Bonanza […]

Fourth-place finisher Buzz Kelley suspends campaign for U.S. Senate, backs Tshibaka

BY: - September 12, 2022

Republican Buzz Kelley, who finished fourth in Alaska’s U.S. Senate primary race, is suspending his campaign and asking his supporters to vote for fellow Republican Kelly Tshibaka.  The 65-year-old retired mechanic from Wasilla got just over 2% of the vote, qualifying him for the ballot behind Alaska’s sitting U.S. Senator Republican Lisa Murkowski, Tshibaka and […]

Before U.S. Senate vote, poll finds majority support in Alaska for same-sex marriage

BY: - September 12, 2022

As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on a bill protecting the rights of same-sex couples to marry, a new poll indicates majority support for same-sex marriage in Alaska. The poll, which surveyed 400 Alaskans between Aug. 22 and Aug. 31, found 62% of respondents believe same-sex couples should have the same marriage rights as […]

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer listens at a March 22 news conference while Gail Fenumiai, director of the Alaska Division of Elections, explains the process for the upcoming special election to fill the U.S. House seat left open by Rep. Don Young's death. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Judge: Alaska elections officials must enforce disloyalty clause

BY: - September 12, 2022

An Anchorage Superior Court judge on Monday ruled that the Alaska Division of Elections has a duty to determine whether a candidate for public office is ineligible for disloyalty. It means the case remains on schedule for arguments later this month that could decide Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman’s future as a candidate and a […]

Longtime state employee is named interim Revenue commissioner

BY: - September 9, 2022

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named Deven Mitchell, a 30-year state employee and Alaska’s current debt manager, as the temporary head of the Alaska Department of Revenue following the resignation of Commissioner Lucinda Mahoney. Mahoney previously said she would retire Sept. 9. As commissioner, Mitchell will be in charge of collecting state taxes. The commissioner also […]