A high school student dressed in a suit and tie sits at a table with a laptop while speaking to people off-camera.

Alaska state school board advances proposal to ban trans girls from girls high school sports teams

BY: - June 9, 2023

Alaska’s state school board voted almost unanimously Thursday to advance a proposed regulation that would bar transgender girls from playing on girls’ high school sports teams in the state. The vote will open a 30-day public comment period. After that period, the board will consider amending, rejecting or adopting the proposal. The decision comes amid […]

Bulk food purchased with the $1.68 million Gov. Mike Dunleavy put towards supporting food banks is staged for delivery in Food Bank of Alaska’s Anchorage warehouse on April 21, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Proposed policy aims to streamline Alaska’s food stamp application process

BY: - June 9, 2023

Rep. Genevieve Mina, D-Anchorage, introduced a bill at the end of the last legislative session that is aimed at streamlining applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. It would ease requirements to get benefits which could also have the effect of reducing the administrative burden that contributed to a backlog […]

Social media, trauma, hate speech add to youth mental health crisis, U.S. Senate panel told 

BY: - June 8, 2023

U.S. senators agreed during a hearing Thursday the country’s children are going through a youth mental health crisis, though some of the committee’s members disagreed about what role Congress has to play. Senators detailed a complicated patchwork of issues that contribute to youth mental health challenges, including violence and trauma within schools and their communities, […]

A bald eagle is seen on Feb. 6, 2018, perched in a tree in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Lisa Hupp/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Avian influenza has returned to Alaska, and so have health advisories 

BY: - June 8, 2023

Migrating birds have returned to Alaska, and so has the highly pathogenic avian influenza that began to sweep through global bird populations in 2020. That means Alaskans should continue to be vigilant about the strains that have arrived in the state from across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, experts said during a webinar Tuesday […]

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White House launches national plan to address gender-based violence in the U.S.

BY: - June 7, 2023

For the first time in history, the White House has launched a national plan to address gender-based violence on a federal level, introducing seven strategic action plans to help communities across the United States. “As long as there are women in this country and around the world who live in fear of violence, there’s more […]

A child receives drops of children’s Tylenol after getting a vaccination at a low-cost clinic. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

More states OK postpartum Medicaid coverage beyond two months

BY: - June 5, 2023

At least eight states this year have decided to seek federal approval to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage, leaving just a handful that have opted not to guarantee at least a year of health care for women during that critical period after pregnancy. The new states on the list include Montana, where lawmakers in the recently […]

Bulk food purchased with the $1.68 million Gov. Mike Dunleavy put towards supporting food banks is staged for delivery in Food Bank of Alaska’s Anchorage warehouse on April 21, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

State roughly halves the number of Alaskans waiting on food aid, but more than 8,000 remain

BY: - June 2, 2023

The state says it has worked through thousands of backlogged applications, but thousands more Alaskans are still without food benefits.

A sign seen on Thursday in Anchorage's Jewel Lake, a popular summer swimming site, warns that there are no lifeguards on duty that day. Alaska's rate of drowning deaths continues to be high, a new state report says. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s rate of drownings, highest in nation, changed little in 6 years, state report says

BY: - June 1, 2023

Alaska has the nation’s highest rate of drowning deaths, and the rate was consistently high over the past six years, according to a new state report. A Division of Public Health epidemiology bulletin released on Wednesday examines drowning deaths from 2016 to 2021 and found some patterns and common factors. The vast majority were unrelated […]

The Atwood Center at the Alaska Pacific University campus is seen on April 24. A U.S. Department of Labor grant of nearly $3 million will be used by APU to vastly expand the university's nursing program. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Pacific University poised to expand nursing program, thanks to U.S. Department of Labor grant

BY: - June 1, 2023

A federal grant of nearly $3 million over five years will enable Alaska Pacific University to vastly expand its nursing-education programs, the university announced on Wednesday. The grant, from the U.S. Department of Labor, was one of 25 given to public-private partnerships across the nation to expand nursing training, APU said. While the entire nation […]

Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, speaks Tuesday, May 10, 2022, on the floor of the Alaska Senate at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Airlines asks federal judge to dismiss mask lawsuit brought by former senator

BY: - May 31, 2023

Alaska’s leading airline has responded to a lawsuit from a former state senator, saying the legal claim “contains multiple deficiencies,” and asked a federal judge in Anchorage to dismiss it. Former state Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, sued Alaska Airlines in April, saying the airline violated her constitutional rights when it banned her from its […]

A formline drawing of a thunderbird is seen above a basketball hoop and backboard

Alaska state school board considers rule that would limit transgender athletes

BY: - May 31, 2023

The state of Alaska is proceeding with plans to limit transgender students’ ability to participate in sports and activities. On June 8, the state board of education will consider a regulation that would bar transgender student-athletes from participating in school sports and activities under their gender identity. It would limit students to either multi-gender sports […]

Deb and Ray Cullen, of Shippingport, Pa., center and right, show a photo of their son, Zachary, in the office of their congressman, GOP Rep. John Joyce, left. Zachary died nine months ago at 23 of fentanyl poisoning. The Cullens traveled to the U.S. Capitol Thursday, May 25 to watch the House vote on the HALT Fentanyl Act. (Photo by Ashley Murray/States Newsroom)

Fentanyl-related drugs permanently made criminal under bill passed by U.S. House

BY: - May 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers in the U.S. House passed bipartisan legislation Thursday in an effort to curb staggering overdose deaths from illegal fentanyl substances that are illicitly produced and up to 50 times stronger than heroin. The HALT Fentanyl Act, passed on a 289-133 vote with 74 Democratic votes and support from the Biden administration, would […]