U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican and ranking member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, appears for a podcast recording in September 2022 at the Kansas Reflector office in Topeka. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

VA secretary says agency will cooperate with investigation into veterans crisis line 

BY: - November 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough sought to defend the veterans crisis line Wednesday in a letter to the Kansas senator who has raised concerns with how some veterans are treated after calling it. McDonough wrote in the three-page letter to Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran that the VA “takes any allegations […]

Houses, seen on Aug. 2, 2022m teeter on the edge of an Utqiagvik bluff that is being rapidly eroded by permafrost thaw. The house on the right has been abandoned. At the base of the bluff are SuperSacks filled with sand, placed there as part of the effort to hold back ocean waves and slow down erosion. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Climate change report highlights impacts to Alaska infrastructure, security, health, livelihoods

BY: - November 16, 2023

Alaska is warming at two or three times the U.S. rate, with impacts ranging from individuals’ health and safety to the military security of the nation, according to a new federal report. The Fifth National Climate Assessment, a multiagency scientific report issued Tuesday by the Biden administration in accordance with federal law, includes a chapter […]

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington Democrat and the chair of the Progressive Caucus, speaks at a press event, joining about 100 tenant advocates to call on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to bolster tenant protections and rent regulations on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. (Samantha Dietel/States Newsroom)

‘Out of control’: Advocates rally in D.C. calling for action on housing crisis

BY: - November 15, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat, joined about 100 tenant advocates at a press event outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to demand action on the housing crisis. Jayapal, who chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency to bolster tenant protections and rent regulations. The People’s […]

Strips of salmon are seen hanging in a smokehouse on the Kuskokwim River on July 19, 2017. (Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Western Alaska salmon crisis affects physical and mental health, residents say

BY: - November 14, 2023

The salmon crisis in the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers is harming more than local economies, food security and culture, according to people in the region. It is also harming human health. That was a message emphasized on Friday at a field hearing held by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, in Bethel, the regional hub for […]

(Photo by Daria Nipot/Getty Images)

Every member of Congress was asked about child care policy. Only 5 Republicans responded.

BY: - November 13, 2023

In September, when billions of dollars in child care funding were about to expire, a Senate subcommittee convened to discuss solutions. It was there that Sen. John Kennedy laid out the partisan tension at the heart of what’s billed as a bipartisan issue. He agreed that child care was an investment in the current and […]

Veterans’ health care coverage expanded by Biden administration

BY: - November 10, 2023

Ahead of Veterans Day, Biden administration officials said Friday the Department of Veterans Affairs will expand health care coverage for certain groups of veterans and their families and create new programs meant to make care more accessible. The VA will make coverage of certain toxic burn pit-related conditions available sooner than anticipated. Family members of […]

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Tribal leaders ask Congress for help with fentanyl crisis in Native American communities

BY: - November 9, 2023

WASHINGTON — Leaders of Native American tribes detailed the fentanyl crisis in Indigenous communities during a Wednesday U.S. Senate hearing. “This growing crisis is rooted in the longstanding structural inequities in Native communities,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, Democrat of Hawaii, who chairs the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she […]

Close-up of a pregnant woman in the hospital. Getty Images.

Most Americans want health exceptions in abortion bans. Political infighting keeps blocking them.

BY: - November 8, 2023

In early October, an Idaho woman 20 weeks into her pregnancy went to the emergency room after her water broke about five months early. When the water breaks prematurely, an infection can develop and infect the fetus, placenta and other fluids. At that stage of pregnancy, the threat of infection becomes a ticking clock for […]

A hemp crop waits to be harvested in Lincolnshire for British CBD oil producer Crop England on Aug. 27, 2021, in Grantham, England. The farm supplies Crop England, a British CBD oil producer founded in 2019 by Mike and Jackie Lamyman. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Hemp growers sue Alaska agriculture officials in attempt to keep hemp products legal

BY: - November 7, 2023

A coalition of hemp growers and manufacturers has sued the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, claiming that new limits on intoxicating hemp products are unconstitutional. The lawsuit, by the Alaska Industrial Hemp Association and four businesses, was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage. Attorney Christopher Hoke, representing the plaintiffs, said the rules mean […]

To prevent domestic violence, Alaska schools teach healthy relationships

BY: - November 6, 2023

By the end of the two-hour “healthy relationships” presentation, the seventh and eighth graders in the Anna Tobeluk Memorial School’s auditorium in Nunapitchuk were getting a little antsy. One girl popped a big, pink bubble on the top bleacher while short, animated videos demonstrated different teen interactions and asked students to gauge them on a […]

The Alaska Brain Bus is parked at Dr. Adam Grove's South Anchorage home on Sept. 26, 2023. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska doctor wheels hope to survivors of traumatic brain injury in his ‘Brain Bus’

BY: - November 4, 2023

After a bike crash, Dr. Adam Grove noticed he wasn’t the same. He said he was depressed for the first time in his life, quick to anger and tired all the time. It was 1998 and he was not yet a doctor, but had just left the military and begun medical school. He was commuting […]

Patty Raymond-Turner, a coordinator for the Brain Injury Council of Alaska, demonstrates what happens to the brain when it is injured, on Sept. 26, 2023, in Anchorage. (Photo by Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Advocates link Alaska’s high rate of traumatic brain injury with domestic violence

BY: - November 2, 2023

S. can’t remember how many times she has been hit in the head, but she remembers vividly the time she was choked. Those are two categories of injury she has survived over the course of her abusive marriages, and they are distinct because they can cause or contribute to traumatic brain injury. “I attract sociopaths, […]