Two people ride an all-terrain vehicle on Utqiagvik's beach on Aug. 2, 2022. On the right are some of the large sandbags piled at the base of the eroding permafrost bluff. The sandbags, replenished every year, are part of Utqiagvik's protections against storm surges and further thaw-triggered erosion. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s TBI-related mortality rate was the highest in the nation between 2016 and 2021

BY: - May 19, 2023

Afternoon traffic builds on the Parks Highway in Wasilla on May 3. Motor vehicle crashes caused some of Alaska's traumatic brain injuries between 2016-2021. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

The U.S. Capitol Building is seen on Oct. 22, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

GOP’s desired work requirements for federal aid would kick roughly 21M from anti-poverty programs

BY: - May 19, 2023

Congressional Republicans’ efforts to slash federal spending by tying work requirements to Medicaid and SNAP would have far-reaching consequences for people with mental health issues, chronic health problems, and some people with disabilities if enacted, policy experts on anti-poverty programs say. They say the work requirements as laid out by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s “Limit, […]

Bags of heroin, some laced with the drug fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, Sept. 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bills on drug crimes and confinement of offenders fall short in Alaska Legislature

BY: - May 19, 2023

Two criminal-justice bills remain pending in the Alaska Legislature after Wednesday’s adjournment of the 2023 session, even though each passed one of the bodies. The first bill would reclassify drug-overdose deaths as second-degree murders instead of manslaughter cases. It passed the House on May 11 but failed to advance out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. […]

A collection of flavored vapor liquids, each bought for $1, are seen on Tuesday in the state Capitol. In the background is a closed-system vaping device that uses a different type of liquid packaging. The products were collected by Tim Lamkin, an aide to Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, sponsor of the bill that would tax electronic cigarette products and raise the legal age for purchase. Advocates of the bill argue that manufacturers deliberately target youth with candylike and fruity flavors like these. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Targeting youth vaping, Alaska Senate passes tax and age limits, sends bill to House

BY: - May 17, 2023

The Alaska Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that would impose the state’s first-ever tax on electronic cigarette products. Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke during floor debate in favor of the measure, Senate Bill 89, on behalf of its sponsor, Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak. “It is an important public-health measure, Mr. President,” Kiehl said, […]

An ultrasound image of Jennifer Adkins’ 12-week-old fetus that was diagnosed with Turner syndrome and hydrops fetalis, two defects that are often fatal to the fetus and dangerous for the pregnant person to carry. Adkins had to seek an abortion in Oregon because, like 13 other states across the country, Idaho has a near-total ban on abortions without exceptions provided to preserve the health of the pregnant person. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Adkins)

Post-Roe abortion bans force pregnant people with life-threatening complications to travel

BY: - May 16, 2023

Jennifer Adkins’ first pregnancy was near-perfect. She sailed through her appointments and screenings with no complications, ticking every box and making lists of all the right questions to ask her medical professionals. By the time her unmedicated labor was over and the nurses placed her newborn son on her chest, Adkins felt like a superhero.  […]

The Yukon-Kuskokwim hub of Bethel is seen from the air on July 13, 2015. (Photo by Rachel Loehman/USGS Alaska Science Center)

COVID vaccination effective in protecting vulnerable Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, study says

BY: - May 16, 2023

In southwestern Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, which has some of the nation’s worst water and sanitation service and most overcrowded housing, vaccines proved to be valuable safeguards against the worst ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study.  The study, by experts from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. and the Centers for Disease Control and […]

Legislature votes to repeal Alaska law including veterinarians in opioid monitoring

BY: - May 12, 2023

The Alaska Legislature has reversed a seven-year-old law that requires veterinarians to participate in the state’s prescription drug monitoring program.  The state Senate voted 19-0 on Friday to approve the repeal measure, House Bill 56. The House previously voted 35-1 to approve the bill, which now returns to the chamber for a procedural vote before […]

The contraceptive drug norgestrel sold as Opill, which was approved by the FDA decades ago for prescription-only use. If the FDA approves, it would be the first time a birth control pill would be available without a prescription. (Screenshot FDA)

Health experts urge FDA to approve over-the-counter birth control in unanimous vote

BY: - May 12, 2023

Dyvia Huitron started having sex when she was 16. Worried about getting pregnant, she talked to her parents about getting on hormonal birth control. Instead, they grounded her. The now-19-year-old had expected pushback – she was living in a religious community in conservative McAllen, Texas. But she underestimated how many years it would eventually take […]

A patient receives her booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine during an Oakland County Health Department vaccination clinic at the Southfield Pavilion on August 24, 2021, in Southfield, Michigan.(Photo by Emily Elconin/Getty Images)

As the COVID public health emergency ends, prepping for a new pandemic is next

BY: - May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — After more than three years and 1.1 million deaths, the United States on Thursday will end the public health emergency for COVID-19 — and Congress is attempting to better prepare for a possible resurgence of that virus or another. The expiration of the designation, originally put in place in January 2020, means alterations […]

Members of the Alaska House, in a long floor sesson on Wednesday, debate the value of stiffening drug-law penalities in the face of increasing fentanyl overdose deaths. The bill, HB 66, would reclassify contribution to an overdose death as second-degree murder; currently, those who deliver drugs that cause overdoses can be charged with manslaughter. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Bill to stiffen drug penalties, aimed at fentanyl epidemic and overdoses, faces Alaska House vote

BY: - May 11, 2023

Spurred by the state’s sharp increase in fentanyl-overdose deaths, the Alaska Legislature is considering a bill that would make those who supply the drug subject to potential second-degree murder charges in cases that lead to death. The measure, House Bill 66, was introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, who used part of his Jan. 23 State […]

Alaska Senate approves new rules for subscription-style health care plan

BY: - May 11, 2023

Alaskans would be able to more easily get subscription-style health care from their doctor or dentist if a bill passed by the Alaska Senate on Wednesday becomes law. The Senate voted 18-2 to approve Senate Bill 45 from Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, sending the bill to the House for further consideration. The House Labor and […]

Family members hold up images of loved ones who died during the ceremony where U.S. President Joe Biden signed the PACT Act in the East Room of the White House on Aug. 10, 2022, in Washington, D.C. The Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act was the biggest expansion of veteran's benefits since the Agent Orange Act of 1991 and expanded health care benefits to millions of veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Lawyer fees draw scrutiny as Camp Lejeune claims stack up

BY: - May 11, 2023

David and Adair Keller started their married life together in 1977 at Camp Lejeune, a military training base on the Atlantic Coast in Jacksonville, North Carolina. David was a Marine Corps field artillery officer then, and they lived together on the base for about six months. But that sojourn had an outsize impact on their […]