Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya, as seen here in Soldotna on Sept. 27, 2022, is Alaska’s new missing and murdered indigenous persons investigator.

Alaska’s first MMIP investigator stayed 5 months; new one is committing to at least 1 year

BY: - September 27, 2022

Retired Alaska State Trooper Lieutenant Lonny Piscoya is Alaska’s new missing and murdered Indigenous persons investigator. He fills the vacancy left by Anne Sears, who went back into retirement in early September after five months on the job. Piscoya, who retired in 2018 after 25 years with the Troopers, is now responsible for leading the […]

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

Two more people die after a short time in Alaska Corrections custody

BY: - September 27, 2022

Two people died this week after a short time in Alaska Department of Corrections custody, bringing the total number of in-custody deaths this year to 14.  Lewey Matoomealook, 37, was pronounced dead on Sept. 25 at Alaska Regional Hospital after 13 days in Corrections custody, becoming the 13th person to die in the state’s prison […]

A bridge, completed in 2020, over the Nenana River connects to the Nenana-Totchaket Road. State officials have said it opens up access to the Nenana-Totchaket Agricultural Project lands as well as opportunities for recreation and subsistence uses. (Photo by John Whipple/Alaska Division of Agriculture)

Nenana-area tribe opposes state’s 20-mile road expansion

BY: - September 26, 2022

Some Nenana-area residents and tribal members say a state road project outside Nenana should be paused after what they describe as a failure by the state to adequately engage the public. The state wants to build 20 miles of new road to open access to agricultural opportunities and improve food security. But tribal members say […]

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, May 2, 2022, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Rep. Eastman remains on ballot but could be disqualified after election

BY: - September 23, 2022

An Anchorage Superior Court Judge ruled Thursday that Wasilla Republican Rep. David Eastman is likely ineligible for public office but ordered that he remain on the state’s Nov. 8 election ballots, pending the result of a trial in December. Eastman is heavily favored in the general election, but if he wins in November and the […]

Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign, speaks at a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Sept. 22. (Photo by Ariana Figueroa/States Newsroom)

Faith leaders urge minimum wage hike, expanded child tax credit as Congress nears recess

BY: - September 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — Faith leaders pressed Congress to pass voting rights legislation, a $15 minimum wage and a permanent expansion of the child tax credit during a Thursday briefing on Capitol Hill. “Poverty is a policy choice,” Rev. Dr. William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said to lawmakers. Barber, who is the pastor of […]

Kuspuks of varying colors displayed at a tribal consultation meeting in Anchorage on Sept. 21 represent Indigenous victims of violence. From left, the colors are red for missing and murdered indigenous women, orange for victims of boarind schools, the baby kuspuk for children who will never be born, purple for victims of domestic violence, turquoise for victims of sexual assault, multicolor for LGBTQ victims and black for men who are victims. The kuspuks were arrayed at the Justice Department's annual tribal consultation conference required under the Violence Against Woman Act. Since 1993, Alaska's overall rate of violent crime has been higher than the national average, and the rate of reported rape has been three to four times the national average since 2013, statistics show. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Justice Department funds to aid tribal law enforcement and help Indigenous victims of crime

BY: - September 22, 2022

The U.S. Department of Justice announced it will provide more than $246 million in grants to Native American and Alaska Native communities for improvements in law enforcement and justice. The well-received announcement was made in Anchorage on Wednesday at the start of the federal government’s annual tribal consultation conference on violence against women. Allison Randall, […]

An image of a barbed wire fence. (Canva image)

ACLU of Alaska launches effort to cut the number of incarcerated people, improve prison conditions

BY: - September 22, 2022

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska is launching on Thursday an effort to lower the prison population in Alaska and ensure that people in custody are treated with dignity and have access to civil rights.  Alaska Department of Corrections currently has roughly 4,700 people in custody and the prison population has been trending up […]

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Former Alaska AG pick indicted, accused of sex with 17-year-old in 1991

BY: - September 21, 2022

Former Alaska Attorney General-designee Ed Sniffen was indicted Monday by an Anchorage grand jury on three counts of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor.  Sniffen is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Anchorage Superior Court, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl in 1991. The relationship was first reported in 2021 following […]

U.S. Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia speaks at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, Sept. 20, on her legislation to make it a felony to perform gender-affirming care on transgender youth. (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

Marjorie Taylor Greene leads GOP drive to criminalize gender-affirming care for transgender youth

BY: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — Conservative Republicans gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday to commit to bringing legislation to the floor that would make it a felony to perform gender-affirming care on transgender youth, should the GOP take control of the U.S. House following the November midterm elections.  “How on earth can this be happening in America? […]

An empty jail cell in a traditional prison is seen in this photo. (Photo by Andy Sacks/Getty Images)

U.S. government failed to properly count deaths of people in prisons and jails, Senate report says

BY: - September 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice did not properly count nearly 1,000 deaths of incarcerated people in jails and prisons, according to a bipartisan report released Tuesday by a U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee.  The 10-month investigation by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, chaired by Georgia Sen. Jon Ossoff, found that DOJ […]

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 […]

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 […]