Mark Sabbatini

Thunder Mountain High School seniors for the boys’ basketball team, their families and other supporters fill the Thunderdome for a Senior Night recognition before Friday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. It was possibly the final home game for the Falcons team due to a pending decision to put all high school students at JDHS starting with the next school year. The Falcons girls’ team will play their final home games of the season — and possibly ever — next Friday and Saturday against North Pole High School. (Screenshot from NFHS Network)

TMHS boys prevail in possibly their final home game ever against JDHS, with merger of schools pending

Girls play final home games next weekend; both local schools play each other again tonight at JDHS.

 

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (right) discusses the Juneau School District’s financial crisis with school board Vice President Emil Mackey (right) and City Attorney Robert Palmer during a meeting Thursday night at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Meetings to comment on Assembly’s proposed $9.6M of help to school district scheduled next two Mondays

Plan includes $4.1 million no-interest loan, picking up “shared costs” this year and next.

 

A crowd overflows the library at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Thursday night as school board members meet to select a consolidation option to help resolve the Juneau School District’s budget crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

School district leaders approve putting grades 9-12 at JDHS, 7-8 and HomeBRIDGE at TMHS

Elementary schools will be K-6; Marie Drake, Floyd Dryden to close this fall if plan gets final OK.

 

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)

House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
Andy Mills (left), legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Commissioner Ryan Anderson testify before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday about an executive order that would give the governor full control of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s operations board. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Governor says he wants control of ferry board so it’s not ‘at odds’ with him; senators express skepticism

Resolution to reject Dunleavy’s executive order among many being considered by legislators.

Andy Mills (left), legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Commissioner Ryan Anderson testify before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday about an executive order that would give the governor full control of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s operations board. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 21, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 21, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Governor seeks tougher criminal, civil penalties for unauthorized protesters

Bill also targets people who encourage or assist participants in illegal demonstrations.

Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, addresses a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Sullivan touts new ocean cleanup headquarters in Juneau, attacks Biden in annual speech to legislators

Senator calls Trump “the best president ever” for Alaska, has harsh words for Iran and migrants

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, addresses a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Norwegian Bliss arrives in Juneau on April 17, 2023, the first cruise ship of the 2023 season. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)

Free public downtown Wi-Fi, park upgrades, more buses among proposals for marine passenger fees

Public comments being accepted until March 25 for more than $19 million in recommended projects.

The Norwegian Bliss arrives in Juneau on April 17, 2023, the first cruise ship of the 2023 season. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students hold up signs during a rally along Egan Drive on Tuesday afternoon protesting a proposal to consolidate all local students in grades 10-12 at Thunder Mountain High School to help deal with the Juneau School District’s financial crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS students, teachers rally to keep grades 9-12 at downtown school if consolidation occurs

District’s proposed move to TMHS would result in loss of vocational facilities, ninth-grade students.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé students hold up signs during a rally along Egan Drive on Tuesday afternoon protesting a proposal to consolidate all local students in grades 10-12 at Thunder Mountain High School to help deal with the Juneau School District’s financial crisis. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter (#33) takes a shot under the basket against Ketchikan High School’s Jonathan Scoblic during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Fit to be tied: TMHS and Ketchikan split weekend games, leaving all Southeast region teams at .500

Falcons and JDHS, after splitting games last week, face each other again on Friday and Saturday.

Thunder Mountain High School’s Thomas Baxter (#33) takes a shot under the basket against Ketchikan High School’s Jonathan Scoblic during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lacey Sanders, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, presents Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s updated budget requests for this fiscal year and next to the Senate Finance Committee on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Small changes in governor’s proposed budget could mean big moves for Juneau

New plan moves staff from Permanent Fund building, opening space for city to put all employees there

Lacey Sanders, director of the state Office of Management and Budget, presents Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s updated budget requests for this fiscal year and next to the Senate Finance Committee on Monday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter (#22) tries to penetrate Colony High School’s defense during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

No. 4 TMHS girls, hit by injuries and illness, can’t keep up with No. 2 Colony

Falcons recover from 71-31 rout Friday, keep Saturday’s game even until fourth quarter in 57-48 loss.

Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter (#22) tries to penetrate Colony High School’s defense during Saturday’s game at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Lisa Pearce (center), a financial analyst for the Juneau School District, explains the deadline officials are facing to take action to resolve a massive deficit during a work session Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Seated next to Pearce are Superintendent Frank Hauser (left) and school board member Britteny Cioni-Haywood. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

A plan moving forward: Consolidating grades 7-9 and special programs at JDHS, 10-12 at TMHS

School board, with time running out for budget-slashing decision, seeks more details on lone option.

Lisa Pearce (center), a financial analyst for the Juneau School District, explains the deadline officials are facing to take action to resolve a massive deficit during a work session Saturday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. Seated next to Pearce are Superintendent Frank Hauser (left) and school board member Britteny Cioni-Haywood. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A map shows the percentage of residents participating in a survey Feb. 2-5 who favor their state seceding from the U.S., with Alaska topping states with at least 100 respondents at 36%. (Map by YouGov)

36% of Alaskans in survey favor seceding from U.S., highest among 47 states included in results

Poll finds 23% of 35,307 adults in U.S. support secession; Republicans more in favor than Democrats.

A map shows the percentage of residents participating in a survey Feb. 2-5 who favor their state seceding from the U.S., with Alaska topping states with at least 100 respondents at 36%. (Map by YouGov)
Steve Bradford (left) and Mark Kissel, both vice presidents of the Riverside Condominiums Homeowners Association, discuss repairs to two of the complex’s buildings on Aug. 9 as a bulldozer places rock fill under a corner of one building exposed by erosion during record flooding of the Mendenhall River on Aug. 5. Repairs to both buildings ultimately were successful. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Bill increasing state disaster aid for individuals to $50K, up from $21K, introduced by Kiehl

Legislation also expands eligibility for condos as part of remedies sought after Suicide Basin flood

Steve Bradford (left) and Mark Kissel, both vice presidents of the Riverside Condominiums Homeowners Association, discuss repairs to two of the complex’s buildings on Aug. 9 as a bulldozer places rock fill under a corner of one building exposed by erosion during record flooding of the Mendenhall River on Aug. 5. Repairs to both buildings ultimately were successful. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Cast members of “Indecent” rehearse Wednesday at Perseverance Theatre in preparation for the play’s scheduled debut on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

‘Indecent’ features cast of multiple personalities retelling tale of controversial historic play

Actors take on many emotions, accents and personas in play debuting this weekend at Perseverance.

Cast members of “Indecent” rehearse Wednesday at Perseverance Theatre in preparation for the play’s scheduled debut on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 16, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Feb. 16, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Brenda William-See attempts a fast-break layup for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during Thursday’s game against Colony High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS girls take early lead, but lose at home to No. 2 Colony 73-20

No. 4 THMS plays visting Knights at home Friday and Saturday.

Brenda William-See attempts a fast-break layup for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé during Thursday’s game against Colony High School at JDHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Thursday as Senate President Gary Stevens and House Speaker Cathy Tilton watch. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Murkowski expresses hope for Alaska overcoming difficulties in annual speech to state lawmakers

Senator also denounces Biden, Trump and an “unproductive Congress” during time of major challenges.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, delivers her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Thursday as Senate President Gary Stevens and House Speaker Cathy Tilton watch. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)