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Alaska Department of Transportation program manager Ryan Marlow demonstrates the agency’s robotic dog in Anchorage on March 26. The device will be camouflaged as a coyote or fox to ward off migratory birds and other wildlife at Alaska’s second-largest airport, the DOT said. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

Robot disguised as a coyote or fox will scare wildlife away from runways at Alaska airport

A headless robot about the size of a labrador retriever will be camouflaged as a coyote or fox to ward off migratory birds and other… Continue reading

Alaska Department of Transportation program manager Ryan Marlow demonstrates the agency’s robotic dog in Anchorage on March 26. The device will be camouflaged as a coyote or fox to ward off migratory birds and other wildlife at Alaska’s second-largest airport, the DOT said. (Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
The Kuskokwim River is pictured. (Photo by Peter Griffith/NASA)

Federal judge sides with Biden administration, rejects Alaska bids to expand Kuskokwim fishing

Rejects Dunleavy effort to expand salmon fishing opportunities beyond federal government limits.

The Kuskokwim River is pictured. (Photo by Peter Griffith/NASA)
Uhtred Permanentfundsen, the “defender of the Permanent Fund,” occupies a shelf near the head of the table in the Senate Finance Committee room at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Sunday is the last day to apply for the 2024 Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend

Online applications can be submitted until 11:59 p.m.; PFD expected to be at least $1,582.

Uhtred Permanentfundsen, the “defender of the Permanent Fund,” occupies a shelf near the head of the table in the Senate Finance Committee room at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Fishing boats are lines up on Oct. 3, 2022, at a dock at Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor. Commercial fishing injuries and illnessness are not covered by workers’ compensation, so a state-managed Fishermen’s Fund serves as backstop payor for medical costs. A newly passed bill, if signed by the governor, would increase maximum allowable payments from the fund. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Legislature boosts allowable payments from fund that covers fishers’ crew medical costs

Maximum payouts from a fund that covers medical costs of injured seafood harvesters would be boosted under a bill that won final passage in the… Continue reading

Fishing boats are lines up on Oct. 3, 2022, at a dock at Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor. Commercial fishing injuries and illnessness are not covered by workers’ compensation, so a state-managed Fishermen’s Fund serves as backstop payor for medical costs. A newly passed bill, if signed by the governor, would increase maximum allowable payments from the fund. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
In this Sept. 29, 2023, photo at the grave of Lucky Pitka McCormick, her granddaughter Kathleen Carlo, left, and McCormick’s great-great-grandchildren Lucia, center, and Addison Carlo place candles and stones on the grave during a reburial ceremony in Rampart, Alaska. Pitka was one of the Lost Alaskans sent to a mental hospital in the 1930s. Her grave was recently discovered, and family members brought her back to Alaska for a proper burial. (Wally Carlo via AP).

Volunteers uncover fate of thousands of Lost Alaskans sent to Oregon mental hospital a century ago

Lucy Pitka McCormick’s relatives cooked salmon, moose, beaver and muskrat over an earthen firepit on the banks of the Chena River, just outside Fairbanks, as… Continue reading

In this Sept. 29, 2023, photo at the grave of Lucky Pitka McCormick, her granddaughter Kathleen Carlo, left, and McCormick’s great-great-grandchildren Lucia, center, and Addison Carlo place candles and stones on the grave during a reburial ceremony in Rampart, Alaska. Pitka was one of the Lost Alaskans sent to a mental hospital in the 1930s. Her grave was recently discovered, and family members brought her back to Alaska for a proper burial. (Wally Carlo via AP).
A lot in Thane near the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, seen at right in the background, is being proposed as the site for a campground for people experiencing homelessness that would open in April. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Moving homeless campground next to warming shelter strongly opposed by nearby businesses

Damage, safety, theft among concerns cited in petition to Assembly, which considers proposal Monday.

A lot in Thane near the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, seen at right in the background, is being proposed as the site for a campground for people experiencing homelessness that would open in April. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on March 25, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on March 25, 1994. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Deena Bishop and Gov. Mike Dunleavy discuss his veto of an education bill during a press conference March 15 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

State owes nearly $30 million to four school districts, including Juneau, federal government says

Juneau’s share is just under $200,000; biggest amounts are $16.6M for Anchorage and $9.7M for Kenai.

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development Commissioner Deena Bishop and Gov. Mike Dunleavy discuss his veto of an education bill during a press conference March 15 at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes has been named AASSP Region 5 Principal of The Year for 2024, the second time she has won the award since 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Neighbors: DZ Principal Molly Yerkes named regional principal of the year for second time since 2020

Middle school’s principal for past 14 years also recipient of national Millikan award in 2013.

Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes has been named AASSP Region 5 Principal of The Year for 2024, the second time she has won the award since 2020. (Courtesy photo)
A harbor seal lazily floats in the calm cool downtown harbor waters on March 21. (Photo by Denise Carroll)

Wild Shots

To showcase our readers’ work to the widest possible audience, Wild Shots have been moved in front of the Juneau Empire’s paywall. Don’t have a… Continue reading

A harbor seal lazily floats in the calm cool downtown harbor waters on March 21. (Photo by Denise Carroll)
An employee works on the deck of an Alaska Marine Highway System vessel in a photo used by AMHS on social media to advertise jobs openings during the summer of 2023. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities photo)

Crew shortages continue to limit AMHS operations, likely to keep Kennicott idle again this summer

Situation improved from a year ago, but wheelhouse employees and engineers still a crucial need.

An employee works on the deck of an Alaska Marine Highway System vessel in a photo used by AMHS on social media to advertise jobs openings during the summer of 2023. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities photo)
The Captain Cook, one of two tour boats formerly operated by Adventure Bound Alaska, in Aurora Harbor prior to a scheduled sealed-bid auction for vessels that has been extended until April 10. (City and Borough of Juneau)

Auction of Adventure Bound boats gets delay, big minimum bid increase due to liens

Two vessels from troubled tour company now selling for several times the original listed bids.

The Captain Cook, one of two tour boats formerly operated by Adventure Bound Alaska, in Aurora Harbor prior to a scheduled sealed-bid auction for vessels that has been extended until April 10. (City and Borough of Juneau)
The aging Tustumena ferry, long designated for replacement, arrives in Homer after spending the day in Seldovia in this 2010 photo. (Homer News file photo)

Feds OK most of state’s revised transportation plan, but ferry and other projects again rejected

Governor’s use of ferry revenue instead of state funds to match federal grants a sticking point.

The aging Tustumena ferry, long designated for replacement, arrives in Homer after spending the day in Seldovia in this 2010 photo. (Homer News file photo)
The Shopper’s Lot is among two of downtown Juneau’s three per-hour parking lots where the cash payments boxes are missing due to vandalism this winter. But as of Wednesday people can use the free ParkSmarter app to make payments by phone. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Pay-by-phone parking for downtown Juneau debuts with few reported complaints

App for hourly lots part of series of technology upgrades coming to city’s parking facilities.

The Shopper’s Lot is among two of downtown Juneau’s three per-hour parking lots where the cash payments boxes are missing due to vandalism this winter. But as of Wednesday people can use the free ParkSmarter app to make payments by phone. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A towering Lutz spruce, center, in the Chugach National Forest is about to be hoisted by a crane Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, for transport to the West Lawn of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to be the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)

Tongass National Forest selected to provide 2024 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

Eight to 10 candidate trees will be evaluated, with winner taking “whistlestop tour” to D.C.

A towering Lutz spruce, center, in the Chugach National Forest is about to be hoisted by a crane Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, for transport to the West Lawn of Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to be the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Annauk Olin, holding her daugher Tulġuna T’aas Olin, and Rochelle Adams pose on March 20, 2024, after giving a presentation on language at the Alaska Just Transition Summit in Juneau. The two, who work together at the Alaska Public Interest Research Group’s Language Access program, hope to compile an Indigenous environmental glossary. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Project seeks to gather Alaska environmental knowledge embedded in Indigenous languages

In the language of the Gwich’in people of northeastern Alaska, the word for month known in English as July is Łuk choo zhrii, meaning “the… Continue reading

Annauk Olin, holding her daugher Tulġuna T’aas Olin, and Rochelle Adams pose on March 20, 2024, after giving a presentation on language at the Alaska Just Transition Summit in Juneau. The two, who work together at the Alaska Public Interest Research Group’s Language Access program, hope to compile an Indigenous environmental glossary. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
The room where the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee holds its meeting sits empty on Tuesday. A presentation about an increase in the number of inmate deaths in state custody was abruptly canceled here. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Republican lawmakers shut down legislative hearing about deaths in Alaska prisons

Former commissioner: “All this will do, is it will continue to inflame passions of advocacy groups.”

The room where the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee holds its meeting sits empty on Tuesday. A presentation about an increase in the number of inmate deaths in state custody was abruptly canceled here. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Thunder Mountain High School coach John Blasco, shown in action at the state tournament opening game against West Valley last week, was selected the 2024 4A Boys Coach of the Year by the Alaska Basketball Coaches Association. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Blasco, Young and Brock selected respective divisional state coaches of the year

Thunder Mountain, Mt. Edgecumbe, Petersburg coaches note the award is about the kids, communities.

Thunder Mountain High School coach John Blasco, shown in action at the state tournament opening game against West Valley last week, was selected the 2024 4A Boys Coach of the Year by the Alaska Basketball Coaches Association. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Employees at the Kensington Mine removing tailings from Johnson Creek on Feb. 17 following a Jan. 31 spill of about 105,000 gallons of slurry from the mine, although a report by the mine’s owners states about half slurry reached the creek 430 meters away. (Photo from report by Coeur Alaska)

Emergency fisheries assessments sought after 105,000-gallon tailings spill at Kensington Mine

Company says Jan. 31 spill poses no risk to Berners Bay habitat, but NOAA seeks federal evaluation.

Employees at the Kensington Mine removing tailings from Johnson Creek on Feb. 17 following a Jan. 31 spill of about 105,000 gallons of slurry from the mine, although a report by the mine’s owners states about half slurry reached the creek 430 meters away. (Photo from report by Coeur Alaska)
Dozens of people throw colors in the air and at each other during a Holi festival gathering Monday night outside Spice Juneau Indian Cuisine. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Holi festival in Juneau revives colorful childhood memories for some, creates them for others

Dozens toss caution and colored cornstarch to the wind in traditional Hindu celebration of spring

Dozens of people throw colors in the air and at each other during a Holi festival gathering Monday night outside Spice Juneau Indian Cuisine. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)