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Juneau and Palmer players fight for the puck near the Crimson Bears’ goal during Saturday night’s game between Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Palmer High School at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS loses pair of games to Palmer in battle between top two teams in conference

Crimson Bears rebound from 5-1 defeat Friday, take Palmer to last minute of OT in 3-2 loss Saturday.

Juneau and Palmer players fight for the puck near the Crimson Bears’ goal during Saturday night’s game between Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Palmer High School at Treadwell Arena. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau School District Administrative Services Director Cassee Olin (center) appears with Karen Tarver (right), a partner with the audit firm Elgee Rehfeld, to discuss an audit of the Juneau School District’s previous fiscal year with the Juneau Board of Education on Nov. 14. Olin resigned from the district as of Dec. 1. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

School district seeks quick temporary help with budget after administrative services director quits

Cassee Olin resigns as district faces multimillion dollar deficit, audit that found flaws.

Juneau School District Administrative Services Director Cassee Olin (center) appears with Karen Tarver (right), a partner with the audit firm Elgee Rehfeld, to discuss an audit of the Juneau School District’s previous fiscal year with the Juneau Board of Education on Nov. 14. Olin resigned from the district as of Dec. 1. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy is seen at an appearance earlier this year. (Office of the Governor photo)

A journalist just reviewed 1,000 pages of Alaska budget documents — so you don’t have to

Items to escalate state’s subsistence fight with feds and enhance drone use for law enforcement.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is seen at an appearance earlier this year. (Office of the Governor photo)
Alaska Department of Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg gave an update on the backlog of food aid applications in the Division of Public Assistance at a news conference for Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed FY 2025 budget in on Thursday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Dunleavy proposes $14 million in food stamp crisis fixes

Commissioner says state can clear the backlog in 90 days, if there are no ‘further interruptions’

Alaska Department of Health Commissioner Heidi Hedberg gave an update on the backlog of food aid applications in the Division of Public Assistance at a news conference for Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed FY 2025 budget in on Thursday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Paul Voelckers (left) offers farewell remarks along with Michael LeVine (right) during their last Juneau Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night. Listening to their remarks are commission members Mandy Cole — who was appointed to the board Thursday — and Erik Pedersen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Three members appointed to both the planning commission and hospital board

James Kohn joins two incumbents on Bartlett board; Lacey Derr, Jessalyn Rintala new to commission.

Paul Voelckers (left) offers farewell remarks along with Michael LeVine (right) during their last Juneau Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night. Listening to their remarks are commission members Mandy Cole — who was appointed to the board Thursday — and Erik Pedersen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An illustration shows a new Welcome Center and plaza area at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area as proposed in May. The facilities approved in a Notice of Decision on Thursday are similar, but are being relocated further from the face of the glacier to the existing commercial overflow parking lot. (Image from the Notice of Decision published by the U.S. Forest Service).

Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area improvement plan gets a final decision

New welcome center and outdoor amphitheater, more trails, no motorized boats in multiyear plan.

An illustration shows a new Welcome Center and plaza area at the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area as proposed in May. The facilities approved in a Notice of Decision on Thursday are similar, but are being relocated further from the face of the glacier to the existing commercial overflow parking lot. (Image from the Notice of Decision published by the U.S. Forest Service).
An illustration shows the conceptual design for Gastineau Lodge Apartments in downtown Juneau, which the project’s applicant hopes will be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2025. (Image from documents submitted to the Juneau Planning Commission)

Apartment building on Gastineau Avenue gets Planning Commission OK despite fire department concerns

Project in landslide zone also shows effect of Assembly’s vote to eliminate development restrictions.

An illustration shows the conceptual design for Gastineau Lodge Apartments in downtown Juneau, which the project’s applicant hopes will be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2025. (Image from documents submitted to the Juneau Planning Commission)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy discussed his proposed state budget for next year during a press conference Thursday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Dunleavy’s proposed budget contains “full” PFD, no per-student education increase, $1B deficit

Revenue forecast also released calls for oil prices that could result in supplement to PFD.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy discussed his proposed state budget for next year during a press conference Thursday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Five famous men stand together on a floatplane hangar deck on Aug. 8, 1935. From left to right: Juneau Mayor Izzy Goldstein, Pilot Wiley Post, Novelist Rex Beach, Pilot Joe Crosson, and “Cowboy Philosopher” Will Rogers. (Alaska State Library Ordway photo PCA-87-2631)

Rooted in Community: Merchants Wharf, Part II — An historic moment captured in one photo in 1935

Endearing local memory with visit by Will Rogers and Wiley Post, followed by a shocking tragedy.

  • Dec 15, 2023
  • By Laurie Craig, For the Downtown Business Association
  • History
Five famous men stand together on a floatplane hangar deck on Aug. 8, 1935. From left to right: Juneau Mayor Izzy Goldstein, Pilot Wiley Post, Novelist Rex Beach, Pilot Joe Crosson, and “Cowboy Philosopher” Will Rogers. (Alaska State Library Ordway photo PCA-87-2631)
Eaglecrest Ski Area employees clear snow from a lift chair on Sunday, when conditions for opening by this weekend seemed promising. But warmer and wet weather this week means the bottom of the mountain is still not ready for operation, although Eaglecrest Grill will be open this weekend for people wanting to access snow on the upper part of the mountain on their own. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area.)

Eaglecrest won’t be open again this weekend — but its grill will be

Restaurant will be open for people wanting to hike to snow on upper parts of ski area, manager says.

Eaglecrest Ski Area employees clear snow from a lift chair on Sunday, when conditions for opening by this weekend seemed promising. But warmer and wet weather this week means the bottom of the mountain is still not ready for operation, although Eaglecrest Grill will be open this weekend for people wanting to access snow on the upper part of the mountain on their own. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area.)
Vox Borealis performs during the 2022 Holiday Cheer concert at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo by Cameron Byrnes / Juneau Symphony)
Vox Borealis performs during the 2022 Holiday Cheer concert at Thunder Mountain High School. (Photo by Cameron Byrnes / Juneau Symphony)
A summer 2023 sunny day shows off sparkling water and floating docks below Merchants Wharf. (Photo by Laurie Craig)

Rooted in Community: Merchants Wharf, Part I — Winging it

From $4.50 flightseeing tours in 1937 to a gathering place filled with aviation history today.

  • Dec 14, 2023
  • By Laurie Craig, For the Downtown Business Association
  • History
A summer 2023 sunny day shows off sparkling water and floating docks below Merchants Wharf. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Dec. 14, 1995. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on Dec. 14, 1995. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
An empty classroom at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on July 20, 2022. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Plan for Alaska’s first tribally operated public schools inches closer to completion

Tlingit and Haida among five tribes slated to be part of the five-year pilot program.

An empty classroom at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on July 20, 2022. (Photo by Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé volleyball coach Jody Levernier takes a photo of players who are joined by family and friends during Senior Night on Saturday, Oct. 28, at JDHS. On Tuesday the Juneau Board of Education unanimously approved changing the name of the gym to the George Houston Gymnasium, following the death earlier this year of the longtime local coach. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

JDHS gym renamed George Houston Gymnasium to honor longtime former basketball coach

School board’s unanimous vote occurs on night when dozens of title-winning athletes also honored.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé volleyball coach Jody Levernier takes a photo of players who are joined by family and friends during Senior Night on Saturday, Oct. 28, at JDHS. On Tuesday the Juneau Board of Education unanimously approved changing the name of the gym to the George Houston Gymnasium, following the death earlier this year of the longtime local coach. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A school bus on Back Loop Road prepares to turn into the entrance to Mendenhall River Community School shortly before classes start on Wednesday morning. Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser on Tuesday said he is asking state transportation officials to consider street lights and/or other safety improvements on the road following a collision last Thursday between a vehicle and three people walking to the school. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

School district asks state for safety improvements on Back Loop Road near school following collision

Superintendent says DOT safety engineer will discuss lights, crosswalk at local meeting in January.

A school bus on Back Loop Road prepares to turn into the entrance to Mendenhall River Community School shortly before classes start on Wednesday morning. Juneau School District Superintendent Frank Hauser on Tuesday said he is asking state transportation officials to consider street lights and/or other safety improvements on the road following a collision last Thursday between a vehicle and three people walking to the school. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Candace Frank gets a red handprint pressed onto her face at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Rally in Juneau on May 5, 2022. (Lisa Phu / Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Native leaders bring light to state-specific challenges in federal MMIP report

Alaska is the only state with its own chapter in a report on missing and murdered Indigenous people that describes a failure of the federal… Continue reading

Candace Frank gets a red handprint pressed onto her face at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Rally in Juneau on May 5, 2022. (Lisa Phu / Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy greets visitors during the annual Holiday Open House at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Governor says proposed budget will be released Thursday, funds for new ferry will be included

Dunleavy also highlights initiatives to address “affordability” issues, and charter and home schools.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy greets visitors during the annual Holiday Open House at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Spawning chum salmon swim in a spring feeding the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon River. Crashes in Western Alaska chum and Chinook salmon runs are tied to rapid warming that is having myriad effects across the Arctic, as described in the 2023 Arctic Report Card released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Photo by Seth Adams/University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Alaska salmon woes, extreme precipitation, tundra shrub growth part of Arctic transformation

NOAA’s 2023 Arctic Report Card highlights challenges posed by rapid climate change in Alaska

Spawning chum salmon swim in a spring feeding the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon River. Crashes in Western Alaska chum and Chinook salmon runs are tied to rapid warming that is having myriad effects across the Arctic, as described in the 2023 Arctic Report Card released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (Photo by Seth Adams/University of Alaska Fairbanks)
Julie and Richard Folta help themselves to some of the 21,350 cookies prepared for the annual Holiday Open House at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday. Richard Folta said his first visit to an open house hosted by the governor occurred many years before Alaska became a state in 1959. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Tens of thousands of cookies, decades of memories at governor’s Holiday Open House

Richard Folta says much has changed — but lots of food hasn’t — since his first visit before statehood.

Julie and Richard Folta help themselves to some of the 21,350 cookies prepared for the annual Holiday Open House at the Governor’s Residence on Tuesday. Richard Folta said his first visit to an open house hosted by the governor occurred many years before Alaska became a state in 1959. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)