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House and Senate members of a conference committee sign the compromise state budget bill for the next fiscal year after the final provisions were agreed upon Tuesday morning at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

House and Senate leaders agree on state budget with estimated $1,655 PFD as Wednesday’s adjournment deadline looms

Major legislation including correspondence schools, energy, elections and crime still pending.

House and Senate members of a conference committee sign the compromise state budget bill for the next fiscal year after the final provisions were agreed upon Tuesday morning at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A boat is fully engulfed by fire in Douglas Harbor on Monday evening, with the fire spreading to two other boats. (Capital City Fire/Rescue photo)

Fire consumes one boat, spreads to two others in Douglas Harbor

Unknown if people aboard at time fire started, cause under investigation, official says.

A boat is fully engulfed by fire in Douglas Harbor on Monday evening, with the fire spreading to two other boats. (Capital City Fire/Rescue photo)
Rep. Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, and Rep. Mike Prax, R-North Pole, discuss a proposed amendment to a bill sponsored by Allard restricting transgender students’ participation in school sports during a House floor session on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

After accusations of ‘lying’ and ‘hate’ fly, House passes bill restricting transgender students in sports

Bill passes 22-18 after filibuster by minority, but declared dead in Senate as end of session nears.

Rep. Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, and Rep. Mike Prax, R-North Pole, discuss a proposed amendment to a bill sponsored by Allard restricting transgender students’ participation in school sports during a House floor session on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Scattered debris remains on a tent platform at the former Mill Campground on March 28, where people experiencing homelessness stayed during recent summers. Officials decided not to open the campground there this summer due to a high amount of illegal activity last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Lack of homeless campground means more people are on the streets, Assembly members told

Ordinance authorizing a campground approved Monday night, but where to put it remains elusive.

Scattered debris remains on a tent platform at the former Mill Campground on March 28, where people experiencing homelessness stayed during recent summers. Officials decided not to open the campground there this summer due to a high amount of illegal activity last year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Mila Hargrave, being hugged by the JDHS coaching staff, signed a national letter of intent on Monday at the George Houston Gymnasium to attend Pacific Lutheran University and play softball for the Lutes. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

JDHS softball star Mila Hargrave signs to the circle at Pacific Lutheran University

Multi-sport athlete will pitch for the Lutes.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Mila Hargrave, being hugged by the JDHS coaching staff, signed a national letter of intent on Monday at the George Houston Gymnasium to attend Pacific Lutheran University and play softball for the Lutes. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Thunder Mountain High School’s Miley Andrews (16) clears a ball past JDHS Crimson Bears’ Parker Boman (8) during the Falcons final home game Monday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain High School girls battle for soccer seniors in final game

Falcons fall 5-0 on pitch, but spirits rise in emotional derby against Crimson Bears.

Thunder Mountain High School’s Miley Andrews (16) clears a ball past JDHS Crimson Bears’ Parker Boman (8) during the Falcons final home game Monday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks to House Clerk Krys Jones on Wednesday, May 8. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s education department does not track homeschool allotment spending, but may have to start

Lawmakers have two days left to stabilizing the state’s correspondence program after court ruling.

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks to House Clerk Krys Jones on Wednesday, May 8. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer reacts to praise for his service from Juneau Assembly members after his resignation was announced during an Assembly meeting Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer resigning to take job with Anchorage law firm

Palmer, a CBJ attorney since 2014, plans to depart Aug. 31 to allow time to search for successor.

Municipal Attorney Robert Palmer reacts to praise for his service from Juneau Assembly members after his resignation was announced during an Assembly meeting Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks with Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during a Senate Floor session on Saturday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Church, synagogue vandalism to be punishable as a felony in Alaska under passed bill

Members of the Alaska Senate approved a bill that would increase the penalties for damaging or defacing property owned by religious organizations and used for… Continue reading

Sen. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks with Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during a Senate Floor session on Saturday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Finley Sullivan (right), a senior forward who broke her finger in practice a month ago, performs a kickoff to Ruby Rivas (#9), a senior midfielder who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in January, during the final home game of the season for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls’ soccer team Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Field. Both players came out of the game moments later during an intentional stoppage in play. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Undefeated JDHS girls soccer team gives seniors a healthy sendoff in home finale

Crimson Bears sweep Ketchikan, face TMHS in Falcons’ final home soccer game ever Monday night.

Finley Sullivan (right), a senior forward who broke her finger in practice a month ago, performs a kickoff to Ruby Rivas (#9), a senior midfielder who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in January, during the final home game of the season for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls’ soccer team Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Field. Both players came out of the game moments later during an intentional stoppage in play. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Jan Bronson of Anchorage and Cathy Walling of Fairbanks, representing the Alaska Friends Conference, apologize to Alaska Native communities for the boarding schools it ran in Alaska and the United States. The apology took place at Sayéik Gastineau elementary school, the former site of a Quaker mission school in Juneau, during Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, 2022. (Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska lawmakers support push to investigate, document forced assimilation in boarding schools

The widely supported resolution supports a bill championed by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in Congress.

Jan Bronson of Anchorage and Cathy Walling of Fairbanks, representing the Alaska Friends Conference, apologize to Alaska Native communities for the boarding schools it ran in Alaska and the United States. The apology took place at Sayéik Gastineau elementary school, the former site of a Quaker mission school in Juneau, during Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30, 2022. (Lisa Phu/Alaska Beacon)
Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, talks to an aide during a break in a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Sunday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Senate contemplates major property tax cut for over-65 homeowners

Four days before the scheduled end of the Alaska Legislature’s regular session, a Senate committee has proposed a major increase in the state’s property tax… Continue reading

Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, talks to an aide during a break in a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Sunday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
A photo finish in the 100-meter dash sees Sitka High School’s Adalyna Moore (right) finish ahead of Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter — although both were officially clocked at 13.54 seconds — during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Triumphs come in all forms at annual Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet

Photo finishes, new records, overcoming personal challenges all cause to celebrate at two-day event.

A photo finish in the 100-meter dash sees Sitka High School’s Adalyna Moore (right) finish ahead of Thunder Mountain High School’s Kerra Baxter — although both were officially clocked at 13.54 seconds — during the Capital Invitational Track and Field Meet on Saturday at TMHS. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, speaks in favor of an amendment to a bill restricting transgender students from participating in school sports during a floor debate Saturday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

As House plays the filibuster game on transgender sports bill Saturday, students’ focus is on the fields

Legislators spend more than 12 hours in heated debate on amendments; vote on bill scheduled Sunday

Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, speaks in favor of an amendment to a bill restricting transgender students from participating in school sports during a floor debate Saturday at the Alaska State Capitol. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Cruise industry says Marine Passenger Fees being spent illegally as Assembly members give initial OK to $21M list

$5M for shore power, $3M for Capital Civic Center, $2M for Marine Park improvements among projects

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Young Larkin Wood chooses her favorite slug trap from designer Steve Brockmann’s Slug Getter table as her father Jonathan helps. Brockmann, a retired wildlife biologist, gets ready to take a digital payment on his phone for the 3-D printed functional garden art. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)

Ready, set, grow: Juneau Garden Club holds its annual plant sale

Smiles were blooming Saturday morning along with the plants at the Juneau Garden Club’s annual outdoor plant sale in the Safeway grocery store parking lot.… Continue reading

Young Larkin Wood chooses her favorite slug trap from designer Steve Brockmann’s Slug Getter table as her father Jonathan helps. Brockmann, a retired wildlife biologist, gets ready to take a digital payment on his phone for the 3-D printed functional garden art. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Scott Belleza paints over a mural at the Pipeline Skate Park on Saturday, with a new collection of murals planned for the walls of the facility during the coming months. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Skateboarding diehards come together in massive whiteout Saturday at the Pipeline Skate Park

Murals on walls for past decade — and graffiti added later — painted over as new art awaits.

Scott Belleza paints over a mural at the Pipeline Skate Park on Saturday, with a new collection of murals planned for the walls of the facility during the coming months. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A.J. Wilson, 17, DeAndre Pittman, 16, and Elora Johnson, 16, eat lunch March 31, 2022, in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé cafeteria. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaska lawmakers choose lower funding proposals for school lunches, reading reforms

Compromise budget rejects making reduced-price lunches free to students from low-income families.

A.J. Wilson, 17, DeAndre Pittman, 16, and Elora Johnson, 16, eat lunch March 31, 2022, in the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé cafeteria. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo
Cars drive past the building where the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is headquartered on Sept. 21, 2023.

Accusations of threats, closed-door decisions and other improprieties raised at Permanent Fund board meeting

Special meeting resulting from leak of emails about one board member leads to wider allegations.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo
Cars drive past the building where the Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. is headquartered on Sept. 21, 2023.
Hiker Linda Kruger reaches Father Brown’s Cross on Mount Roberts in this July 2020 photo. Kruger has organized the annual trail race to the cross for the past ten years. This year’s race is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, although the cross is no longer there. (Photo courtesy Jeff Gnass)

Crossed off: Famous Mount Roberts cross lies flat

Father Brown’s Cross destroyed during winter for reasons not fully known; restoration plans underway.

Hiker Linda Kruger reaches Father Brown’s Cross on Mount Roberts in this July 2020 photo. Kruger has organized the annual trail race to the cross for the past ten years. This year’s race is scheduled for Saturday, July 6, although the cross is no longer there. (Photo courtesy Jeff Gnass)