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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)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on May 9, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on May 9, 1984. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Rep. Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, discuss an amendment to a bill restricting transgender participation in school sports during a House floor session Thursday.

With time for key issues this session running out, House stalled by filibuster of transgender sports ban bill

Bill tabled until Saturday, making its chances bleak with Legislature scheduled to adjourn Wednesday

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Rep. Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, discuss an amendment to a bill restricting transgender participation in school sports during a House floor session Thursday.
A new online dictionary features Lingít, X̱aad Kíl, Shm’algyack and English. (Mircea Brown / Courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute)
A new online dictionary features Lingít, X̱aad Kíl, Shm’algyack and English. (Mircea Brown / Courtesy of Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Budding trees and bushes are seen in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 1. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Brinksmanship and compromise emerge in Alaska’s Capitol as legislative session nears an end

Legislators combining varied pieces of legislation to get them across the finish line by Wednesday.

Budding trees and bushes are seen in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 1. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Sen. Löki Tobin, D-Anchorage, is seen during a news conference on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Senate OKs increased access to birth control

A large bipartisan majority of the Senate approved increased insurance coverage for birth control on Thursday. Alaskans may access up to 12 months worth of… Continue reading

Sen. Löki Tobin, D-Anchorage, is seen during a news conference on Wednesday, March 13. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale (left) talks with Assembly members (from right to left) Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake and Ella Adkison following an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night. Hale and Blake, whose terms expire this fall, say they are not seeking reelection. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Two Assembly members say they won’t seek reelection ahead of annual ‘run for office’ workshop

Michelle Bonnet Hale and Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake cite family and time considerations.

Deputy Mayor Michelle Bonnet Hale (left) talks with Assembly members (from right to left) Alicia Hughes-Skandijs, Wáahlaal Gíidaak Barbara Blake and Ella Adkison following an Assembly Finance Committee meeting Wednesday night. Hale and Blake, whose terms expire this fall, say they are not seeking reelection. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
City Manager Katie Koester (center) explains options for a budget item to members of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee during a meeting Wednesday night as Deputy City Manager Robert Barr and Finance Director Angie Flick listen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

With city taking over school buildings, leaders balk at funding for newly built projects

Assembly members reject $4M for new nonprofit family center site, suggest using existing facilities.

City Manager Katie Koester (center) explains options for a budget item to members of the Juneau Assembly’s Finance Committee during a meeting Wednesday night as Deputy City Manager Robert Barr and Finance Director Angie Flick listen. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives consider artificial intelligence legislation on Wednesday during a break in a session of the Alaska House of Representatives. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Debating faked images and video, Alaska lawmakers say AI could eventually be a person

Correction: The bill’s sponsor and Vance’s role on the House Judiciary Committee were misidentified in the original version of this article. The Alaska House of… Continue reading

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives consider artificial intelligence legislation on Wednesday during a break in a session of the Alaska House of Representatives. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)