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X’unei Lance Twitchell teaches an advanced Tlingít course at University of Alaska Southeast on Monday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Native languages at crucial juncture, biennial report says

Call to action urges systemic reforms to the state’s support and integration of Native languages.

X’unei Lance Twitchell teaches an advanced Tlingít course at University of Alaska Southeast on Monday. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Reps. Jesse Sumner, R-Wasilla, and Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, talk to Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, during a break in the Alaska House of Representatives floor session on Monday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Entering their final two regular weeks, Alaska legislators are narrowing their focus

Dozens of firefighters protested outside the Alaska Capitol last week, waving signs and chanting as they urged the Alaska House of Representatives to advance a… Continue reading

Reps. Jesse Sumner, R-Wasilla, and Jamie Allard, R-Eagle River, talk to Speaker of the House Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, during a break in the Alaska House of Representatives floor session on Monday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys soccer team takes on Palmer High School on Friday in Anchorage. (Photo by Tory Bennetsen)

All four Juneau high school soccer teams notch winning records during road trip north

JDHS girls remain undefeated; both TMHS teams get first victories of season.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé boys soccer team takes on Palmer High School on Friday in Anchorage. (Photo by Tory Bennetsen)
Juneau residents calling for a ceasefire in Gaza put on t-shirts with slogans declaring their cause before testifying on a resolution calling for “a bilateral peace agreement in Israel and Palestine” considered by the Juneau Assembly on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Juneau Assembly fails by 2-5 vote to pass resolution seeking ‘bilateral peace’ between Israel and Palestine

Members question if declaration is appropriate at local level, angering residents favoring ceasefire

Juneau residents calling for a ceasefire in Gaza put on t-shirts with slogans declaring their cause before testifying on a resolution calling for “a bilateral peace agreement in Israel and Palestine” considered by the Juneau Assembly on Monday night. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Kaxhatjaa X’óow/Herring Protectors wearing robes, which will be part of the exhibit “Protection: Adaptation & Resistance” at the Alaska State Museum on Friday. (Photo by Caitlin Blaisdell)

Here’s what happening for First Friday in May

Exhibit by more than 45 Alaska Natives at state museum features protector robes, MMIP Day preview.

Kaxhatjaa X’óow/Herring Protectors wearing robes, which will be part of the exhibit “Protection: Adaptation & Resistance” at the Alaska State Museum on Friday. (Photo by Caitlin Blaisdell)
Lon Garrison (center), executive director of the Alaska Association of School Boards, presides over a Juneau Board of Education self-assessment retreat Saturday at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

School board president says she won’t run again at meeting where members assess their response to crisis

Deedie Sorensen says it’s time to retire as board members give themselves tough grades, lofty goals.

Lon Garrison (center), executive director of the Alaska Association of School Boards, presides over a Juneau Board of Education self-assessment retreat Saturday at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Nils Andreassen and his sons Amos, 7, and Axel, 11, pick up trash in the Lemon Creek area during the annual Litter Free community cleanup on Saturday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Annual community cleanup is its own reward — and then some

Nearly 800 people pick up tons of trash, recyclables and perhaps treasures

Nils Andreassen and his sons Amos, 7, and Axel, 11, pick up trash in the Lemon Creek area during the annual Litter Free community cleanup on Saturday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Debris from a home that partially fell into the Mendenhall River sits on its banks on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, after record flooding eroded the bank the day before. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaska Senate unanimously OKs increasing maximum state disaster relief payments and eligibility

Bill by Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, raises limit to $50K instead of $21K, makes condo residents eligible

Debris from a home that partially fell into the Mendenhall River sits on its banks on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, after record flooding eroded the bank the day before. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire file photo)
The Matanuska state ferry, seen here docked when it was scheduled to begin its annual winter overhaul in October of 2022, has been out of service ever since. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities photo)

State awaits report, cost estimate on repairing Matanuska state ferry — and if it’s worth the effort

Full-body scan of vessel, out of service for 18 months, will determine if ship should be scrapped.

The Matanuska state ferry, seen here docked when it was scheduled to begin its annual winter overhaul in October of 2022, has been out of service ever since. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities photo)
Eulalia Roman, 12, with team Mat-Su competes in the wrist carry on the first day of the Native Youth Olympics Senior Games at the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday in Anchorage. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

Alaska’s Indigenous teens emulate ancestors’ Arctic survival skills at the Native Youth Olympics

The athletes filling a huge gym in Anchorage were ready to compete, cheering and stomping and high-fiving each other as they lined up for the… Continue reading

Eulalia Roman, 12, with team Mat-Su competes in the wrist carry on the first day of the Native Youth Olympics Senior Games at the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday in Anchorage. (Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News via AP)
The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska tribal health consortiums are legally immune in many cases, state Supreme Court says

The Alaska Supreme Court overturned a 20-year-old precedent Friday by ruling that Alaska Native tribal organizations can more easily receive the kind of sovereign legal… Continue reading

The Boney Courthouse building in Anchorage holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Rep. Sarah Vance, a Homer Republican, discusses a bill she sponsored requiring age verification to visit pornography websites while Rep. Andrew Gray, an Anchorage Democrat who added an amendment prohibiting children under 14 from having social media accounts, listens during a House floor session Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

House passes bill banning kids under 14 from social media, requiring age verification for porn sites

Key provisions of proposal comes from legislators at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Rep. Sarah Vance, a Homer Republican, discusses a bill she sponsored requiring age verification to visit pornography websites while Rep. Andrew Gray, an Anchorage Democrat who added an amendment prohibiting children under 14 from having social media accounts, listens during a House floor session Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Ward Lake Recreation Area in the Tongass National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)

Neighbors: Public input sought as Tongass begins revising 25-year-old forest plan

Initial phase focuses on listening, informing, and gathering feedback.

The Ward Lake Recreation Area in the Tongass National Forest. (U.S. Forest Service photo)
One of about 80 participants in the annual Slush Cup tries to cross a 100-foot-long pond during the final day of the season at Eaglecrest Ski Area on April 7. (Eaglecrest Ski Area photo)

Season full of ups and downs ends about average for Eaglecrest Ski Area

Fewer season passes sold, but more out-of-state visitors and foreign workers help weather storms.

One of about 80 participants in the annual Slush Cup tries to cross a 100-foot-long pond during the final day of the season at Eaglecrest Ski Area on April 7. (Eaglecrest Ski Area photo)
Lily Hope (right) teaches a student how to weave Ravenstail on the Youth Pride Robe project. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hope)

A historically big show-and-tell for small Ravenstail robes

About 40 child-sized robes to be featured in weavers’ gathering, dance and presentations Tuesday.

Lily Hope (right) teaches a student how to weave Ravenstail on the Youth Pride Robe project. (Photo courtesy of Lily Hope)
Low clouds hang over Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor on Oct. 3, 2022. Kodiak is a hub for commercial fishing, an industry with an economic impact in Alaska of $6 billion a year in 2021 and 2022, according to a new report commissioned by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Report portrays mixed picture of Alaska’s huge seafood industry

Overall economic value rising, but employment is declining and recent price collapses are worrisome.

Low clouds hang over Kodiak’s St. Paul Harbor on Oct. 3, 2022. Kodiak is a hub for commercial fishing, an industry with an economic impact in Alaska of $6 billion a year in 2021 and 2022, according to a new report commissioned by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Sen. Bert Stedman chairs a Senate Finance Committee meeting in 2023. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Senate panel approves state spending plan with smaller dividend than House proposed

Senate proposal closes $270 million gap in House plan, but further negotiations are expected in May.

Sen. Bert Stedman chairs a Senate Finance Committee meeting in 2023. (Photo by Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
High school students in Juneau attend a chemistry class in 2016. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)

JDHS ranks fourth, TMHS fifth among 64 Alaska high schools in U.S. News and World Report survey

HomeBRIDGE ranks 41st, YDHS not ranked in nationwide assessment of more than 24,000 schools.

High school students in Juneau attend a chemistry class in 2016. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Public safety officials and supporters hold signs during a protest at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon calling for the restoration of state employee pensions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Protest at Capitol by police, firefighters calls for House to pass stalled pension bill for state employees

Advocates say legislation is vital to solving retention and hiring woes in public safety jobs.

Public safety officials and supporters hold signs during a protest at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday afternoon calling for the restoration of state employee pensions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 21, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The front page of the Juneau Empire on April 21, 2004. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)