House members await the start of the new session on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House members await the start of the new session on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Monday, Jan. 18

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
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New signage at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Jan 15, 2020, reminds visitors of health mitigation strategies. Committees from the previous legislature had their final meetings Monday as the new session starts Tuesday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State will audit CARES Act funding

Public money, public information.

New signage at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, Jan 15, 2020, reminds visitors of health mitigation strategies. Committees from the previous legislature had their final meetings Monday as the new session starts Tuesday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
FILE - In this May 18, 2020 file photo, a woman walks past the Alaska Capitol in Juneau. Alaska lawmakers are set to convene amid a near decade-long run of deficits and economic fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Go-to reserve accounts are depleted, and tough decisions await on how to use the state's nest-egg oil-wealth fund. It's unclear who will lead those debates: neither the House nor the Senate has organized. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
FILE - In this May 18, 2020 file photo, a woman walks past the Alaska Capitol in Juneau. Alaska lawmakers are set to convene amid a near decade-long run of deficits and economic fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Go-to reserve accounts are depleted, and tough decisions await on how to use the state's nest-egg oil-wealth fund. It's unclear who will lead those debates: neither the House nor the Senate has organized. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Lawmakers weren’t at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Friday, but the House Finance Committee met electronically to discuss Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Lawmakers weren’t at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Friday, but the House Finance Committee met electronically to discuss Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed budget.
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Cpl. Jose M. Barragan, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepares to conduct a live-fire and maneuver range in Fort Greely, Alaska, Feb. 11, 2020, prior to exercise Arctic Edge 20. (U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Christopher W. England)
Cpl. Jose M. Barragan, a bulk fuel specialist with 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, prepares to conduct a live-fire and maneuver range in Fort Greely, Alaska, Feb. 11, 2020, prior to exercise Arctic Edge 20. (U.S. Marine Corps / Lance Cpl. Christopher W. England)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID at a glance for Friday, Jan. 8

The most recent state and local numbers.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
In this July 13, 2007, file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
In this July 13, 2007, file photo, workers with the Pebble Mine project test drill in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska, near the village of Iliamma. (AP Photo / Al Grillo)
Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
People gather to view a child through a window at Bartlett Regional Hospital on Dec. 15. Juneau and Alaska’s overall population is shrinking due to high numbers of emigrating boomers and low numbers of childbirths.

Few arrivals and many departures: Alaska and Juneau populations continue to shrink

With few exceptions, towns and cities across Alaska are shedding bodies.

Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire
People gather to view a child through a window at Bartlett Regional Hospital on Dec. 15. Juneau and Alaska’s overall population is shrinking due to high numbers of emigrating boomers and low numbers of childbirths.
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Health workers during a mass vaccination event for influzena at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The flu vaccine event served as a practice run for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to health officials. Such distribution requires coordination between multiple state and local agencies. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Health workers during a mass vaccination event for influzena at Thunder Mountain High School on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The flu vaccine event served as a practice run for COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to health officials. Such distribution requires coordination between multiple state and local agencies. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

US holds first oil lease sale for Alaska’s Arctic refuge

Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, was the sale’s main bidder.

In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an airplane flies over caribou from the Porcupine caribou herd on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska.  (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham / USCG 
Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star navigates heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. The icebreaker is supporting an increasingly prioritized mission in the region, according the the Coast Guard.

Coast Guard icebreaker sets U.S. record for northernmost winter approach

The mission is as much to reaffirm presence as to train a new generation of coldwater sailors.

Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham / USCG 
Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star navigates heavy seas in the Gulf of Alaska, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. The icebreaker is supporting an increasingly prioritized mission in the region, according the the Coast Guard.
Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Judge allows oil, gas lease sales in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Judge refuses to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to halt oil and gas lease sales in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that were pushed by the Trump administration in its final days. (Courtesy Photo / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)