State House Speaker Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, and House Rules Committee Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, talk to reporters in the speaker’s office Friday afternoon about the House’s priorities during the last 13 days of this year’s scheduled legislative session. Both legislators said a cap on spending is a priority of the Republican-led House majority as the budget for next year and the size of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend remain the biggest unresolved issues. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

House Speaker declares spending cap a priority

Budget-cutting measure has ties to Senate’s plan to reduce PFDs — but it’s not a trade-off, leaders say

State House Speaker Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, and House Rules Committee Chair Craig Johnson, R-Anchorage, talk to reporters in the speaker’s office Friday afternoon about the House’s priorities during the last 13 days of this year’s scheduled legislative session. Both legislators said a cap on spending is a priority of the Republican-led House majority as the budget for next year and the size of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend remain the biggest unresolved issues. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A breeze lifts flags hanging outside of the Andrew Hope Building in downtown Juneau Monday afternoon. The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Monday morning its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Tlingit and Haida withdraws from the Alaska Federation of Natives

The move goes into effect immediately, according to the tribe’s president.

A breeze lifts flags hanging outside of the Andrew Hope Building in downtown Juneau Monday afternoon. The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced Monday morning its withdrawal from the Alaska Federation of Natives. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Izabelle Ith, second from left, poses with her Alaska High School Hall of Fame plaque. At left is ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland. Second from right is Jo Ann Day, who nominated Ith for the honor. At right is Alaska state Rep. Mike Cronk who presented Ith with a legislative citation. (Brad Potter / ASAA)

Petersburg’s Izabelle Ith honored with Hall of Fame selection

Southeast athlete pushed Alaska competitors to their sporting limits.

Izabelle Ith, second from left, poses with her Alaska High School Hall of Fame plaque. At left is ASAA Executive Director Billy Strickland. Second from right is Jo Ann Day, who nominated Ith for the honor. At right is Alaska state Rep. Mike Cronk who presented Ith with a legislative citation. (Brad Potter / ASAA)
Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America's tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve in August 2016. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Denali National Park worker dies after triggering avalanche

DENALI NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE — A Denali National Park and Preserve employee died when he was caught in an avalanche while skiing in the… Continue reading

Sightseeing buses and tourists are seen at a pullout popular for taking in views of North America's tallest peak, Denali, in Denali National Park and Preserve in August 2016. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
Catherine Edwards, co-chair of Tlingit and Haida’s Violence Against Women Task Force hugs Áakʼw Ḵwáan spokesperson Fran Houston at at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol Friday evening for a rally and march to recognize Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day held each year on May 5. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

‘This is now a plea’: Rally brings awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous people

“We want answers — our families deserve answers on what happened to our people.”

Catherine Edwards, co-chair of Tlingit and Haida’s Violence Against Women Task Force hugs Áakʼw Ḵwáan spokesperson Fran Houston at at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol Friday evening for a rally and march to recognize Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day held each year on May 5. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican, listens to Sen. Löki Tobin, an Anchorage Democrat, as she speaks in support of a bill Stevens sponsored that would require Alaska high school students to complete a civics education course or receive a passing score on a civics assessment exam in order to graduate. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Senate passes bill implementing new civics requirements to graduate high school

The bill advances as recent national data shows declining test scores on the topic.

Senate President Gary Stevens, a Kodiak Republican, listens to Sen. Löki Tobin, an Anchorage Democrat, as she speaks in support of a bill Stevens sponsored that would require Alaska high school students to complete a civics education course or receive a passing score on a civics assessment exam in order to graduate. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, explains during Wednesday’s floor session how a bill she is sponsoring will add to the number of Alaska Native languages officially recognized by the state and expand the role of a Native language preservation council.

Alaska Native language expansion passes House

Bill by Juneau lawmaker adds more officially recognized dialects, expands preservation council’s role

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
State Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, explains during Wednesday’s floor session how a bill she is sponsoring will add to the number of Alaska Native languages officially recognized by the state and expand the role of a Native language preservation council.
A red dress hangs on a tree in the courtyard at Winnipeg City Hall during a rally, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to call on the city to cease dumping operations at Brady landfill and conduct a search for the remains of missing and murdered indigenous women believed to be buried there. Friday, May 5, 2023, marks Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day, a solemn day meant to draw more attention to the disproportionate number of Indigenous people who have vanished or have faced violence. (Daniel Crump / The Canadian Press)

Wearing red, Indigenous families honor missing relatives

“I join in raising awareness about an injustice that was once invisible.”

A red dress hangs on a tree in the courtyard at Winnipeg City Hall during a rally, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to call on the city to cease dumping operations at Brady landfill and conduct a search for the remains of missing and murdered indigenous women believed to be buried there. Friday, May 5, 2023, marks Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Awareness Day, a solemn day meant to draw more attention to the disproportionate number of Indigenous people who have vanished or have faced violence. (Daniel Crump / The Canadian Press)
Bears greet each other on Chichagof Island in this picture from the fall of 2022 that won first prize for best feature photo from the Alaska Press Club during its annual awards banquet in April. It was the main photo for a Planet Alaska feature published in the Capital City Weekly in October of 2022. (Photo by Elleana Elliott)

Empire staff and contributors earn 11 Alaska Press Club awards

The Juneau Empire won 11 Alaska Press Club awards at its annual banquet, which took place five days after the newspaper announced a cutback in… Continue reading

Bears greet each other on Chichagof Island in this picture from the fall of 2022 that won first prize for best feature photo from the Alaska Press Club during its annual awards banquet in April. It was the main photo for a Planet Alaska feature published in the Capital City Weekly in October of 2022. (Photo by Elleana Elliott)
This combination photo shows Cameron McEwen and an avatar associated with a Snapchat account that authorities say was used by McEwen, who was recently arrested on charges of  sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of making extortionate interstate communications. (FBI)

FBI looks for more possible victims after New York man arrested in ‘sextortion’ investigation

Authorities say man used Snapchat to obtain sexually explicit photos, videos from teen in Alaska.

This combination photo shows Cameron McEwen and an avatar associated with a Snapchat account that authorities say was used by McEwen, who was recently arrested on charges of  sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of making extortionate interstate communications. (FBI)
Rep. Andrew Gray, an Anchorage Democrat, speak to a crowd outside at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol in January. Gray introduced a bill Monday that would make short-term rental registration a requirement and limit operators to just one unit per person in Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/ Juneau Empire File)
Rep. Andrew Gray, an Anchorage Democrat, speak to a crowd outside at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol in January. Gray introduced a bill Monday that would make short-term rental registration a requirement and limit operators to just one unit per person in Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/ Juneau Empire File)
Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, speaks to members of the Alaska Senate about a bill she sponsored that would make Juneteenth a paid state holiday in Alaska. The senate passed the bill 16-4 Thursday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, speaks to members of the Alaska Senate about a bill she sponsored that would make Juneteenth a paid state holiday in Alaska. The senate passed the bill 16-4 Thursday morning. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, left, addresses constituents during a town hall event on Saturday, April 15, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski senator’s bill ‘lumbers’ toward governor’s desk

Senate Bill 87 aims to make locally milled lumber more widely available for the construction of housing in Alaska

Sen. Jesse Bjorkman, left, addresses constituents during a town hall event on Saturday, April 15, 2023 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Flames are visible from the Beluga Point parking area near Anchorage on July 19, 2016, as a wildfire near McHugh Creek burns. A recent series of wildfires near Anchorage and the hottest day on record have sparked fears that a warming climate could soon mean serious, untenable blazes in urban areas — just like in the rest of the drought-plagued American West. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)

Climate change sparks disaster fears in Alaska’s largest city

This is the new reality.

Flames are visible from the Beluga Point parking area near Anchorage on July 19, 2016, as a wildfire near McHugh Creek burns. A recent series of wildfires near Anchorage and the hottest day on record have sparked fears that a warming climate could soon mean serious, untenable blazes in urban areas — just like in the rest of the drought-plagued American West. (Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News)
This photo provided by Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office shows a recently installed sign at the main entry point to U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Fort Wainwright on April 5, 2023, in Fairbanks, Alaska. The mother of Warrant Officer 1 Stewart Duane Wayment, one of the three soldiers killed last week when two U.S. Army helicopters at Fort Wainwright collided as they were returning from training in a remote part of Alaska, said her son loved his country and his family and lifted others up. An investigative team flew to the crash site Monday, May 1. (Eve Baker / Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office)

For soldier killed in Alaska crash ‘family was everything’

Mother said her son loved his country and his family and lifted others up.

This photo provided by Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office shows a recently installed sign at the main entry point to U.S. Army Garrison Alaska Fort Wainwright on April 5, 2023, in Fairbanks, Alaska. The mother of Warrant Officer 1 Stewart Duane Wayment, one of the three soldiers killed last week when two U.S. Army helicopters at Fort Wainwright collided as they were returning from training in a remote part of Alaska, said her son loved his country and his family and lifted others up. An investigative team flew to the crash site Monday, May 1. (Eve Baker / Fort Wainwright Public Affairs Office)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
State Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, speaks in opposition to a bill allocating 75% of spendable Permanent Fund earnings to state programs and 25% to dividends during Monday’s floor session.

Senate passes $1,300 PFD bill despite dissension

Four majority members vote no on “75-25” bill, making it vulnerable to veto or other politicking.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire
State Sen. Mike Shower, R-Wasilla, speaks in opposition to a bill allocating 75% of spendable Permanent Fund earnings to state programs and 25% to dividends during Monday’s floor session.
House Speaker Cathy Tilton, a Wasilla Republican, listens Monday morning to amendments to a bill she sponsored that seeks to bar the state and local governments in Alaska from mandating restrictions or closures to firearms and retailers in the event of a disaster. (Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Cathy Tilton, a Wasilla Republican, listens Monday morning to amendments to a bill she sponsored that seeks to bar the state and local governments in Alaska from mandating restrictions or closures to firearms and retailers in the event of a disaster. (Clarise Larson/ Juneau Empire)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Frank Hughes pulls a tote filled with Alaska Native artifacts at the Juneau International Airport Thursday afternoon. Hughes is apart of the repatriation effort to retrieve the artifacts back to the Organized Village of Kake from George Fox University in Oregon.

Kake to welcome artifacts — some over 200 years old — back home

‘When I looked at them it was like looking at my past and my elders’

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Frank Hughes pulls a tote filled with Alaska Native artifacts at the Juneau International Airport Thursday afternoon. Hughes is apart of the repatriation effort to retrieve the artifacts back to the Organized Village of Kake from George Fox University in Oregon.
In this photo released by the U.S. Army, AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, fly over a mountain range near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, on June 3, 2019. The U.S. Army says two Army helicopters similar to the ones in this picture crashed Thursday, April 27, 2023, near Healy, Alaska, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth. The helicopters were returning from a training flight to Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks. (Cameron Roxberry / U.S. Army)

Army grounds aviators for training after fatal crashes

The U.S. Army has grounded aviation units for training after 12 soldiers died within the last month in helicopter crashes in Alaska and Kentucky, the… Continue reading

In this photo released by the U.S. Army, AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, fly over a mountain range near Fort Wainwright, Alaska, on June 3, 2019. The U.S. Army says two Army helicopters similar to the ones in this picture crashed Thursday, April 27, 2023, near Healy, Alaska, killing three soldiers and injuring a fourth. The helicopters were returning from a training flight to Fort Wainwright, based near Fairbanks. (Cameron Roxberry / U.S. Army)