Sens. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, center, and Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, right, put questions to Office of Management and Budget Director Neil Steininger during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The Legislature's third special session of the year is dealing mostly with budget issues despite having been called to bring resolution to the state's fiscal deficit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sens. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, center, and Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, right, put questions to Office of Management and Budget Director Neil Steininger during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The Legislature's third special session of the year is dealing mostly with budget issues despite having been called to bring resolution to the state's fiscal deficit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A plane lands at Juneau International Airport on May 25, 2021, as the number of travelers in the state started to rise after the lockdowns of 2020. Travel numbers are not back up to their pre-pandemic levels, but they are increasing according to local travel authorities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

After steep decline, transportation numbers are slowly taking off again

Passengers are coming back by boat, plane and bus, but not yet at pre-pandemic numbers.

A plane lands at Juneau International Airport on May 25, 2021, as the number of travelers in the state started to rise after the lockdowns of 2020. Travel numbers are not back up to their pre-pandemic levels, but they are increasing according to local travel authorities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

State House calls for $1,100 dividend

There are divisions over funding source.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
From left to right, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage; House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla and Reps. Mike Prax, R-North Pole; Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski and George Rauscher, R-Sutton, speak on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives following a floor session on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Lawmakers found themselves debating familiar topics as they worked through amendments to a budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
From left to right, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage; House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla and Reps. Mike Prax, R-North Pole; Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski and George Rauscher, R-Sutton, speak on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives following a floor session on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Lawmakers found themselves debating familiar topics as they worked through amendments to a budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, speaks with Reps. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, as members of the House Republican Minority failed to show up for floor session. Divisions over the pace and direction of the special session has delayed legislative work. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, speaks with Reps. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, as members of the House Republican Minority failed to show up for floor session. Divisions over the pace and direction of the special session has delayed legislative work. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here at an Aug. 16, news conference, announced Thursday the state was taking steps to help Alaska's hospitals deal with the strain of a spike in COVID-19 cases. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here at an Aug. 16, news conference, announced Thursday the state was taking steps to help Alaska's hospitals deal with the strain of a spike in COVID-19 cases. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered the release of certain state funds Wednesday, including for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, which helps Alaskans pay for things like classes at the University of Alaska Southeast, shown in this October 2020 file photo. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered the release of certain state funds Wednesday, including for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, which helps Alaskans pay for things like classes at the University of Alaska Southeast, shown in this October 2020 file photo. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
House Sergeant-At-Arms Micaela Brader waits for member of the Alaska House of Representatives to arrive for a floor session on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. Despite several calls to a floor session, members of the House Republican Minority never arrived, causing a delay in legislative business. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Sergeant-At-Arms Micaela Brader waits for member of the Alaska House of Representatives to arrive for a floor session on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021. Despite several calls to a floor session, members of the House Republican Minority never arrived, causing a delay in legislative business. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced it was stopping the effort with a gubernatorial race looming next year. The Recall Dunleavy group said that as of Saturday it had gathered 62,373 signatures, shy of the 71,252 needed to trigger a recall vote. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Effort to recall Dunleavy dropped after 2-year push

The recall effort took off in 2019.

The campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced it was stopping the effort with a gubernatorial race looming next year. The Recall Dunleavy group said that as of Saturday it had gathered 62,373 signatures, shy of the 71,252 needed to trigger a recall vote. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state's budget and find resolution on the state's long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state's budget and find resolution on the state's long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Officials debunk COVID vaccine misinformation

State doctors say ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine aren’t effective at treating COVID-19.

A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
FILE - This Jan. 29, 2014 file photo shows former Denver Broncos offensive lineman and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth in New York.   Schlereth returned home to Alaska this week to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Service High alumnus made a halftime appearance Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 at West High, where his alma mater squared off against the West Eagles.  (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)

Ex-NFL player Mark Schlereth urges Alaskans to get vaccine

“I just want to encourage everybody to do your part.”

FILE - This Jan. 29, 2014 file photo shows former Denver Broncos offensive lineman and ESPN analyst Mark Schlereth in New York.   Schlereth returned home to Alaska this week to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  The Service High alumnus made a halftime appearance Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 at West High, where his alma mater squared off against the West Eagles.  (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo, Kelly Tshibaka speaks to reporters in Anchorage. Law enforcement officials have completed their investigation whether Tshibaka, a U.S. Senate candidate and former State of Alaska official, illegally obtained a fishing license for a sportfishing event two years ago, and turned it over to a special prosecutorial branch of the Department of Law, an official said Thursday, Aug. 19. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Prosecutors vet US Senate candidate’s fishing license case

It’s been turned over to a special prosecutorial branch of the Department of Law

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2019, file photo, Kelly Tshibaka speaks to reporters in Anchorage. Law enforcement officials have completed their investigation whether Tshibaka, a U.S. Senate candidate and former State of Alaska official, illegally obtained a fishing license for a sportfishing event two years ago, and turned it over to a special prosecutorial branch of the Department of Law, an official said Thursday, Aug. 19. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Travelers check their cellphones near a sign promoting COVID-19 vaccinations in the Juneau International Airport on Thursday. Federal officials are recommending a booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, and local health authorities say the rollout will likely be similar to the initial vaccine distribution. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Travelers check their cellphones near a sign promoting COVID-19 vaccinations in the Juneau International Airport on Thursday. Federal officials are recommending a booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine, and local health authorities say the rollout will likely be similar to the initial vaccine distribution. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A donor gives blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s Juneau center on Aug. 18, 2021. The BBA is currently experiencing critical shortages of multiple blood types statewide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Alaska blood bank faces critical shortages of multiple blood types

Pandemic conditions, summer and trauma rates all add to the need.

A donor gives blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s Juneau center on Aug. 18, 2021. The BBA is currently experiencing critical shortages of multiple blood types statewide. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Gavel (Courtesy photo)

Judge throws out Trump-era approvals for Willow Project

The Trump administration approved the project, and the Biden administration defended it in court.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a graph showing the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund during a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Lawmakers have asked the governor to amend the call of the special session, allowing them to address the budget which remains only partially funded. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a graph showing the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund during a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Lawmakers have asked the governor to amend the call of the special session, allowing them to address the budget which remains only partially funded. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Alaska State Capitol.

Dividend size is a sticking point for special session

Debate over the check size in recent years has become politically charged and overshadowed issues.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Alaska State Capitol.