Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year's second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, but said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year's second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, but said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska Marine Highway System ferries LeConte, left, Malaspina and Tazlina, hidden from view, are tied up at the Auke Bay Terminal in this July 2019 photo. CoastAlaska reports Gov. Mike Dunleavy offered to give the Malaspina ferry away in a letter last month to the Philippines consul general in San Francisco. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska offers 58-year-old ferry for free to the Philippines

The state of Alaska is trying to dispose of a 58-year-old ferry.

The Alaska Marine Highway System ferries LeConte, left, Malaspina and Tazlina, hidden from view, are tied up at the Auke Bay Terminal in this July 2019 photo. CoastAlaska reports Gov. Mike Dunleavy offered to give the Malaspina ferry away in a letter last month to the Philippines consul general in San Francisco. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
This image shows treponema pallidum, the bacteria that cause syphilis. Alaska's syphilis infection rates increased by 49% over 2019 numbers, the Department of Health and Social Services reported this week. (Courtesy Photo / NIAID)
This image shows treponema pallidum, the bacteria that cause syphilis. Alaska's syphilis infection rates increased by 49% over 2019 numbers, the Department of Health and Social Services reported this week. (Courtesy Photo / NIAID)
Lawmakers will come back to the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on May 28, 2021, for the second special session of the Legislature this summer. Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked lawmakers to resolve what he called a defective budget, leading to a legal dispute between lawmakers and the administration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Lawmakers will come back to the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on May 28, 2021, for the second special session of the Legislature this summer. Gov. Mike Dunleavy asked lawmakers to resolve what he called a defective budget, leading to a legal dispute between lawmakers and the administration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek / Ketchikan Daily News)
Firefighter medic Andy Tighe snaps a photo of the breakaway plus-class cruise ship Norwegian Bliss while Captain Tracy Mettler operates a fireboat in the Tongass Narrows in Ketchikan, Alaska, on June 4, 2018. President Joe Biden signed into law Monday, May 24, 2021, legislation that opens a door for resumed cruise ship travel to Alaska after the pandemic last year scrapped sailings. (Dustin Safranek / Ketchikan Daily News)
A recently released map by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows the vast areas of low data speeds and access by broadband users across Alaska and the rest of the U.S. (Screenshot)

White House laying groundwork for improved internet infrastructure

In Alaska, providers are looking at their own improvments to access.

A recently released map by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration shows the vast areas of low data speeds and access by broadband users across Alaska and the rest of the U.S. (Screenshot)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes (center), along with leaders of the House majority coalition, Rep. Bryce Edgmon (left) and Rep. Kelly Merrick (right) speak to reporters on the final day of a special legislative session on Friday. The special legislative session limped toward a bitter end Friday, with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreeing over the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this week. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes (center), along with leaders of the House majority coalition, Rep. Bryce Edgmon (left) and Rep. Kelly Merrick (right) speak to reporters on the final day of a special legislative session on Friday. The special legislative session limped toward a bitter end Friday, with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreeing over the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this week. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron taxi during exercise Red Flag-Alaska 21-02 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 14, 2021. (Tech. Sgt. Peter Thompson / U.S. Air Force)

Air Force kicks off major multinational exercise in Alaska

More than 100 aircraft from three countries will be involved.

A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft assigned to the 25th Fighter Squadron taxi during exercise Red Flag-Alaska 21-02 at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 14, 2021. (Tech. Sgt. Peter Thompson / U.S. Air Force)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn't rectify issues with the budget passed earlier this week by Friday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn't rectify issues with the budget passed earlier this week by Friday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This June 10 photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor is holding a news conference on Thursday to address the spending plan recently passed by the Legislature. (Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
This June 10 photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor is holding a news conference on Thursday to address the spending plan recently passed by the Legislature. (Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State avoids shutdown, but PFD questions remain

Capitol reopened, and lawmakers prepare for take off.

Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

House passes budget, fails key vote affecting PFD

House leaders left open the potential for continued talks or even possibly another vote.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, looks on as Senators vote whether to adjourn the long-awaited budget vote on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Budget talks were derailed Tuesday after lawmakers and the governor balked at the budget proposal.

Budget talks break down as shutdown looms

Legislative leadership met for most of the day Tuesday.

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, looks on as Senators vote whether to adjourn the long-awaited budget vote on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Budget talks were derailed Tuesday after lawmakers and the governor balked at the budget proposal.
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, spoke to the Empire on Monday, June 14, 2021, about the final budget proposal for the state which he helped craft. Some lawmakers said they felt bullied by the budget's contents. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, spoke to the Empire on Monday, June 14, 2021, about the final budget proposal for the state which he helped craft. Some lawmakers said they felt bullied by the budget's contents. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome, second from left, listens as Rep. Bart LeBon, far left,R-Fairbanks, foreground, speaks during a budget conference committee meeting in Juneau, Alaska, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Alaska legislators who are leading negotiators on a committee tasked with hashing out differences on a state spending package said they would like to reach a tentative agreement as early as Sunday. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Lawmakers reach tentative deal on budget, dividend

Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Sunday on a package that includes an estimated $1,100 PFD.

State Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome, second from left, listens as Rep. Bart LeBon, far left,R-Fairbanks, foreground, speaks during a budget conference committee meeting in Juneau, Alaska, on Sunday, June 13, 2021. Alaska legislators who are leading negotiators on a committee tasked with hashing out differences on a state spending package said they would like to reach a tentative agreement as early as Sunday. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

‘A lot of work to do’: Officials hope for summer bounce in vaccinations

Zink said just six months ago she didn’t think the state would have as much vaccine stock as it does now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
The Biden Administration announced it would reverse a decision by the previous administration to remove the Roadless Rule from the Tongass National Forest, seen here on Sun, March 30, 2021. Conservationists praised the decision while others called it suppressing Alaska's economic opportunities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Biden Administration announced it would reverse a decision by the previous administration to remove the Roadless Rule from the Tongass National Forest, seen here on Sun, March 30, 2021. Conservationists praised the decision while others called it suppressing Alaska's economic opportunities. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Chef Lionel Uddipa of Red Spruce and his team prepare a dish of seared Alaskan scallop with Red Spruce miso, shio koji, calamansi, candied kumquat and herring egg bottarga for a charity dinner highlight the seafood cuisines of Alaska and Louisiana at Forbbiden Peak Brewery on Tuesday.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Chef Lionel Uddipa of Red Spruce and his team prepare a dish of seared Alaskan scallop with Red Spruce miso, shio koji, calamansi, candied kumquat and herring egg bottarga for a charity dinner highlight the seafood cuisines of Alaska and Louisiana at Forbbiden Peak Brewery on Tuesday.