Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, speaks in Wasilla at a May 3, 2022, news conference. Cockrell has ordered an investigation after troopers mistakenly took a school principal into custody for a mental health exam. (Photo by Yereth Rosen / Alaska Beacon)

Troopers, misled by false court order, detained principal for mental health check

State troopers mistakenly took Alaska’s 2022 Principal of the Year into custody…

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, speaks in Wasilla at a May 3, 2022, news conference. Cockrell has ordered an investigation after troopers mistakenly took a school principal into custody for a mental health exam. (Photo by Yereth Rosen / Alaska Beacon)
Smoke and haze fill the air to filter the view of downtown Juneau from Douglas Island on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Report: Southeast Alaska drought risk declining, but warming temps may amplify future impacts

“This is going to happen again, and if it gets warmer and not wetter things can go south.”

Smoke and haze fill the air to filter the view of downtown Juneau from Douglas Island on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
A student holds a sign during a rally at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol Monday evening in advocacy for an increase in the state’s flat funding via the Base Student Allocation. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
A student holds a sign during a rally at the steps of the Alaska State Capitol Monday evening in advocacy for an increase in the state’s flat funding via the Base Student Allocation. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses state lawmakers and guests attending his State of the State speech Monday night before a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at the Alaska State Capitol. The 50-minute speech was praised by many legislators are more positive and less confrontational than his first address four years ago. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Dunleavy urges cooperation to change course of state’s history

War on fentanyl, resilient Alaskans and “most pro-life-state” vow among State of the State highlights.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy addresses state lawmakers and guests attending his State of the State speech Monday night before a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at the Alaska State Capitol. The 50-minute speech was praised by many legislators are more positive and less confrontational than his first address four years ago. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire 
Shannen Greene holds a sign at the Alaska State Capitol during Monday’s anti-abortion rally held by Alaskans for Life Inc.

Abortion protesters gather at state Capitol

Rally comes after anniversary of now-overturned Roe v. Wade.

Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire 
Shannen Greene holds a sign at the Alaska State Capitol during Monday’s anti-abortion rally held by Alaskans for Life Inc.
A by-mail ballot asks voters in 2020 to approve a measure calling for rank choice voting, which was approved. A petition is now circulating calling for another ballot measure to repeal rank choice, with the second-place candidates in both of Alaska’s most recent Congressional races among the most prominent supporters of the repeal. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

Ranked choice repeal petition begins circulating

Kelly Tshibaka joins Sarah Palin as election losers leading effort to return to traditional voting

A by-mail ballot asks voters in 2020 to approve a measure calling for rank choice voting, which was approved. A petition is now circulating calling for another ballot measure to repeal rank choice, with the second-place candidates in both of Alaska’s most recent Congressional races among the most prominent supporters of the repeal. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy poses for a photo with Gladys Castaños during an inaugural celebration for the governor and Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom on Friday night at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

All’s a ball for reelected governor

Dunleavy celebrates “peaceful transfer of power…to myself” at inaugural party Friday

Gov. Mike Dunleavy poses for a photo with Gladys Castaños during an inaugural celebration for the governor and Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom on Friday night at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A sign for a store that accepts food stamps and exchange benefits transfer cards is seen in this 2019 photo. Ten Alaskans are suing the state over its failure to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images via Alaska Beacon)

Lawsuit says Alaska Department of Health exposed thousands to hunger risk by not giving food aid

Complaint filed Friday alleges some families have waited four months for nutrition assistance.

A sign for a store that accepts food stamps and exchange benefits transfer cards is seen in this 2019 photo. Ten Alaskans are suing the state over its failure to provide food stamps within the time frames required by federal law. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images via Alaska Beacon)
Moving boxes are stacked outside the offices of state Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, and former House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, on the second floor of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday morning following their demotion to minority status after a Republican-led majority excluding Stutes was named Tuesday. As minority members, they will have no official say on the location of their new offices. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Moving day for House as committees set

Hannan, Bush Caucus get prized finance seats as Republican-led majority shakes up status quo.

Moving boxes are stacked outside the offices of state Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, and former House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, on the second floor of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday morning following their demotion to minority status after a Republican-led majority excluding Stutes was named Tuesday. As minority members, they will have no official say on the location of their new offices. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Gov. Mike Dunleavy talks with local residents and people involved with this year’s legislative session during an annual welcoming reception hosted by city government and business leaders Tuesday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. Dunleavy is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address, the first of his second term, to a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at 7 p.m. Monday.

Rallies and State of the State set for Monday at the Capitol

Dunleavy to deliver annual address following two big-issue demonstrations.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Gov. Mike Dunleavy talks with local residents and people involved with this year’s legislative session during an annual welcoming reception hosted by city government and business leaders Tuesday at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall. Dunleavy is scheduled to deliver his annual State of the State address, the first of his second term, to a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature at 7 p.m. Monday.
State Rep. Cathy TIlton, R-Wasilla, takes to gavel from State Rep. Josiah Patkotak, I-Utqiaġvik, after she is elected speaker of the Alaska State House on Wednesday. She was elected by a 26-14 bipartisan vote, but the initial majority consists of 19 Republicans and four members of the Bush Caucus. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Tilton elected House speaker in unusual vote

Wasilla Republican elected by 26-14 bipartisan vote, but initial majority has 23 members

State Rep. Cathy TIlton, R-Wasilla, takes to gavel from State Rep. Josiah Patkotak, I-Utqiaġvik, after she is elected speaker of the Alaska State House on Wednesday. She was elected by a 26-14 bipartisan vote, but the initial majority consists of 19 Republicans and four members of the Bush Caucus. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, right, listens to an overview of Alaska’s past and projected oil production by Department of Natural Resources Commissioner John Boyle during Kiehl’s first meeting as a member of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Business as usual underway in the Senate

Key committees meetings start with optimistic tone about working with House, governor

State Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, right, listens to an overview of Alaska’s past and projected oil production by Department of Natural Resources Commissioner John Boyle during Kiehl’s first meeting as a member of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
State Rep. Josiah Patkotak, left, an Utqiagvik independent, accepts the gavel from Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom after he’s elected speaker pro tem of the House during the opening day of the 33rd Alaska State Legislature on Tuesday. Patkotak, who has served as president pro tem during a previous stalemate in determining a House majority, is among the members Republicans are trying to lure to join a coalition controlled by their party. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Session starts sans House speaker, smooth in Senate

Temporary House leader elected as another majority stalemate looms; Senate slights its minority.

State Rep. Josiah Patkotak, left, an Utqiagvik independent, accepts the gavel from Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom after he’s elected speaker pro tem of the House during the opening day of the 33rd Alaska State Legislature on Tuesday. Patkotak, who has served as president pro tem during a previous stalemate in determining a House majority, is among the members Republicans are trying to lure to join a coalition controlled by their party. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
A parcel of land just off the corner of Capital Avenue and Village Street in downtown Juneau was approved to be the first parcel of land owned by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska to be put into federal trust, however, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the federal government and asked the U.S. District Court of Alaska to reverse the federal government’s decision, return the land to Tlingit and Haida and stop future land-into-trust applications. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

State sues feds over Tlingit and Haida land trust

Suit calls DOI decision capricious; Tlingit and Haida president says complaint is mean-spirited.

A parcel of land just off the corner of Capital Avenue and Village Street in downtown Juneau was approved to be the first parcel of land owned by the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska to be put into federal trust, however, the state of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the federal government and asked the U.S. District Court of Alaska to reverse the federal government’s decision, return the land to Tlingit and Haida and stop future land-into-trust applications. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
New members of the Alaska State Legislature gather in the House chambers for a mock floor session on Friday as part of their orientation for the start of the regular two-year session on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Yet another suspenseful session starts today

Who will lead the House? Where are the meet-and-greet parties? And other key early-days essentials

New members of the Alaska State Legislature gather in the House chambers for a mock floor session on Friday as part of their orientation for the start of the regular two-year session on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this November 2021 photo. The Alaska Marine Highway System announced an opportunity to submit written comments about the draft schedule summer schedule. The comment period is currently open and runs until Jan. 26. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
The Tazlina is docked at the Auke Bay ferry terminal in this November 2021 photo. The Alaska Marine Highway System announced an opportunity to submit written comments about the draft schedule summer schedule. The comment period is currently open and runs until Jan. 26. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Chairs await state lawmakers in the House chambers at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday. A total of 14 prefile bills were published during the day in addition to 68 published Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

More do’s and don’ts proposed by pols

Sequels are almost never as grandiose as originals, and such is the case with the second batch of prefile bills from state lawmakers released Friday… Continue reading

Chairs await state lawmakers in the House chambers at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday. A total of 14 prefile bills were published during the day in addition to 68 published Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Alaska Supreme Court: Anchorage Democrat qualified for House seat

Lower court’s ruling affirmed.

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Members of the Alaska State Legislature introduce themselves before a mock floor session for new lawmakers in the House chambers of the state Capitol on Friday. Most of the 19 new members, the most since 1984, are going through three days of orientation before the session starts Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

‘Freshmen 19’ bring unusual heft to Capitol

Class of incoming lawmakers includes many with legislative experience.

Members of the Alaska State Legislature introduce themselves before a mock floor session for new lawmakers in the House chambers of the state Capitol on Friday. Most of the 19 new members, the most since 1984, are going through three days of orientation before the session starts Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Fredrick Brower, center, helps cut up a bowhead whale caught by Inupiat subsistence hunters on a field near Barrow, Alaska, Oc. 7, 2014. After tidal surges and high winds from the remnants of a rare typhoon caused extensive flood damage to homes along Alaska's western coast in September, the U.S. government stepped in to help residents largely Alaska Natives repair property damage. Residents who opened Federal Emergency Management Agency brochures expecting to find instructions on how to file for aid in Alaska Native languages like Yup'ik or Inupiaq instead were reading nonsensical phrases. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull)

FEMA fires group for nonsensical Alaska Native translations

For many, it was a reminder of culture and language suppresion.

Fredrick Brower, center, helps cut up a bowhead whale caught by Inupiat subsistence hunters on a field near Barrow, Alaska, Oc. 7, 2014. After tidal surges and high winds from the remnants of a rare typhoon caused extensive flood damage to homes along Alaska's western coast in September, the U.S. government stepped in to help residents largely Alaska Natives repair property damage. Residents who opened Federal Emergency Management Agency brochures expecting to find instructions on how to file for aid in Alaska Native languages like Yup'ik or Inupiaq instead were reading nonsensical phrases. (AP Photo / Gregory Bull)