Gov. Mike Dunleavy explains his plan for Alaska to cash in on carbon credits during the unveiling of his proposed state budget for next year Dec. 15 at the Alaska State Capitol. He outlined legislation to enter carbon markets during a press conference Thursday in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire).

Governor previews carbon market bills

Dunleavy outlines legislation for plan he hopes will earn $900 million a year.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy explains his plan for Alaska to cash in on carbon credits during the unveiling of his proposed state budget for next year Dec. 15 at the Alaska State Capitol. He outlined legislation to enter carbon markets during a press conference Thursday in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire).
Geraldine Young / Alaska DOTPF 
The Columbia docks at the terminal in Haines while in service previously. The Alaska Marine Highway vessel, which was taken out of service as a cost-cutting measure in 2019, is scheduled to resume voyages between Bellingham and Southeast Alaska in February while the Matanuska undergoes renovations.

Columbia to resume mainline ferry service next month

Vessel grounded in 2019 to save costs now needed due to extra repairs planned for Matanuska

Geraldine Young / Alaska DOTPF 
The Columbia docks at the terminal in Haines while in service previously. The Alaska Marine Highway vessel, which was taken out of service as a cost-cutting measure in 2019, is scheduled to resume voyages between Bellingham and Southeast Alaska in February while the Matanuska undergoes renovations.
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State Supreme Court to hear arguments in residency case

The Alaska Supreme Court plans to hear arguments on Friday.

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Shawnda O’Brien, the just-departed state Director of the Division of Public Assistance, talks Dec. 27 about the problems that are resulting in months-long backlogs in processing applications for benefits commonly referred to as food stamps. Her departure as director was announced Monday following weeks of widespread media coverage about the backlog that is expected to take additional months to resolve. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Head of state’s troubled food stamps program replaced

Director of the Division of Public Assistance departs in wake of months-long backlog.

Shawnda O’Brien, the just-departed state Director of the Division of Public Assistance, talks Dec. 27 about the problems that are resulting in months-long backlogs in processing applications for benefits commonly referred to as food stamps. Her departure as director was announced Monday following weeks of widespread media coverage about the backlog that is expected to take additional months to resolve. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
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Anchorage Democrat meets residency rules, judge says

“The result of the November 2022 election is accepted…”

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Lawmakers, staff and other workers inside the The Alaska State Capitol are preparing this week for the upcoming session of the Alaska State Legislature that starts Jan. 17, including the release of the first round of prefile bills published Monday by the Legislative Affairs Agency. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

Election changes dominate first round of legislative bills

Ranked choice voting, security are hot topics; state pensions, ‘capital move’ among repeat proposals.

Lawmakers, staff and other workers inside the The Alaska State Capitol are preparing this week for the upcoming session of the Alaska State Legislature that starts Jan. 17, including the release of the first round of prefile bills published Monday by the Legislative Affairs Agency. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
In this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 photo, a black bear checks out his surroundings in Granite Basin in Juneau, Alaska. The National Park Service is proposing a rule that would prohibit bear baiting in national preserves in Alaska, the latest in a dispute over what animal rights supporters call a cruel practice. The park service said Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 it is proposing a rule barring bear baiting in national preserves in Alaska. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Hunter bear bait ban proposed for Alaska national preserves

Agency will be taking public comments on the proposal.

In this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017 photo, a black bear checks out his surroundings in Granite Basin in Juneau, Alaska. The National Park Service is proposing a rule that would prohibit bear baiting in national preserves in Alaska, the latest in a dispute over what animal rights supporters call a cruel practice. The park service said Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 it is proposing a rule barring bear baiting in national preserves in Alaska. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
A donor gives blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s Juneau center. The BBA recently issued a news release asking for donations to coincide with National Blood Donor Month.(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
A donor gives blood at the Blood Bank of Alaska’s Juneau center. The BBA recently issued a news release asking for donations to coincide with National Blood Donor Month.(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Cruise passengers walk near the docks in Juneau during the 2022 cruise ship season. Tourism-related industries and transportation had the highest rates of growth in Southeast Alaska last year as the region added 2,400 jobs instead of the 1,400 forecast in 2022, according to this month’s Alaska Economic Trends report. Seafood processing jobs saw the largest decline at 20%. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Southeast employment up 6.5% in ’22, 2.5% more expected in ’23

Record cruise season, construction growth will help post-pandemic recovery continue, state reports.

Cruise passengers walk near the docks in Juneau during the 2022 cruise ship season. Tourism-related industries and transportation had the highest rates of growth in Southeast Alaska last year as the region added 2,400 jobs instead of the 1,400 forecast in 2022, according to this month’s Alaska Economic Trends report. Seafood processing jobs saw the largest decline at 20%. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Students smile as they walk to their classes for the first day of fall semester at the University of Alaska Southeast. The University of Alaska is set to receive 360,000 acres of federal land within the next four years, set in motion by a clause included in the recently passed $1.7 trillion federal spending bill. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

University of Alaska set to receive 360,000 acres of federal land

UAS chancellor hopeful Southeast Alaska lands will be included in transfer

Students smile as they walk to their classes for the first day of fall semester at the University of Alaska Southeast. The University of Alaska is set to receive 360,000 acres of federal land within the next four years, set in motion by a clause included in the recently passed $1.7 trillion federal spending bill. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, sits in the House on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Eastman, accused of violating the state constitution’s disloyalty clause over his lifetime membership in Oath Keepers, has not condemned the organization in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S Capitol. “No, I generally don’t condemn groups,” Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, said during his bench hearing on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, his second day on the witness stand. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Man who challenged Eastman’s eligibility won’t appeal

The man who unsuccessfully challenged Alaska state Rep. David Eastman’s eligibility to hold office — over Eastman’s membership in the far-right Oath Keepers group —… Continue reading

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, sits in the House on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Eastman, accused of violating the state constitution’s disloyalty clause over his lifetime membership in Oath Keepers, has not condemned the organization in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S Capitol. “No, I generally don’t condemn groups,” Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, said during his bench hearing on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, his second day on the witness stand. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
While a lot about the year-to-come is sure to be a surprise some things, including housing, an impending legislative session and budget-making at all levels of government, among many others are certain to impact Juneau and its residents.  (Moritz Knöringer / Unsplash)

Stories likely to break big in 2023

New housing, federally-funded projects, school leadership changes among items affecting Juneau

While a lot about the year-to-come is sure to be a surprise some things, including housing, an impending legislative session and budget-making at all levels of government, among many others are certain to impact Juneau and its residents.  (Moritz Knöringer / Unsplash)
A humpback whale breaches near Juneau. (Heidi Pearson/ NOAA/NMFS)

New paper explores whales as carbon sinks

University of Alaska Southeast biologist was lead author on the paper

A humpback whale breaches near Juneau. (Heidi Pearson/ NOAA/NMFS)
This map from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management shows the sale area for a recently concluded oil and gas lease sale.

U..S. gets 1 bid for oil and gas lease in Alaska’s Cook Inlet

Hilcorp Alaska LLC submitted the sole bid — $63,983 for an area covering 5,693 acres.

This map from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management shows the sale area for a recently concluded oil and gas lease sale.
Juneau’s Telephone Hill neighborhood is seen at center right, beneath the State Office Building, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. The neighborhood, owned by the state of Alaska, is being transferred to the City and Borough of Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)
Juneau’s Telephone Hill neighborhood is seen at center right, beneath the State Office Building, on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022. The neighborhood, owned by the state of Alaska, is being transferred to the City and Borough of Juneau. (James Brooks / Alaska Beacon)
Applications and notifications about changes to benefits line a table at the entrance of the Alaska Division of Public Assistance office in Juneau. The division’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is months behind processing applications to due to workforce shortages and lingering problems of a cyberattack. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Food stamps backlog expected to continue for months

8,000 Alaska households go months without SNAP benefits; cyberattack, lack of workers blamed

Applications and notifications about changes to benefits line a table at the entrance of the Alaska Division of Public Assistance office in Juneau. The division’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is months behind processing applications to due to workforce shortages and lingering problems of a cyberattack. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program conducts a preflight checklist before the Asteroid Bounce campaign Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in Gakona, Alaska, as temperatures hit 40 below. The mission is slated for Dec. 27. (Photo courtesy UAF/GI photo by JR Ancheta)

Alaska research site to send radio signal to asteroid

The purpose of the experiment is to probe the interior of the asteroid

The High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program conducts a preflight checklist before the Asteroid Bounce campaign Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in Gakona, Alaska, as temperatures hit 40 below. The mission is slated for Dec. 27. (Photo courtesy UAF/GI photo by JR Ancheta)
Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, sits in the House on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Eastman, accused of violating the state constitution's disloyalty clause over his lifetime membership in Oath Keepers, has not condemned the organization in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S Capitol. "No, I generally don't condemn groups," Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, said during his bench hearing on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, his second day on the witness stand. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer, File)

Judge rules Eastman eligible to hold office

The judge’s order is on hold pending a possible appeal.

Alaska state Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, sits in the House on April 29, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Eastman, accused of violating the state constitution's disloyalty clause over his lifetime membership in Oath Keepers, has not condemned the organization in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S Capitol. "No, I generally don't condemn groups," Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, said during his bench hearing on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, his second day on the witness stand. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer, File)
An architect’s depiction shows the first crisis stabilization center for youth and adults in Southeast Alaska, now under construction at Bartlett Region Hospital and scheduled for completion in March of 2023. Among the goals for the center is reducing the number of youths experiencing a behavioral health crisis who must leave the community and receive treatment away from their families. (City and Borough of Juneau)

DOJ: Alaska illegally institutionalizing troubled kids

State locks up youths far from home instead of offering adequate treatment, investigation finds.

An architect’s depiction shows the first crisis stabilization center for youth and adults in Southeast Alaska, now under construction at Bartlett Region Hospital and scheduled for completion in March of 2023. Among the goals for the center is reducing the number of youths experiencing a behavioral health crisis who must leave the community and receive treatment away from their families. (City and Borough of Juneau)
Gavel (Courtesy photo)

Suit challenges review underlying Alaska oil lease sale

The lawsuit asks that a judge strike down the environmental review underlying the lease sale.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)