Former Alaska Psychiatric Institute staff psychiatrist Dr. John Bellville speaks during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. The state of Alaska has settled a lawsuit with Bellville, who was one of three former state employees who claimed they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office. Under the agreement, announced Wednesday Feb. 2, 2022, Bellville will receive $275,000, reflecting lost wages, damages and attorney's fees. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen, File)

State of Alaska, psychiatrists settle case over firings

Under the settlement, the state agrees to pay a combined $495,000.

Former Alaska Psychiatric Institute staff psychiatrist Dr. John Bellville speaks during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. The state of Alaska has settled a lawsuit with Bellville, who was one of three former state employees who claimed they were wrongfully fired when Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy took office. Under the agreement, announced Wednesday Feb. 2, 2022, Bellville will receive $275,000, reflecting lost wages, damages and attorney's fees. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen, File)
A scheduled floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, following a positive COVID-19 case in the body and close contacts among roughly half the members. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A scheduled floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, following a positive COVID-19 case in the body and close contacts among roughly half the members. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the Lt. Governor’s office at the Alaska State Capitol. A Senate bill with bipartisan support is seeking to enhance civics education for Alaskan students. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the Lt. Governor’s office at the Alaska State Capitol. A Senate bill with bipartisan support is seeking to enhance civics education for Alaskan students. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
The USS Hopper (DDG 70) prepares to moor in Homer, Alaska, for a scheduled port visit in conjunction with its participation in Northern Edge 2017 in Homer, Alaska, April 29, 2017. The Navy is proposing to considerably expand its exercise area in the Gulf of Alaska. (U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Montemarano)

Navy proposes expanding Gulf of Alaska exercise area

The proposal would more than quadruple the sea room for ships and aircraft to manuever in.

The USS Hopper (DDG 70) prepares to moor in Homer, Alaska, for a scheduled port visit in conjunction with its participation in Northern Edge 2017 in Homer, Alaska, April 29, 2017. The Navy is proposing to considerably expand its exercise area in the Gulf of Alaska. (U.S. Navy / Petty Officer 3rd Class Joseph Montemarano)
Mina Sanders, a COVID tester with Capstone Clinic, readies for the next group of arrivals at Juneau International Airport on Jan. 31, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Airport COVID testing ends as contract runs out

The company will still provide vaccines at the airport for another six months.

Mina Sanders, a COVID tester with Capstone Clinic, readies for the next group of arrivals at Juneau International Airport on Jan. 31, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House tabled action Monday on a proposal to remove from legislative committees Eastman, who has said he joined the Oath Keepers far-right organization years ago. The House Committee on Committees voted 5-2 to remove Republican Rep. Eastman of Wasilla from his committee assignments, said Joe Plesha, communications director for the House's bipartisan majority. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House tabled action Monday on a proposal to remove from legislative committees Eastman, who has said he joined the Oath Keepers far-right organization years ago. The House Committee on Committees voted 5-2 to remove Republican Rep. Eastman of Wasilla from his committee assignments, said Joe Plesha, communications director for the House's bipartisan majority. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

Austin to governors: Guard troops must get COVID-19 vaccine

Texas, Oklahoma and Alaska filed lawsuits challenging the military’s vaccine mandate.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Pentagon in Washington, Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)
Kayla Svinicki, director and owner of Little Moon Child Care on Jan. 28. Svinicki said that providing childcare is essential but that the economics of the situation make the work difficult. She said she hopes the country starts to treat childcare as part of the nation's infrastructure. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)

Report: 61% of Alaskans live in child care deserts

Local providers say the struggle is real

Kayla Svinicki, director and owner of Little Moon Child Care on Jan. 28. Svinicki said that providing childcare is essential but that the economics of the situation make the work difficult. She said she hopes the country starts to treat childcare as part of the nation's infrastructure. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
Esau Sinnok of Shishmaref, Alaska, speaks at a news conference after the Alaska Supreme Court heard arguments on Oct. 9, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, in a lawsuit that claims state policy on fossil fuels is harming the constitutional right of young Alaskans to a safe climate. The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 16 Alaska youths, who claimed long-term effects of climate change will devastate Alaska and interfere with their individual constitutional rights. (AP File Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Alaska court rules against youths in climate change lawsuit

The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 16 young Alaskans.

Esau Sinnok of Shishmaref, Alaska, speaks at a news conference after the Alaska Supreme Court heard arguments on Oct. 9, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, in a lawsuit that claims state policy on fossil fuels is harming the constitutional right of young Alaskans to a safe climate. The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 16 Alaska youths, who claimed long-term effects of climate change will devastate Alaska and interfere with their individual constitutional rights. (AP File Photo / Mark Thiessen)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
University of Alaska Interim President Pat Pitney, bottom left, spoke to UA students in a virtual forum on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and was joined by several UA administrators including UA Southeast President Karen Carey, bottom left, and UA Anchorage Vice Chancellor Bruce Schultz, top left. At top right, an American Sign Language professional provides translation services. (Screenshot)
Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Eastman could be sanctioned over Oath Keeper ties

Actions being discussed include expulsion, censure or a vote of disapproval.

Alaska Rep. David Eastman sits at his desk on the Alaska House floor in Juneau, Alaska, on March 5, 2020. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, speak to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor's optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, speak to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor's optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage, Alaska, looks at an oversized booklet explaining election changes in the state on Jan. 21, 2022. Alaska elections will be held for the first time this year under a voter-backed system that scraps party primaries and sends the top four vote-getters regardless of party to the general election, where ranked choice voting will be used to determine a winner. No other state conducts its elections with that same combination. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)

How Alaska’s unique new election system works

Here is a closer look at what’s happening in Alaska.

Deborah Moody, an administrative clerk at the Alaska Division of Elections office in Anchorage, Alaska, looks at an oversized booklet explaining election changes in the state on Jan. 21, 2022. Alaska elections will be held for the first time this year under a voter-backed system that scraps party primaries and sends the top four vote-getters regardless of party to the general election, where ranked choice voting will be used to determine a winner. No other state conducts its elections with that same combination. (AP Photo / Mark Thiessen)
Then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., in 2017. Palin is on the verge of making new headlines in a legal battle with The New York Times. A defamation lawsuit against the Times, brought by the brash former Alaska governor in 2017, is set to go to trial starting Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson)

Palin COVID-19 tests delay libel trial against NY Times

Sarah Palin on Monday tested positive for COVID-19.

Then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin speaks at a rally in Montgomery, Ala., in 2017. Palin is on the verge of making new headlines in a legal battle with The New York Times. A defamation lawsuit against the Times, brought by the brash former Alaska governor in 2017, is set to go to trial starting Monday, Jan. 24, 2022 in federal court in Manhattan. (AP Photo / Brynn Anderson)
The Alaska Redistricting Board’s decision to pair District 21 (teal) and District 22 (purple) into one senate district is the subject of a lawsuit from East Anchorage residents of District 21. An Anchorage Superior Court heard the first arguments in that case on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, part of several lawsuits against the Redistricting Board that have been consolidated into a single case. (Screenshot / Alaska Redistricting Board)
The Alaska Redistricting Board’s decision to pair District 21 (teal) and District 22 (purple) into one senate district is the subject of a lawsuit from East Anchorage residents of District 21. An Anchorage Superior Court heard the first arguments in that case on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, part of several lawsuits against the Redistricting Board that have been consolidated into a single case. (Screenshot / Alaska Redistricting Board)
Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Clarion office in Kenai, Alaska, on Sept. 25, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)

Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor joins race for governor

The borough mayor notified local officials in an email Thursday

Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce is photographed at the Kenai Peninsula Clarion office in Kenai, Alaska, on Sept. 25, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo / Mark Thiessen)

Judge sides with Alaska attorney who alleged wrongful firing

Judge: Firing violated free speech rights under the U.S. and state constitutions.

Former Alaska Assistant Attorney General Elizabeth Bakalar speaks a news conference on Jan. 10, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska, after she sued the state. A federal judge on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, ruled that Bakalar was wrongfully terminated by the then-new administration of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for violating her freedom of speech rights. (AP File Photo / Mark Thiessen)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters during a news briefing on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy said he doesn't see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as hurting his relationship with the state's senior U.S. senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last year and whom Trump has vowed to fight in her reelection bid. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)

Dunleavy: Work with Murkowski endures after Trump nod

Both Dunleavy and Murkowski face reelection this year.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters during a news briefing on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Juneau, Alaska. Dunleavy said he doesn't see his acceptance of former President Donald Trump's endorsement as hurting his relationship with the state's senior U.S. senator, Republican Lisa Murkowski, who voted to convict Trump at his impeachment trial last year and whom Trump has vowed to fight in her reelection bid. (AP Photo / Becky Bohrer)