Alaska News - APRN

News coverage from every corner of Alaska from the Alaska Public Radio Network.

Deena Paramo, the current superintendent at the Mat-Su Borough School District, is chosen to lead the state's largest school district.

The Legislative Council approved spending up to $12.5 million to buy the Walls Fargo Bank building in Anchorage’s Spenard neighborhood on Monday. The building would be used for legislative offices and to provide a venue for public testimony.

Susan Pougher, President of the Mat-Su school board, says when Dr. Deena Paramo was selected as one of two finalists for the Anchorage superintendent position, Mat-Su offficials started looking ahead.

The Juneau Assembly approved new guidelines for a city pot license on Monday. Those seeking to cultivate commercial marijuana will have to apply for the $250 license, in addition to state’s.
Lab manager Michael Jamros stands with Chris Whitehead, founder of the Southeast Alaska Tribal Ocean Research group. The lab hopes to be regional testing hub for commercial and casual shellfish harvesters alike. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

With warming ocean temperatures, the risk for paralytic shellfish poisoning can linger all year round. And Alaska has only one FDA-certified laboratory to test shellfish. There are no labs to protect those digging for their dinner, but that may soon change.

Alaska’s capital is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. With no roads in or out, the city has been dealing with a “stuck” housing market. A report commissioned by the City and Borough of Juneau says 1,000 affordable rental units are needed to keep up with the demand. Juneau’s housing market is especially tough for people living on low incomes. But one Juneau family is taking matters into their own hands and challenging the convention of what makes a house a home.

An advocate for a revolution in education has been touring the nation and recently spent eight days visiting Alaska schools. Ted Dintersmith is a former venture capitalist turned education innovation enthusiast.

The Alaska Republican Party wants to require drug testing for welfare recipients. That’s one of the new planks it added to the party platform at its convention in Fairbanks over the weekend.

While Republicans nationally are divided for and against Donald Trump, the discord at the state convention in Fairbanks this weekend had a more local flavor. New party chairman Tuckerman Babcock asked fellow Republicans to let go of their grudges, which weren't far below the surface.

Lawmakers found they had less room and not enough desks or phones to go around on Monday. That’s because they’re sharing space in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center while the Capitol is being renovated.

Jury selection began Monday in Fairbanks for the trial of a Tanana man charged with killing two Alaska State Troopers. Nathaniel Kangas, 22, is charged with the May 1, 2014 murders of Sergeant Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich.

Beginning in May, it will cost 14 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48. The fare boost is part of another round of Alaska Marine Highway System tariff increases. Officials said they’ll increase income and help equalize rates across all routes.

A man from the Western Alaska village of Alakanuk is in custody after striking his brother-in-law in the head with an ax.

A hiker died last week in Denali National Park. Searchers discovered the remains of 24-year-old Michael Purdy Sunday near the north end of Savage River Loop Trail.

The board tasked with regulating Alaska's nascent marijuana industry has approved draft regulations for how customers will be allowed to consume pot they buy in certain retail stores on site.

Weather conditions have delayed the opening of Bethel’s liquor store. Fog prevented Walter Pickett, AC general manager, from landing in Bethel Monday morning to give AC Quickstop its final compliance check before it opens what would be Bethel’s first liquor store in more than 40 years.

Tuckerman Babcock, a long-time Republican strategist and former aide to Gov. Wally Hickel, is the new chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.

Impending crime bill looms as Legislature moves to temporary building; Juneau PD: Intoxicated driver rams Governor’s Mansion; Iditarod Committee: Beals will not compete in 2017 race following domestic violence charges; Fairbanks Republicans fight to become delegates; drug enforcement discussed at Mat-Su public hearing; ice jam on the Yukon releases; troopers investigate 2 caribou wanton waste cases; Bethel prepares for first liquor store in 4 decades; AK: With the 'Little a Triathlon', a father grieves and gives; 49 Voices: Jenna Holcomb of Anchorage Download Audio

A few hundreds Republicans are gathered in Fairbanks today for the state party convention. APRN’s Liz Ruskin is reporting from there. Download Audio