Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau

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Jennifer Canfield is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.

With Erin’s Law signed, bill sponsors see more work to be done

Gov. Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Thursday in Anchorage. The bill, also known as Erin’s Law, was controversial for some and stalled by a legislature that was at odds regarding the state’s fiscal situation. While the fight over Erin’s Law may be over, two lawmakers who worked on the bill say there is still more to be done.
Erin Merryn, a victim of sexual abuse as a child, testified last year in the House Education Committee on House Bill 233, also known as Erin’s Law. Rep. Geran Tarr is the bill sponsor. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Federal bill introduced to fund Erin’s Law

Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would fund the implementation of Erin’s Law in states where it’s been adopted.

Media Awaits Release Of National Guard Emails

The State of Alaska still has not released all documents and emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal. Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News sued the state for the documents last October after the Parnell administration took four months to deny public record requests. Download Audio

Gov. Walker’s New Adviser To Focus On Rural Economy, Local Governments

Gov. Bill Walker named his new rural affairs adviser Tuesday at the Alaska Federation of Natives winter retreat in Kotzebue. Gerad Godfrey’s full title is “Senior Advisor on Rural Business and Intergovernmental Affairs” — a title that Godfrey says is meant to communicate that much of his work will focus on economic development in villages and bringing tribes to the table when the state consults local governments. Download Audio

Muñoz To Reintroduce Bill Adding Sexual Orientation To Anti-Discrimination Law

Rep. Cathy Muñoz (R- Juneau) will reintroduce a bill this legislative session to make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal. Download Audio

New federal regulations to favor subsistence users, rural residents

The Federal Subsistence Board’s rural determination process will change, according to an announcement made at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention last month. Download Audio

DOJ May Intervene In Alaska Supreme Court Case

The U.S. Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case concerning a non-Native couple’s adoption of an Alaska Native child. In September, the Native Village of Tununak lost its appeal against the State of Alaska and the adoptive couple. Download Audio

UAS Chancellor Pugh to Retire in May

University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh will retire in May. He announced his retirement Monday in an email to Southeast campus councils and the UAS Alumni Board of Directors.

Alaska Federation of Natives Wraps Up Annual Convention

The Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up their annual convention with the usual process of amending and voting on resolutions. The resolutions process was similar to past conventions except for the notable difference this year of candidate endorsements. Download Audio

AFN Endorses Begich After Hearing From Senate Candidates

Candidate for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and incumbent Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday. AFN delegates voted Saturday to endorse Begich for re-election. An endorsement of Bill Walker for governor and Byron Mallot for lieutenant governor was also announced.

Begich, Sullivan Meet At AFN Senate Candidate Forum

Candidates for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and Sen. Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday. Download Audio

AFN President Criticizes Gov. Sean Parnell

The head of Alaska’s largest Native organization publicly criticized Gov. Sean Parnell Thursday morning, the opening day of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage. Download Audio

Tanana Youths Speak Out Against Sexual Assault, Marijuana Legalization

The Tanana 4-H club returned to the Elders and Youth Conference Tuesday, following up on their emotional presentation at last year’s conference. The group’s message is still the same: they don’t always feel safe or cared for and they want that to change, but now they’re also taking a stand against marijuana legalization. Download Audio

Begich, Walker/Mallot Are the Early Frontrunners for AFN Endorsement

Alaska’s largest Native organization will vote on candidate endorsements Saturday morning. The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors has drafted two resolutions that will be heard on the final day of the AFN convention in Anchorage. Download Audio

Elders and Youth Conference Kicks Off In Anchorage

The 30th annual Elders and Youth conference began Monday in Anchorage. The conference is held each year at the beginning of the same week as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. The gathering is an opportunity for youth to discuss an array of issues relevant to Alaska Natives with support from their elders. Download Audio

Proposed Film/Photo Regs in Wilderness Areas Come Under Fire

As conservationists celebrate 50 years since the passage of the Wilderness Act, a U.S. Forest Service proposal to make certain wilderness area regulations permanent has brought forth accusations that the agency is infringing on First Amendment rights. Nearly a third of the 17 million-acre Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is designated wilderness. Download Audio:

Juneau Police Officer Takes On Criminal Justice Reform

Juneau Police Lt. Kris Sell has been appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to serve on the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. Sell is the only active police officer to serve on the commission, which was created by a bill that passed the legislature earlier this year. Its purpose is to evaluate sentencing laws and law enforcement practices, and to make recommendations for improving the system, which may include changes to criminal rehabilitation and restitution policies. Download Audio:

Alaska Power & Telephone Buys Gustavus Electric Co.

Alaska Power and Telephone has purchased the Gustavus Electric Co. The 32-year-old homespun utility is the life’s work of Gustavus local Dick Levitt and his wife Linda. Listen now:

Tribes Advance Self-Governance Initiative With Tax Bill

A bill that will exempt tribes from taxation on social welfare programs has made its way through Congress and is awaiting the president’s signature. The bill was introduced in response to the Internal Revenue Service’s increased auditing of tribes over the last few years and is part of a national initiative to give tribes the same tax status as local and state governments. Listen now:

Commemorating the Katmai-Novarupta Eruption Centennial

One hundred years ago today, the largest explosive volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened in Alaska. The Katmai-Novarupta explosion was 30 times bigger than the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980.