Kavitha George, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Entrance to Anchorage's Providence Hospital emergency room. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

New Mobile Crisis Team to shift Anchorage mental health crisis response from police to behavioral health experts

The Anchorage Assembly approved funding last week for a new mobile intervention team that will respond to mental health crisis calls. The program, which is funded by alcohol tax revenue, is meant to shift the city’s mental health response from police to behavioral health experts.
A view of Anchorage's skyline from the sea

Anchorage will enter ‘modified hunker down’ for December

The order, which goes into effect on Dec. 1, closes down bars and restaurants to in-person service and puts capacity restrictions on other establishments.
a person stands just outside a restaurant window

Hard-hit Anchorage restaurants prepare for more restrictions

As COVID-19 cases soar in Anchorage, restaurants are bracing for the possibility of another shutdown. Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson said this week that she had no immediate plans for new emergency mandates, but noted the city may need to take action soon.
assembly members stand for a pledge

Anchorage Assembly urges Dunleavy and Alaska’s delegation to do more to fight COVID-19

In a nonbinding resolution, the Anchorage Assembly voted 9-1 to ask Gov. Mike Dunleavy to implement a statewide mask mandate.
The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Anchorage Assembly extends emergency declaration a sixth time

The Anchorage Assembly on Monday voted to extend the city’s emergency declaration for the sixth time, until January 15, 2021. The first declaration went into effect in March, with periodic votes to extend. In recent months COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed and hospital staffing has been increasingly strained.

‘Extra Tough’ exhibit fills in the gaps of women’s history in the circumpolar North

Extra Tough: Women of the North is on display at the Anchorage Museum from November, 2020 to September, 2021. (Kavitha George/AKPM) The Anchorage...
A person holding a silver vape pen

Anchorage Assembly moves to include vaping, e-cigarette products in tobacco tax

The Anchorage Assembly last week passed an ordinance to include vaping and electronic cigarette products under the city’s existing tobacco tax.
An empty conference room

Staffing concerns drove Anchorage superintendent to postpone opening schools

Anchorage School District announced on Sunday evening it would be reversing its controversial plan to return K-2 and special education students to in-person learning as COVID-19 case counts reach record highs in Alaska. Superintendent Deena Bishop made the call after new staffing concerns with both the school district and the city’s health care system emerged late last week.
Screen shot of woman in a blue blazer with flags behind her

Anchorage tightens exemptions on mask rule, limits gatherings as cases rise

Acting Anchorage Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson announced Friday the city will expand masking rules and tighten up permitted gathering sizes to combat the recent record-breaking surge in COVID-19 cases.
a person stands in a neighborhood street

Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson will lead until July

Anchorage Assembly Chair Austin Quinn-Davidson in her Turnagain neighborhood on October 22. Quinn-Davidson will become the interim mayor of Anchorage, following Mayor Berkowitz's resignation on October 23. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public...
Protesters gather outside of Anchorage Assembly Chambers on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, holding flags and signs.

Another bid to end Anchorage mayor’s emergency powers fails

A motion to end the emergency powers of Anchorage acting mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson failed at an Assembly meeting Wednesday night. Assemblywoman Jamie Allard, citing a single-day drop in COVID-19 cases in the municipality this week, said residents should be able to “make decisions for themselves” when it comes to pandemic precautions.
A sign in a grassy field reads "Vote here today."

PHOTOS: Election Day across Alaska

Here's a look at election day around Alaska.

High winds across Southcentral Alaska reach 72 miles per hour

Winds out of the north hit the Anchorage bowl at speeds of up to 42 miles per hour Sunday night, according to the National Weather Service. Unusually cold air from the Interior and a strong pressure gradient drove winds across Southcentral Alaska, hitting the Mat-Su Valley 72 miles per hour and Kenai at about 50 miles per hour.
A young girl dressed as a fortune teller stands on a the deck of a house with a bag of candy. Next to her, a ten foot long striped pipe stretches from the deck to the lawn below.

How are Alaska families celebrating Halloween during COVID-19?

10-year-old Gracie Baer demonstrates her "treat transporter" PVC pipe candy chute while dressed as a fortune teller on Friday. (Photo courtesy Nate Baer) Like many celebrations in the...
assembly members stand for a pledge

Anchorage Assembly weighs how to fill the mayor’s seat

On Friday evening, less than two weeks after Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigned due to a scandal, Austin Quinn-Davidson was sworn in as the acting mayor of Anchorage. Now, the Anchorage Assembly is turning to decide how to permanently fill the mayor’s seat.
a person stands in front of a house

Austin Quinn-Davidson, a relative newcomer, sworn in as Anchorage mayor

Quinn-Davidson, a lawyer by training, says she'll work to regain trust in the city government while continuing to help residents get through the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.
Side by side photos of Suzanne LaFrance and James Kaufman, candidates for House District 28.

House District 28 race centers budget crisis

Republican James Kaufman and Democrat-nominated Independent Suzanne LaFrance are battling to represent House District 28, in South Anchorage, including the Hillside and Girdwood. Both say solving Alaska’s fiscal crisis is their first priority, but their strategies are different.

Assembly reorganizes, elects Austin Quinn-Davidson to become interim mayor

The Anchorage Assembly voted to reorganize on Friday, electing Austin Quinn-Davidson to the role of Assembly chair. Following Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s resignation on October 23, Quinn-Davidson will become the interim mayor of Anchorage until the public elects a new mayor.
A white COVID-19 test kit box next to a sealed saliva sample collection kit.

Alaska Carrs-Safeway pharmacies offering $140 at-home COVID-19 test kits

Carrs and Safeway pharmacies in Alaska are now offering at-home COVID-19 test kits for $139.99 each, available in store or by mail delivery. Customers provide a saliva sample and then mail the kit to a lab using a prepaid FedEx label. Safeway Director Pharmacy Operations David Green said at-home testing won’t replace a community health response, but he hopes it provides some flexibility with the way people can get tested. 

LISTEN: First Presbyterian rings bells to honor 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in America

The national COVID-19 death count crossed 200,000 last month. Social distancing and quarantine protocols have made it difficult to gather to mourn as a community, but yesterday, First Presbyterian Church of Anchorage held a short outdoor ceremony to recognize the huge death toll of the ongoing pandemic.