Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.
A man in a police uniform poses in front of flags.

Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy to take job promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion at Providence

Providence announced McCoy’s hiring in a statement Wednesday, just over a month after McCoy abruptly announced his retirement from the police department with no explanation.
A person in a hospital gown walks around a parked car in a snowy parking lot

Alaska reports daily COVID records as Anchorage hospitals feel pinch of omicron

An official from the Alaska Native Medical Center said the hospital is “very, very close” to declaring crisis standards of care.
An aerial view of cars snaking through a snowy parking lot.

Anchorage residents are still waiting out long lines at COVID test sites

The health department promised more test sites by Monday, but so far hours and locations haven’t increased forcing people to burn up sick leave and wait for up to 3 hours for a test.
A white camper next to a line of cars in a snowy parking lot with two people in blue hospital gowns walking between them

Anchorage health director says more COVID test sites should be running by next week

Joe Gerace said he’s heard criticism from the public about long waits at testing sites over the past week, and is working to improve the city’s testing capacity as the omicron variant surges
a sign that says "free covid-19 testing" at an airport

Here’s some tips for how to get tested for COVID in Anchorage

While some drive-thru sites are reporting long wait times — sometimes stretching over two hours — there are some ways to get tested faster. 
A line of cars snaking through a parking lot with some mountains in the background

Anchorage Assembly members concerned over city’s communication, readiness for omicron

Assembly members have been increasingly vocal about concerns the city isn’t doing an adequate job communicating about how to get tested as cases rise quickly. The lack of attendance at the meeting added to a wider concern that the city’s health department isn’t prepared for the anticipated omicron surge that has already caused significant problems for schools and businesses in other cities. 
A man looks at the snowy ground.

As winds subside, Mat-Su residents take stock of devastation

Finding food and supplies is still challenging for residents, many who have been without power for days.
A semitruck is overturned

Strong winds hammer Mat-Su, leading to widespread damage and power outages

The winds, reaching up to 91 mph Sunday near Palmer, flipped small planes, overturned semitrucks, toppled trees, tore off roofs and closed Mat-Su schools for at least two days.
A woman in a yellow shirt and mask hands two boxes to someone under a glass plexiglass sheet

With signs of omicron spike in Alaska, residents scramble for hard-to-get tests

In Alaska’s largest city, many pharmacies are sold out of at-home COVID-19 test kits, and long lines have formed at testing sites.
A person reaches for two small purple boxes from the hand of another person

Here’s how to get an at-home COVID test kit in Anchorage

A delayed shipment of tens of thousands of rapid at-home COVID tests has arrived in Anchorage, and city officials say they’re racing to distribute them to sites around town before New Year’s.
two election workers talk to each other

Ballot counting during Anchorage’s next election will be livestreamed 24/7 under updated rules

Some of the changes were designed to counter the harassment election workers faced in the 2021 election, but members mostly billed the updates as routine changes.
A man with his hand in a foot trap

Half a dozen dogs and one person were accidentally caught in traps or snares last year, Alaska wildlife group says

Several submissions described close encounters with traps or snares near trails and roadways, and one man said he was pulled off his motorbike after a snare caught his foot on a trail in the Mat-Su.
cars lined up and a sign that reads "COVID-19 TESTING SITE"

State’s top epidemiologist has tips for Alaskans heading into the holidays as omicron surge looms

Dr. Joe McLaughlin says it's alright to gather for the holidays this year, but he recommends having guests take rapid COVID tests, which some communities are giving away for free.
Dave Bronson speaks with the media

Details remain scarce about Anchorage mayor briefly turning off fluoride in city’s water

In the days after the Bronson administration announced that the mayor had ordered the fluoride temporarily turned off — after initially denying it — details remain scarce. The Bronson administration has answered few questions and the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Section says it has no recent records of worker complaints from the Eklutna water treatment plant.
a person inside a large tent

Anchorage mayor turned off fluoride in city water for about 5 hours

Mayor Dave Bronson decided to stop the fluoridation while visiting the Eklutna Water Treatment Plant on Oct. 1, according to the mayor’s spokesperson Corey Allen Young.
A white woman with black hair and red glasses rests her chin on her hands in front fo a microphone

Anchorage Assembly begins inquiry after blog alleges ‘improper demands’ were made on police chief

The Alaska Landmine suggests the Bronson administration pressured Anchorage police to leave a heated Assembly meeting and to compel doctors to prescribe ivermectin to a hospitalized COVID patient.
A person in a black blouse and mask sits at a table next to two other people in masks.

Anchorage Assembly overrides most of Bronson’s budget vetoes

That includes bringing back money for police officers in public schools, building safety inspectors, some early education grants and a roving team of crisis mental health providers.
A chain link fence in front of a large beige building

Sullivan Arena homeless shelter gets third new leader in 3 months

Cesar Ramirez De La Cruz said he took over the shelter manager job from Shawn Hays in early December.
A person leaves the sliding glass doors ofa pink building witha white sign above that says "Anchorage Health Department

As Anchorage faces the pandemic and homelessness, resignations at the health department pile up

ivision managers and medical officers have all left or been fired from the health department, which has largely stopped communicating with news media.
A white five story building

Anchorage’s deputy health director is resigning, the latest in a string of departures

DeeAnn Fetko announced her resignation in an email to staff on Monday after 25 years working for the city.