Nathaniel Herz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage

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A man talks next to a flag.

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy won’t endorse mask or vaccine mandates. But he says he won’t ban them either.

Dunleavy spoke with Alaska Public Media this week about the state of the pandemic, his relationship with lawmakers and the outlook for next year.
a medical professional swabs a driver's nostril

Bronson administration aims to restore Anchorage testing levels with $2.65 million Assembly request

The proposal would reverse cuts implemented last week, which Anchorage health officials said were necessary because the city pays $98 per test, and a spike in testing demand amid the current surge in the virus had depleted the city's testing budget.

Alaska GOP politicians are lobbying the governor and pharmacy board for easier access to ivermectin

The legislative lobbying efforts highlight how Alaskans’ enthusiasm for ivermectin and other alternative treatments has persisted, even as federal regulators and an array of provider groups have warned that the drug should not be used to treat or prevent COVID-19.
Dr. Matt Hirschfeld poses in front of the Alaska Native Medical Center

As the season of respiratory illness begins, anxiety builds about Alaska’s pediatric hospital capacity

Respiratory viruses stressed the state’s limited pediatric hospital capacity in normal years. And now, there’s the added layer of COVID-19, which generally hits adults harder but in rare cases can send small children to the hospital, too.
a medical professional swabs a driver's nostril

Amid one of the nation’s worst COVID-19 outbreaks, Anchorage officials say they’re rationing testing

A spokesman for Mayor Dave Bronson said the administration plans to ask the city Assembly for additional cash "in the near future." But for now, it's scaling back its testing contractor's hours at multiple sites around the city, with reductions totaling 108 hours a week.
Cars in a line with a person in a blue gown talking to someone through the window

Anchorage, amid a coronavirus surge that’s stressing hospitals, scales back testing hours

The company that runs Anchorage’s municipal coronavirus testing sites is scaling back its hours this week, even as the city continues to see some of the nation’s highest rates of COVID-19 transmission in the country.
A persons arm is seen holding a salmon

In new cybersecurity incident, Alaska seafood agency hit by ‘nefarious third party’

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which operates separate computer systems from the state’s executive branch, discovered the activity in August, said Jeremy Woodrow, the institute’s executive director.
Cars in a line with a person in a blue gown talking to someone through the window

Anchorage’s multi-million-dollar testing, vaccination contracts in limbo as Bronson administration considers its options

Officials from Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration say they’re examining their options for continuing the city’s COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs as key contracts are set to expire at the end of the month.
Image emphasizes home cyber security

Months later, details of Alaska cyberattacks remain a closely held secret

After getting hacked in May, the Alaska health department, along with state technology officials, continue to wage an intense fight to preserve the secrecy of records that could help Alaskans better understand what happened.
A woman in a mask rolls up her sleeve as another woman in a mask prepares a shot.

As critics question CDC’s booster decision, Alaska providers welcome added protection amid nation’s worst COVID surge

While the CDC's decision to allow boosters for at-risk workers set off criticism from some, Alaska providers said it fit with the demands and risks they’re taking on in the middle of the nation’s most intense, delta variant-driven surge.
Two crew men shovel a deck full of fish on board a large boat

Judge rejects Bering Sea seafood companies’ request to block penalties for alleged violations of federal shipping law

The seafood companies said U.S. Customs and Border Protection had threatened them and other businesses in their supply chain with penalties exceeding $300 million.

Alaska reports more than 1,700 cases and dozens of deaths from backlog

The state of Alaska, contending with the nation’s highest rate of COVID-19, reported a new single-day case record Friday, plus dozens of deaths over the past few months that were linked to the coronavirus.

Alaska Medevac planes are flying recovering COVID patients from urban hospitals to smaller ones

To make room for critically ill patients at Anchorage's overloaded hospitals amid Alaska's largest surge in COVID-19, medevac planes are sometimes flying in reverse: moving still-hospitalized but recovering patients from Anchorage back to rural areas.
An aerial view of one of the exploration pads and wells that ConocoPhillips drilled during the 2018 exploration season at its Willow prospect.

Federal judge reverses Trump environmental approval for major Alaska oil project

The Willow project, if it's built, could produce 160,000 barrels of oil a day — roughly a third of Alaska's current total production. But the judge faulted the Trump administration's analysis of the project's potential greenhouse gas pollution and effects on polar bears.

New Biden-fighting aide to Alaska Gov. Dunleavy will make $140,000 a year

When Brett Huber was hired, the governor's office refused to disclose his salary — in spite of the fact that state law makes it public information. Documents released this week in response to a records request by Alaska Public Media indicate that Huber will be paid $5,384.75 every two weeks.
A caribou walks through cotton grass on a small hillside overlooking a windy river

Alaska agency moves to spend $1.5M on Arctic Refuge development, setting up clash with Biden administration

The state agency that holds Alaska's oil leases in the refuge wants to spend $1.5 million on studies, data collection and permitting needed in advance of what’s known as seismic exploration: using heavy equipment to map areas under the earth’s surface to see how much oil could be there.

Alaska joins states seeking to block youth climate activists’ lawsuit

Of the 16 states joining Alaska in the filing, all but one are led by Republican governors, and many — like North Dakota, Texas and Louisiana — depend on the oil and gas industry.
a vial of covid-19 vaccine

Alaska will be first in U.S. to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all adults

Alaska will become the first state in the country to open COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone 16 and older, officials announced Tuesday, capping a swift rollout of the shots that’s capitalized on tens of thousands of extra doses shipped to and administered by tribal health care providers.
A white man with a suit and red tie

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy’s administration says it’s ensuring “ethical transition” of chief of staff to ConocoPhillips job

Ben Stevens’ last day in the governor’s office was Friday, Feb. 26, and he started work as vice president of external affairs and transportation at ConocoPhillips the following Monday.
A white man gestures at a podium

GOP Gov. Dunleavy says he’s recovered from COVID-19, and nudges Alaskans on vaccines

Alaska Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy said Friday that he’s feeling better and nearing the end of his isolation after getting sick with COVID-19 — and, he added, he didn’t even lose his sense of smell or taste