Nathaniel Herz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage


RavnAir cancels auction for remaining planes, calling rural hub service into question

Four bidders participated in the auction: Anchorage-based Ryan Air; a Southern California-based company called Float Shuttle; Connecticut investment firm Wexford Capital; and a group of Alaskans represented by bankruptcy attorney Cabot Christianson.

Ravn sells off dozens of small planes to Alaska companies

The bankrupt RavnAir group sold off dozens of its small planes to three Alaska aviation companies in a Tuesday auction, but Ravn's largest planes and most valuable airline operating certificates won't be sold until Wednesday.
Alaska State Troopers. Photo: Monica Gokey/ Alaska Public Media file photo.

As law enforcement agencies diversify, Alaska State Troopers remain nearly 90% white

About 87% of troopers are white, compared to 65% of Alaska’s population. Alaska Natives and American Indians have the next-largest representation among troopers, at 5%, compared to some 20% of the population overall.

State reports 25 new COVID-19 cases Monday, including 1 in Nome-area village

Of the new resident cases, seven are from Anchorage, eight are from the Kenai Peninsula borough, three are from the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, two are from the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and one is from the Nome region.

Federal fisheries agency to staff: Keep “COVID-19” and “pandemic” out of documents

A federal fisheries management agency has barred some of its employees from making formal references to the COVID-19 pandemic without preapproval from leadership, according to an internal agency document.

Trump wants to bail out Maine lobster fishermen. Alaska’s seafood industry calls it a “gut punch.”

President Trump this week announced an effort to alleviate the damage on the fishing industry caused by his trade war with China. But Alaska fishing groups say they’re deeply displeased, because the relief is targeted solely at the lobster industry, which is centered in Maine.

3 new COVID-19 cases at Southeast Alaska seafood plant among 10 statewide Monday

The three cases are at a salmon processing plant in Excursion Inlet, a remote spot about 40 miles west of Juneau. The plant is owned by OBI Seafoods, the new company formed by a recent merger of Icicle Seafoods and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.

Helicopter removes ‘Into the Wild’ bus that lured Alaska travelers to their deaths

An Army National Guard Chinook helicopter carries a dilapidated Fairbanks bus away from its former resting place near the Teklanika River, close to Denali National Park. (Alaska National Guard)

Anchorage police, fire departments remain disproportionately white, despite diversity efforts

In Anchorage, leaders of the police and firefighters say they’ve tried to boost the ranks of minority employees. But both departments remain disproportionately white, according to data released by Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s administration Wednesday.

Alaska Supreme Court unanimously rejects attorney general’s bid to quash election reform initiative

The Alaska Supreme Court has unanimously rejected an attempt by Attorney General Kevin Clarkson to quash a citizens initiative to revamp the state's elections, handing him his second high-profile defeat this year.

As COVID-19 spikes in Alaska, Kenai Peninsula emerges as virus hotspot

COVID-19 has spread quickly in recent weeks on the Kenai Peninsula, which now has 62 active cases and a per capita infection rate that’s three times the one found in Anchorage, according to state data.

A Seattle fishing company has had more than 100 COVID-19 cases on its ships. They’re heading to Alaska this summer.

With Alaska's summer fishing season still gearing up, the industry has already been shaken by its first major outbreak. Last week, Seattle-based American Seafoods confirmed that 92 crew from its American Dynasty ship had tested positive for COVID-19 -- nearly three-fourths of 124 people onboard.
A grean lump with yellow dots

Friday update: 13 new COVID-19 cases in Alaska, including two non-residents; more Providence cases

Eleven of the new cases are in Alaska residents, and two are in nonresident workers in Anchorage -- one from the seafood industry and the other from the tourism industry. Eight are in Anchorage and five are on the Kenai Peninsula.

Ravn is fighting to keep flying, but a French bank is pushing to sell off the company’s planes

Ravn is trying to find a buyer by placing ads in the Anchorage Daily News and Wall Street Journal. But the company still owes $90 million to lenders represented by a French international bank, which is pushing to have Ravn’s planes sold off through a liquidation process that would shut down the company for good.

Alaskans want to ride. But a pandemic bicycle boom is making supplies scarce.

Entry-level bicycles are gone from Alaska store shelves. And with the pandemic disrupting Asian manufacturing, it will be months before new shipments arrive.

Alaska plans to more than triple its workforce of COVID-19 contact detectives

The state of Alaska is boosting its workforce of COVID-19 detectives, known as "contact tracers," to 500 from 150, and it's purchased new software to better share data and keep it secure.

How do Alaska leaders know it’s safe to reopen the economy? It’s all about data – but it’s complicated.

Officials and experts say that decision-making around the reopening can be complicated and hard for the public to follow. There’s no single measurement that reflects the state’s overall progress in fighting the coronavirus, nor is there specific, centralized guidance from the federal government.

Alaska faces a deficit crisis. But its platform for publicly tracking the state budget is broken.

As Governor Mike Dunleavy’s administration contends with a huge budget deficit and a big windfall of federal coronavirus relief money, it has no timeline for fixing the broken portal that Alaskans once used to examine how state cash is spent.

Juneau flight service declares Ravn “dead” and bids to save Southwest Alaska flights from disappearance

Alaska Seaplanes says it has put in a bid to buy PenAir from its bankrupt owners to save the Southwest Alaska airline’s operating certificate, saying it could disappear in a few weeks.

Alaska Gov. Dunleavy will leave quarantine mandate in place for two more weeks

Dunleavy's quarantine mandate has been credited with helping to keep Alaska's COVID-19 case count the lowest of any state's, and it was set to expire Tuesday. The extension will run two weeks from that date, Dunleavy said at a news conference Friday.