Nathaniel Herz, Alaska's Energy Desk - Anchorage


Saturday update: Alaska COVID-19 case count jumps by 17, to 102

Alaska has confirmed 102 cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday afternoon, up from 85 the day before, the Department of Health and Social Services said.

Dunleavy administration ‘strongly advises’ against non-essential air travel as pressure builds

Dunleavy's administration has released a "strong advisory" that Alaskans "cease non-essential out of state personal, business, and medical travel now." It's also strongly advising against non-essential, long-distance travel inside the state.

What are your questions about the coronavirus in Alaska? What do you want us to know?

Gathering information is a little more tricky when we're practicing appropriate social distancing. So we're hoping you'll talk to us.

Alaska COVID-19 count jumps to 9 cases, with patients in Anchorage, Seward

Two of the new cases were in Anchorage and one was 75 miles south in the Kenai Peninsula town of Seward.

Anchorage bar, restaurant closure throws thousands of workers into limbo

“Decisions were made politically that they had their reasons for. But for us, it was a complete blindside,” said Jack Lewis, who co-owns and runs seven different Anchorage area eating places. “Nobody really was prepared for it, or saw it coming.”

The firefighters called to Alaska’s first COVID-19 case were quarantined. Officials say that won’t happen again.

The firefighters, who responded to a 911 call about the case last week, took standard measures to protect against infectious disease. But at the time, federal and other guidance about the best specific measures to protect against the coronavirus was not entirely settled.

Alaska’s chief justice shuts down all new jury trials

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Joel Bolger on Sunday ordered that all new jury trials be suspended, building on a directive last week that had led to the suspension of trials in half of the state's judicial districts out of concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Most Alaska villages lack road access and hospitals. Here’s how they’ll fight the coronavirus.

Since most cases of COVID-19 don’t cause serious illness, officials hope that most sick people can stay at home and monitor their symptoms. But they've also developed plans to move people to regional hubs or the Anchorage tribal hospital if necessary, and to provide alternative housing if the sick person poses risks to elders.

LISTEN: This Anchorage skier flew 3,000 miles to his first World Cup race. Now he has to quarantine.

Ski racer Forrest Mahlen flew two days across the country, from Anchorage to Quebec City, for his World Cup debut. The coronavirus canceled it, and now he's headed back to Anchorage to quarantine himself because of his exposure to athletes from Europe.

To guard against coronavirus, Alaska oil companies are screening workers before flights to the North Slope

The companies met last week and agreed to "start screening all of their workers when they check in in Anchorage," said Heidi Hedberg, Alaska's public health director.

Dunleavy urges calm as a volatile economy and tourism warnings add to Alaska coronavirus anxiety

As the coronavirus continued to cause havoc for the global economy Monday in ways that threaten the stability of Alaska's budget, the Permanent Fund and tourism, Governor Mike Dunleavy called a news conference to soothe Alaskans' anxiety.

Hilcorp revived this declining North Slope oil field. Can it do the same for Prudhoe Bay?

While many North Slope fields are only the decline, production at Hilcorp's Milne Point has actually increased by huge amounts. Now, the company is acquiring the massive Prudhoe Bay field, raising hopes of a similar revival there.

Anchorage cross-country skier wins gold medal at World Junior Championships

A 19-year-old Anchorage athlete did something Monday that's never been done before: He became the first American man to win a race at the World Junior Championships of cross-country skiing.

Kaktovik is crawling with polar bears. Now a man is going to prison for wasting one.

The case shows how it’s become common for polar bears to disrupt village life in Kaktovik, which sits on an island at the edge of the Beaufort Sea. As climate change melts sea ice and drives the bears ashore, residents say they’ve been under increasing stress.

After last year’s loss, Anchorage alcohol tax boosters bring in Mark Begich’s firm for this year’s campaign

After losing at the polls last year, supporters of a 5 percent alcohol tax in Anchorage say a better public opinion campaign could make the difference when the measure goes before voters again in April. So they've hired Mark Begich's company to help.

Anxiety creeps into oil-dependent Alaska as banks step back from Arctic investment

An aggressive advocacy campaign against banks' involvement in Arctic oil means that Alaska companies are facing more obstacles to raise the cash they need. They've responded by tailoring their pitches to financial institutions, as Alaska lawmakers fight back.

Alaska oil, mining education group alleges former director stole at least $187,000

Alaska Resource Education, which promotes the oil and gas, mining and forestry industries in Alaska's schools, is suing former executive director Michelle Brunner, alleging she embezzled nearly $200,000.

A new fish processor is buoying King Cove’s fishermen. But now the town’s finances are sinking.

The opening of a new processing plant in a nearby village has reduced frustrations for fishermen in King Cove, who were long frustrated at the limited market for their catch. But with the fish being sold elsewhere, the town of King Cove itself is now contending with a massive budget hole caused by a crash in fish tax revenue.

Hungry Alaska bears find a new prey: Katmai’s sea otters

One scientist speculates that some of Katmai's bears have long fed on seals, and simply added sea otters to their diets as the marine mammals returned to the area after their near-extinction caused by the fur trade.

A rent increase is forcing Anchorage’s DMV out of its Benson Boulevard office

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's administration disclosed the move in its supplemental budget request released Wednesday. In the request, it asked lawmakers to approve an extra $500,000 for the relocation, including "a new lease, moving expenses, furniture build-out, and public information."