The Anchorage Assembly chambers at the Z. J. Loussac Public Library in Anchorage.

Assembly votes to suspend plastic bag ban during its calmest meeting in weeks

After weeks of combative meetings marked by bitter conflicts, raucous behavior and even a few arrests, discussion returned to more mundane topics like liquor licenses, utility rate increases and whether to charge for single-use plastic bags. 
Television show host talks to guest via Zoom on set.

Redistricting is underway in Alaska. But who gets to decide where the lines fall? | Alaska Insight

Redistricting is a lengthy process that takes place every ten years. Various draft proposals have already come under fire. Will the redistricting board be able to avoid litigation this time around?

Redistricting could reshape the Alaska Legislature. Here’s how.

Every ten years, a State board redraws the boundaries of Alaska’s legislative districts. The process is long and technical, but there’s a lot at stake. It can determine which party controls the state legislature. Alaska Public Media’s Annie Feidt explains.
a person speaks to the media

Anchorage’s homelessness director resigns

John Morris was a proponent of building a large temporary shelter for homeless people in East Anchorage and was the second of six members of a working group developing a plan to move an emergency shelter out of the Sullivan Arena.
People stand around a light wooden coffin

Realities diverge after Anchorage conservative activist dies from COVID

William Topel died shortly after demonstrating against an indoor mask mandate at the Anchorage Assembly. To some, his death shows the dangers of not taking precautions against COVID-19, but to friends, his death is an illustration of the medical establishment's refusal to treat patients with unproven drugs like ivermectin.
A man with a surgical mask and a baseball hat anad a lanyard scrolls through an ipad in a hallway next to a woman in a black mask

Thousands of dollars pour into recall, though it’s unlikely to change the balance on the Anchorage Assembly

The campaign to recall Midtown Assembly member Meg Zaletel follows an unsuccessful recall attempt earlier this year, and there’s another in the works. Some see it as increased civic engagement, but to many, it’s a waste of time and money.
Television host interviews experts over zoom.

Alaska is leading the nation in new farm growth. Is it enough to address food security concerns? | Alaska Insight

Alaska offers an abundance of wild foods, but when it comes to locally grown crops, we’re often at a disadvantage. What programs and efforts are underway to help lower our dependence on outside shipments?
A sign on the side of the road that reads "Alaska Grown" - courtesy of John Whipple, Alaska Division of Agriculture

State hopes upcoming agricultural land sale near Nenana will bear fruit

Alaska is working on its next big effort to promote agriculture -- a large-scale land auction in the Interior.
a person talks with a customer inside a gun store

For many Anchorage businesses, the mask mandate changes little. But it still could be enough to slow COVID spread.

Some Anchorage businesses vowed to turn a blind eye to enforcing the new mask mandate, but supporters of the masking rules say even a small change in public behavior could change the course of the pandemic.
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 shipping container and a sign that reads "COVID-19 TESTING SITE"

Officials warn of plateau as Alaska reports 964 new resident COVID cases

Cases have increased by an average of 8% in the last week, but they are still lower than the record highs at the end of September.
TV host sits at desk and talks to guest over Zoom.

Alaskan Latinos discuss culture and an upcoming documentary during Hispanic Heritage Month | Alaska Insight

Hispanics make up a growing share of the population in Alaska, and their stories are intertwined with the state's culture. How has life changed for the Hispanic and Latino community through the decades?

Clem Tillion, Alaska’s original ‘fish czar,’ dies at 96

A towering figure in the worlds of Alaska fisheries and politics — and in the intersection between the two — Tillion, 96, died Wednesday morning at his home in Halibut Cove.
A white man in a suit sits in front of a computer

Bronson vetoes Anchorage mask mandate

In his veto, Bronson wrote that the Assembly “openly displayed their scorn for the public process” by passing an emergency ordinance without public testimony.
Cars in a line with a person in a blue gown talking to someone through the window

Alaska reports over 1,220 COVID cases, 204 hospitalizations on Wednesday

The state's chief medical officer said the single day jump in COVID cases was a result of analyzing a batch of new results, and doesn't represent a trend.
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.

Ancient tracks lead to better understanding of how Arctic dinos lived

This summer, three scientists ventured to the foot of the Aleutian Mountain range to collect evidence that dinosaurs once roamed the southern coast of the Alaska Peninsula. They hope to reconstruct the ancient ecosystem that allowed dinosaurs to thrive here for tens of thousands of years.