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Trump administration finalizes drilling plan for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Trump administration finalizes drilling plan for Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration on Monday took another step to opening Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling for oil and gas, potentially fulfilling a decades-long dream for Republicans.Environmentalists, however, promised to fight opening up the coast plain of the refuge, a 1.56-million acre swath of land along Alaska's northern Beaufort Sea coast, home to polar bears, caribous and other wildlife, after the Department of the Interior approved an oil and gas leasing program.Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt signed the Record of Decision, which will determine a program for...

August 17, 2020
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Alaska’s model shows dropping COVID-19 counts in coming days even as hospitalizations hit new high

Alaska’s model shows dropping COVID-19 counts in coming days even as hospitalizations hit new high

State health officials are forecasting a drop in coronavirus cases after several months of rising counts culminated in a surge in COVID-19 infections last month.That’s according to Alaska’s that predict future trends, though they can be highly variable.Starting in June, the state was experiencing rising numbers of new infections including large outbreaks in seafood processing facilities that brought concerns about health care capacity, especially in Anchorage.The models now show declining numbers going forward.“Recently we’ve been fortunate that our cases have started to trend downward,”...

August 13, 2020
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142 workers to be laid off permanently from Anchorage and Fairbanks airport concessions

142 workers to be laid off permanently from Anchorage and Fairbanks airport concessions

A company that manages food service in the Anchorage and Fairbanks international airports said it plans to permanently lay off more than 140 employees in October, months after COVID-19 began to decimate travel.The layoffs include 123 workers at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport and 19 at Fairbanks International Airport, to state employment officials warning of the large cuts.will impact Starbucks, Cinnabon, Humpy’s Great Alaskan Alehouse, Norton Sound Seafood House, Alaska Doghaus, Cream, Upper One Restaurant/Lounge, Mezzanine Bar, Anchorage Marketplace and Local Alaskan Rustic...

August 14, 2020
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New Alaska data reveals race a factor in likelihood of getting COVID-19, and in its severity

New Alaska data reveals race a factor in likelihood of getting COVID-19, and in its severity

We're making coronavirus coverage available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting local journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week.Clear evidence that race-based disparities affecting who gets COVID-19 and who is hospitalized for it have recently emerged in Alaska’s , public health officials said this week.“We have been seeing these disparities across the country,” said Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s top doctor, on a call Wednesday. “And we’re unfortunately starting to see it in Alaska’s data as...

August 14, 2020
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Seafood plant on Kodiak Island reports dozens of coronavirus infections

Seafood plant on Kodiak Island reports dozens of coronavirus infections

We're making coronavirus coverage available without a subscription as a public service. But we depend on reader support to do this work. Please consider joining others in supporting local journalism in Alaska for just $3.23 a week.Yet another Alaska seafood processing plant has reported an outbreak of COVID-19, this time in a remote part of Kodiak Island.OBI Seafoods announced 37 cases at its plant in Alitak, in the southern part of the island. The workers who tested positive are being moved to Anchorage for isolation, the company said in a statement Thursday.“Because of the remote location...

August 6, 2020
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Alaska’s first cruise ship of 2020 returns to port early after passenger tests positive for COVID-19

Alaska’s first cruise ship of 2020 returns to port early after passenger tests positive for COVID-19

JUNEAU — Alaska’s first cruise ship of 2020 is returning to port early after a passenger tested positive for COVID-19, according to written statements issued late Tuesday by the City and Borough of Juneau and UnCruise Adventures, the ship’s operator., a passenger aboard the ship Wilderness Adventurer received the positive test result on Tuesday, three days after . Unlike where a cruise ship spread coronavirus to several port towns, the Wilderness Adventurer did not stop in any other Southeast Alaska ports.According to the company, the passenger arrived in Alaska with a negative test, then...

August 5, 2020
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Donald Trump Jr. opposes Pebble mine as Trump administration weighs key permit

Donald Trump Jr. opposes Pebble mine as Trump administration weighs key permit

Donald Trump Jr. said Tuesday on Twitter he opposes the Pebble mine prospect, as the Trump administration considers whether to issue a key permit for construction.Retweeting a post calling on the federal government to block the copper and gold mine, Trump Jr. said the Bristol Bay region is too important to put at risk.“As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with,” Trump Jr. tweeted.As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The...

August 4, 2020
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A simple step toward a stronger, sustainable economy: The Alaska Long Trail

A simple step toward a stronger, sustainable economy: The Alaska Long Trail

The COVID-19 virus has threatened Alaskans’ health and ravaged our economy. While taking the necessary steps to control the virus, we now also must begin expanding the foundation for a clean and sustainable industry, an industry that will support both immediate and long-term Alaska jobs and Alaskan-owned businesses.That’s why Alaska Trails, a well-known and respected advocate of public trails throughout Alaska, adopted the idea of a trail connecting Fairbanks and Seward as The Alaska Long Trail. Ultimately, this could become a 2,000-plus mile trail extending north from Fairbanks to the...

August 1, 2020
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Longtime leader of Anchorage-based tribal health organization to resign

Longtime leader of Anchorage-based tribal health organization to resign

Katherine Gottlieb speaks at the grand opening of the Ernie Turner residential treatment center in Chugiak on Aug 2, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN) Katherine Gottlieb will resign from her longtime role as head of Southcentral Foundation, weeks after the Alaska Native health care organization fired her husband, another longtime employee. “It has been a blessing and great privilege to work with the SCF family in serving our Alaska Native and American Indian population,” Gottlieb said in a statement provided Monday by the organization. Southcentral Foundation’s board of directors accepted the...

August 3, 2020
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All Alaskans deserve freedom and safety

All Alaskans deserve freedom and safety

Our communities and our country are coming apart over competing beliefs about which Americans have the right to live with both freedom and safety. The question we all need to consider is: Why do we think we have to choose? Why must ensuring the safety and freedom of some Americans be paid for by others giving up their safety and freedom?I’ve spent good chunks of my adult life in the remote community of McCarthy, about 300 miles from Anchorage, where I grew up and still live. McCarthy is a mostly white community of around 75 year-round residents. As the weeks unfolded since George Floyd’s...

August 15, 2020
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