In this newscast: Two cruise ship companies announce they are suspending operations through the beginning of Alaska’s tourism season, Alaska’s major oil companies say they are screening workers before they fly to remote operations on the North Slope, some communities are still without ferry service even after the Department of Transportation signed a contract with a local Native corporation to provide limited service, state public health officials help organizations determine whether to cancel public events and the University of Alaska announces it will extend spring break by a week to allow instructors to move courses online.
The Alaska Department of Transportation closed Thane Road shortly after 10 a.m. after an avalanche crossed the road. The agency has not said when it plans to reopen the road.
In this newscast: A federal judge rules in favor of environmentalists’ challenge to the largest Tongass timber sale in decades, the Alaska Legislature approves more than $4 million in state funding to respond to coronavirus, the City and Borough of Juneau holds a public meeting to answer questions about the arrival of the Westerdam and the upcoming cruise season and Sealaska Heritage Institute and the University of Alaska Southeast create a scholarship program to promote the region’s three Native languages.
City leaders say they received hundreds of emails and phone calls from the public about the Westerdam’s arrival. People wanted to know why the ship was coming here, what it would do once it arrived, how the city could be sure there were no cases of COVID-19 on board.
In this newscast: The final environmental impact statement is issued for the $40 billion Alaska LNG Project, Southeast Alaskans prepare for a potential drop in tourism traffic as the State Department and federal health officials advise against cruise ship travel, ferry service returns to Haines and Skagway as residents take advantage of the first ferry in almost two months and a Juneau team’s coach and organizers react to the cancellation of the biennial Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon.
A letter sent to the Juneau Police Department Friday from the Alaska Department of Law states that Officer James Esbenshade was “legally justified in his use of deadly force in order to defend himself from the threat of serious physical injury.”
In this newscast: Alaska House Majority leaders introduce a bill that would set permanent fund dividends at about $900, volunteers with the campaign to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy kickoff signature gathering in Juneau and four-time champion Jeff King won’t participate in this year’s Iditarod after undergoing an emergency operation on Monday.
Juneau City Manager Rorie Watt says the Westerdam will depart the Philippines soon and arrive in Juneau around March 22. All passengers have left the ship, and the crew has tested negative for coronavirus.
A state-chartered Allen Marine Tours boat sailed from Juneau to Kake, Angoon and Tenakee Springs on Saturday. It’s scheduled to sail again Tuesday, and the state ferry Tazlina is set to return to service later this week.
Between now and March 12, any passenger can change or cancel a flight reservation and receive a full travel credit good for up to one year.