In this newscast: State ferries resumed sailing following the ratification of a contract by striking members of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s largest union. Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration extended a no-bid contract awarded to a relative of a major financial supporter of the governor. A lawsuit brought by a former police detective against the City of Sitka is going before a mediator and could be settled out of court. A related case concerning a former Sitka police detective who filed a sexual harassment suit against the city remains on track for trial next spring. A new species of deer are moving into parts of Alaska, including the Upper Lynn Canal. The federally chartered Denali Commission is awaiting results of an investigation into the conduct of one of its staff members. A light earthquake was felt in the greater Anchorage area, and officials say it was an aftershock from the Nov. 30 magnitude 7.1 quake that rocked the city.
In this newscast: A tentative deal between the state and a striking ferry union could get the Alaska Marine Highway System back up and running as early as this weekend.
Voters in more than a dozen Alaska towns can now sign the petition to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy, but there are plenty of communities across the state where voters do not have that option right now. Pacific walruses have been spotted on shore in northwest Alaska. It’s their earliest appearance to date, and it’s tied to receding sea ice. A profile on Tom Ainsworth, the National Weather Service’s chief weather forecaster for Southeast Alaska. Ainsworth retired today. Juneau’s Perseverance Theatre removed “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” from its schedule after concerns were raised about its content and cost.
An Alaska Army recruiter says their outreach hasn’t changed. But some University of Alaska students say more military recruiters have reached out amid the university’s budget cuts.
The ad appeared on Facebook last week, encouraging University of Alaska students worried about UA’s future to complete their degrees online — from a New York university.
Tlingit & Haida’s Head Start pre-K program serves 10 communities in Southeast Alaska. Without state funding, they may have to reduce staff, cut spots or close classrooms altogether.
The UAS chancellor says programs with larger enrollments are more likely to be retained. But he adds that some smaller programs, like Alaska Native languages, are critical to the mission of UAS.
The announcement comes despite concerns expressed by the accreditation commission’s president, who has warned that cuts to the University of Alaska’s budget could jeopardize accreditation in the future.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration has challenged the legality of this year’s school funding, but the Juneau School District still expects those funds.
Without an override of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes, the UAS chancellor says the university will likely see significant layoffs of staff and faculty at the Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan campuses.
If the Legislature does not override the governor’s veto, the Alaska State Council on the Arts will lose funding on Monday, making Alaska the only state in the U.S. without an arts council.