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May 5, 2021 / This week from The Signal

All the latest news and information from around Alaska.

Spelling bee champion, Ishita Khiani (right) poses with her trophy at Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School on Thursday, April 29, 2021. Electra Gardinier (left) is a spelling bee proctor and teacher at DHMS. (Photo and story by Bridget Dowd/KTOO)

But first… 

We didn't win any trophies like Ishita Khiani's, but over the weekend the KTOO team won 14 awards from the Alaska Press Club for reporting and programming done in 2020. 

I was so excited to be done with 2020 and get on to 2021, that I don't think I ever took the time to reflect on how much we were able to accomplish last year. Almost everything that we produced last year was made under weird and often difficult circumstances. They were the product of glitchy Zoom calls and recordings interrupted by kids, pets, noisy neighbors or road construction. They were written in closets or at kitchen tables and edited over the phone or Slack.

Everything we did last year was a workaround, but the stories still came through loud and clear, poignant and necessary. I can't list all the winners here, but they range from one of Pablo Arauz Peña's first stories for us about "What Alaskans learned from ‘the mother of all pandemics’" to Jeremy Hsieh's story about "How the ‘infodemic’ is playing out in Juneau." Our website won an award, as did an episode of the Cruise Town podcast and our series on Juneau Afternoon from the Black Awareness Association, Juneau.

I'm very proud -- not just of the awards, but of everything we were managed to put on the air and on the web during a most unusual and trying year.

-- Jennifer Pemberton, KTOO Managing Editor

Top stories from last week

Stories you may have missed

One thing to share...

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter John McCormick uses its 25 mm deck gun to sink the tugboat Lumberman on May 2, 2021 in the Gulf of Alaska. A nuisance to some and a refuge for others, the Lumberman was condemned by the City and Borough of Juneau after she broke her anchor chain and drifted off state-owned tidelands (video courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard District 17 via CoastAlaska).

KTOO Public Media would like to acknowledge the L'eeneidí of the Áak’w Khwáan. Our broadcast studios are on their ancestral homeland. Our building sits on fill that was once tideland and part of what is called the Indian Village. The families of the Juneau Indian Village, like their ancestors, cherish and depend upon their immediate connection to the waterfront. KTOO is working to lift up Tlingit voices and the Tlingit language. Please excuse us for our mistakes, and gunalchéesh for your patience as we learn.

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What are you waiting for? For an entertaining inside take on the biggest news in Alaska, try The Signal – just enter your email to get the latest edition delivered every week - it's free, we keep your email safe, and you can easily unsubscribe any time.