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September 8, 2020 / This week from The Signal

All the latest news and information from around Alaska.

Daryl Miller of Commercial Signs and Printing looks over his handiwork on a newly refurbished ambulance on August 28, in Juneau. Miller installed the decals designed by Tlingit artists Mary Goddard and Crystal Worl on Capital City Fire/Rescue’s newest ambulance. (Photo by Rashah McChesney, KTOO / Story by Pablo Arauz Peña, KTOO)

But first… 

KTOO's Jeremy Hsieh spent several weeks reporting on the COVID-19 misinformation being spread in Juneau for this story: How the ‘infodemic’ is playing out in Juneau.

The story revolves around some comments that Juneau resident Donna Pratt made while she was hospitalized with COVID-19. 

“This is not a joke,” she said. “I am not being paid to do this as a hoax. This is real life. This is my real life.”

While Pratt struggled to breathe in her hospital bed, other local Juneau residents were sounding off in a public hearing about the city's mask mandate. More than a third of the people who spoke at the meeting opposed it. Some made misleading scientific claims, which Jeremy addresses in the story.

We published the story on Saturday and were saddened to hear from her friends and family over the weekend that Donna Pratt died Friday night. Her husband, Wilburt Pratt, said it was from an unrelated condition but that her bout with COVID-19 didn’t help.

We're grateful that she shared her experience with COVID-19 with us and with the wider community through her willingness to speak to the city's communications team. May she rest in peace.

-- Jennifer Pemberton, KTOO Managing Editor

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Video of the week

For Alaska's rural children, distance learning exposes gaps in internet equity

The new school year is underway in Alaska and the majority of the state's students are attending school online. While online education is a challenge for any district that's used to brick-and-mortar schools, it's a significant obstacle for the majority of school districts in Alaska which are rural or remote. Alaska Public Media's Mayowa Aina looks at how two of the state's largest rural school districts are navigating schooling during a pandemic.
KTOO Public Media would like to acknowledge the L'eeneidí and the Wooshkeetaan 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.