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Alaska’s largest:

    Alaska has vaccinated more of its population than any other state in the US, despite the challenges posed by the nation's largest state with its frigid cold, frequent storms, and an expanse of land and few roads.  Roughly 18 percent of the population is American Indian or Alaska native – a larger share of indigenous people than any other state in the US has. Native Americans have been hit especially hard by the pandemic itself, but the state's large native population has turned out to be a major advantage in the rollout of vaccines.  Alaska has been receiving additional doses on top of its state allocation through Indian Health Services (as well as significant allotments through the military and DoD), which have come in monthly shipments, rather than weekly ones like most states get, since the start of rollout.  The state also has a pre-existing vaccine distribution program that is...
    Almost every inmate at Alaska’s largest prison has caught COVID-19 since the virus first appeared at the facility in November, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday. Of the 1,236 inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center in Wasilla, Alaska, 1,115 have tested positive for COVID-19 since the first reported positive case in November, according to spokesperson Sarah Gallagher, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Around 110 cases were reportedly active as of Monday. “To date, 1,271 tests have been recorded at GCCC, though this figure may be slightly increased due to the fact that DOC has performed both antigen and PCR tests, which may have resulted in an offender’s positive test being counted twice,” Gallagher said, the Anchorage Daily News reported. “We believe roughly 1,115 offenders have tested positive at Goose Creek to data,” Gallagher added, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Nearly every inmate at Alaska’s biggest prison has contracted COVID-19 https://t.co/mHPzaC5DPO...
    Approximately 1,115 prisoners of the 1,236-total number of inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center have tested positive for COVID-19. The correctional facility is located near Anchorage and reported its first case in November. Public health experts have called for the release of medically vulnerable and older inmates, people nearing the end of their sentences, and those who are low risk to the community. According to The Guardian, prisons are high-risk for the transmission of contagious disease because social distancing is often impossible. Data from The Associated Press and The Marshall Project revealed that one in every five state and federal prisoners in America tested positive for COVID-19, which is four times higher than the rate for the general public. The number of cases reached their highest level in mid-December with more than 275,000 infected inmates and 1,700 deaths reported. The striking spread of the virus through the Goose Creek prison...
    Alaska Airlines announced on Tuesday that the airline will no longer be allowing emotional support animals on their flights. The announcement from Alaska Airlines comes weeks after the Department of Transportation (DOT) revised the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) to redefine which service animals would be allowed on flights, Fox News reported. Alaska Airlines announced Tuesday it will no longer accept emotional support animals in the passenger cabin on its flights.https://t.co/p1maMOY5XU — KOMO News (@komonews) December 29, 2020 Beginning Jan. 11, only service dogs that are “specially trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability” will be allowed on board. Along with this, after Feb. 28, the airline will no longer be allowing emotional support animals on their flights. However, the airline will allow emotional support animals on flights for any reservation made before Jan. 11 for flights on or before Feb. 28. (RELATED:...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Twenty-two tribal, environmental, fishing and tourism organizations are suing the Trump administration to block a decision that halted development restrictions in parts of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. The groups said in the lawsuit that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service did not adhere to federal law when they lifted the restrictions this fall, the Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday. The 49-page lawsuit emphasizes the importance of the national forest's ecosystem as a habitat for animals such as salmon, wolves and bears and also as a home for indigenous populations. The suit said that the forest is the birthplace of 75% of the commercially-caught salmon in the region and 25% of the commercially-caught salmon on the west coast. A central component of the lawsuit is structured around The Roadless Rule, which was adopted in 2001 and limits road construction and timber...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy says he will propose an executive order that would split the state's Department of Health and Social Services into two, separate agencies. Dunleavy will introduce the order when the legislative session starts, which could be as soon as Jan. 19, 2021, the Anchorage Daily News reported Tuesday. The Alaska State Legislature will have 60 days to disapprove the governor's order. If lawmakers do not take any action, the order will go into effect on July 1, 2021. Under the order, the Department of Health and Social Services would be split into a Department of Health and a Department of Family and Community Services. The state Department of Health would be in charge of public health and Medicaid while the state Department of Family and Community Services would be in charge of children’s services, juvenile justice, state-run assisted living facilities and the state's...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The biggest prison in Alaska is continuing to experience a coronavirus outbreak that has left almost half of its population infected. As of Thursday, 581 inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center had active cases of the virus, said Alaska Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher. That figure is 46% of the prison's total population of 1,253 inmates, which includes both convicted prisoners and those awaiting trial. Corrections officials said 193 people at the prison have recovered from the virus, which means over half the inmates have contracted COVID-19 since the outbreak was first identified on Nov. 2, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Two inmates at the prison have died. An outbreak at the Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center in Bethel has been identified as well. There, 46 people were infected with the virus as of Thursday, according to the state Department of Corrections. The jail hosts both...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at Alaska's largest prison has doubled in size since a week ago. The Goose Creek Correctional Center reported 204 inmates tested positive as of Wednesday. The outbreak was first reported on Nov. 2, when the state Department of Corrections said that 22 inmates and five staff members had tested positive for the virus. By last week, the number had ballooned to 110. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. The correctional facility typically houses more than 1,000 pretrial and sentenced inmates. The outbreak began in a housing unit and spread to other units, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher has said that inmates who have tested positive for the coronavirus or those who are showing...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The spread of the coronavirus at Alaska’s largest prison has accelerated beyond an initial outbreak, with 110 inmates testing positive for the virus as of Monday. Goose Creek Correctional Center first announced a virus outbreak at the facility Nov. 2, when the Alaska Department of Corrections said 22 inmates and five staff members tested positive, The Anchorage Daily News reported. The prison west of Wasilla near Point McKenzie housed 1,317 pretrial and sentenced prisoners as of Monday, department spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher said. “All inmates positive for COVID or those who are showing symptoms are isolated and monitored twice daily by DOC medical staff for any changes in symptoms,” Gallagher said. Staff are required and inmates are strongly encouraged to wear masks, she said. The outbreak began in one of the prison’s housing units, known as mods. Each mod has 64 prisoners, indicating the outbreak has expanded...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three earthquakes early Saturday morning shook Alaska's largest city, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The strongest of the three, at magnitude 5.0, was recorded just before 3:30 a.m.. The Alaska Earthquake Center says that was followed by a magnitude 3.9 quake minutes later. The third earthquake was magnitude 4.4 and was recorded just after 6 a.m. All three quakes were centered about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Anchorage. All were located at depths of about 25 miles (40 kilometers). The center says all three quakes were felt in the greater Anchorage area and in Wasilla, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Anchorage. The Department of Transportation said in a statement that it will be checking for earthquake damage at the Knik River bridges. Northbound traffic will be diverted to the Old Glenn Highway while the inspections happen. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press....
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Three earthquakes early Saturday morning shook Alaska’s largest city, but there were no immediate reports of damage. The strongest of the three, at magnitude 5.0, was recorded just before 3:30 a.m.. The Alaska Earthquake Center says that was followed by a magnitude 3.9 quake minutes later. The third earthquake was magnitude 4.4 and was recorded just after 6 a.m. All three quakes were centered about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Anchorage. All were located at depths of about 25 miles (40 kilometers). The center says all three quakes were felt in the greater Anchorage area and in Wasilla, about 45 miles (72 km) north of Anchorage. Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s largest prison has experienced the latest outbreak of the coronavirus within the state’s correctional system. The Alaska Department of Corrections said 22 inmates and five staff at Goose Creek Correctional Center tested positive for COVID-19, The Anchorage Daily News reported Monday. It is not clear how many inmates, if any, displayed symptoms of the virus, but none have required hospitalization, department spokeswoman Sarah Gallagher said Monday. There are now two large COVID-19 outbreaks at the state’s prisons, officials said. The other is at Fairbanks Correctional Center, an overcrowded facility where the state in mid-October said 33 people had contracted the virus. The Goose Creek outbreak was reported in one of the prison’s 10 self-contained units, each with 64 cells and a day room with couches and a television. The medium-security prison for men has a capacity of 1,535 inmates and there are currently about 1,350...
    JUNEAU, Alaska — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision. The US Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest, the country’s largest national forest, from the so-called roadless rule, protections that ban road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. It applies to nearly one-quarter of all US Forest Service lands. The rule, dating to 2001, has long been a focus of litigation. Alaska in 2018, under then-Gov. Bill Walker, asked the federal government to consid,er the exemption, a decision supported by current Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation also have pushed for the exemption. About 9.4 million of Tongass’ 16.7 million acres are considered roadless areas, according to the Forest Service, which...
    The Trump administration is taking aim at one of the world's largest intact temperate rainforests in an effort to boost the economy. On Thursday, the administration is planning to roll back environmental protections for Alaska's 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest. More than half the forest - or 9.3 million acres - become available for various developmental activities, most notably building roads and logging. The decision will be published Thursday in the Federal Register according to the Washington Post, just five days ahead of the end of voting in the election. The Tongass National Forest is being opened up to development as soon as Thursday The forest will immediately cede 9.3 million acres of land for logging and road building The Trump administration is making this environmental rollback just days before voting ends The current protections for the forest were put in place by President Clinton in 2001,...
    By BECKY BOHRER, Associated Press JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The federal government announced plans Wednesday to lift restrictions on logging and building roads in a pristine rainforest in Alaska that provides habitat for wolves, bears and salmon. Conservation groups vowed to fight the decision. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it has decided to exempt the Tongass National Forest, the country's largest national forest, from the so-called roadless rule, protections that ban road construction and timber harvests with limited exceptions. It applies to nearly one-quarter of all U.S. Forest Service lands. The rule, dating to 2001, has long been a focus of litigation. Alaska in 2018, under then-Gov. Bill Walker, asked the federal government to consider the exemption, a decision supported by current Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Members of Alaska’s congressional delegation also have pushed for the exemption. About 9.4 million of Tongass' 16.7 million acres are considered roadless areas,...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A light earthquake shook Alaska’s major population center Thursday but there were no immediate reports of damage. The magnitude 4.0 earthquake shook Anchorage and nearby communities, including Wasilla about 50 miles north in a neighboring borough. The temblor was located at a depth of 11 miles (18 kilometers). The Alaska Earthquake Center says quake was centered about 13 miles (21 kilometers) southeast of Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, located just north of downtown Anchorage. The National Tsunami Warning Center says there was no tsunami created by the earthquake. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Tags: Alaska, Associated Press
    Ethan Berkowitz, who on Tuesday announced his resignation as the mayor of Anchorage, addressed the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images Ethan Berkowitz, the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, late Tuesday announced he would resign from office effective October 23 citing "unacceptable personal conduct" involving his prior relationship with a local journalist. On Friday, Maria Athens, a local television reporter, said in a video posted to her Facebook page that she had evidence that Berkowitz had published photos of "his male genitalia posted on an underage girls website." Athens was barred from the station's newsroom the same day.  Athens was also arrested later Friday after she returned to the studio. She was charged with "assault, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct." The Federal Bureau of Investigations in Anchorage said "there was no immediate evidence to support a violation of federal...
    By Yereth Rosen | Reuters ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Trump administration has proposed reopening the Tongass National Forest to road-building, setting the stage for more logging, mining and development in the heart of North America’s largest temperate rainforest. The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday released a final environmental impact statement that said the state of Alaska should be exempt from a 2001 rule that bars new roads in national forests. Notice of the rule-exemption report was published on Friday in the Federal Register, kicking off a review period of at least 30 days. Removal of road-building restrictions in Alaska would potentially open up more than 9 million acres of the 17 million-acre Tongass to logging and other development. The Tongass, which sprawls over mountains, glaciers, coastlines and islands, is the largest U.S. national forest. It is known for its abundant fish and wildlife and its centuries-old stands of spruce,...
    By Yereth Rosen ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - The Trump administration has proposed reopening the Tongass National Forest to road-building, setting the stage for more logging, mining and development in the heart of North America’s largest temperate rainforest. The U.S. Forest Service on Thursday released a final environmental impact statement that said the state of Alaska should be exempt from a 2001 rule that bars new roads in national forests. Notice of the rule-exemption report was published on Friday in the Federal Register, kicking off a review period of at least 30 days. Removal of road-building restrictions in Alaska would potentially open up more than 9 million acres of the 17 million-acre Tongass to logging and other development. The Tongass, which sprawls over mountains, glaciers, coastlines and islands, is the largest U.S. national forest. It is known for its abundant fish and wildlife and its centuries-old stands of spruce, hemlock and...
    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska on Sunday reported 27 new coronavirus cases, the largest one-day increase reported since the start of the pandemic. Cases have spiked since Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, loosened restrictions put into place to guard against the virus’ spread. The state on April 24 began easing restrictions on businesses. Most restrictions on businesses were lifted May 22, though some local governments opened later. Dunleavy said at the time that he expected case numbers would rise and that the state would respond to any spikes or clusters. Sunday’s count was the most single-day cases since 22 were reported April 6. This comes after 13 new cases were reported Thursday, which was the state’s first double-digit increase in cases in six weeks. The state now has a total of 460 cases involving residents. TOP STORIES George Soros, 89, is still on a quest to destroy America Chattanooga...
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