Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Twice as many Alaskans enrolled for health insurance as last month

The federal government said about 16 thousand Alaskans have signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov since open enrollment period began Nov. 15. That's about 3,000 more than signed up during the initial 6-month open enrollment period, and half of them are renewals.

Regional Health and Human Services director Susan Johnson, said 16,000 is “huge."

Fourteen homicides in Anchorage in 2014 down from past

The number of homicides in Anchorage in 2014 was the lowest in two decades. Alaska Dispatch News reports homicide detectives investigated the deaths of 14 people last year. One of those deaths is not being counted as a confirmed homicide. Police say the year's total is the second lowest number of homicide for the city in 24 years.

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State closes Bethel office of the Department of Environmental Conservation

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is considering designating some 35,000 square miles of ocean in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas as special habitat for ringed seals, which are the main prey of polar bears. The seals were declared threatened in 2012 due to the loss of sea ice from climate warming. Ringed seals use sea ice for breeding and molting.

Cost of energy, Medicaid expansion high prioritues

The mood was celebratory in Juneau yesterday (Dec. 1) during the inauguration ceremony for Governor Bill Walker and Lt. Governor Byron Mallott. Mallott called for unity,  saying Alaskans from all walks of life can rise as one.

Advertising time went for as much as $35,000 for a 30-second spot during the NFL game

More than $57 million was spent on Alaska's U.S. Senate race. Of that $17 was spent came out  of candidates campaign chests. The rest was spent by PACs, and of that, about a third went out of state for Internet ads, robocalls, and mailers. Most of the rest went to local television stations. Stations are required to give candidates their lowest rates. For instance, one candidate paid $450 for a 30-second spot on Anchorage TV news.

In a work session Wednesday, the Federal Subsistence Board discussed but did not act on a proposal that federal agencies take over management of the Kuskokwim River coho salmon fishery. The board is awaiting an in-depth analysis and recommendations on the issue from the Office of Subsistence Management. The board does support the state's suspension of commercial fishing periods, according to a press release. The request came after long closures of king salmon fisheries, and smaller than expected returns of red and silver salmon.

Second of two newscasts for Wed. 4/16/14: Subsistence users give the Federal Subsistence Board several ideas for changes as it reviews its process for deciding the rural/non-rural status of communities for subsistence priorities.

Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal for paying $3 billion toward state employees retirement debt is moving forward in the Legislature.

One of two newscasts for Wed. 4/16/14: The state of Alaska harshly criticized the Federal Subsistence Board for cutting state fish and game subsistence management funds, not adopting its policy of manipulating habitat and reducing predator numbers, and for not giving it due deference.

Gov. Sean Parnell's proposal to pay down the public employees' retirement debt by $3 billion is moving forward in the Legislature.

3/3/14 - Iditarod sled dog race kicks off

Mar 3, 2014
Joaqlin Estus

Sixty-nine mushers, each with a team of 16 dogs, are on their way to Nome in the Iditarod Sled-dog Race. Mushers include three Alaska Natives:  Inupiaq John Baker of Kotzebue, Yup'ik Pete Kaiser of Bethel, and Yup'ik Michael Williams, Jr., of Akiak.

In an attempt to increase the numbers of moose and caribou available for hunters, state officials killed a pack of 11 wolves the National Park Service had been studying for the past seven years.