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Interior secretary-nominee U.S. Rep. Debra Haaland finished a two-day confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate on Feb. 24. Oil-state senators on the Senate Energy Committee challenged her on anti-development positions she took as a U.S. Congresswoman, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski seemed more intent on educating the nominee about Alaska’s unique circumstances.

  

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation hospital in Bethel, Alaska.
Greg Kim / KYUK

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation Board of Directors has issued a resolution opposing the formation of a regional tribal government. The board passed a similar resolution in 2014.

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

In their Feb. 9 meeting, Bethel City Council will discuss extending past emergency mandates related to COVID-19. Those include the airport and mask mandates, along with the measure that prevents shutoffs for unpaid water bills. If passed, each measure would be extended by two more months.

Calista board member Wayne Don became a brigadier general in the National Guard this past weekend. He has been serving as the director of the joint staff in Alaska and heading up the Alaska National Guard’s COVID-19 Response Team, which has meant doing contact tracing, food distribution in Southcentral Alaska, and being prepared to do more if needed.

It’s been three weeks since a fire destroyed Tuluksak’s only source of drinking water. Since then, the village has been living on donations of bottled water that have come from activists, a gold mining company, and even an Indigenous rapper from the pop-rap group the Black Eyed Peas. But noticeably absent have been supplies from the state government.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on March 29, 2016. Credit Skip Gray / 360 North
Skip Gray / 360 North

Democratic State Sen. Lyman Hoffman predicts that this legislative session will be “one of the most interesting for the people of Alaska to watch.” 


Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The City of Bethel has vacant seats on most of its committees and commissions. Some of them haven’t been able to meet in months, due to lack of a quorum. City committees and commissions make up an important part of city government. Their volunteer members help shape city policies and laws.


Senator Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, walks onto the House floor to watch Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State address on Monday, January 27, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. Hoffman is the sole Democrat in the 2021 Senate Majority caucus.
Rashah McChesney / KTOO

The Alaska Senate has announced who will serve on its committees for the next two years. Bethel Democratic Sen. Lyman Hoffman has joined the Senate majority caucus and will retain his seat on the coveted Senate Finance Committee. 

Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky on the Alaska House floor in 2020.
Courtesy of Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky

The 32nd Alaska Legislature convened in Juneau on Jan. 19. The Senate organized a Republican majority caucus for the ninth straight year and selected a leader, but the House remains unorganized, without a majority or a Speaker. Democratic Rep. Tiffany Zulkosky represents the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in the House. She spoke with KYUK about how the unorganized body can move forward.

  

Christine Trudeau / KYUK

The incentives that the City of Bethel offers to encourage people arriving at the airport to be tested for COVID-19 may not be working all that well, but the city council has decided to renew the program anyway.

  

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