Naomi Klouda

Creditors still unpaid, court continues to probe Rogoff finances

Officials in the Alaska Dispatch News bankruptcy case probed further into former owner Alice Rogoff’s finances at a Nov. 2 bankruptcy hearing now on a search for other assets to turn into cash for creditors.

Progress on liquidating the assets not part of the $1 million sale of the ADN to the Binkley Co. has been slow due to the lack of assets to turn into cash, said attorney William Artus, who was hired to represent Nacole Jipping, the Chapter 7 trustee in charge of the liquidation.

Renewed optimism under Zinke’s Interior Department for King Cove

Proponents of a road from King Cove to Cold Bay feel renewed hope under discussions with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s administration for a different land swap than was proposed in the past.

Seaweed bar wins innovation competition

Despite its abundance, Alaska seaweed isn’t harvested for commercial use to the extent it can be found on local grocery shelves.

That’s potentially a loss for the Alaska economy as projections for the commercial seaweed market are expected to reach $22.13 billion by 2024, according to Global Market Insights.

UAA team debates single-payer health care

The award-winning University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolf debate team argued the question of whether America should adopt a single-payer health care system on Oct. 25 before a Commonwealth North audience.

On the pro side was Jacob Sherecliffe, a senior and Truman Scholar majoring in political science, and Sarah Gray, a junior majoring in nursing. On the con side was Genevieve Mina, a junior with a biology-political science major, and Robert Hockema, a junior majoring in international relations.

State sues maker of OxyContin over opioid crisis

The State of Alaska filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma on Oct. 31, claiming the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug OxyContin used fraudulent marketing and is responsible for the widespread prescribing by doctors that resulted in Alaska’s opioid crisis.

The lawsuit was filed in Alaska Superior Court with backing from Gov. Bill Walker.

The governor tied the recent crime surge to the opioid epidemic.

Campaigns continue to remind Alaskan ivory products are legal

Alaskan ivory carvings are not only gaining a bad rap from a ban on elephant ivory. Rural economies are suffering in the confusion.

Fossilized ivory and walrus ivory carvings created by Alaska Natives are the focus of a renewed public relations campaign to stress to other states that there is no ban on legally obtained Alaska ivory artifacts and art pieces.

At the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage in a recorded message played Oct. 19, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke used part of his address to reassure delegates.

‘Historic day’ as state partners with Tribes to provide child services

Alaska could save millions of dollars by transferring services through a “historic compact” signed by Gov. Bill Walker and tribes to provide child welfare services.

The new compact recognizes the authority of Alaska Tribes to provide services previously only delivered through the Office of Children’s Services. Lauded as the first of its kind in the U.S., it was signed at the 51st annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention Oct. 19.

Sweeney latest Alaskan tapped to join Trump administration

Arctic Slope Regional Corp. Executive Vice President Tara Sweeney’s nomination to assistant secretary of Indian Affairs is the latest signal that the Trump administration plans to involve Alaskans in helping to shape federal policies on everything from oil development to environmental cleanup.

Unique procedure gets Coast Guard medic back on track

U.S. Coast Guard medic Erin Murray had set her sights on search and rescue operations off Kodiak Island for the kind of work that involves being lowered from a helicopter to save drowning crewmen after a boat capsizes.

After years of being fit — soccer, tennis, workouts to maintain the regime of military fitness — at the age of 29 Murray found herself limping.

“In March of 2016, I had a knee injury and I couldn’t pinpoint the cause,” she said. “Working out made it worse. I couldn’t climb the stairs without holding on to the railing.”

Karluk Tribe keeps up fight over ownership of river

Centuries of tides changed the Karluk River’s course and the Tribe that continues to claim ownership today.

Storms in Shelikof Strait altered the beach where the ancient Alutiiq people settled thousands of years ago on Kodiak Island. It sent up big boulders, not just sand and pebbles. Slate blue waters covered the homes of those people and when that wasn’t enough, swallowed the artifacts so that only divers can regain its past for future people. It made more modern generations move.

Opioid epidemic costs to Alaska topped $1 billion in 2015

Anyone who’s found their homes burglarized or their cars broken into or stolen is increasingly likely to be a victim of the opioid epidemic.

Strewn in parking lot litter and on dog-walk pathways are the spent syringes from someone’s latest fix.

Startups make their pitch at Launch Alaska Demo Day

A cyber attack that breached 143 million citizens’ credit information isn’t just a worst-case scenario.

“That’s no hypothetical; it’s what happened at Equifax,” said Courtney Targos, pitching her startup Threat Informant Managed Services Oct. 13 at Launch Alaska Demo Day in the Beartooth Theatre Pub.

The startup was one of four new business graduates of Launch Alaska’s 2017 cohort. 60Hertz, Helix and Attently also completed this year’s business accelerator designed to propel them toward success. Each pitched concepts to investors at the event.

After large rate cut, Premera pushes open enrollment period

A 45-day open enrollment on the federal health care exchange begins Nov. 1, and despite confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act, several factors that brought down the cost of health insurance in Alaska for those shopping on the individual market this year promise to strengthen the state’s health care market.

But it’s a short window this time that ends on Dec. 15.

That’s the message of licensed insurance producers such as Joshua Weinstein of Northrim Benefits Group/RISQ. He has helped people enroll on the open market exchange since the ACA launched in 2014.

Elders & Youth speakers provide from one century to next

The theme of the 34th First Alaskans Institute Elders and Youth Conference — “Part Land, Part Water, Always Native” — speaks to identity as a deep connection with the surroundings.

Clare Swan, 86, and Chris Apassingok, 17, each live immersed in cultural activities at opposite ends of a century. Yet their lives are living examples of culture in motion, say the event’s organizers. As the conference allows elders and youth to engage in critical dialogues on issues through presentations and discussions, they will be inspiring future generations to take active roles.

AFN keynote speakers perfect physical, spiritual fitness

The Alaska Federation of Native’s theme this year, “Strength in Unity: Leadership — Partnerships — Social Justice,” takes shape as the largest gathering of indigenous people in the United States meet in Anchorage Oct 19-21.

Sgt. Jody Potts, the director of Public Safety for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, and Lt. Col. Wayne Don of the Alaska Army National Guard came to leadership roles and social justice issues on broad stages. AFN opens on their addresses at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 19.

Energy Dept. grant aims to harden microgrids

Imagine that Puerto Rico’s electrical grid had the ability for one power plant to “talk” with another plant in a long daisy chain.

Then, when Hurricane Maria sweeps in, the plants’ automation kicks in and amps up power production in one facility while another remains offline. Their systems’ communications capacity evaluates which “assets” could be used and whatever backup activation fixes were necessary to generate electricity until full power could be restored.

Voters reject return to pot prohibition

Voters on Oct. 3 rejected propositions to ban commercial marijuana operations on the Kenai Peninsula and in Fairbanks where most of the state’s cultivation farms are located.

With 23 of 24 precincts reporting results, the Kenai Peninsula Borough’s unofficial election results show an overall majority voting against the prohibition 5,232 to 2,941 or 64 percent against and 36 percent in favor of the ban.

In Fairbanks, voters faced two ballot props that also went down in defeat.

Sullivan: Health care at a crossroads

America’s health care crossroads ahead can follow two different philosophical paths, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan told a group of health care professionals Oct. 3 in Anchorage.

One would let states take federal funds and design their own systems. The other would get rid of private insurance and put all American health care into the hands of a government program, Sullivan said, making his statements via video at State of Reform, a one-day conference at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center.

Judge approves Chapter 7 liquidation of remaining ADN assets

Any chance to reorganize Alice Rogoff’s remaining Alaska Dispatch News holdings after her Aug. 12 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing was deemed at “0.00 percent” by her attorney at a Sept. 22 hearing, which is bad news for those left holding the bag on more than $2 million of debts.

Oceans 17 panel shares vision of growing blue economy

The blue economy isn’t a new concept when thought in terms of the traditional jobs and industry: fishermen need boat wrights and processors, navigation tools and data to help bring in the catch.

Rippling out, the blue economy demands a slew of new maritime trainings, greater security presence extending to the Arctic and literally thousands of new innovators to solve a multitude of science questions, according to a panel of six in “Building Alaska’s Blue Economy” Sept. 21.

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