Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

Anchorage’s historic city hall to become public library

The city’s former downtown library closed in 1986.
a person speaks in a meeting room

Alaska House passes bill aimed at expanding access to child care

Rep. Julie Coulombe says the bill is an effort to ease the strain on Alaska families who are facing rising child care costs and limited availability.

Anchorage Assembly rejects resolution calling for ceasefire in Israel-Hamas conflict

The Assembly opted to forgo debate and voted 9-3 to postpone the ordinance indefinitely, effectively killing it.
A person in a black sweater stands in front of a sign.

American Library Association president hears about struggles and successes from Alaska librarians

While the state faces unique logistical challenges, Emily Drabinski says that many problems facing Alaska librarians are happening across the country.

Heavy winds and wet snow lead to icy streets and power outages in Anchorage

The city saw gusts as high as 82 mph in the Potter Marsh area, leading to power outages for thousands of residents.
two kids color at a table

Advocates finalizing plan to use Anchorage marijuana tax revenue on child care

Some of the funding could be distributed as early as this fall, with much of it getting sent out by January of next year.
A sign says Anchorage School District.

Anchorage school employee arrested after police say he assaulted a student

Police say the paraprofessional “put his hands” on a Baxter Elementary student following a disagreement on the playground.

Hometown hero? Valdez may soon get a life-sized statue of a ‘Star Trek’ icon

A group of fans want to honor William Riker’s Last Frontier roots with a bronze statue in the character’s hometown: Valdez.
A man in a black coat poses outside during winter.

Eagle River’s Mark Littlefield is sole candidate to fill soon-to-be vacant Assembly seat

Littlefield was the only person to file to run in a special election to fill Kevin Cross’ seat.
close up of a police car, it reads "Emergency 911."

Anchorage legal settlement sets August deadline to get all police officers outfitted with body cameras

The Alaska Black Caucus sued the city in April 2023 over not having body cameras on officers, two years after voters approved their purchase.
the corner of the City Hall building

Anchorage launches online checkbook, allowing public to access city financial records

Assembly chair Chris Constant says the new program allows the public to access city financial records without filing a records request and waiting months for a response.
several red lights at a snowy intersection

Anchorage Assembly proposal would ban right-on-red turns in much of downtown

Supporters say the ban would bolster pedestrian safety and encourage more foot traffic. It’s part of a growing national trend.

Southcentral Alaska gas utility says high demand is straining gas storage system

“This is the most strained I’ve seen the system,” ENSTAR President John Sims said at a press conference Thursday.
A snow shovel sits in front of a house with a snowey and icey roof.

Anchorage officials say residential and commercial building owners should consider shoveling roofs

City officials wrote that they estimate there are 500 to 1,000 commercial buildings in Anchorage that have wooden roof trusses of “immediate concern.”

Alaska inmates among 53 indicted in drug ring targeting communities, prosecutors say

The alleged drug traffickers sent fentanyl, among other drugs, to urban centers like Anchorage and Fairbanks, but also villages as far away as Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island.

Southcentral Alaska waterways survey finds widespread microplastics

“One hundred percent of our samples, we took 39 altogether, had microplastics in them,” said study co-author Dyani Chapman.
A museum visual display showing two women and a child in a market isle. On the upper right is a collage of the subjects old family photos. Below that is a short biography of the subject.

Anchorage museum exhibit spotlighting Filipino-Alaskan history defaced with crude sticker

The creative team behind “Mana: The History We Inherit” is criticizing how well the museum protected its exhibit.
A picture of a building with it's sign out front

Amazon opens first Alaska sorting facility in Anchorage

The facility is currently in a “ramp up” period and is expected to reach full operations over the next few months.
glass building with letters

Anchorage Museum pauses free admission policy for Alaska Native visitors

The policy, announced earlier this month, would’ve allowed anybody who identified themselves as Alaska Native to not have to pay for admission.

Alaska excluded from free IRS direct tax filing pilot program

IRS officials say the direct file program doesn't support the reporting of Permanent Fund Dividends.