first_imgAT&T will help the DOJ modernize. Angela Lang/CNET AT&T has won a $984 million, 15-year contract to help upgrade the US Department of Justice’s technology systems. The deal will see AT&T move more than 120,000 DOJ employees in 2,100 offices to a new communications platform for mobile voice and data, cybersecurity and cloud services. While it doesn’t cover 5G for now, the next-generation networking service could be added on later.The DOJ and 43 attached organizations will also get access to FirstNet, a dedicated public safety network with better security, speed and priority.  9:40 AT&T Mobile Phones Politics Now playing: Watch this: AT&T on CNET Stacy Schwartz, AT&T’s vice president of public safety and FirstNet, said it will help support the Justice Department’s “hard work of protecting the freedoms, rights and safety of all Americans.”The deal is part of the federal government’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions technology procurement program. Share your voice Tags AT&T earnings sees wireless growth in Q2, but video side continues to struggle Best phones at AT&T AT&T 5G: Our tests yield the wildest speeds yet 0 Samsung, LG, Motorola: How soon can we expect 5G phones? 13 Photos Post a comment AT&T 5G network has some of the fastest speeds we’ve…last_img read more

first_img Cord Cutters (OTT) News • YouTube TV is now available across the US PBS Kids streaming stick looks like a toy, plays games… Share your voice 1 Tags PBS is coming to YouTube TV.  Sarah Tew/CNET PBS and PBS Kids channels will soon be available to cord cutters who subscribe to YouTube TV. The public broadcaster said Monday that it’s secured spots on YouTube TV, which offers more than 70 live TV channels, on-demand video and a cloud-based DVR for $50 per month.This is the first digital partnership of its kind for PBS, according to a press release on Monday. Participating PBS stations will be available for live stream on YouTube TV later this year.”Our goal is to reach as many Americans as possible with content that educates, inspires and entertains,” said Ira Rubenstein, chief digital and marketing officer for PBS, in the release. “As a broadcaster that is rooted in communities, we appreciate YouTube’s commitment to local content, and we are pleased that this service provides audiences with access to programming that is produced and distributed by our member stations.”Lori Conkling, global head of partnerships at YouTube, said audiences everywhere trust PBS and the partnership shows that YouTube TV is dedicated to providing quality content to subscribers.PBS has more than 330 member stations, though its unclear how many will participate in the partnership with YouTube TV. PBS didn’t immediately respond for further comment. 1:45 YouTube TV Review • YouTube TV review: The best premium live TV streaming service Comment YouTube Preview • YouTube TV has promise, but needs to grow before it’s worth $35 (hands-on) Mobile Internet Mobile Apps TV and Movies Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

first_imgIn the Southern District, the Port Graham Subdistrict opened July 14 to commercial set gillnetting for the first time this season. Returns haven’t been especially high, so that fishery has been closed so far, says Glenn Hollowell, Fish and Game Finfish Area Management Biologist for the Lower Cook Inlet.Download Audio“We’ve been tracking the sockeye return to English Bay Lakes,” says Hollowell. “It’s been what I’ve called modest this year. We’ve just barely made our escapement goals with a subsistence fishery but no commercial fishery. Had we had a commercial fishery, I think it would have depressed escapement to the lakes below the level that we want to see. So, we’ve kept the commercial fishery closed and the subsistence fishery open.”The sustainable escapement goal is 6,000 to 13,500 sockeye. As of July 11, about 6,700 fish had returned. Beginning at 6 a.m. July 14, it is open for regular 48-hour Monday and Thursday commercial fishing periods. The subsistence fishery will remain open.Set gillnetting opened in portions of the Barabara Creek, Tutka Bay, Halibut Cove, and Seldovia Bay Subdistricts in early June. Those areas will remain open for two 48-hour fishing periods per week. Hollowell says it’s still early in the season to tell, but this harvest doesn’t seem to  match up to last year’s.“It seems like we’ve been running slightly ahead of the 10-year average,” says Hollowell. “But last year was just an amazing year. We were way ahead of the 10-year average last year and we seem to be trailing that a little bit this year.”The 10-year average for sockeyes is about 21,000 fish. The 2013 harvest was more than 29,000. So far this season, 22,000 reds have been caught by set gillnetters in the Southern District.The purse seine fisheries in the Tutka Bay, Halibut Cove and Humpy Creek Subdistricts and the China Poot and Neptune Bay Sections are also open.“Typically, those are very, very slow fisheries until about now and then they start to pick up as pink salmon come back through and as we start seeing coho and sockeye salmon,” says Hollowell. “And the sockeye salmon harvest has picked up quite a bit in the purse seine fishery in the last week and a half I would say.”As of July 3, only 373 sockeye had been caught. By July 7, that number had jumped to more than 1,300.In the Kamishak Bay District, the Chenik Subdistrict had its first purse seine opening July 12 through 14.“Usually they go into Chenik Lake during high tide cycles,” says Hollowell. “But, apparently, they got in during a moderate tide cycle. So, we’ve got about 6,000 fish in the lake, which is within the sustainable escapement goal of 3,500 to 14,000. So, we’re doing okay there.”Finally, in the Outer District, there are openings in Port Dick, and the Windy Bay, Rocky Bay, and Nuka Island Subdistricts.Hollowell says as it is still early in the season, it will still take some time to identify this year’s trends in the commercial salmon harvest throughout Lower Cook Inlet.last_img read more

first_imgThe incoming Alaska Senate president has decided against hiring a former state military affairs official to help the Senate majority press office this session.Download AudioSen. Kevin Meyer last week told colleagues he had decided to hire McHugh Pierre on contract to work in the press shop. But details had not been worked out, and no contract had been signed.Pierre last year was asked to resign his job as a deputy commissioner in the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs as part of a leadership change following a scathing report on problems within the Alaska National Guard. Pierre said he did nothing wrong.Meyer told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Pierre could have become a distraction for the caucus.last_img

first_imgLawmakers have approved an audit of the state crime lab to see if it is properly managing evidence.Listen now:Sen. Berta Gardner made the request of the Legislative Budget and Audit committee on Thursday. The Anchorage Democrat filed a bill to audit the processing of rape kits in the state earlier this year, after a report by the Legislature’s research department was unable to get information on the number of untested kits.“All of the answers were, ‘Unknown. Unknown. Unknown,’” said Gardner.The bill is still in committee, but Gardner said she started getting calls from current and former crime lab employees, alleging mismanagement. That pushed her to request an audit on the lab itself.“There were claims, for example, that one whistleblower — that she’d worked as a lab technician for almost ten years but left her job because she was afraid of losing her national accreditation because of management’s failure to maintain a proper chain of custody with evidence and failure to adhere to standards for storage of evidence,” said Gardner.The $90 million crime lab has been in operation since 2012.At the same meeting, the committee also approved an audit of the cruise ship head tax and the way the revenue was being used, and an audit of the Department of Fish and Game’s advisory committee process.last_img read more

first_imgAlaska Attorney General Craig Richards has rejected the proposed sale of a Cook Inlet natural gas processing facility that’s targeted for expansion to produce more gas for Fairbanks.Download AudioIn an August 3rd letter to Hilcorp affiliate Harvest Pipeline Company, Richards formally turns down a sale agreement under which the Fairbanks Natural Gas-owned Titan LNG facility at Pt. McKenzie would be sold to Harvest.Richards takes issue with agreement provisions, including one that calls for the sale of LNG from the plant at a fixed price he says could result in Fairbanks consumers paying too much if market gas prices tank.The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority is moving ahead with purchase of Fairbanks Natural Gas as part of the Interior Energy Project. Richards asked that the state corporation be able to buy LNG transportation infrastructure proposed to go to Harvest with the LNG plant. The state also wanted a commitment from Harvest that it would expand the Pt. McKenzie plant to meet Fairbanks demand.In written response to the state’s requested changes, Harvest President Sean Kolassa refuses to adjust the sale agreement, saying meeting the state’s demands would create additional risk in a deal he describes as providing a very small estimated profit margin.last_img read more

first_imgLawmakers are considering alternatives to their expensive and controversial office space in Anchorage.Download AudioWhen the state renewed its lease on the Legislative Information Office in downtown Anchorage last year, it paid about $7.5 million for renovations — and saw its annual rent spike from under $700,000 to more than $4 million per year.The deal was negotiated by Rep. Mike Hawker, R-Anchorage, and approved by the Legislative Council, which handles the legislature’s administrative business.But with a budget crisis prompting cuts across the state, the high rent has become an embarrassment for lawmakers.The question now is whether the state can get out of the deal and find anything cheaper.On Friday, the Council heard a range of options prepared by its chair, Republican Sen. Gary Stevens of Kodiak. Stevens’ report found the cheapest option — by far — would be to move into the state-owned Atwood Building, a few blocks away.Moving into the Atwood Building would cost about $10 million over 10 years.Keeping the existing lease, by comparison, would cost an estimated $40 million over 10 years, Stevens found, while buying the current building outright would cost at least $43 million.But lawmakers expressed concern that breaking the existing lease could prompt expensive litigation. A decision on the building was postponed Dec. 19.last_img read more

first_imgA proposal to allow state government to dip into Permanent Fund earnings is advancing in the Legislature.Download AudioSen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage (File Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)The Senate Finance Committee heard details Tuesday from Anchorage Republican Senator Lesil McGuire.Similar to a plan from Governor Bill Walker, McGuire’s bill would pay for much of state government using fund earnings.“In my opinion, we have to continue strategic cuts to the budget, but we can’t cut our way out of it. And that’s why you need a fundamental restructure to the Permanent Fund.”McGuire’s bill has been revised over the past month. One amendment would change the basis for Alaskans’ annual dividend payments. They’re currently based on fund earnings. McGuire wanted to base them on oil and gas royalties. Under the amendment, dividends would be based on a combination of fund earnings, royalties, and the Constitutional Budget Reserve.And another amendment would prevent a cut to dividends this year. In future years, dividends would be as low as one thousand dollars.McGuire says Alaskans don’t want to see dividend cuts, but they’ve gone through the first two stages of grief over the budget: denial and anger.“What we’re hearing, again, is people in that stages of grief model, are in the bargaining phase. In my opinion, most Alaskans are there. They understand that both because the private sector is interrelated to the health of the public sector. They also understand that without basic government services, they wouldn’t really want to live in Alaska, so why would other young people come here and want to grow it?”A key difference with Walker’s plan is that McGuire’s would bring in less money to the state. McGuire estimates that the state would draw roughly 2 billion dollars annually from the Permanent Fund earnings.Walker would draw 3.3 billion dollars annually. Unlike McGuire’s bill, Walker would draw money from oil production taxes and the state’s Constitutional Budget Reserve into the Permanent Fund Earnings Reserve Account.Neither plan would entire close the state’s budget gap this year.The Senate Finance Committee will hear public testimony on Walker’s and McGuire’s Permanent Fund bills Wednesday and Thursday.last_img read more

first_imgHunters and others with plans to travel the Denali Highway this coming weekend are being advised about overnight closures due to road work.Listen nowA release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the road will be closed near mile 131, about four miles from Cantwell, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. September 9th, 10th and 11th.Fish and Game notes more than 14,000 permits have been issued for various Nelchina caribou hunts, accessed from the Denali Highway. The State Department of Transportation said this weekend’s 12-hour closures are to facilitate work to improve drainage and help protect the road and bridges from flood damage.last_img