Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 7:40 a.m. AKDT

Here is the latest Alaska news from The Associated Press at 7:40 a.m. AKDT
Published: Jul. 11, 2020 at 3:43 AM AKDT
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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Tribes across the country are wrestling with competing needs, restrictive laws and inadequate staffing as they try to meet a tight federal deadline on spending billions of dollars in virus relief funds. Congress set aside $8 billion for tribes that must be spent by the end of the year and meet strict federal guidelines. Otherwise, the tribes risk having to send it back. Officials on the vast Navajo Nation have received $714 million in aid but approved just $60 million for health care, protective equipment and front-line workers against the virus. Rifts between the tribal government's legislative and executive branches have delayed putting more of the money to use.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge has denied a request by a Juneau man to block distribution of federal coronavirus relief aid under a reinterpretation of program rules by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration. Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg ruled Eric Forrer had not shown a “clear probability of success” on the merits in his underlying case. Even if Forrer had, Pallenberg wrote he would not have blocked disbursement of funds, citing the economic fallout of the coronavirus. Forrer took issue with plans by the state to expand the rules for a small business aid program beyond those proposed by the Dunleavy administration and ratified by lawmakers.

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Five finalists, all with current or former ties to the University of Alaska, have been named finalists for the role of interim president. The university system Board of Regents announced the finalists Friday. They are Michelle Rizk, Dana Thomas, Cathy Sandeen, Dan White and Pat Pitney. Rizk has been acting president since late month month, following the resignation of Jim Johnsen. The university system says the regents plan to interview the candidates and make a final decision Tuesday. The interim president would lead the system while the board conducts a search for a permanent president.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District has announced a plan to begin holding in-person classes two days per week when schools reopen in the fall. The Anchorage Daily News reported the district announced Thursday that in-person classes are expected to resume a five-day schedule after two and a half weeks of reopening. District officials scheduled Aug. 20 as the first day of classes since schools closed at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Deputy superintendent Mark Stock says the shortened schedule calls for students at each school to be separated into two groups attending on opposite days of the week.