Several state buildings closed through Thursday out of ‘an abundance of caution’

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 6:39 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - At least nine state office buildings in Juneau and Anchorage will be closed through Thursday out of an abundance of caution, according to the governor’s chief of staff, Ben Stevens.

“Public safety conditions in the area around the listed facilities will be closely monitored up until and then shortly after the Presidential inauguration,” states the memorandum from the governor’s office issued on Friday.

The Atwood Building and the Pacillo Office Building are the two state buildings in Anchorage, along with seven in Juneau, that will remain closed until Thursday.

The Juneau buildings shut down until at least after Wednesday’s presidential inauguration are the State Office Building, Alaska Office Building, Court Plaza Building, Community Building, the Facilities Center, Governor’s House, and Behrend’s House.

At the Alaska Capitol building in Juneau, no protesters came out on Sunday afternoon. The FBI had warned that all 50 state capitals could see armed rallies through Inauguration Day.

There are extra security precautions at the Capitol building after the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. There are Alaska State Troopers temporarily stationed there and Juneau Police Department are making regular patrols. Both agencies are working with the FBI.

Meanwhile, at the Dimond Center in Anchorage, the parking lot and the mall remained closed to the public Sunday.

“It’s a surprise. It’s really unfortunate,” said John Weddleton, owner of Bosco’s Comics, Cards and Games. “That mall is full of small, local businesses. We’re all trying to do our own thing.” Weddleton is also an Anchorage Assembly member.

Management decided to close the mall for Sunday after it got listed as part of a nationwide protest of the presidential election. The mall apparently got confused with Juneau’s Dimond Courthouse.

“Better to be safe,” Weddleton said. “I appreciate the mall closing the stores than taking the risk. That was a good move.”

While Dimond Center did not open Sunday, Weddleton employees don’t have to worry about one thing.

“My staff’s getting paid,” Weddleton said. “They’d rather be working.”

They and other mall employees return to work Monday.

correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the Dimond Courthouse in Juneau will not be closed this week.

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