Alaska courts to close Friday afternoons in cost-saving move

    Officials say the closures will save the state about $2 million a year.

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska officials say all state courts will be closed every Friday at noon beginning July 1 to cut operating costs during the state's fiscal crisis.

    Court system spokeswoman Mara Rabinowitz says the new schedule is indefinite.

    Officials say the closures will save the state about $2 million a year. Officials also expect the closures to yield a 4 percent cut in employee salaries. Workers will be on unpaid furlough during the closures.

    Some designated courts will be open for time-reliant proceedings as well as some emergency proceedings such as petitions for domestic violence protective orders.

    In-custody arraignments will still be held at the Anchorage jail on Friday afternoons.

    Officials say other cost-saving actions that have been implemented include reducing the court system's workforce by 9 percent through attrition.

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