By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaskans began receiving their Permanent Fund Dividend checks Wednesday. Nearly every resident will receive $992, which some are finding a boost to help pay bills that have piled up because of the coronavirus. Others spend the money on big-ticket items like new big-screen TVs or snowmachines, while those in rural areas use it to combat the high cost of living. There are fears that these checks could be going away as state lawmakers continue to dip into the oil wealth fund to help pay for state government in a budget deficit, exacerbated by low oil prices.