Alaska News

Price tag on LIO sale: $37M

The developer says the sale would save the state $2,052,000 over the next nine years of the existing lease, and eliminates the potential for lawsuits if legislators walk away from the agreement. Download Audio

Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Feb. 5, 2016

State seeks to charge Bill Allen in federal sex case; Alaska DOC to be reviewed; public testimony: keep state hands off of dividends; Alaska Native’s discuss what ‘Eskimo’ means to them; slumping Canadian dollar means big loss for Haines, Skagway; AK local start-up leverages social media to bring beard oil to Alaskans; 49 Voices, EJ David of Anchorage Download Audio

State seeks power to prosecute Bill Allen on federal trafficking charge

Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards says the state wants authority to pursue charges against former VECO boss Bill Allen for allegedly transporting a young woman across state lines for sex. The state has tried before, but in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch today, Richards cites a new law that requires her to allow the state to pursue the federal case, or provide a detailed explanation why she won’t. Download Audio

Alaska DOC to be reviewed by newly appointed Commissioner

All prison programs in Alaska's correctional institutions will be reviewed, according to newly appointed Corrections Commissioner Dean Williams. Williams is also the co-author of an administrative report released last year that detailed deficiencies in the current system. Download Audio

AK: Local start-up leverages social media to bring beard oil to Alaskans

Two local musicians in Anchorage are diving beards-first into the business of male grooming products. They're going for a style reminiscent of Don Draper mixed with well-groomed mountain man. I spent an afternoon at company – or apartment kitchen – headquarters to find out a little bit more. Download Audio

Alaska Native’s discuss what ‘Eskimo’ means to them

After Alaska Airlines unveiled a new look for their airplanes and website many Alaska Natives took offense to a phrase they with their new marketing campaign. The phrase that sparked a controversy and a new round of conversations about what the word “Eskimo” means to Alaska Natives. Download Audio

Slumping Canadian dollar means big loss for Haines, Skagway

The Canadian dollar continues to hover around $0.72 U.S. That means locals in Haines and Skagway might not see as many Yukon license plates this summer. With the lagging loonie comes the loss of Canadian business for local shops and tour operators, who are now trying to figure out how to cope. Download Audio

Public testimony: Keep state hands off of dividends

Alaskans don’t want to see large cuts to their annual Permanent Fund dividends. At least, that was the message most people delivered Thursday night about Gov. Bill Walker’s plan for the fund. Download Audio

Anchorage paramedic aids refugees in Greece

Anchorage resident Teresa Gray just returned from volunteering in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Gray is a retired paramedic who was moved to volunteer for three weeks in January with a relief organization based in Ireland, after she saw the tragic and widely circulated photograph of a small refugee boy who died and washed up on a beach. Gray had never assisted with an international relief effort before. She says the refugees who are fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq pay Turkish Smugglers 1500 dollars a person to get to Lesvos.

Understanding culture through Alaska literature

Literature helps us understand our world, ourselves and each other and Alaska is full of great authors. Tlingit author Ernestine Hayes will discuss her book Blonde Indian and the deeper understanding that can come from reading about lives that are different from our own. APRN: Tuesday, 2/9 at 10:00am

49 Voices: EJ David of Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from EJ David, a Psychology professor from UAA and keynote speaker at the First Alaskans Institute 2016 Racial Equity Summit.

Ohio rookie to go out first for Yukon Quest race

The order is set for tomorrow’s start of the Yukon Quest. The 23 mushers, slated to begin the race in downtown Fairbanks, drew numbers Thursday night to determine the running order. The first person to leave for Whitehorse on Saturday will be a 19-year-old rookie from Ohio.

Breakfast offered in Sitka School District for all students

It’s often called the most important meal of the day but sometimes kids don’t get the chance to eat breakfast before heading to class. Sitka School District wanted to change that this year and started offering breakfast for all students. This is the first year the high school has offered breakfast and that Sitka School District has offered it to students at all five of its schools.

The next steps for DOC

Governor Walker recently announced Dean Williams as the new commissioner of the Department of Corrections. This week on Alaska Edition we will talk about the future of the Department of Corrections and the steps the new commissioner plans to take to better the system. Listen Now:

Feds announce tracking requirements for seafood imports

The National Marine Fisheries Service today announced that it is implementing a new tracking program for seafood imports, meant to help combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud. Importers will have to track where fish was caught, the type of gear that was used and where it was landed.

Troopers seize illegal drugs, stolen guns at home in Tok

An estimated $35,000 in illegal drugs and at least 15 stolen guns have been seized by Alaska State Troopers serving a search warrant in Tok.

Report: Police acted properly in incident with autistic man

An independent investigation into a physical encounter between Kodiak police officers and an autistic man has determined that the three officers responded professionally.

Low energy prices a double-edged sword for industry

Low energy prices may help Alaska LNG compete against other prospective natural gas export projects around the world.

Final cannabis laws hammered out in Anchorage

During public testimony, residents gave feedback on the finer points of the zoning and licence requirements nearing their final form.

Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

Obama proposes new oil tax; Medicaid decision hangs on a word; Hanley steps down; Hanley's departure comes at critical time for Edgecumbe; Wal-Mart sticking with policy; Kenai wants new school; Smithsonian to explore crashes. Download Audio

Obama proposes big new tax on oil

President Obama wants to impose a $10-per-barrel tax on crude oil. An industry adovcate calls it an attempt to punish oil companies. Sen. Lisa Murkowski gave it "absolutely no chance" of passing Congress. Download Audio

Education commissioner Mike Hanley stepping down

Mike Hanley is stepping down as Alaska’s education commissioner. Governor Bill Walker announced the leadership change in a press release Thursday morning. Download Audio

New TV series goes inside the yellow tape with Alaska’s plane crash investigators

A new documentary-style series by the Smithsonian Channel goes behind the scenes with investigators trying to figure out why planes crashed near Juneau, Knik Arm and other Alaska locations. A producer of “Alaska Aircrash Investigations” says it’s not another reality show. The TV crew had unprecedented access to information that’s not yet public. Download Audio

Fate of Medicaid expansion hangs on interpretation of one word

The Legislative Council's case against Medicaid expansion hangs on the interpretation of the word 'required' in Alaska statute. That's a point all parties agreed on during oral arguments Thursday morning in an Anchorage courtroom. Download Audio

Wal-Mart wouldn’t allow job fair information in store

About a minute’s walk from Wal-Mart, a small room at Gruening Park has been transformed intoa mini job fair. Up to 168 Juneau Wal-Mart employees could lose their jobs this week, so the state organized the Jan. 29 job fair to help. “We’ve got TSA, Fred Meyer, Verizon, AT&T, Home Depot, and IGA,” said Ray Brogdon, an employee at the state’s unemployment office. He says the hope is that Wal-Mart associates can find new jobs before they have to step into his office. Download Audio

Hanley’s departure comes at critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe

Education Commissioner Mike Hanley’s departure comes at a critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe, the state run boarding school in Sitka. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is interested in piloting an accelerated, STEM-focused high school on the campus. As details of that proposed takeover unfold, Mt. Edgecumbe administration was looking to Hanley as one of their defenders. Download Audio

Kachemak Selo highlights need for new school

A new school for the town of Kachemak Selo is at the top of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s list of funding requests to the legislature. But with the state in financial crisis due to declining oil revenue, their request may go unmet. The tiny Russian Old Believer village is at the head of Kachemak Bay. Download Audio

K300 raises 2017 purse to $150,000

The Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race Committee has once again raised its purse, maintaining the race’s money pot as the second highest in the state for sled dog racing behind the Iditarod. Download Audio

U.S. prosecutors recommend 20 years in prison for Salard

Federal prosecutors are recommending a 20-year prison term followed by a lifetime of supervised release for former Wrangell doctor Greg Salard ahead of his sentencing hearing next week.

Mysterious diesel fuel spill at Unalaska boat harbor

Local Coast Guard personnel are investigating a diesel fuel spill at the Carl E. Moses boat harbor. The spill was discovered on Monday afternoon, when the crew of a neighboring vessel noticed it and notified the Coast Guard's Dutch Harbor of

Soldotna martial arts teacher indicted on sexual abuse of a minor charges

A martial arts teacher in Soldotna was indicted by a Kenai Grand Jury on Wednesday on one count of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, one count of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of unlawful exploitation of a minor.

Wal-Mart wouldn’t allow job fair information in store

Wal-Mart says it’s trying to do right by its soon-to-be-laid-off employees in Juneau. For example, it’s flying in trainers to help with job skills. But it’s also been strictly sticking to a corporate policy that left some outgoing employees in the dark about a state-organized job fair held specifically for its employees.

Senate takes public testimony on Walker’s Permanent Fund bill

Alaskans get their first chance today to tell legislators what they think of the centerpiece of Gov. Bill Walker’s fiscal plan for the state.

Sen. Sullivan co-sponsors bill to split 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill.

Proposed bill would protect Chilkat River, among others

The Chilkat Indian Village in Klukwan is trying to preserve its main salmon resource – the Chilkat River — with the highest environmental protection available.If the river is named an Outstanding National Resource Water, it would be protected from activities that degrade water quality. But there is no system in place in Alaska to evaluate this kind of water protection request. That could change with a bill in the State Legislature that would place these types of decisions in the hands of lawmakers.

Anchorage paramedic travels to Greece to help with rescues

Anchorage resident Teresa Gray just returned from volunteering in a refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece. Gray is a retired paramedic who was moved to volunteer for three weeks in January with a relief organization based in Ireland, after she saw the tragic and widely circulated photograph of a small refugee boy who died and washed up on a beach. Download Audio

Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Permanent Fund earnings targeted; AK House passes military code reforms; Court to hear Medication expansion; ANSP has ideas for Mt. Edgecumbe; Zika low risk in Alaska; First Alaskans Institute hosts equity summit; Anchorage paramedic travels to Greece to help with rescues

Three pitches for closing state budget deficit with the Permanent Fund

Gov. Bill Walker has proposed using the Permanent Fund to pay for much of the state’s annual budget. But Walker isn’t alone in eyeing the $50 billion account. Lawmakers have introduced two other bills to pay for part of the budget using the fund. Download Audio

Mat-Su takes up pot codes

Mat Su Borough commercial marijuana codes are ready for Assembly debate, but some want the panel to hold off until after an October election.

AK House passes military code of justice reforms

The state House today passed a bill designed to strengthen the state's Military Code of Justice. It passed on a 39-0 vote with one member absent, and now goes to the state Senate. Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, a Republican from Anchorage, says the revisions create a state code which is similar to the federal code. The code would apply to military members in Alaska not covered by federal regulations, such as many members of the Alaska National Guard. Download Audio

Court will hear oral arguments on Medicaid expansion

The issue of Medicaid expansion will be back before a Superior Court in Anchorage Thursday morning. The Republican led legislative council sued last summer to stop Governor Bill Walker from unilaterally expanding Medicaid. Download Audio

ANSEP proposes to run Mt. Edgecumbe as 3-year STEM school

Lawmakers this week heard a proposal from the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to turn Mt. Edgecumbe High School into a three-year accelerated program. Download Audio

Low risk of Zika virus in Alaska

The World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global health emergency this week. Experts believe there is a strong link between the virus and a serious birth defect, but that the risk to most Alaskans is low. Download Audio

Summit explores achieving racial equity in Alaska

The First Alaskans Institute hosted a Racial Equity Summit in Anchorage this week. The event's dialogues focused on what racial equity is and how we can start to achieve it. Part of the first step -- having difficult conversations. Download Audio

Bill aims to split Ninth Circuit Court

The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill.

Ortiz gives an update on the legislative session

The Alaska Legislature is about two weeks into the current session. KRBD’s Leila Kheiry talked with House District 36 Rep. Dan Ortiz to get a sense of how the session is going, so far. Rep. Ortiz says the atmosphere in Juneau is pretty positive, with most lawmakers focused on resolving the state’s $3.5 billion deficit rather than delaying action.

Former Board of Fisheries nominee pleads not guilty to fraud, theft

A former Alaska Board of Fisheries nominee has pleaded not guilty to 17 felony and misdemeanor charges that he fraudulently obtained commercial fishing permits and Alaska Permanent Fund dividend payments. He withdrew his name from consideration suddenly last February and faced criminal charges that he illegally obtained resident hunting and fishing licenses in Montana.

Kachemak Selo: An Unmet Priority in Kenai School District

A new school for the town of Kachemak Selo is at the top of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s list of funding requests to the legislature. But with the state in financial crisis due to declining oil revenue, their request may go unmet. The tiny Russian Old Believer village is at the head of Kachemak Bay

Revision to Kodiak law bans camping, lying on sidewalks

Kodiak officials have passed a revision to an ordinance that targets the city's homeless population. The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the revision approved by the City Council Thursday prohibits aggressive panhandling and camping, sitting or lying on public sidewalks.

Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016

New earthquake warning system unveiled; pot laws missing key language; BP announces layoffs; deadline hits for LIO building; insurer proposes fix for health market; Walker makes fish board appointments; Wasilla shooting deaths investigated; Fairbanks endures dry conditions; Yukon Quest gets underway Saturday