Alaska News

Alaska Republicans sue to loosen rules on campaign contributions

Republicans in Alaska are suing in federal court to overturn the state’s strict limits on donations to political candidates and groups. Download Audio

Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2015

Feds say TAPS can't raise rates to cover over-budget upgrades; New rules may help small energy projects sell to the grid; Memorandum to give Alaska bigger voice in transboundary mine permitting; Court: Free flights for anti-Pebble candidates were a no-no; Alaska Republicans sue to loosen rules on campaign contributions; 'Gay' book dispute erupts at Wasilla Library; Anchorage sees property tax hike as 2016 budget sails through; Landing a lamprey: A bizarre fishery opens on Yukon; Recovering from addiction, helping others do the same Download Audio

Alaska to have bigger voice in transboundary mine permitting

Alaska and British Columbia on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding giving the state a larger role in transboundary mine permitting decisions. Download Audio

New rules may help small energy projects sell to the grid

New rules could make it possible to develop more alternative energy in Alaska, by making it easier for independent projects to sell their power to the grid. Download Audio

Court: Free ‘anti-Pebble’ flights for candidates were a no-no

The Alaska Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that a private air service violated campaign finance laws when it offered flights to two Lake and Peninsula Borough assembly candidates in September 2010. Download Audio

‘Gay’ book dispute erupts at Wasilla Library

Some Wasilla parents are upset that book with sexual content is in the youth reading section of local library. Download Audio

Anchorage sees property tax hike as 2016 budget sails through

During its Tuesday night meeting, the Anchorage Assembly approved the city's 2016 budget, which totals just under $481 million dollars. Download Audio

Landing a lamprey: A fickle fishery opens on Yukon

The annual run of lamprey is headed up the Yukon River. Diverse commercial markets for the snake-like creature have opened up over the past few years… but actually catching them can be tricky. You need solid river ice and perfect timing. Download Audio

Recovering from addiction, helping others do the same

Alaska’s capital city is battling addiction. The Juneau community continues to face substance-related deaths and near deaths. Three women tell their stories about addiction, long-term recovery and a rally that gave them hope. Download Audio

Search for missing Wasilla skier stalled

Missing skier Liam Walsh is thought to be lost in avalanche-prone Hatcher Pass.

Tulsequah mine won’t have to restart water treatment

Canadian regulators say the Tulsequah Chief Project, about 40 miles northeast of Juneau, has agreed to reduce pollution leaking into a nearby river. But the controversial project won’t have to restart a shuttered water-treatment plant many Southeast Alaskans want back in operation.

DEC asks for Fairbanks, North Pole air to be evaluated separately

The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation is requesting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency no longer consider Fairbanks and North Pole together when it comes to air quality regulation.

Extreme avalanche danger at Hatcher Pass

A backcountry avalanche warning is in effect through Wednesday in the Hatcher Pass area. A unique set of conditions has made backcountry travel extremely perilous.

Nome 4th-grader wins 2016 Iditarod button contest

While the last great race is still months away, the Iditarod button design contest already has a champion: Ayla Knodel, a fourth-grader at Nome Elementary School.

Nome officially recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Amidst the season’s second blizzard that left schools and businesses closed, Nome’s city council hunkered down for their monthly meeting on Monday. And it’s a good thing they didn’t give into the weather and cancel, because on the agenda was a resolution to formerly change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Alaska gets $2.9M grant from ‘Investing in Innovation’ fund

The Association of Alaska School Boards has been selected to receive a $2.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Investing in Innovation” fund.

Millrock calls Alaska Peninsula copper-gold exploration ‘disappointing’

Millrock Resources announced the outcome of their copper and gold exploration at the Dry Creek site north of Chignik Bay last week.

Alaska beach sculptures represent emotional vulnerabilities

Dozens of sculptures made of straw, cement, plaster and burlap are spread across an Anchorage beach in a public art installation that is focusing on mental health.

Feds say TAPS owners can’t raise rates to pay for over-budget upgrades

A federal commission says the oil companies that own the trans-Alaska pipeline can’t raise rates to cover cost overruns for an upgrade that went horribly over-budget.

UAA, Western Kentucky to face off for Shootout title

There were no lead changes and no tie scores at either game last night. Western Kentucky had no trouble with George Mason in the opener.

Troopers ID man found dead on Shuyak Island

Authorities have released the identity of the man found shot to death near a lodge on a remote island northwest of Kodiak.

Walker appoints Crosby to Anchorage Superior Court

Gov. Bill Walker has appointed attorney Dani Crosby to fill an upcoming Anchorage Superior Court vacancy.

State buys out TransCanada’s interest in gas project

The state of Alaska has completed its acquisition of TransCanada Corp.'s interest in a major gas project. Gov. Bill Walker, in a release, called it an historic day.

A Closer Look: Brother Francis Shelter

The scene outside of Brother Francis Shelter in downtown Anchorage can seem like chaos, but walking inside tells a different story. Stay the night at the emergency shelter and learn from some of the people who sleep, volunteer, and work there during this edition of A Closer Look. KSKA: Friday, Nov. 27, at 2:00 p.m. Download Audio:

‘Simply Awesome’ – Kodiak family opens bakery from their home

There are a lot of small businesses in Kodiak, but few may be as small -- or smell as good -- as Simply Awesome Bakery.

Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015

Pebble withdraws more third party subpoenas; Obama honors Alaskan who turned grief into service; UAF scientist pioneers anti-collision systems for space; High-risk avalanche conditions stall search for missing skier at Hatcher Pass; After a health crisis, help navigating the complicated medical system; Study: Many Alaska teachers underpaid, but money isn't everything; Thanksgiving Blessings offers food, hope and exercise plan; Reviving an endangered language in the age of social media Download Audio

Pebble withdraws more third party subpoenas

The Pebble Partnership has dropped many of its subpoenas to individuals and organizations it believes may have communicated with the Environmental Protection Agency regarding protections for the Bristol Bay watershed as part of Pebble’s lawsuit alleging the agency acted improperly. Download Audio

Obama honors Alaskan who turned grief to service

President Obama has bestowed the Medal of Freedom on Alaskan Bonnie Carroll. She’s a military widow who founded a service organization to help family members of the fallen. Many of the 16 others awarded the medal today are household names or Hollywood icons. Carroll may not be as well known, but her life was already cinematic. Download Audio

Avalanche shuts Hatcher Pass Road; Skier missing

Recent warm temperatures and rain on top of snow has created unstable snow conditions at Hatcher Pass, resulting in numerous slides. Download Audio

After a health crisis, help navigating the complicated medical system

The road from illness to recovery is often difficult. In the middle of a major health crisis, patients are expected to navigate the complicated health care system. A pilot program called Alaska Innovative Medicine in Anchorage is rounding out its first year trying to improve that journey for patients while also spending fewer healthcare dollars. Download Audio

Study: Many Alaska teachers underpaid, but pay isn’t everything

Many Alaska school districts don’t offer high enough salaries to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers. That’s according to a new study that looks at a possible statewide teacher salary schedule. But researchers found that a statewide pay schedule would be too expensive, and wouldn’t do enough to solve Alaska’s teacher retention problem. Download Audio

Thanksgiving Blessings offers food, hope and exercise plan

For the 31st year in a row, Central Lutheran Church in downtown Anchorage is providing Thanksgiving dinners for people in need. They started with 39 families -- and now, through a partnership with the Food Bank of Alaska -- they serve 1,400. But it takes a lot to get a complete turkey dinner back home. Download Audio

Reviving an endangered language in the age of social media

In Alaska, the number of fluent Haida speakers has dwindled down into the single digits. It’s been called an endangered language. But in Juneau, one group is trying to change that. Haida Language Learners is using YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram to reach a wider audience. Download Audio

UAF scientist pioneers anti-collision systems for space

In Alaska we understand how forecasting weather is important. But it turns out, in space, it plays a critical role as well. A University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist is helping satellite jockeys avoid collisions. Download Audio

Sitka museum weeds out collection

The Sitka Historical Society and Museum has been acquiring objects, documents and photos for more than 50 years. And, like any collector, there comes a time to clean house.

Tesoro to buy Flint Hills assets in Anchorage, Fairbanks

Tesoro Corp. has announced that its Alaska affiliate will purchase a portion of Flint Hills Resources assets in Fairbanks and Anchorage.

Troopers suspend search for missing Unalakleet woman

Alaska State Troopers have suspended the search for a Unalakleet elder missing for six days, according to a dispatch released Monday afternoon.

Kenai Peninsula CASA progam seeks volunteers

The Kenai Peninsula CASA program is recruiting volunteers. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. The program assigns CASA’s to speak for children caught in the middle of cases often dealing with neglect and abuse.

Budget and birth control before Anchorage Assembly

After two rounds of public testimony and Assembly amendments, The Berkowitz Administration's $481 million budget goes up for a vote.

With replacements and resignation, Walker consolidates control of gas line project

You don't normally associate "state gas line corporation" and "drama" - but this weekend, the state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corporation was the source of all kinds of drama. Download Audio:

Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

With leadership overhaul, Walker consolidates gas line power; Costco won't sell genetically engineered salmon, for now; Starving sea birds stranded in Anchorage, Mat-Su; Sitka tribal council pens FBI, alleging racism in police dept; Fairbanks building awaits demolition... or revitalization?; Juneau high school sleep-out raises $3K for homeless youth; Family remembers man who died at AFN; Ailing Coast Guard cutter gets replacement with same name Download Audio

Costco won’t sell genetically engineered salmon ‘at this time’

Costco has been the target of a massive consumer campaign opposed to genetically engineered salmon. Download Audio

Starving sea birds pop up in Anchorage, Mat-Su

An increase in dead or starving common murres has expanded beyond coastal communities and into urban areas in recent weeks. An Anchorage bird rehabilitation center that usually sees one or two murres a year has gotten 20 this month -- all were starving. Download Audio

Sitka tribal council pens FBI, alleging racism in police dept

Sitka’s tribal council wrote a letter last week to the Anchorage division of the FBI, regarding a tasing incident of a Native Alaska teenager in the Sitka jail last year. The letter alleges that prejudice exists within the Sitka Police Department and asks the FBI to consult the tribe during the investigation. Download Audio

Fairbanks building awaits demolition… or revitalization?

A group of Fairbanks city leaders are working to find money to demolish the Polaris building. They’ve grown frustrated awaiting action on the deteriorating downtown high rise. Download Audio

Juneau high school sleep-out raises $3,000 for homeless youth

About 200 kids and teenagers in Juneau are homeless. There are students without adequate or regular housing in every school in the district. This past weekend, high school students slept out in the cold to raise awareness of the mostly invisible issue. Download Audio

Family remembers man who died at AFN

Anthony Choquette’s brother-in-law said the family did everything they could to help him before he committed suicide last month at the Alaska Federation of Natives convention in Anchorage. Download Audio

Ailing Coast Guard cutter gets replacement with same name

There are now two Coast Guard cutters that carry the name Munro.

Mat-Su Borough employees settle out of court

A dispute over Mat-Su Borough emergency services workers retirement benefits has been settled out of court. According to the Borough, nine workers involved in the dispute will be paid a total of $160,311 plus attorney fees.

Unalaska museum closes during search for new staff

Unalaska's Museum of the Aleutians will be closed for the foreseeable future. The museum's board of directors has decided to keep the museum closed while the board conducts a search for a new executive director, collections manager and education programs director.