Alaska News Nightly: January 28, 2014
Begich Pushing To Restore Veteran Benefits
Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC
Veterans and military members in Alaska and around the country have been outraged at Congress since December, when lawmakers passed a budget that would trim their retirement benefits, starting in 2015. All three members of Alaska’s Congressional delegation voted for that budget, even though they oppose the military pension decrease. Senator Mark Begich today stood with a group of veterans before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing and pledged to restore the nearly $6 billion decrease.
USDA Under Secretary Patrice Kunesh Visits Bethel Region
Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel
Rural Alaska’s infrastructure is young. Many homes still use honey buckets. A lot of the funding to build the infrastructure comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA funds water and sewer projects, as well as housing, energy, and communications projects and even ones that support growing local food.
Drug Court Could Offer Jail Alternative
Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks
A Fairbanks substance abuse counselor is pushing for the state to consider an alternative to jail for drug offenders. The effort is in response to a steady stream of young heroin addicts, some of whom end up in jail.
Temperature Records Fall Across Alaska
Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage
Temperature records fell across the state yesterday. With highs in the 40s, 50s and 60s, much of the state is experiencing weather that feels more like May or June than January.
Warm Winter Brings Open Water To Y-K Delta
Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel
Warm temperatures have depleted Alaska’s snowpack and melted river ice. And residents of the Yukon Kuskokwim delta have noticed more open water in recent weeks.
Biofuel Could Help Lessen Rural Energy Costs
Anne Hillman, APRN – Anchorage
The community of Tok hosts a thick, growing forest of spruce trees, and a thinning, shrinking population of people and businesses. Like elsewhere in rural Alaska, high-energy costs and a lack of jobs are causing people to leave. But the trees may be the solution to bringing people back.
NIOSH Tacking Fishing Industry Injuries
Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska
For more than 20 years, NIOSH has been working to prevent accidental deaths in the fishing industry. Now, these safety experts are tackling injuries – the kind fishermen are used to getting every season.
Board Of Fish Ponders Low Salmon Run Solutions
Johanna Eurich, APRN Contributor
The Alaska Board of Fish will begin deliberations on the Cook Inlet fisheries in Anchorage next week. One of the more difficult issues before the board is the declining King salmon runs and demands by sports fishing interests to shut down the commercial catch of reds to let every precious king into the Kenai River system.