Alaska News Nightly: February 13, 2014
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In 2013, the state paid nearly a million dollars for lawmakers to fly across Alaska, across the country, and in some cases, around the world. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that legislative travel costs went up nearly 50 percent last year.
Several members of the Alaska Legislature sent a letter of support earlier this month to the head of the company looking at developing the controversial Pebble Mine in the Bristol Bay region. The letter was signed by 8 lawmakers including the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.
State transportation officials have selected a preferred route for a mid-town Anchorage road connecting the University of Alaska and two city hospitals with major traffic arteries. The municipality and the state are partners in the project, along with landholders in what is called the U-Med district.
The U.S. Army is investigating the death of an Alaska-based soldier from Illinois. Army officials say 24-year-old Sgt. Okan Murat Cetinbag died at an Anchorage hospital Tuesday evening after being removed from life support.
In Washington, D.C. the Senate Indian Affairs Committee yesterday reviewed a controversial report on Native American law-and-order that portrays the high rates of violence in rural Alaska, particularly against Native women and children, as a national disgrace. While Alaska’s senators agreed the gaps in law enforcement are deplorable, the long-standing dispute over tribal jurisdiction in the state hangs over the search for solutions.
Alaska could soon have a Human Breast Milk Bank. The Milk Bank would operate under the Alaska Blood Bank and supply the state with donor milk. The Blood Bank has submitted a proposal to their board and is awaiting a decision. KNOM’s Anna Rose MacArthur reports.
Two local businessmen have come up with an early design concept for a prime piece of real estate in the Capital City. The so-called subport property, near the corner of Egan Dr. and Whittier St., has been vacant for more than a decade. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority owns the bulk of the proposed development site. The question remains: Is the authority ready to let it go?
Dog mushing is Alaska’s official state sport, but not everyone can just jump on a sled and go. KUAC’s Dan Bross reports on a new Fairbanks non-profit organization aimed at getting people with disabilities out mushing.