Alaska News Nightly: March 21, 2014

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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HB77 Stalls In Legislature

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With less than a month to go in the session, the Parnell administration is in a similar spot with HB77 as it was last year: The opposition is vocal, key senators are on the fence, and movement on the controversial permitting bill has stalled.

Canada Asks U.S. To Pay For Alaska Highway Reconstruction

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The government of Canada’s Yukon Territory is asking Congress to pay for reconstruction of the Alaska Highway. Premier Darrell Pasloski  was in Washington, DC, recently to make the case. The United States and Canada agreed in 1977 to work together to improve the northern section of the Highway, as well as the spur from Haines Junction to the border near Haines. The U.S. agreed to pay for construction and Canada would pay maintenance and operation.

Treadwell Announces Campaign Changes

The Associated Press

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Mead Treadwell has parted ways with his campaign manager.

Spokesman Fred Brown says it “frees up a lot of room” for Treadwell to focus on other areas and frees up the campaign’s finances.

In addition to parting ways with Adam Jones, Treadwell also said one of his spokesmen, Rick Gorka, is also leaving.

Brown says Treadwell has a strong campaign structure. But he says Treadwell wants Alaska donors, and going that route, there’s a limit to what you can raise.

Treadwell said long-time friend Peter Christensen would take over day-to-day leadership of the campaign until a new manager is named.

Board of Fish Approves Kuskokwim Dipnetting

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Kuskowkim fisherman will be able to use dipnets this summer to target other species of salmon during periods of king salmon closures. The Board of Fish approved the emergency petition this morning.

Alaska Railroad Celebrating 100th Birthday

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Alaska Railroad is celebrating its 100th birthday. Anchorage historian and author Charles Wohlforth is writing the history of why and how the federal government got in to the railroad business in Alaska. The idea was to wrestle control of resources away from the “Alaska syndicate,” a private railroad and coal monopoly run by the wealthy Guggenheim and Morgan families.

Wohlforth told APRN’s Lori Townsend it was a political dust up that started in the Roosevelt administration and continued on through Taft and Woodrow Wilson.

Valdez Museum Prepares Commemorates 1964 Quake

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The Valdez Museum is commemorating next week’s 50th anniversary of the 1964 Earthquake with the launch of two exhibits.

AK: Didgeridoo

Emily Files, APRN – Ketchikan

You might not expect an ancient Aboriginal instrument from Australia to find its way to Alaska. But walk around downtown Ketchikan on a warm day and you may hear 15-year-old Kinani Halvorsen playing her didgeridoo. She’s played the unusual instrument for three years. And she hopes to bring the didgeridoo into mainstream band practice.

300 Villages: Tenakee Springs

This week, we’re heading to the southeastern village of Tenakee Springs, a snowbird community, stretched along the beach of Tenakee Inlet. Don Pegues is mayor of Tenakee Springs.