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Alaska News Nightly: April 8, 2014

April 8, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Alaska Dispatch To Buy Anchorage Daily News

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska Dispatch is making an aggressive move to position itself at the forefront of the state’s media landscape. It announced Tuesday that it’s buying the Anchorage Daily News – Alaska’s largest newspaper.

Can an Aggressive Russia Remain Our Nice Arctic Neighbor?

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Pro-Russian activists seized public buildings in eastern Ukraine this week, and U.S. officials say they suspect the actions were not spontaneous but engineered by Russia. That, combined with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent annexation of Crimea has Arctic experts wondering what this means for international relations in the Arctic and if the era of cooperation with Russia is over.

Executive Orders Aim To Tighten Pay Gap

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

President Obama signed executive orders on Tuesday that aim to tighten the pay gap between men and women.

The President’s actions take place on national Equal Pay Day, a day symbolizing how long women have to work into 2014 to catch up with what men earned in 2013. Equal Pay Day originated in 1996 to raise public awareness of the wage gap.

While discrimination may contribute to Alaska’s pay gap, a state economist says other factors are just as important.

Amendment To Restructure Judicial Council Stalls Before Vote

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

A constitutional amendment that would reconfigure a commission tasked with vetting judges was pulled from a vote in the Alaska Senate on Monday and then again on Tuesday after struggling to pick up the necessary support. Under Senate Joint Resolution 21 the governor’s public appointees on the Judicial Council would outnumber the attorney members two to one.

House Strikes Retirement Plan, Funding Formula Change From Education Bill

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

The Alaska House of Representative passed a sweeping education bill Monday night, but only after removing some of its more contentious elements and adding another pot of education funding.

State Reviewing Sulfolane Cleanup Standards

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state will take another look at its cleanup standard for sulfolane contaminated water in North Pole. Last November, the Department of Environmental Conservation set a 14 parts per billion clean up threshold for groundwater tainted by historic spills at the Flint Hills North Pole Refinery.

Students Compete For Spot In National Geography Bee

Jolene Almendarez, APRN – Anchorage

Students from across the state competed in the 26th annual Alaska State Geographic Bee last week in hopes of winning a spot in this year’s national competition in Washington D.C. 101 students vied for the spot.

You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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