Alaska News Nightly: September 17, 2014

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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2014 Permanent Fund Dividend Will Be $1,884

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

In an announcement Wednesday, Governor Sean Parnell told Alaskans something they have been waiting to hear for months – the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend.

Walker-Mallott ‘Unity Ticket’ Faces Legal Challenge

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Anchorage

An officer of the Alaska Republican Party is suing Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and the Division of Elections for the decision to allow independent candidate Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallott to merge their campaigns.

Feds Investigate University of Alaska For How It Deals With Sexual Assault

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

The U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office will be visiting four campuses of the University of Alaska next month to check if the school is handling sexual violence complaints according to federal law.

The University of Alaska system is on a list of 79 post-secondary institutions around the nation being investigated for possible violations, but university officials aren’t sure why.

State OKs Linc Energy’s Tyonek Coal Exploration Plan

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The state has given the OK to a plan by Linc Energy to explore for coal in the Tyonek area.  Last month, Linc submitted an application to drill at least five exploratory wells in an area about seven miles from Tyonek, on the West side of Cook Inlet.

Energy Development Proponents Meet In Anchorage

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Proponents of energy development are in Anchorage for the 10th annual Alaska Oil and Gas Congress. Canada’s Northwest Territories Premiere Bob McCloud says Alaska and the Territories have a lot in common – great resources that are stranded in remote locations.

Ride-Sharing Service Uber Coming To Anchorage

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

A ride-sharing service called Uber will start operating in Anchorage this week. Instead of calling a taxi, people who need a ride can use a smartphone app to hail a nearby private vehicle. But taxi companies in Anchorage and around the world say it’s unfair competition.

‘Polaris’ Sculpture Is New Fairbanks Centerpiece

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The city of Fairbanks has a new centerpiece sculpture. The assemblage of silver steel spires stands between the Cushman and Barnett Street bridges, along the Chena River downtown. The sculpture called “Polaris” was created by a pair of Vancouver based artists to mirror the local environment.

Alaska’s Glaciers Shrinking Faster Than Expected

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Alaska’s glaciers are shrinking faster than scientists had thought, but glaciers that terminate in the ocean may be relatively resilient to climate change in comparison to their land-locked counterparts.  The data comes from a multi-year airborne survey conducted by NASA.

Youth Climate Lawsuit Dismissed

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW – Sitka

The Alaska Supreme Court last week dismissed a case brought by six young Alaskans, demanding the state take action on climate change. The suit was one of several filed nationwide, and the first to take its argument to a state supreme court. In dismissing the case, the Court said that climate policy isn’t an issue the judiciary can decide – it must go through the political process.

But, for the young plaintiffs and the nonprofit supporting them, the ruling included some silver linings.