Alaska News Nightly: December 26, 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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Legislators Urge Governor Walker To Rein In Budget

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Alaska lawmakers sent a letter to Governor Bill Walker this week urging measures to rein in budget items. Incoming Senate President Kevin Meyer, a Republican from Anchorage and House Speaker Republican Mike Chenault of Nikiski signed the letter, along with the chairs of the finance committees for both chambers. The letter lays out suggestions such as a hiring freeze for all state departments, limiting agency travel and requesting department budgets for the first six months of 2015.

$1 Million Loan to Buy Sitka Hospital ‘Breathing Room’

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

Sitka Community Hospital will get a $1-million infusion of cash from the Sitka assembly, in order to meet short-term expenses.

A long-term solution for the hospital’s cash woes is still on the horizon.

Fire Marshals say PATC Fire Cause ‘Undetermined’

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

A report from the State Fire Marshals’ office has ruled the cause of a fire that burned the new Phillip Ayagnirvik Treatment Center, or PATC, in Bethel as ‘undetermined’. The building is owned by the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and was fully insured.

Incoming DNR Commissioner Prepares For New Position

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Mark Myers is preparing to become Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources on January 16th. He is currently Vice Chancellor of Research at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Myers has also worked for the oil industry as a petroleum geologist and for the federal government- leading the United States Geological Survey.

And he was the director of the division of oil and gas when Frank Murkowski was Governor. Myers says he made a difficult decision to resign from that job.

AK: Exploding History

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

It’s been more than 70 years since Unalaska came under attack during World War II, but you don’t have to look hard to find the remnants. The community is littered with old gunnery installations, battered Quonset huts and bunkers – some of which are being preserved for posterity.

But there’s history, and then there’s hazard, and the shells and bombs that keep washing up on Unalaska’s shores fall somewhere in between.