Alaska News Nightly: January 5, 2015

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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Special Investigator Planned To Look Into National Guard Allegation

The Associated Press

Attorney General Craig Richards is in the process of hiring a special investigator to look into the handling of sexual assault complaints within the Alaska National Guard.

Sullivan Takes Oath Tomorrow, Rep. Young Misses First Week Due to Death of Brother

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

A new Congress begins Tuesday and that means former DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan will be sworn in as Alaska’s eighth U.S. senator since statehood. Sullivan spokesman Mike Anderson says guests for the event include Sullivan’s family, Gov. Bill Walker and several state legislators.

Legacy of Bar Break Violence Haunting Downtown Business Development

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Alcohol and late night clubs are often blamed for the frequency of bar break violence in downtown Anchorage. The last few months have seen shootings, fights, and even a massive street dance party that was cleared by police officers in riot gear. The Anchorage Assembly is casting an unusual amount of scrutiny on a pending liquor license transfer.

Blindingly Bright ‘Moose Lights’ Worry Troopers – But They’re Legal, Unregulated

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

High-intensity headlights are popular and getting more so, especially here in Alaska during the long, dark winter months. They’re called “moose lights,” because they help drivers see farther down the road than conventional headlights to spot animals and other hazards. But Alaska State Troopers say they can also blind oncoming motorists.

State Closes Bethel DEC Office

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

There is no longer an Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation office in Bethel. State officials say they closed the office just before the holidays. But the former sole employee of the office says the closure will lower the level of service to Southwest Alaska and could slow spill response time.

Post-Holiday Lull Means Less Public Attention For Homeless Needs

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Quiet after the frenzy of the holidays is a welcome change for many Alaskans, but for those who live from paycheck to paycheck or are homeless, the quiet can mean less. Less public attention to donations of clothing, food and money during the coldest part of the year. In December, Lisa Aquino took the helm as executive director for Catholic Social Services, the organization that runs Brother Francis Shelter, Claire House and other assistance programs in Anchorage.

Local Filmmaker to Document Cook Inlet Trek

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

Bretwood Higman and Erin McKittrick are well known in Alaska for taking daring expeditions with their two young children, Katmai and Lituya.  Now, a Homer filmmaker is producing a documentary about one of their most adventurous trips- around Cook Inlet.