Alaska News Nightly: January 12, 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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Transportation Commish Ousted Following Defense Of Project

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

The head of the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, Commissioner Pat Kemp, stepped down today.

Young, Credited With Effectiveness, Says Personality is Part of his M.O.

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska Congressman Don Young was sworn in today for his 22nd term, having missed the main swearing-in last week due to the death of his brother. Recent research by two political scientists say Young is one of the 20 most effective lawmakers in the U.S. House.  Nationally, though, he is more known for his big, sometimes brash personality.

Lonnie Dupre Becomes First Ever January Denali Soloist

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

History has been made on North America’s highest peak. On Sunday, Lonnie Dupre became the first solo climber to summit Denali in the month of January.

Juneau Assembly Considers Moratorium On Legal Pot Shops

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

The Juneau Assembly will vote Monday on two measures restricting the manufacture, sale and use of legal marijuana in the city.

Anchorage Legislators Consider Ways To Cut Capital Costs

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Before heading to Juneau, Anchorage Legislators are listening to community input on ways to cut state spending. They hosted a listening session on Saturday at the Loussac Library. Some community members urged the legislature to cut local capital projects, like the U-Med District Northern Access Road.

Adak Fish Plant Seeks Additional Operators

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

The community of Adak depends on its fish processing plant for jobs and tax revenue. But they’ve struggled to keep the lights on over the years. Now, the plant’s latest operator is looking for new partners to help shoulder the financial burden.

News-Miner to Begin Requiring Electronic Subscriptions for Frequent Online Visitors

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner will soon begin charging a fee to frequent visitors to its website. The so-called “paywalls” are a growing trend in the U.S. newspaper industry, used by some as way to recoup revenue lost to online news sites. But many in the newspaper industry disagree over whether paywalls hurt or help online readership. And that disagreement is being played out between the Alaska’s two top news sites.

Ice Sculptures Take Shape In Downtown Anchorage

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Artists wielding chainsaws and drills spent three days this weekend carving blocks of ice into salmon and sea-dragons in downtown Anchorage.