Alaska News Nightly: January 19, 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.

Download Audio

Gov. Walker Outlines Priorities For Legislative Session

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Alaska Legislature gavels in tomorrow afternoon for the 29th session. Lawmakers – along with all Alaskans will get a better sense of Governor Bill Walker’s agenda for the next 90 days in two speeches this week – the State of the State and the State of the budget.

Walker took some time today to talk about his priorities. He says he has a few guiding principles as he crafts a budget this year.

With Focus On Budget, Social Issues May Be Left Behind

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Lawmakers have a lot to accomplish this session. There’s the multi-billion dollar deficit the state faces. There’s also work to be done on Alaska’s marijuana laws, after voters decided to legalize and regulate the drug in November. The full agenda means other controversial subjects- like abortion- may take a backseat.

How Will The Keystone XL Pipeline Affect The Future Of Alaska’s Crude?

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The fight over the Keystone XL Pipeline is likely to heat up in Congress this week. Senate Bill 1 would permit the pipeline to cross the Canadian border into Montana, moving Alberta tar sands oil. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, as the new chairman of the Energy Committee, is leading the Republican charge. But, some Alaskans say she’s pulling for the wrong project.

Environmental Groups Support EPA’s Proposal on Chemical Dispersant Use

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

The Environmental Protection Agency released a proposal last week to review the use of chemical dispersants in oil spill response. An environmental group based in Homer was part of the first push to change the existing dispersant rules.

Lonnie Dupre Returns Safely From Historic Denali Climb

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Climber Lonnie Dupre has returned to Talkeetna after becoming the first soloist to ever summit Denali in the month of January.

Bethel’s Pete Kaiser Wins Kuskokwim 300

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Bethel’s Pete Kaiser is king of the Kuskowkim.  Kaiser and his team crossed the finish line of the Kuskokwim 300 in Bethel at 5:31 Sunday morning with a team of nine dogs in the 36th running of the race. Kaiser is the first local musher in 29 years to win the Kusko 300.