Alaska News Nightly: January 23, 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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McGuire Introduces Bill To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Republican Senator Lesil McGuire of Anchorage has introduced the first large-scale bill regulating marijuana like alcohol in Alaska.  The measure includes fine points that lawmakers, police, and the public need to adapt November’s Ballot Measure 2 into a legal framework.

Anchorage Assembly Addresses Potential Army Downsizing                             

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

A pending military draw down could take more than 11,000 troops off of bases in Alaska.

Walker Names Transportation Commissioner

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

There’s a new boss at the state agency overseeing, roads, airports and ferries. Gov. Bill Walker on Friday named Marc Luiken as his commissioner of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Walker Outlines Plans For Budget Cuts

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With Alaska facing a multi-billion-dollar shortfall, Gov. Bill Walker is proposing 5 percent cuts to agency funding. He described his fiscal plan in his State of the Budget address on Thursday night – a speech that hasn’t been given since 2006.

Murkowski, Sullivan Agree Climate is Changing but Split on Naming Cause

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

The U.S. Senate spent the week voting on a raft of amendments to the Keystone XL pipeline bill. Democrats took the opportunity to force votes on climate change.

XS Platinum Agent Doesn’t Appear at Arraignment

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

An arraignment was held Wednesday in federal court in Anchorage for the five XS Platinum Inc corporate officials indicted on charges of violating the Clean Water Act and making false statements to federal officials.

ARCTREX Tests Arctic Oil Spill Tracking Techniques

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Offshore oil and gas exploration has become increasingly prominent over the past several years. But questions remain about how effective response efforts would be if there’s an oil spill. Last summer, scientists began tackling one piece of the puzzle – tracking how spilled oil would move and spread in the Arctic Ocean.

AK: Rescue Training

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

In 2014, Alaska’s Air National Guard rescued more than 90 people. They picked up individuals from downed aircrafts, snow machines that fell through ice, and lost hikers in the wilderness. The search and rescue squadrons also deploy abroad providing rescue capabilities for the Air Force in Afghanistan, Iraq and even Djibouti in East Africa. Many of their skills are honed during training missions around the state.

300 Villages: Lower Kalskag

This week, we’re heading to Lower Kalskag – a community of about 250 people on the Kuskokwim River. Janet Evan is the city clerk in Lower Kalskag.