Alaska News Nightly: January 28, 2015

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Lawmakers Scrap Bill Addressing Pot Legalization

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Law-makers in Juneau have scrapped a bill that attempted to address the first phase of full marijuana legalization in Alaska. Anchorage Republican Gabrielle LeDoux co-chairs the joint Judiciary committee and at a hearing today said they won’t move the senate or house versions of the bill.

Anchorage Assembly Bans Marijuana From Public Use

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

The Anchorage Assembly voted unanimously Tuesday night to ban public consumption of marijuana.

State To Appeal Education Funding Lawsuit Ruling

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

The State of Alaska announced today that it will appeal a final ruling by Superior Court Judge William Carey in favor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s long-held argument that the state’s required local contribution for public education violates Alaska’s Constitution.

The state also will ask for a stay on Judge Carey’s ruling while the appeal is considered by the Alaska Supreme Court.

Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday failed to land her first counterpunch at the Obama administration’s new Arctic conservation policies.

With Greater Numbers, Democrats Hope For More Leverage Over Medicaid Expansion

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

House Democrats plan to use their increase in numbers as leverage when pushing for Medicaid expansion.

Donlin Gold Closes Camp During Permitting

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Donlin Gold is shuttering its camp at the site of its gold deposit near Crooked Creek.

Sugar Creates Genetic Trouble For Coastal Alaska Natives

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The idea that traditional diets are best for coastal Alaska Native people is being further confirmed by the discovery of a gene deficiency that doesn’t allow their systems to process sugar.

Project Homeless Connect Brings Services, Information To Anchorage’s Homeless

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

More than 1,000 Anchorage residents experience homelessness every year. Though Anchorage has dozens of agencies to help people, reaching them all is difficult. In comes Project Homeless Connect. The yearly, volunteer-run, donation-funded event brings services providers together to connect people with information and some immediate help.

Scattered Services Make Homelessness In Haines Hard To Grasp

Emily Files, KHNS – Haines

It’s hard to get a true sense of how big of a problem homelessness is in Haines. There is no shelter or centralized service tasked with responding to homelessness. Right now, a patchwork of local organizations helps out people in need. But even they aren’t sure how large the problem is and what the solution should be.