Alaska News Nightly: February 9, 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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Climate Change Rarely Major Discussion Topic In Alaska Capital

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

When it comes to climate change, Alaska is seen as a bellwether. Temperatures have risen nearly 4 degrees over the past 50 years, a number that’s double the national average. But even though Alaska figures in discussion of climate change nationally, it’s rarely a major topic of conversation in Juneau.

Alaska Lawmaker Introduces Right-To-Die Legislation

The Associated Press

An Anchorage lawmaker has introduced legislation that would allow terminally ill patients the right to decide to end their lives with the help of a physician.

North Pacific Halibut Bycatch Limit Could See 50 Percent Cut

Lauren Rosenthal, KUCB – Unalaska

Halibut harvests have been on the decline in the Bering Sea for years. But the amount that trawlers and catcher-processors are allowed to take [incidentally] has stayed the same. Now, federal regulators have agreed to consider stiffer limits on halibut bycatch.

Middle School Teachers Think Planning Time Cuts Are Hurting Students

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Middle School teachers in Anchorage fall into two groups – elective teachers and core class teachers. Before this year all of the teachers were given extra time to collaborate and try to ease the transition of students from being kids in elementary schools to young adults in high school. But this year it’s different – elective teachers don’t get time to collaborate. And some say it’s students who are losing out.

Economic Group Sees Affordable Housing Shortage As Barrier To Growth For Anchorage

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Affordable housing is an issue across much of Alaska, and Anchorage is no exception. The city ranks in the top 20 most expensive housing markets in the nation. The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation sees it as one of the biggest barriers to improving the city’s fiscal future. And the group wants to start addressing the problem by focusing on homelessness.

New EPA Standards Slash Wood-Fired Heater Emissions

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued updated standards for wood fired heaters.

Little Green Apple Ends Haines Junction’s Long Grocery Commute

Emily Files, KHNS – Haines

Haines Junction is a small town in Yukon Territory at the intersection of the Haines and Alaska Highways. It has a couple of restaurants, but no grocery store, until recently when two locals opened the Little Green Apple.

Yukon Quest Trail Puts Dog Sled Designs To The Test

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Brent Sass is leading the Yukon Quest Sled Dog race. He left the Pelly Crossing checkpoint at 3:25 this morning. Hugh Neff followed at 6am. Joar Ulsom, Jeff King and Allen Moore round out the top five.

On the Yukon Quest Trail, there are a few things mushers have to be especially picky about including a sturdy sled.  Jumble ice near McCabe Creek, half way to Pelly Crossing is testing sled engineering this year.