Alaska News Nightly: March 18, 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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Dallas Seavey Predicts His Winning Team Will Be Back 

Emily Schwing, APRN Contributor

Dallas Seavey is the winner of the 2015 Iditarod. This is his third win in four years.  The 27-year old musher says he’s notthe only young member of his team.  Many of his dogs are only three years old.

MDA Boss Favors Radar Over Missile Site In East

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington, DC

The director of the Missile Defense Agency on Wednesday suggested Alaska’s Fort Greely should remain central to the nation’s ground-based missile defense operations, at least in the near term. In Congress, some members have cheered the idea of a new missile site in the East, an idea the Pentagon is studying.

Murkowski: No Confidence In USFS Plan In Tongass

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington, DC

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn’t see any good news for the families in Southeast Alaska that still depend on the harvest of Tongass timber. She says nothing Congress does seems to increase the national timber harvest, and Murkowski told Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell at a budget hearing on Wednesday she’s not confident the transition to second-growth in the Tongass will work.

House Pushes Back Deadline for Financial Disclosures

The Associated Press

The Alaska House has passed legislation pushing back the date by which legislators and other public officials must file annual financial disclosures. HB 65 would move the filing deadline from March 15 to May 15. A minority-led effort to keep the reporting deadline for legislators as March 15 failed.

Walker, Mallott File Income Reports

The Associated Press
Gov. Bill Walker and his wife each reported income of between $100,000 and $200,000 for the sale of their law firm. The information is included on the financial disclosure Walker filed Sunday. The Walkers each reported between $200,000 and $500,000 in capital gain on the sale of business properties. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott reported at least $1 million in income upon resigning from the Alaska Air Group board.

Wishbone Hill Coal Project Draws Lawsuit

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
The Trustees for Alaska are going back to court to fight a federal okay for coal mining at Wishbone Hill in Palmer.  Trustee attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court in Anchorage on Wednesday on behalf of the Castle Mountain Coalition and other groups opposed to coal mining in the area.

Mat-Su Assembly Rejects Pot Vote

Phillip Manning, KTNA-Talkeetna
The Mat-Su Borough Assembly unanimously opposed Mayor Larry DeVilbiss’ request for an advisory vote on banning commercial marijuana operations in unincorporated areas of the Valley.

State Pulls Funds for Knik Arm, Juneau Access Road from STIP

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
The state has amended a transportation plan to delay two large projects.  Funds for the Knik Arm Crossing and the Juneau access road have been pulled from the 2012- 2015 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, or STIP.

Sac Roe Herring Fishery Quieter This Year

Rachel Waldholz, KCAW-Sitka
The Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery is a quieter affair this year, as the fleet conducts its first fully cooperative fishery since the mid-90s.

Officials ID Port Accident Victim

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA-Anchorage
Officials have identified the victim of a fatal accident at the Port of Anchorage last Friday as Charlie Tom “WD” James, Jr.

Food: Source of Comfort or Division?

Anne Hillman, KSKA-Anchorage
Is food a source of comfort–or division? How can it be used to spark conversations about global conflicts? Those are the questions Anita Mannur is asking in her upcoming talk called “Kitchens in Crisis” at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Mannur is a professor of Asian & Asian American studies at Miami University in Ohio. She says her research looks at ways in which food can bring people together, or push them apart.

Freeride World Tour Comes to Haines

Emily Files, KHNS-Haines
Some of the best big mountain skiers and snowboarders in the world are in Haines this week for the Freeride World Tour. After taking on slopes in France, Andorra and Austria, the tour is holding its first ever Alaska stop.