Alaska News Nightly: March 20, 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

Big Thorne Timber Sale Lawsuit Dismissed

Leila Kheiry, KRBD-Ketchikan
The Big Thorne Timber Sale lawsuit has been dismissed by a federal judge in Anchorage. Alaska U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline granted summary judgment on Friday in favor of the defendants and rejected every argument brought forward by the plaintiffs.

Young Introduces Bill to Reauthorize Magnuson-Stevens Act

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington, DC

Alaska Congressman Don Young has introduced a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s primary law governing fishing in federal waters. It leaves fisheries managers some controversial wiggle room.

Soldiers to Train Near Bethel

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel
More than 100 soldiers will train in the Bethel area over the next week and a half to build arctic operational expertise and cultivate the next generation of National Guard soldiers. Members of the Alaska Army National Guard’s 297th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade are descending on the YK Delta to polish their arctic skills.

Streff Takes Command of National Guard

The Associated Press
A new Alaska Army National Guard commander is taking the helm in the weekend ceremony at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Col. Joseph Streff will take over from Brig. Gen. Mike Bridges at a ceremony beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Army Confirms Investigation of Racism in Stryker Brigade

Tim Elllis, KUAC-Fairbanks
Army investigators have confirmed they’ve launched a formal investigation into a Stryker Brigade soldier’s allegations of racist behavior by some members of his unit. The action follows an earlier informal inquiry into allegations- first outlined in a story published Wednesday by the Army Times.

Bill Filed To Promote Language Immersion

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN-Juneau

At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools in the state.

SE Tribal Organization Gets Feds Backing for Energy Upgrades

By Casey Kelly, KTOO-Juneau
Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization is getting $500,000 from the federal government to make energy efficiency upgrades to its Juneau headquarters.

BC Adds New Requirements for Proposed Mines

Katarina Sostaric, KSTK-Wrangell
The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office announced on Thursday it’s adding new requirements for proposed mines undergoing environmental review. The changes are part of an effort to make mine tailings facilities safer in response to last year’s tailings dam collapse at the Mount Polley mine. KSTK’s Katarina Sostaric reports.

Fish Board Takes No Action on Limiting Clams on Cook Inlet Beach
The Associated Press
The Alaska Board of Fisheries has decided to take no action on a proposal that would have set limits on clams on a remote beach on the west side of Cook Inlet.

AK: The Hip Hop of Samuel Johns
Samuel Johns grew up in the community of Copper Center surrounded by drugs and alcohol. After years of struggling with alcoholism, he is now sober and trying to make it as a musician who blends Athabascan culture with modern hip hop. Johns is traveling to villages across the state to perform and talk about living a drug free life. And it’s a message that seems to be resonating with kids in Dillingham.

49 Voices: Grace Bolling

This week we’ll hear from a high school student from Craig. Grace Bolling is from Craig, Alaska.