Alaska News Nightly: Monday, May 11, 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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Shell Gets Conditional Approval For Arctic Drilling

Annie Ropeik, KUCB – Unalaska

Shell Oil has gotten another green light for its exploration season in the Chukchi Sea this summer. But as KUCB’s Annie Ropeik reports, the company still has some hurdles to get through before it can drill.

Sealaska Earnings Up, But Losses Continue

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska upped its income by $50 million in 2014. Officials at Juneau-headquartered Sealaska say it’s the start of a multi-year recovery. But critics point to figures showing it’s still losing money.

Army Drawdown Felt in Alaska

Zach Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

The United States Army is in the midst of a nationwide draw-down that could remove thousands of troops from bases in Alaska in the months ahead. But some units have already started to dissolve. The recent deactivation of an engineering unit at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is one small piece of larger changes for the Army in Alaska.

Minority Democrats To Hold Own Hearings

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Members of the House and Senate minorities are planning hearings of their own, citing frustration with the lack of progress during the special session.

Can Free Pregnancy Tests In Bars Prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Bars in Alaska are now offering pregnancy tests. The pilot program is meant to reduce the number of babies born with fetal alcohol syndrome in the state. Alaska has one of the highest rates in the country. Supporters hope the tests will reach women early in pregnancy – a crucial time when they might not know they’re expecting.

Dillingham Fires Up New Incinerator at Landfill

Matt Martin, KDLG – Dillingham

The new incinerator at the Dillingham landfill has fired up. A ban on open burning and limited space led city officials last year to purchase the incinerator.

Law Firm Gifts $3.5M to Tribal Health

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A national law firm that specializes in Indian law is donating $3.5 million to improve medical care for tribal members. The decision comes after the firm, which has offices in Anchorage, helped win a case before the U.S. Supreme Court involving hundreds of millions of dollars for tribal health organizations.

Ninilchik Community Library Hires New Director

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

This spring, the Ninilchik community library brought its number of paid staff up to… one. It hired a new director at 15 hours per week. Like many small libraries around the state is has a minuscule budget and relies primarily on volunteers to keep it running.

Galena Elder Turns 100

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

Galena elder Sidney Huntington turned 100 years old on Sunday.  Hundreds of family members, friends, and community members gathered in Galena to celebrate the occasion on Saturday.