Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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Alaska Senators Vote to Reform Patriot Act

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday to limit the NSA’s collection of bulk phone data. Both Alaska senators voted for the reforms, called the USA Freedom Act.

No Budget Deal, No Ferry Service

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

All state ferries will stop sailing by early July if the Legislature fails to reach a budget deal.

Court Employees Assigned 2 Days Unpaid Leave

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

About 800 Alaska Court System employees will be forced to take two days of unpaid leave around the holidays – a result of state budget cuts.

The Blob expands from Gulf of Alaska to Baja California

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

Scientists are watching for how a warmer North Pacific Ocean could affect weather and climate this year. There could also be significant impacts to marine life, including species that form the basis for Alaska’s commercial fisheries.

Seniors Find Few Options Beyond Medicaid

Quinton Chandler, KBBI – Homer

The state is being criticized for finding hundreds of seniors ineligible for a Medicaid waiver program that pays the cost of their housing and nursing care.

Juneau to Be The Third City in Alaska to Shelter High-Risk Homeless

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau will become the third city in Alaska to offer permanent supportive housing to the high-risk, chronically homeless. Those are the people who have been on the streets the longest, and may suffer from addiction or mental health issues.

Fort Yukon Goes Solar

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Ft. Yukon recently began operating a solar electric project. The system is testing integration of the energy source into the power grid of an isolated northern community.

Strings on the Bus: Anchorage Has A Conflux

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Over the weekend Anchorage experienced an “urban conflux.” If you’re not familiar with the term, don’t worry: it’s made up. A group of community members worked with cultural institutions and the bus system to engineer a unique project: throw a surprise party for the city.