Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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Sockeye Fire Defendants Plead Not Guilty

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Defendants in the Sockeye wildfire case were no-shows in state court in Palmer on Tuesday morning.  The state is seeking a conviction against Greg Imig and Amy DeWitt, who are charged with eight misdemeanor counts ranging from illegal burning to reckless endangerment as a result of the fire that consumed more than 50 homes in the Willow area.

Matanuska River Erosion Continues to Threaten Homes

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The dramatic surge of the Matanuska River during the past few days has pushed families from some homes and is continuing to threaten others. As KSKA’s Ellen Lockyer reports, although a few remaining homeowners are in a wait and see mode, one venerable homesteading couple says, they won’t budge.

Without Troopers, Girdwood Looks For New Law Enforcement

Monica Gokey, KSKA – Anchorage

At the end of the year, Alaska State Troopers say they will close their post in Girdwood. The town’s quest to court a new source of law enforcement is off to a rocky start.

Anchorage’s Homeless Community Endures 6th Death in 2 Weeks

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

Another member of Anchorage’s homeless community died early Tuesday morning. It’s the sixth such death in the last two weeks.

Murkowski Fends Off Thorny Add-Ons To Energy Bill

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s big energy policy bill, if it passes, would be the first since 2007.  Several national energy bills have washed up on the rocks since then. Murkowski’s strategy is to keep controversies out of the package, and it was tested at a Senate Energy Committee meeting this morning.

Wet Weather Gives Firefighters The Edge

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The statewide wildfire response that’s been operating at peak for more than a month is ramping down. Wet weather over areas of the interior has calmed many fires.

As Subsistence Foods Become More Scarce, Kivalina Welcomes A New Store

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

It’s been a festive day in the northwest Arctic community of Kivalina today as residents celebrate the grand opening of a new store. It’s an end to eight months of struggle with limited supplies after Kivalina’s store burned to the ground December 5th.

Teachers’ Field Trip: Lessons from the Mendenhall Glacier

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

“Teacher training” usually means spending time in a library with textbooks and PowerPoints. But for 13 Alaska educators earlier this month, it meant hopping on a helicopter, donning crampons and toting an ice axe on top of the Mendenhall Glacier as part of Discovery Southeast’s Teacher Expedition.

Watzituya: Naknek’s One-Stop Shop for Nets, Coffee, Counseling

Hannah Colton, KDLG – Dillingham

Each of the hundreds of vessels in the Bristol Bay fleet burns through several nets catching sockeye each summer. Many rely on net hanging shops to assemble their sturdy gillnets.