Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 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 and on Twitter @aprn.

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Murkowski missed – didn’t duck – abortion vote, staffer says

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington
In Congress, a bill to ban abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy has failed to advance in the Senate. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who has angered both sides of the abortion debate in the past, did not vote on today’s bill.

New dinosaur species discovered in Alaska

Dan Bross, KUAC-Fairbanks
A new dinosaur species has been discovered in Alaska. Bones of the plant eating Hadrosaur were excavated by researchers working in a known fossil rich zone north of the Brooks Range.

Salmon bones reveal Ice Age fishing holes

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
Researchers in Alaska have found the earliest known evidence that Ice Age humans in North America used salmon as a food source. A new paper published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences asserts that chum salmon have been harvested in Alaska for 11,000 years.

Walker to call special session on Alaska LNG

Rachel Waldholz, KSKA-Anchorage
Governor Bill Walker plans to call a special session of the Legislature this fall to discuss the state’s natural gasline project, dubbed Alaska LNG.

Dog team nearly killed by river erosion

Lakeidra Chavis, KYUK-Bethel
Just as it was getting dark Saturday evening, Akiak resident and dog musher Mike Wlliams Sr. stepped outside to see his dog lot falling into the Kuskokwim River and seven of his sled dogs being pulled into the water. “They were beginning to choke,” Williams said, “but they’re alive, they’re okay now. They got them just in time,” Williams said.

Scientists exploring what caused deadly Sitka landslide

Robert Woolsey, KCAW-Sitka
One month after a deadly landslide struck in Sitka, a group of scientists and agency officials are starting the complicated task of learning what happened. The Geo Task Force has been meeting informally at the Sitka Sound Science Center. The center’s director, Lisa Busch, believes these gatherings are an important first step in understanding the area’s geophysical hazards.

Kodiak police respond to allegations of excessive force

Jay Barett, KMXT-Kodiak
Last Wednesday evening, a little after 5 pm, an autistic 28-year-old Kodiak man walked down his quiet neighborhood street to check the mailbox, as he does most days. His condition is such that it’s one of the few tasks that he’s comfortable executing and is allowed to do unsupervised. It’s unclear what happened next, but when Nick Pletnikoff”s mother found him, he was surrounded by three Kodiak Police Officers who had pinned him to the ground and pepper-sprayed him from point-blank range.

Mat-Su tobacco tax under scrutiny

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA-Anchorage
A hefty excise tax on wholesale tobacco products sold in the Matanuska Susitna Borough is under scrutiny.  At last [September 15] week’s meeting of the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly, electronic cigarette users spoke out against the new tax.