Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Oct. 16, 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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Obama administration cancels offshore lease sales, citing lack of interest

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

The Obama Administration announced Friday that it is canceling plans to open up more of the Arctic Ocean to oil and gas drilling — citing not enough industry interest in the region.

Murkowski spotlights civic heroes at AFN

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington, D.C.

Every year, Alaska’s congressional delegation is invited to address the AFN convention, and today was U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s turn. She stuck close to the theme of the convention, “Heroes in our Homeland,” but he did mention a few of her own accomplishments.

At AFN, protesters slam Murkowski’s support for Arctic drilling

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

During Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s speech at AFN, protesters marched dressed as a salmon, a caribou and a walrus. It was part of an effort to call out Murkowski for her support of Arctic oil drilling.

New joint tribal-state court established

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The state is creating a joint tribal-state court and convening an Alaska Native Focus Group to help reduce high rates of incarceration and recidivism for Alaska Natives.

Pease testifies, says confession was coerced

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The first of four Fairbanks men seeking exoneration from convictions for a 1997 murder took the stand at an ongoing evidentiary hearing yesterday.

Juneau judge sides with trapper, but no damages awarded

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

In a small claims case between a trapper and a trap springer, a judge finds the trap-springer liable but doesn’t award any damages to the trapper.

Bethel puzzles over how to unclog a seriously frozen well

Anna Rose Macarthur, KYUK – Bethel

An ice chunk is blocking an essential well for Bethel schools. For almost a week, maintenance crews have been melting the ice, while the city delivers water to the campus. So far, there’s no end in sight to how deep the impasse runs.

AK: Tlingit carver featured in small-town, large-scale Smithsonian project

Jillian Rogers, KHNS – Haines

Twenty-six years of litigation over the Exxon Valdez oil spill ended today (Thursday, Oct. 15) in a federal district court in downtown Anchorage. The state and federal governments have decided not to pursue a final $100 million from ExxonMobil over its 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound.

49 Voices: Martin Lee Woods of Kotzebue

This week we’re at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention talking with Martin Lee Woods, from Kotzebue. He started learning to Eskimo Dance in 1975 and by the mid-80s he realized he needed to learn how to make drums.