Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016

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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Supreme Court hears hovercraft case

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court debated Wednesday morning whether the Park Service can impose its rules on rivers that flow through Alaska’s national park units.

Poll: Most Alaskans support statewide sales tax

Andrew Kitchenman, APRN – Juneau

Alaskans are increasingly concerned about the $3.5 billion state budget shortfall. And they’re interested in using both state spending cuts and new revenue to close the gap. That’s according to the Rasmuson Foundation’s Plan4Alaska which surveyed 800 Alaskans earlier this month.

Rep. Tuck: Budget burden shouldn’t fall on middle class

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Anchorage Representative Chris Tuck is the minority leader in the state House. He questions whether the Governor’s budget proposal is fair for average Alaskans.

Fairbanks conditions also lacking for Iditarod restart

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Iditarod organizers continue to look at Fairbanks for restarting this year’s race. Fairbanks North Star borough Mayor Karl Kassel met with race officials in Fairbanks yesterday.

Weather, land rule cancel Tustumena 200 race

Jenny Neyman, KDLL – Kenai

Bad snow conditions and no flexibility in the federal Wilderness Act will mean a lack of the Kenai Peninsula’s premiere mushing race this year.

Conditions wanting in Fairbanks for Iditarod restart

BIA settlement closes; Alaska tribal groups net $100M

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The enormous $940 million class-action lawsuit against the BIA on behalf of tribes cleared the last court hurdle today in New Mexico. The case stems from decades of short-funding tribal contracts. More than $100 million will be awarded to tribal organizations in Alaska.

Fairbanks paper adds new publisher after sale

Associated Press

A man with a long history in Alaska newspapers is the new publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Scientists get ‘Blobby’ with it in Seattle

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

Scientists from up and down the West Coast are gathering in Seattle this week for a conference on a giant mass of warm ocean water that has lingered in the Northeast Pacific.

UAF anticipates new chancellor hire by spring

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

There’s a large pool of applicants to be the University of Alaska Fairbanks next chancellor. In a wide-ranging address to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce yesterday, interim UAF Chancellor Mike Powers updated members on the hiring process.

Story correction uncovers a Soldier’s Medal story from ’95

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Two weeks ago, we brought you a story about Army Staff Sergeant Joshua Schneiderman being awarded the Soldier’s Medal, one of the highest military distinctions. We reported it was the first time the medal was given for an act that took place in Alaska. That claim is incorrect. As always, there’s more to the story.