Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Jan. 22, 2016

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Sen. Gardner: Lawmakers need committee to vet budget bills

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner introduced legislation yesterday to create a permanent ways and means committee in the Senate. It’s a companion to a bill introduced by Representative Sam Kito, a Democrat from Juneau, in the House earlier this week.

Gov. Walker on budget: ‘It’s time to fix the hole in the boat’

Andrew Kitchenman, APRN – Juneau

Governor Bill Walker called for the legislature to work together with him to close the state’s budget shortfall.

Mass seabird deaths prompt federal attention

The Associated Press

A federal agency is calling for more research into large-scale mortality of common murres and other seabirds off Alaska’s coast.

On methane emissions, Alaska tells feds ‘clean up your own act first’

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

The Interior Department has proposed new rules restricting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.

Murkowski sees departures, promotions of top staff

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

Senator Murkowski today announced a slew of staff changes. Current and former employees say the timing of the multiple departures is merely coincidental, but the change begins at the top.

Alaska soldiers weigh in on Bergdahl’s desertion, radio fame

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Alaska soldiers are weighing in on the Bowe Bergdahl case. Bergdahl was an Army infantryman who was part of a unit within the 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry division stationed at Fort Richardson when he walked away from his post in Afghanistan in 2009.

Buser dropped to last, dinged with 2 penalties

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Martin Buser has been dropped to last place and without prize money for this year’s Kuskokwim 300. The race committee made the decision yesterday after reviewing evidence of Buser committing two penalties: leaving the trail and receiving help to feed his dogs.

AK: Among wolverines, lynx and fox, a man finds his pack

Jillian Rogers, KHNS – Haines

About 30 miles north of Haines, there’s a sanctuary for abandoned wildlife, big and small. Steve Kroschel has owned and operated Kroschel’s Wildlife Center for decades. He’s been dubbed the wildlife whisperer. Even the wolverines – compact killing machines capable of handily taking down an adult moose – play with Kroschel like he’s one of the pack. Despite appearances, there’s a method to his madness.

49 Voices: Davante Owens of Anchorage

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media

This week we’re hearing from Davante Owens, a UAA student who graduated high school in Anchorage and originally attended college and played football in Minnesota. He later came back to Anchorage to finish his studies after joining the Army.