Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

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Education commissioner tosses controversial AMP test

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

In a surprise statement late Tuesday night,  Alaska education commissioner Mike Hanley said the Alaska Measures of Progress tests would be dropped for the 2016-2017 school year while the state considers “new assessment structures.”

New Medicaid reform committee strives for savings

Andrew Kitchenman, APRN – Juneau

As lawmakers look to trim the state’s budget shortfall, their attention is focusing on one of the biggest areas of the budget: Medicaid.

Report: Alaska prisons, justice system need overhaul

Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A commission set up by the Alaska Legislature in 2014 has issued a report on Alaska’s corrections and judicial systems saying they are expensive and don’t do enough to improve public safety. Commission members presented the findings and recommendations to the House Finance Committee on Monday.

On Kenai, cracked K-Beach Road re-opens to traffic

Jenny Neyman, KDLL – Kenai

Kalifornsky Beach Road reopened to two-way traffic this morning.

Spice conference convenes as overdoses in Anchorage persist

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Medical emergencies connected with synthetic cannabinoids remain stubbornly high in Anchorage — about 7 percent of daily calls for service to the Fire Department.

UA looks to consolidate programs at major campuses

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

The University of Alaska Board of Regents has endorsed UA President Jim Johnsen’s plan to restructure the university system, as it faces continuing declines in state funding.

New arrivals in Kotzebue Sound preying on belugas

Johanna Eurich, APRN Contributor

Kotzebue Sound is changing and beluga hunters are facing new competition: killer whales.

American Polar Society honors UAF professor

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

The American Polar Society recently recognized the work of a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor. Dr. Lawson Brigham received an honorary medal for his Polar research and policy work with the Arctic Council. Coincidentally, the Arctic Council announced Monday it would use UAF as the site for its 2017 meeting.

Yukon Quest racers drop off food, gear for checkpoints

Molly Retig, KUAC – Fairbanks

Yukon Quest mushers have surpassed a major milestone in preparation for running next month’s race.

Mongolia looks to Alaska for help handling domestic violence

Laura Kraegel, KNOM – Nome

Efforts to end domestic violence brought a delegation from Mongolia to Nome on Monday. The group — made up of social workers, shelter managers, police officers, and more — was there to learn how Alaska is addressing high rates of sexual assault and domestic violence.