Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Feb. 25, 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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Fairbanks strides closer to F-35 answer

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.

The Air Force plan to station two squadrons of F-35s at Eielson Air Force Base cleared a milestone with the publication of the final environmental impact statement. It says the basing decision would not significantly harm Fairbanks air quality or harm wildlife, other than an increase of about 14 bird strikes per year.

At the mouth of the Kusko, a pioneering wind system

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

In rural Alaska, one problem thwarts a thousand good ideas: the high cost of energy. From generating electricity to heating homes to fueling snowmachines, energy expenses eat into budgets and create barriers for business.

AFHC to stop accepting Home Energy Rebate applications 

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation will stop accepting new applications for the Home Energy Rebate Program waitlist next month. People who are in the process of making their homes more energy efficient are still eligible to receive up to $10 thousand dollars for home improvements.

Lawmakers recommend more cuts to University budget

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The House Finance University of Alaska Subcommittee recommends cutting $35 million from the university’s budget for the upcoming year. Combined with Governor Bill Walker’s proposed $15 million cut, the university would lose one in seven dollars in state funding.

On day one, state gets 68 marijuana applications

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Under revised review process, licenses for commercial cultivation will be prioritized ahead of retail stores to ensure businesses have legal products to sell upon opening.

Sobering center considered as an alternative to prison in Fairbanks

Amanda Frank, KUAC – Fairbanks

Recent deaths in Alaska prisons have underscored problems with jailing severely intoxicated individuals, pointing to the need for an alternative approach. Bethel operates a sobering center, where care and treatment are the focus, and a similar facility is being explored as an option in Fairbanks.

Yarducopia: a means to spread space for gardening

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

So you like eating vegetables, but they’re expensive. You’d love to have a garden, but you don’t have any outdoor space. The solution? Yarducopia.

ANSEP proposal to re-purpose Mt. Edgecumbe High comes under criticism

Brielle Schaeffer, KCAW – Sitka

While other groups have rallied in support of Mt. Edgecumbe High School, Sitka Tribe of Alaska’s Tribal Council hasn’t yet taken a formal position on a proposal from the Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program to take over the school. Students from Mt. Edgecumbe visited the Tribal Council at its meeting this month to keep them in the loop about the school’s plans to pushback against the ANSEP proposal.

Mysterious Sumerian tablet puzzles UAF librarians

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Rasmuson Library has a mystery on its hands. It doesn’t know when or how, but in its collection lies a Bronze Age clay tablet. Like the Maltese Falcon, the small four thousand-year-old Ancient Sumerian clay tablet is surrounded in mystery.