Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Feb. 29, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Sullivan rips failure to disavow KKK plug as ‘idiotic’

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.
Alaska Republicans will go to the polls Tuesday to select their nominee for president. In Juneau this morning, U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan wouldn’t tell reporters who he’s voting for, but he did weigh in on a racism controversy enveloping front-runner Donald Trump.  Sullivan, in the capital for his annual speech to Alaska lawmakers, stressed the importance of a strong military presence in the state.

Energy lobbyist denounces Walker’s oil and gas tax changes

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau
The top energy industry lobbyist in Alaska denounced Governor Bill Walker’s proposed oil and gas tax changes on Monday. Alaska Oil and Gas Association President Kara Moriarty told the House Resources Committee that companies can’t afford higher costs when oil prices are low.

New bill on sex education passes in Alaska Senate

Hannah Colton, KDLG – Dillingham
A bill to give parents more authority over sex education in Alaska schools passed the Alaska Senate Friday.

Habitat for threatened polar bears found to be legal in federal court

Associated Press
A federal appeals court says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service followed the law when it designated more than 187,000 square miles as critical habitat for threatened polar bears.

Alaska Airlines flight struck by lightning, none harmed

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau
An Alaska Airlines flight on its way to Ketchikan and Juneau was struck by lightning Sunday night. No one was hurt, but it shook people up.

Climate, costs, convenience drive mushing onto the road

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA -Anchorage
Though the sport was born on the Seward Peninsula, serious sled-dog races are getting faster and more specialized, forcing ambitious mushers to leave the bush behind for training along the state’s railbelt.

Color of Justice strives to involve youth, rural voices with the justice system

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage
For more than a decade, the Color of Justice program has tried to educate students of color about legal professions and how they can give back to their communities by pursuing law. This year, for the first time, Alaska Native Corporations have come together to get rural students involved.

Fur Rondy carnival celebrates 50 years with a Golden Carousel

Wesley Early, APRN – Anchorage
The Fur Rondy carnival is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To commemorate the event, Golden Wheel amusements, the family-owned company that runs the carnival, has introduced a new ride: The Golden Carousel.