Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Mar. 9, 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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Cuts to PFD could ripple across the economy 

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

It’s PFD application time in Alaska. The deadline is March 31. And if nothing changes, this year’s check will be about the same size as last year’s, totaling more than $2000. But of course, it’s possible something *will* change. As lawmakers grapple with a mammoth budget deficit, it’s likely the solution will include using Permanent Fund earnings — and reducing the dividend.

Budget proposal sent to House floor

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The House Finance Committee sent its budget proposal to the House floor Wednesday. Including some late changes, the budget would cut spending by 280 million dollars. It also spends 225 million in funds left from the current budget.

Proposed criminal justice reform bill under scrutiny

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Senators are working on a bill that would overhaul Alaska’s criminal justice system. The measure would reduce arrests and prison time for nonviolent offenses. It also would help prisoners re-enter society.

Sullivan says JBER troop cut not reversed yet

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.

The battle to keep the 425 Brigade combat team at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson may seem all but won. The top uniformed officer of the Army, Gen. Mark Milley (MILL-EE) said at a hearing last month he hopes to postpone the troop cut for at least a year, citing national security interests. But Sen. Dan Sullivan says it’s not a done deal yet.

Dallas Seavey leads Iditarod pack into Cripple

Zach Hughes, KSKA – Takotna, Ben Matheson, APRN contributor – Anchorage

Dallas Seavey has pushed his team at the front of Iditarod pack into the old gold mining settlement of Cripple. 400 miles into the race, the three-time champion is joined by seven others out of Ophir, including Jeff King, Norwegian Robert Sorlie, and Noah Burmeister.

Arctic Science Summit gets underway at UAF

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

More than a thousand scientists and policymakers from around the world, along with organizations representing indigenous peoples, industry and other interests are converging in Fairbanks for Arctic Science Summit Week.

Aging Southeast: Bunking with the family in Petersburg

Angela Denning, KFSK – Petersburg

Some Southeast Alaska families have stayed with the tradition of helping their loved ones age in place. They live at home, with children and grandchildren, instead of moving into a nursing home. It’s a friendlier and lower-cost option for older residents of the region, whose numbers are growing faster than the state as a whole.