Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, March 17, 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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Defense secretary on board with keeping JBER unit

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington, DC
Now even the Secretary of Defense says he would reverse the plan to cut nearly three thousand troops from Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson. This further increases the likelihood the 4-2-5 Brigade Combat Team will stay in Anchorage, at least for another year.

Some questioning power equalization fund

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN-Juneau
Rural Alaskans can pay three to five times as much for electricity than those in urban areas. That’s why the state launched the power cost equalization endowment fund. It’s paid roughly 40 million dollars annually to subsidize rural energy bills. But some are questioning whether the fund, which has built up to $900 million, should be committed to benefit only about one in nine Alaskans.

Wolf control prompting more cooperation

Dan Bross, KUAC-Fairbanks
State wolf control in the vicinity of Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve has prompted agencies to pursue better cooperation.

Scientists still surprised by dying birds

The Associated Press
The massive die-off of a widely distributed North Pacific seabird continues to surprise federal scientists. The latest twist was the discovery of thousands of carcasses of common murres  along Lake Iliamna.

Report says Anchorage needs more cops

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA-Anchorage
A new report on policing in Anchorage says the city needs dramatically more officers to meet its public safety goals.

Anchorage producing new land use plan

Josh Edge, APRN-Anchorage
The Municipality of Anchorage is well on it’s way to producing an updated land use plan for the Anchorage Bowl. The map currently in use has not been updated since 1982.

Herring season opens abruptly

Robert Woolsey, KCAW-Sitka
The commercial herring season opened Thursday, more abruptly than in past years. Herring seiners had about 2-days’ notice to get to Sitka. About another 4-hours’ notice to prep their gear.

Sitka science center nurturing new creature

Brielle Schaeffer, KCAW-Sitka
The Sitka Sound Science Center raises millions of salmon at the Sheldon Jackson Hatchery every year but recently the organization started nurturing another type of sea creature.

Tribal government pushing for environmental analysis of region’s health

Ed Schonfeld, CoastAlaska-Juneau

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal government is pressing for an intensive environmental analysis of the region’s health. It’s part of a larger push for protection of transboundary rivers, which flow from British Columbia into the region.

Freeride tour returns to Haines

Emily Files, KHNS-Haines
An international big mountain ski and snowboard competition is back in Haines after making its Alaska debut last year. The Freeride World Tour tests the skills of alpine athletes from around the world, with stops in five countries.