Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Mar. 28, 2016

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Bill increasing contributions to pensions proposed in AK Senate

Associated Press

Bills calling for increased local contributions to two state pension programs and an overhaul of a community assistance program have been proposed in the Alaska Senate as lawmakers look to further cut costs amid a bulging budget deficit.

Bill requiring background checks for marijuana sellers in limbo

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Marijuana businesses are scheduled to open in June, after the state issues licenses. But there’s a hitch – the state won’t issue licenses until the Legislature passes a bill that allows for national criminal background checks, among other provisions. And  that bill is currently in limbo.

Flights cancelled as Pavlov continues to spew ash

Hannah Colton, KDLG – Dillingham

Alaska Airlines is canceling dozens of flights as Pavlof volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula – spews ash more than 30 thousand feet in the air.

Alaska Supreme Court: State must enforce Central Council’s child support orders

Jennifer Canfield, KTOO – Juneau

The State of Alaska must recognize and enforce the Tlingit-Haida Central Council’s child support orders, according to a state Supreme Court decision issued Friday.

Juneau to Barrow, data shows Sanders landslide consistent across state

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

Over the weekend, Alaska Democrats gave Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders a landslide victory in the state-wide caucus. At more than 81 percent- it is one of the candidate’s most decisive wins in a primary contest. The wide margins in Sanders favor were consistent across all 40 of the state’s voting districts.

‘Roadless Rule’ gets small victory due to Supreme Court inaction

Ed Schoenfeld, Coastalaska – Juneau

The U.S. Supreme Court will *not* take up a case that could have expanded logging in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest.

US-Russian exchange discusses spring breakup flooding solutions

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

A delegation from Russia recently visited Galena, as part of a state department-funded cultural exchange. The program allowed civic leaders from two riverside villages to share ideas about how to prepare for, respond to, and maybe even prevent, spring breakup flooding.

Arctic submarine maneuvers test capability below the ice

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The US Navy has studied the Arctic ice for over half a century, using submarines to explore changes beneath the frozen surface. This invaluable data has a dual purpose.