Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, May 18, 2017

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State House, Senate call for each other to give ground, Walker hopes for compromise

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Talk on the first day of the legislative special session focused on whether the House and Senate can compromise on a plan to balance the state’s budget in the future.

$50 million budget cut latest indicator of waning support for state gasline project

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The head of Alaska’s Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is in China this week, working to attract buyers and woo investors into supporting a state-run LNG export project. Meanwhile, political support in Alaska for the ambitious project is waning.

Interior nominee sees ‘clean slate’ on land in trust

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

Tribes that want to place land in federal trust are still waiting to see how the Trump administration will treat their applications. The nominee for deputy Interior secretary suggests history won’t be any guide.

Pebble forms advisory committee to help with range of issues

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The Pebble Partnership announced Thursday that is has officially formed a new advisory committee in an effort to expand its engagement with stakeholders.

Uber, Lyft could be back in Alaska by June

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The state House and Senate have both passed bills that allow Transportation Network Companies to operate, which means the controversial businesses could open up shop in Alaska as early as June.

Request denied for additional restrictions on Cooper king salmon harvest

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Alaska Board of Fish has narrowly voted down a request for additional restrictions on commercial harvest of Copper River king salmon.

State says harsh conditions, not aging infrastructure, culprit in Cook Inlet gas leak

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Now that the state’s had time to investigate, Geoff Merrell with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said aging equipment probably wasn’t to blame for the gas leak.

NOAA looks to give up potentially mineral-rich Fairbanks property

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to relinquish a tract of potentially mineral rich property north of Fairbanks.

Kodiak Biologists to Conduct Bear Population Survey

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

The spring bear hunting season closed Monday, and that means it’s time for local biologists to do their bear survey.

Nation’s first group of K-12 Russian immersion students graduates from West Anchorage High

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The first batch of students to spend their entire educational lives in a Russian language immersion program graduated from West Anchorage High School on Wednesday night.