Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017

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Beneath political firestorm on Arctic Ocean drilling, two projects make steady progress

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Yes, Shell’s multi-billion dollar effort to find oil in federal Arctic waters is a thing of the past. And yes, the Obama administration then took several steps to cut back on drilling in Arctic waters — actions the Trump administration is now working to undo. But there is movement to get oil out of federally-owned parts of the Arctic Ocean.

For third year in a row, Alaska seabirds wash up dead

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

For the third year in a row, seabirds are washing up dead along the coastline in Alaska. Hundreds of birds have been discovered along a stretch of the Bering Sea, on the Pribilof Islands and as far north as Deering.

Stampede suspected in dozens of walrus deaths

Associated Press

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says 64 walruses died on a northwest Alaska beach, and the animals may have been killed in stampedes.

National labs to field test microgrid tech in Cordova

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Several national labs and universities will partner with the Alaska community of Cordova to field test new technologies on the city’s power grid.

State denies ballot initiative on salmon habitat

Joe Viechnicki, KFSK – Petersburg

Alaska’s Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott has denied a proposed ballot initiative designed to offer greater protections for salmon habitat from mining or other development.

Arctic climate change researchers still conflicted over UAF’s coal-fired powerplant

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is building a heat-and-power plant to replace the old facility that went into service in 1964. The new $245 million powerplant, scheduled to come online next year, will feature updated technology that’ll reduce most pollutants – but it will continue to emit greenhouse gases blamed for warming the planet.

Ahtna rejects continued public use of Klutina Lake Road

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Ahtna Native Corporation board has rejected a proposed settlement with the State to allow continued public use of Klutina Lake Road. The 25-mile road off the Richardson Highway near Copper Center, crosses Ahtna land, to the Klutina River and Klutina Lake.

Terror Lake hydroelectric project expansion gets the go-ahead

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

The Kodiak Electric Association received a permit to start its Terror Lake Hydroelectric Project expansion, which would increase the lake’s clean energy production.

Igiugig is set to embark on its Native Foods Challenge

Avery Lill, KDLG – Dillingham

Nutrition related health concerns plague the United States as a whole, and rural Alaska is no exception. People in village of Igiugig are aiming to improve their health this fall with a Native Foods Challenge.

Unalaska-bound cruise ship changes destination to Sitka

Zoe Sobel, KUCB – Unalaska

A 2000-passenger cruise ship was supposed to dock in Unalaska today [WED] instead it decided to go to Sitka. Although Unalaska is known as America’s top fishing port, tourism — in particular the cruise ship industry – is a growing source of revenue especially for small businesses and non-profits.