Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media
Congress is considering funding a new icebreaker to serve in the Arctic. It would be a heavy, polar-class Coast Guard cutter, to get through thick ice. But size isn’t everything when it comes to Coast Guard ships. A Juneau man has made a film about the Storis, a dainty icebreaker by polar standards, that rescued mariners and enforced the law along Alaska’s coast for almost 60 years.
Alaska Congressman Don Young will have a say in drafting the final version of Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s energy modernization bill. That’s because the U.S. House passed its own energy bill this week, to match the Murkowski bill already passed in the Senate. House leaders then picked Young to serve on the conference committee that will negotiate a compromise between the two bills. Download Audio
The Arctic is one step closer to having a new U.S. icebreaker. The full Senate Appropriations committee this morning passed a bill that includes $1 billion for a heavy duty polar ship. The panel also approved millions in Defense and Coast Guard spending likely to go to Alaska, and to Kodiak in particular. Download Audio
President Obama has signed a bill that removes the words “Oriental,” “Eskimo” and “Aleut” from two federal programs. But contrary to some social media posts, the new law doesn't make the terms illegal and no one is barred from using them.Download Audio
In Washington, both sides of any Arctic drilling dispute want to show they have locals on their side. Sen. Lisa Murkowski bolstered her case for more offshore leasing with the help of an Arctic Slope mayor. He testified that communities like his need the industry. But other Arctic residents sat in the back of the hearing room, passionately opposed to offshore drilling. Download Audio
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan chaired a hearing in Washington this morning on marine debris, and he if there was consensus on what the focus should be. "Plastics?" Download Audio
Alaska Republican leaders from all parts of the GOP spectrum are uniting behind Donald Trump for president. On Monday, the Trump campaign’s Alaska branch released a list of honorary co-chairs. Download Audio
The federal government owns about 60 percent of Alaska, but its portfolio is about to shrink, just a tiny bit. Congress this afternoon passed a bill allowing the federal government to finally shed ownership of a nine-acre lot in Midtown Anchorage, once planned as the Alaska home of the National Archives. Download Audio
The images of a wildfire raging through subdivisions in Fort McMurray, Alberta last week were horrifying. Firefighters say the fire season is already well underway in Alaska, too, and they need citizens to do their part to keep their communities safe. Download Audio
Months after halting its exploration of the Chukchi Sea, Shell is now giving up all but one of its leases there. It will keep the parcel that includes Burger J, the sole test well it completed in its $7 billion Arctic exploration program. Download Audio
The Alaska Republican Party wants to require drug testing for welfare recipients. That’s one of the new planks it added to the party platform at its convention in Fairbanks over the weekend.
While Republicans nationally are divided for and against Donald Trump, the discord at the state convention in Fairbanks this weekend had a more local flavor. New party chairman Tuckerman Babcock asked fellow Republicans to let go of their grudges, which weren't far below the surface.
A few hundreds Republicans are gathered in Fairbanks today for the state party convention. APRN’s Liz Ruskin is reporting from there. Download Audio
The state Republican Convention started this afternoon in Fairbanks. We sent APRN reporter Liz Ruskin to check it out. Download Audio
If Donald Trump doesn’t have the presidential nomination in the bag by July, the Republican National Convention could be the most exciting in decades. Twenty-eight Alaskans get to participate, and this week Alaska Republicans will choose who gets to go to Cleveland. Download Audio
Money is the lifeblood of a political campaign, and if a legal challenge to Alaska’s campaign contribution limits succeeds, there could be more of it. APRN’s Liz Ruskin attended the first day of a trial in U.S. District Court in Anchorage today. Download Audio
The U.S. Senate is the final resting place for a lot of legislation, but today it passed a broad energy bill. It's passage is a political coup for its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who says she had lots of co-authors. Download Audio