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Liz Ruskin, APRN

lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

White House invites Alaskan to State of Union

White House invites Alaskan to State of Union

Lydia Doza got a text message she nearly ignored. It led to a special White House invitation to honor her efforts inspiring Native American youth to choose STEM careers. Download Audio
January 11, 2016
FWS proposes tighter rules on predator hunting in refuges

FWS proposes tighter rules on predator hunting in refuges

The state of Alaska has, in recent years, loosened the rules for hunting wolves and bears, but federal wildlife managers aren’t going along with it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed new rules for predator hunting on national refuges in Alaska.
January 8, 2016
Autopsy yields nil on pregnant soldier's death

Autopsy yields nil on pregnant soldier’s death

A special state investigator for the Guard scandal flagged Michelle Clark's death as warranting further review. But with a toxicology report that found nothing and a tight-lipped police department, the pregnant soldier's family feels there's been no justice for Michelle. Download Audio
January 6, 2016
Family suspects Guard scandal at play in pregnant soldier's death

Family suspects Guard scandal at play in pregnant soldier’s death

For many Alaskans, the scandal at the Alaska National Guard is long over. But nothing is resolved for the family mourning Michelle LaRose Clark, a guardsman who died in 2011, of unknown causes. Clark's family, and a retired officer, can't let go of the idea that her death is related to what she knew about crime within the Guard. Download Audio
January 5, 2016

Obama frees 2 Alaskan inmates

Two Alaskans are among dozens of federal inmates who will be freed decades early, the White House announced. President Obama has commuted the sentences of Alex Contreras of Anchorage and Raymond Allen Thomas of Fairbanks. Download Audio
December 18, 2015

Alaska delegation splits on US budget bill

Congress has finished its work for the year with a $1.8 trillion spending bill, which president Obama quickly signed. The package drew a mixed response from Alaska’s delegation. Download Audio
December 18, 2015
Spending bill includes rider on GMO salmon labeling

Spending bill includes rider on GMO salmon labeling

A bill poised to pass the U.S. Congress would require the FDA to produce labeling guidelines before it allows the sale of genetically engineered salmon. Download Audio
December 16, 2015
Young defends right to arms for people on 'no-fly' list

Young defends right to arms for people on ‘no-fly’ list

Alaska Congressman Don Young doesn’t think much of the proposal to bar people on the no-fly list from buying guns. "And I will fight until my dying breath," he pledged, "to make sure that we ... retain the Second Amendment.” Download Audio
December 11, 2015
Alaskan hiker falls to her death in New Zealand

Alaskan hiker falls to her death in New Zealand

A 24-year-old Alaskan died in a hiking accident in New Zealand on Wednesday. Nicole Leman was the youngest daughter of former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman. A police constable says the terrain was severe but Leman and her companion hadn't done anything reckless. Download Audio
December 10, 2015

Alaskan dies in New Zealand hiking accident

A 24-year-old Alaskan died in a hiking accident in New Zealand on Wednesday. Nicole Leman was the youngest daughter of former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman.
December 10, 2015

Education reform ditches only part of No Child Left Behind

The U.S. Senate today passed an education reform bill, and the president is expected to sign it tomorrow. Many lawmakers say they’re happy to dump No Child Left Behind. But, the new education bill leaves in place major elements of the law, and that may not be a terrible thing. Download Audio
December 9, 2015

EPA fines Army for toxic leaching at Ft. Wainwright

The Environmental Protection Agency has fined the Army nearly $60,000 for failing to notify the agency of a munitions dump on Fort Wainwright. Download Audio
December 8, 2015

BOEM staffers say rush for Arctic study undermined their work

When Shell announced it was giving up on its leases in the Arctic Ocean, it blamed, in part, the challenging regulatory climate. But an inspector general’s report released today says many of the government regulators who worked the Arctic lease case felt they were too rushed to provide a rigorous review. Download Audio
December 7, 2015

VA: Fix for Choice plan taking longer than expected

The Veterans Affairs Department pledged to create a pilot program to help Alaska vets get health care services outside the VA. The pilot program didn’t get underway in November, as promised, but a top VA official says they’re making progress. Download Audio
December 4, 2015
Alaskans say feds shirk ANILCA's 'no more' pledge

Alaskans say feds shirk ANILCA’s ‘no more’ pledge

It's the 35th anniversary of ANILCA, the federal law that reshaped Alaska, literally redrew the map. ANILCA created new preserves and refuges across the state. It nearly doubled the size of the National Park system. It’s a complicated document that took years of negotiation. But Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Gov. Bill Walker say the feds aren’t living up to their end of the bargain. Download Audio
December 3, 2015
Oh, Chugach tree! Soldotna girl flies to DC to light Alaska spruce

Oh, Chugach tree! Soldotna girl flies to DC to light Alaska spruce

A 74-foot tree from the Chugach National Forest is lit up now on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. A 10-year-old Soldotna girl helped Speaker of the House Paul Ryan flip the switch. Download Audio
December 2, 2015
Alaska ambassadors field questions from DC kids

Alaska ambassadors field questions from DC kids

A trio from Girdwood, in the nation's capital for the lighting of an Alaskan Christmas tree, acted as cultural ambassadors, explaining all things Alaskan to a group of Washington school children. Download Audio
December 1, 2015

Education bill aims to give power to states

Congress appears close to passing an education reform bill that would give Alaska and other states more flexibility than the current 14-year-old education law. Download Audio
November 30, 2015

Obama nudges locality pay for federal workers

Federal workers aren’t getting much of a pay increase next year, but those in Alaska will get a small extra bump.
November 30, 2015
Feds say TAPS owners can't raise rates to pay for over-budget upgrades

Feds say TAPS owners can’t raise rates to pay for over-budget upgrades

A federal commission says the oil companies that own the trans-Alaska pipeline can’t raise rates to cover cost overruns for an upgrade that went horribly over-budget.
November 25, 2015