Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media
Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch intends to visit Alaska on Friday. She plans to discuss public safety concerns of Alaska Natives communities and tribes. Download Audio

Joe Miller didn't file to run for U.S. Senate this year, but the Republican issued a statement last night that has the look of a campaign press release.

Fifteen candidates are running for Lisa Murkowski’s U.S. Senate seat. Only one Murkowski challenger, though, has already raised a sizable war chest: Anchorage attorney Margaret Stock. While Democrats recruited Stock to run, Stock insists she’s no Democrat. Download Audio

Ex-Anchorage mayor Dan Sullivan says he didn’t want to file for Sen. Lisa Murkowski's seat until he knew who else was running. Late in the afternoon, he spoke to Murkowski’s 2010 rival, Joe Miller. Download Audio

Former Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan is apparently challenging U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican Primary. The news, broken by an ADN reporter on Twitter, raises the prospect that Alaska would have two Republican U.S. Senators named "Dan Sullivan." Download Audio

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
The Coast Guard vessel Healy is considered a medium icebreaker. Photo: USCG.

A U.S. Senate panel has passed a bill that includes $1 billion to build a new polar icebreaker. The subcommittee on Defense Appropriations put the money in the Navy's budget. It’s far from a done deal, though. 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

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan gave the weekly Republican address on Saturday. The Alaska senator took the opportunity to bash President Obama for what he says is an anemic economy.

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.

Tuckerman Babcock, a long-time Republican strategist and former aide to Gov. Wally Hickel, is the new chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.