With warming ocean temperatures, the risk for paralytic shellfish poisoning can linger all year round. And Alaska has only one FDA-certified laboratory to test shellfish. There are no labs to protect those digging for their dinner, but that may soon change.
Marijuana for sale at a dispensary in California. (Photo: Dank Depot via Flickr Creative Commons)

The board tasked with regulating Alaska's nascent marijuana industry has approved draft regulations for how customers will be allowed to consume pot they buy in certain retail stores on site.
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Alaska State Wildlife Troopers are investigating two cases of wanton waste of caribou in northwest Alaska. Download Audio

Alaska banned texting while driving in 2008. The maximum penalty for a first time offense is $10,000, the highest in the country. And in Sitka, the Assembly cracked down on the issue even further. On Tuesday night, the group passed a law that would fine those caught with a phone in their hand while driving. The policy intends to reduce distracted driving, but it’s rules are of deep concern to some local taxi drivers.

Bethel’s first liquor store in over 40 years is set to open next week. AC Quickstop received the town’s first liquor license last fall after decades of restricted alcohol sales, and Walter Pickett, AC general manager, says the store could open as early as Monday. Download Audio

Fire season has already started. The mild winter and lack of snow in Southcentral Alaska has firefighters nervous about the tinder dry conditions in and around the state's largest urban center. Interior Alaska is also an area of high fire danger this spring. Green up is early, but how much would new growth slow a big burn?

This week we're hearing from Jenna Holcomb in Anchorage. Holcomb is a life-long Alaskan and works at the Brown Bag Sandwich Company.
anchorage land use map

Municipality of Anchorage planners are engaged in a project that could outline how the city will look in 20 years. In the meantime, Anchorage neighborhoods are changing. Throughout the past decade, the city has seen growth that has brought forth new challenges. This week, a team of presenters has been hosting informational sessions around town on the Anchorage Bowl Land Use Plan Map Update. On this week's Alaska Edition, these presenters will fill us in on how the community can further this discussion.

A months long search has yielded two candidates with very different experience across Alaska's schools. Download Audio

Negotiators reach deal on excess power program earnings; political intrigue at the Alaska Republican Convention; Anchorage narrows its superintendent search to two; House science committee grills McLerran on EPA's effort to block Pebble; former Alaska Senator Gravel to speak at UAA, Federal Board closes caribou hunting to non-locals in the Northwest Arctic, hooligan make strong return to Chilkoot and Chilkat Download Audio

EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran testified in front of a House oversight committee Thursday. It was McLerran who decided to move forward with a Clean Water Act 404c determination in the Bristol Bay watershed, following an ecological risk assessment done by EPA. The House committee has been investigating whether or not that was fair to Pebble Mine and proper for EPA. Download Audio

The state Republican Convention started this afternoon in Fairbanks. We sent APRN reporter Liz Ruskin to check it out. Download Audio

Former Alaska U.S. Senator Mike Gravel is in Alaska this week. The outspoken Democrat is known for being fiercely independent, famously reading the Pentagon papers on the floor of the Senate in 1971 at a time when President Richard Nixon refused to release them to reporters. He also attempted a run for President in 2008. Download Audio

House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement for use of any excess earnings from a fund set up to help rural areas faced with high electricity costs. Download Audio

In the Northwest Arctic, caribou hunting has been contentious for years. Alaska’s largest herd continues to decline, while tensions have emerged between rural subsistence users and outside hunters. Download Audio

The hooligan are back. After last year’s disappointing runs in the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers, Haines and Klukwan subsistence fishermen are excited that this spring’s return has been abundant. Area biologists don’t know why the runs fluctuate so much. But they’re trying to bolster research to understand the traditionally important fish a little better. Download Audio

Alaska’s larger cities could see a drop in state funding as Community Revenue Sharing is scaled down. Anchorage takes the biggest hit. Juneau could lose over a million dollars in the next few years. Meanwhile, some rural communities could receive more. But as legislators squabble about how to fill the state’s budget void, the uncertainty has some municipalities wondering if they’ll be fine, or have to close entirely.

Walker, industry leader have separate concerns on oil, gas bill; Republicans converge on Fairbanks, with eyes for Cleveland; report indicates plane flew low before fatal Birchwood crash; ice jam raises water levels in Eagle; new bill would replace misdemeanor charges for underage drinking with fine; Yup'ik Alaskan one of 10 to receive national award for justice advocacy; Fish and Wildlife consider ban on predator hunting in refuge lands; biologists project lower harvests of pink salmon this season 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

The types of oil and gas companies that would benefit from state tax credits would change, under a bill the House Rules Committee unveiled Tuesday. Governor Bill Walker says he’s concerned about these changes. The bill also received a cool reception from industry. But it may be the best chance to resolve one of the thorniest issues facing the state. Download Audio