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Alaska News Nightly: January 29, 2015

National Guard Problems Highlight Outdated Code; Shell Says It Plans Offshore Arctic Drilling This Year; Conoco Dials Back Investment in NPR-A; Western Aleutian Steller Sea Lions Potentially Falling Prey To Sleeper Sharks; Anchorage Police Address Rise In Gun Violence; Common Core Stirs Mat-Su Debate; Earthquake Forecasting At Kayhi; Alaska History Gallery To Get Complete Rebuild

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January 29, 2015
Augustine Volcano during its 2005-2006 eruption. (Photo by Cyrus Read, Alaska Volcano Observatory/USGS)

Digging Up Augustine’s Top-Heavy Legacy

Augustine Volcano sits alone, a 4,000-foot pyramid on its own island in Cook Inlet. Like many volcanoes, it has a tendency to become top heavy. When gravity acts on Augustine’s oversteepened dome, rockslides spill into the ocean. A scientist recently found new evidence for an Augustine-generated tsunami from a time when Egyptian pharaohs built their own pyramids.

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January 29, 2015
Shishaldin lets off steam on day one of its eruption in January 2014, and again in early December. (Credit: Janet Schaefer/Levi Musselwhite, AVO)

Shishaldin Volcano’s Eruption Hits One-Year Mark

If you’ve taken a PenAir flight between Unalaska and Anchorage in the past year, you’ve been traveling over an erupting volcano.

January 29, 2015
41 foot sailing vessel Altan Girl is towed out of the sea ice by USCGC Healy after getting stuck about 40 miles northeast of Barrow in July 2014. (Photo by Ensign Carolyn Mahoney, U.S. Coast Guard)

Coast Guard Maps Out Marine Traffic Lanes To The Arctic

Anticipating increased traffic through the Bering Strait as retreating sea ice opens up the Arctic Ocean to more vessels, the U.S. Coast Guard is accepting public comments on proposed vessel routes off northwestern Alaska.

January 29, 2015

Shell To Restart Chukchi Drilling This Summer

Shell plans to restart its drilling work in the Chukchi Sea this summer. The company still needs federal permits and to resolve legal challenges.

January 29, 2015

State Makes Offer On Interior Utility

The State of Alaska plans to purchase Fairbanks Natural Gas, a utility that serves the Interior, for $52.5 million.

January 28, 2015

Legislators Agree to Overhaul Marijuana Bill With Controversial “Defense” Provision

The provision offered a legal defense for anyone brought to court for possessing an ounce after decriminalization, which critics testified was confusing, cumbersome, and went against the will of voters.

January 28, 2015
Project Homeless Connect connects vulnerable communities with services

Project Homeless Connect connects vulnerable communities with services

More than 1,000 Anchorage residents experience homelessness every year. Though Anchorage has dozens of agencies to help people, reaching them all is difficult. In comes Project Homeless Connect.

January 28, 2015

Alaska News Nightly: January 28, 2015

Lawmakers Scrap Bill Addressing Pot Legalization; Anchorage Assembly Bans Marijuana From Public Use; State To Appeal Education Funding Lawsuit Ruling; Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses; With Greater Numbers, Democrats Hope For More Leverage Over Medicaid Expansion; Donlin Gold Closes Camp During Permitting; Sugar Creates Genetic Trouble For Coastal Alaska Natives; Project Homeless Connect Brings Services, Information To Anchorage’s Homeless; Scattered Services Make Homelessness In Haines Hard To Grasp

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January 28, 2015

Anchorage Assembly Bans Marijuana From Public Use

The new rules treat marijuana almost identically to alcohol, replacing arrest and criminal charges for public consumption with a civil citation.

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January 28, 2015
State To Appeal Education Funding Lawsuit Ruling

State To Appeal Education Funding Lawsuit Ruling

The State of Alaska announced Wednesday that it will appeal a final ruling by Superior Court Judge William Carey in favor of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough’s long-held argument that the state’s required local contribution for public education violates Alaska’s Constitution.

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January 28, 2015

Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses

Sen. Lisa Murkowski today failed to land her first counterpunch at the Obama administration’s new Arctic conservation policies. The Senate rejected an amendment that would’ve put a time limit on wilderness study areas.

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January 28, 2015
(Photo by Dean Swope / KYUK)

Donlin Gold Closes Camp During Permitting

Donlin Gold is shutting down its camp at the site of its gold deposit near Crooked Creek. Kurt Parkan is external affairs manager for Donlin Gold.

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January 28, 2015

Sugar Creates Genetic Trouble For Coastal Alaska Natives

The idea that traditional diets are best for coastal Alaska Native people is being further confirmed by the discovery of a gene deficiency that doesn’t allow their systems to process sugar. Dr Matthew Hirschfeld is the director of maternal/child health services at the Alaska Native Medical Center. The intolerant gene causes a condition know as as C-Sid.

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January 28, 2015
Haines Salvation Army corps officer Dave Kyle stands in a room where he lets people sleep if they’re in need of temporary shelter.

Scattered Services Make Homelessness In Haines Hard To Grasp

It’s hard to get a true sense of how big of a problem homelessness is in Haines. There is no shelter or centralized service tasked with responding to homelessness. Right now, a patchwork of local organizations helps out people in need. But even they aren’t sure how large the problem is and what the solution should be.

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January 28, 2015

Murkowski Swings at Obama’s Arctic Wilderness Plan But Misses

Sen. Lisa Murkowski today failed to land her first counterpunch at the Obama administration’s new Arctic conservation policies. The Senate rejected an amendment that would’ve put a time limit on wilderness study areas.

January 28, 2015

Borough Seeks To Fill Assembly Seat

Successful applicant will fill Colver’s seat until October, 2015

January 28, 2015

Anchorage Organizing to Stave Off Army Cuts

The draw-down is part of a national reduction in the size of the armed forces, eliminating 120,000 positions from active duty. A maximum of 11,100 troops could be removed from Alaska.

January 28, 2015

With Greater Numbers, Democrats Hope For More Leverage Over Medicaid Expansion

With the last election, the House Minority caucus grew from ten to 13, making support from at least some of their members necessary if the Legislature wants to tap the state’s budget reserves.

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January 27, 2015
Double Homicide in East Anchorage Latest in String of Gun Incidents

Double Homicide in East Anchorage Latest in String of Gun Incidents

The incident comes within a day of police taking a 14-year-old into custody in connection with the shooting death at a Midtown parking-lot.

January 27, 2015