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Alaska News – APRN

House passes resolution to focus on budget

Lawmakers have talked about focusing on the state budget since their session began three weeks ago. But on Monday, they took action to make it official. The House passed a resolution that limits committees to working on bills that raise or spend state revenue. This new rule will remain in place until the House passes a budget. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
Anchorage to buy ConocoPhillips gas field for $152M

Anchorage to buy ConocoPhillips gas field for $152M

After months of closed door meetings, the city has worked out a deal to buy a section of the Beluga River Unit owned by ConcoPhillips since the 80s. Download Audio
February 8, 2016

Agreement allows Moda to keep selling health insurance in Alaska

The Division of Insurance announced an agreement with insurer Moda Health Monday, that will allow the company to stay on the individual and group markets in Alaska. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
Angoon calls for help after discovering high mercury levels in subsistence seal

Angoon calls for help after discovering high mercury levels in subsistence seal

The City of Angoon believes high levels of mercury have been discovered in subsistence food caught near Hawk Inlet and that Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine could be responsible. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
Dillingham Police get a body cam upgrade

Dillingham Police get a body cam upgrade

An independent investigation this week concluded that Kodiak police officers responded “professionally” within the scope of their authority when they pepper sprayed an autistic man September 16 in Kodiak. The incident caused uproar this fall, and again last month when Kodiak Police released video footage of the encounter. And it’s one of a slew of recent incidents involving police force that have led many Americans to demand measures like equipping officers with body cams. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
AMHS report: Ferries boost Anchorage, Mat-Su economies too

AMHS report: Ferries boost Anchorage, Mat-Su economies too

Many people think the Alaska Marine Highway System only serves port communities in the Southeast and Southwest parts of the state, plus Prince William Sound. It turns out the Railbelt benefits, too. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
Sass takes Yukon Quest lead

Sass takes Yukon Quest lead

Brent Sass is leading the Yukon Quest. He is followed by Hugh Neff, Ed Hopkins, Allen More and Matt Hall. The next section of trail takes teams along the Yukon River to the community of Eagle. Quest mushers made the daunting traverse of Eagle Summit on Sunday. Download Audio
February 8, 2016

Youngsters learning the trapping tradition

There’s a long tradition of trapping fur-bearing animals in Bristol Bay, and one group of Dillingham youngsters has been learning the ropes this winter. Download Audio
February 8, 2016

Bill would mandate repaying scholarships if recipients don’t graduate quicker

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require students to repay state scholarships and grants if they fail to graduate within six years of starting their programs. Members of the House Education Committee on Monday questioned Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole/Fairbanks) about her bill.
February 8, 2016
New, easy tool to check SNAP eligibility could help Alaska's economy

New, easy tool to check SNAP eligibility could help Alaska’s economy

If everyone who was eligible for SNAP benefits applied for the program, $65 million would be added to the state's economy. A new tool makes checking eligibility easy.
February 8, 2016
Instead of budget cuts, Juneau school district asks ‘What can we add?’

Instead of budget cuts, Juneau school district asks ‘What can we add?’

The Juneau School District is facing a sixth year of budget cuts, and it’s handling the budget process a little differently than in recent years. Superintendent Mark Miller laid out the challenge at a public forum on the school budget last week. “If we rolled our current budget over into next year with nothing different, just rolled this year’s budget into next year and did exactly what we’re doing now, we’d be about $1.2 million short,” Miller said. In the past, the question was, what should we cut?
February 8, 2016
Feds fight fish fraud with new recordkeeping rules

Feds fight fish fraud with new recordkeeping rules

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced last week that it is implementing a new tracking program for seafood imports to help combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud. Importers will have to track where fish were caught, the type of gear used and where it was landed. Director of the Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspections John Henderschedt said the federal government wants a better record of who is catching seafood and where it’s landed before it shows up in U.S. stores.
February 8, 2016
Air Station Kodiak Helicopter Pilot Earns Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Station Kodiak Helicopter Pilot Earns Distinguished Flying Cross

The Distinguished Flying Cross is America’s oldest military aviation award and none too easy to earn – it’s only awarded for remarkable acts of heroism. Like what happened south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts one February morning in 2015. A little after 8:30am, the same time many of us are getting to work, a helicopter team from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod hovered above a fishing vessel stranded in nine-foot seas and 40 mph winds with conditions worsening. One of the pilots – now based in Kodiak - won a Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts that day.
February 8, 2016
Sitka residents celebrate grand reopening of library

Sitka residents celebrate grand reopening of library

The renovated and enlarged Sitka Public Library is now open for business, with thousands of books having been moved back from temporary quarters on the Sheldon Jackson campus. Residents showed up in force to check out the new digs Thursday night. Before the new Sitka Public Library opened its doors it was just a big building full of books. A beautiful building, but still just a building. It didn’t actually become a *library* until after the ceremonial ribbon cutting, when eager Sitkans streamed into the facility to get their first peek.
February 8, 2016
Edgecumbe to ANSEP: ‘It’s 70 years of tradition here’

Edgecumbe to ANSEP: ‘It’s 70 years of tradition here’

The past three weeks have been turbulent at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, has proposed turning the 70-year-old boarding school into an accelerated high school, with an emphasis on science and engineering. It all began when ANSEP founder Herb Schroeder presented his idea to lawmakers in January, as a draft piece of legislation. Now, Edgecumbe students and teachers, are asking questions about ANSEP’s motivations – and whether the plan would even work.
February 8, 2016
Bethel businesses submit new round of liquor license applications

Bethel businesses submit new round of liquor license applications

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is considering two liquor license applications for Bethel next week: one for a package liquor store for Bethel Native Corporation’s subsidiary Bethel Spirits LLC and another for Fili’s Pizza restaurant.
February 8, 2016
Skagway assembly member signs guilty plea to federal tax charges, owes IRS $600,000

Skagway assembly member signs guilty plea to federal tax charges, owes IRS $600,000

Longtime Skagway Assembly member and business owner Dan Henry signed a plea agreement Wednesday admitting guilt to federal tax charges and agreeing to pay $600,000 in restitution to the IRS.
February 8, 2016

Kodiak harbor shooting leaves 1 dead

One 28-year-old fisherman is dead and another is in custody after an early Sunday shooting in Kodiak’s Saint Herman Harbor.
February 8, 2016

Former tribal chief sentenced for embezzling over $100,000

A former Healy Lake Tribe first chief and administrator will spend up to 90 days on house arrest as part of her sentence for embezzling more than $100,000 in federal and tribal funds.
February 8, 2016

Alaska troopers: No plans to intervene in village dispute

Alaska State Troopers say they don't know who the rightful tribal leaders are in a western Alaska village, and they've taken no action weeks after a federal judge said the agency could use force to evict former leaders involved in a prolonged power struggle there.
February 8, 2016