Alaska News Nightly: January 2, 2014

Individual news stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter @aprn.

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Exxon, Chevron Make Big Contributions To Preserve New Oil Tax Law

Alexandra Guiterrez, APRN – Juneau

Exxon and Chevron have made major contributions to a campaign that wants to preserve a controversial oil tax law that passed this year, according to recent filings with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

New Energy Politics Changes Likely To Affect Alaska

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

In Washington, at both the White House and in Congress, 2014 brings changes to the politics of energy that are likely to affect Alaska.

CH2M Hill Selected to Rescue Anchorage Port Project

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Engineering firm CH2M Hill has been selected to manage the troubled Port of Anchorage project. The project was shut down after construction problems a few years ago and remains tied up in lawsuits, but today officials said it could be back on track again this year.

Legislative Task Force Clashes Over Education Funding

Alexandra Guiterrez, APRN – Juneau

Members of a legislative task force clashed over funding as they worked on a blueprint for addressing education in Alaska.

New Mat-Su Trooper Unit Gets First Arrests

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

A new Alaska State Trooper crime unit in the Matanuska Susitna Borough area has already nabbed its first criminals.  In mid December, Troopers announced a new property crimes unit, to start work on January first of this year.

Expansion Planned For Nome Graveyard

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

A recent draft report prepared by the Fairbanks-based company Northern Land Use Research Alaska found what is likely about a hundred unmarked graves in Nome’s cemetery. The company conducted a Ground Penetrating Radar Analysis of the areas around Nome’s existent graveyard as part of a planned expansion for the grounds. Josie Bahnke is Nome’s city manager and says the cemetery expansion is steadily moving forward.

Alaska Air National Guard Finds Missing Snowmachiner

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The Alaska Air National Guard was called to Bristol Bay Wednesday night to help look for an overdue snowmachiner from Koliganek.

Climate Change, Arctic Activity Expected To Multiply Pollutant Concentrations

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

Climate change and increased Arctic activity are projected to offset declines in toxic human emissions. A recent study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology predicts warmer temperatures will cause contaminants stored in the earth to re-emit back into the atmosphere. In addition, increases in Arctic vessel traffic and oil and gas drilling will multiply pollutant concentrations.

‘Targeted Hunt’ Aims For Moose Near Roadways

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Matanuska – Susitna Borough drivers run down hundreds of moose each year on their travels to and from Anchorage.  Now a special hunt, called a “targeted hunt” allows winter hunting to reduce the number of moose near roadways.  The hunt was established by the state Board of Game in 2011.

Yukon Commercial Fishermen May Be Able To Use Purse Seine Gear

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

As fish managers attempted preserve the Yukon River king salmon last summer, commercial chum fisherman tried out some new gear. They used dip nets and beach seine gear by emergency order during the many king salmon closures. They brought in nearly 200,000 fish, but some say that’s not enough for their income, or for the future of the fishery.