Alaska News Nightly: January 27, 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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State, Valdez Officials Assess Richardson Highway Avalanches

Tony Gorman, KCHU – Valdez

The Alaska Department of Transportation says highway access to Valdez has been cut off indefinitely by avalanches. The community may not have road access, but progress has been made to provide transportation to its residents.

Hearings Begin For LNG Pipeline

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

It took Governor Sean Parnell three years to get his oil tax overhaul through the Legislature. Now, the goal is to pass a bill setting the terms for a massive natural gas pipeline in 90 days. Hearings on the project started today, and a half dozen more are scheduled for this week alone.

Sullivan, Treadwell Address Variety of Topics At Anchorage Chamber of Commerce

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Two of the Republican candidates vying for U.S. Senator Mark Begich’s job, presented their records and thoughts on a range of issues for the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce lunch crowd today.

Researchers Explore Polar Vortex

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

With unseasonably warm weather reaching all the way up into the Brooks Range in Alaska and bitterly cold weather dipping deep into the Lower 48 states, everybody wants to know more about the Polar Vortex – the jet stream that wobbles around the Arctic. Last month in San Francisco a team of scientists with the Byrd Polar Research Center came out with a study that takes one more step toward better understanding that wobble by putting a lot more detail into high-latitude weather records of the past.

Admiral Ostebo Discusses Future of Port Clarence

Anna Rose MacArthur, KNOM – Nome

The U.S. Coast Guard owns Port Clarence, and many entities want a piece of the property. But the Coast Guard intends to hold on to at least some of the real estate.

PILT: Local Municipal Officials Hope Congress Will Fund Federal-Aid Program

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Local government officials are getting nervous about Congress’s failure to continue funding for a program that helps municipalities with a lot of federal land. Money for the so-called payment in lieu of taxes or PILT program wasn’t included in the trillion-dollar spending bill Congress passed this month. But it is reportedly part of the Farm bill that lawmakers unveiled late today. The program is especially critical for smaller communities like Delta Junction.

Western Alaska Residents Await Disaster Relief Money

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

President Obama has declared November’s storms in Western Alaska a natural disaster. The storms inflicted heavy damage on Kotlik and Stebbins, and created problems in other Bering Straits communities.

Program Could Loosen Water Pollution Regulations

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchroage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the federal Environmental Protection Agency are joining in a new program that allows water polluters to gain clean water credits without reducing the amount of effluent they produce. The deal is not used in Alaska yet, but it allows a permitted facility to purchase pollutant reduction credits from other users within the same watershed.  And clean water advocates in the state say the arrangement is missing the point of the Clean Water Act.

Chythlook-Sifsof Left Off Olympic Roster

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A snowboarder with deep ties to the Bristol Bay region will miss out on a return trip to the Olympics.

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