Alaska News Nightly: February 21, 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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Sam Kito III Named As New Juneau Representative

Rosemarie Alexander, KTOO – Juneau

Governor Sean Parnell appointed civil engineer and legislative lobbyist Sam Kito III to fill the House District 32 seat on Friday, vacated last month by Juneau Representative Beth Kerttula.

Report Focuses On Potential NPR-A Development

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An analysis of what would be the first commercial development in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska is the subject of a report issued by the Bureau of Land Management.

ASD Board Taps Reserves to Pass Budget

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

After weeks of number crunching, the Anchorage School Board unanimously passed a budget last night that cuts $23 million and 200 positions, nearly 150 of those are teaching positions in middle and grade schools. More than a dozen people testified. Then the board made small changes at the high school level that will make a big difference to the community.

‘Arctic Ambassador’ Position Draws Mixed Reaction From Alaska Delegation

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC & Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

Secretary of State John Kerry announced last week that he’s creating a new position called Special Representative for the Arctic Region. It’s been referred to as an “Arctic Ambassador” in some reports, but it’s not exactly that, and the reaction of Alaska’s two U.S. senators has been mixed.

Municipal League Supports Pension Infusion Plan

Casey Kelly, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s mayors and other local officials are worried their governments may be asked to pay more toward public employees’ retirement. The lobbying group Alaska Municipal League is backing Governor Sean Parnell’s proposal to use $3 billion in savings to reduce an estimated $12 billion shortfall in state pension funds.

Mekoryuk Residents Seek More Musk Oxen For Local

Ben Matheson, KYUK – Bethel

Residents of Mekoryuk on Nunivak Island are seeking more involvement, and more musk oxen harvest.  This is happening as the 20-year-old agreement that guides management is set to undergo changes.

AK: Rural Recycling

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM – Nome

The city of Nome just bought a new recycling shed online. It’s another step towards diverting more waste from the landfill, and either re-purposing it or shipping it out of Alaska. Rural recycling presents some unique challenges for environmental management. And the city is finding some unique solutions.

300 Villages: Tazlina

This week we’re headed to Tazlina, a small community off the Glennallen Highway near Wrangell Saint Elias National Park. Sheila Hay owns The Aurora Borealis Bed and Breakfast in Tazlina.