Alaska News Nightly: February 24, 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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New Oil Tax Opponents Offer Alternatives

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage & Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

With the deadline for filing new legislation arriving Monday, opponents of the new oil tax system have offered their own alternatives.

Alaska Army National Guard Sexual Misconduct Investigation Results In Administrative Charges

Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

A months-long investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Alaska Army National Guard soldiers in Anchorage has resulted in administrative charges. The investigators confirmed to the “Anchorage Daily News” that five National Guard recruiting personnel face charges ranging from sexual assault, to sexual harassment, to sexual misconduct, sometimes involving recruits.

Hollis French Pushing To Nix Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

In 1998, Alaska became the first state to put a ban on same-sex marriage into its constitution. Now, the minority leader in the State Senate wants to get rid of that ban.

Adult Learning Center Offers Educational Opportunities

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

As the traditional strains of Pomp and Circumstance rang out of a boom box at Anchorage’s Wilda Marston Theater recently, thirty black-robed high school graduates paraded down the aisle.  February is not the usual month for such a ceremony, but what makes this graduation really different – the grads are not teenagers, and they hail from as far away as the Congo.

Measure Calls For Tongass Timber Transfer

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Legislation urging the state to take over some Tongass National Forest lands is bringing questions and opposition. Sitka Republican Senator Bert Stedman’s resolution calls for the governor to seek transfer of Tongass timberlands.

Former Trooper Arrested For Sexual Abuse Of Minor

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A former Alaska State Trooper has been arrested for sexual abuse of a minor.  Troopers say Warren Tanner of North Pole was picked up Friday following a report received the previous day that the 75-year-old had been abusing a 14 year old girl, over several years. Tanner was taken into custody with the assistance of U.S. Marshalls and jailed in Fairbanks.  Tanner commanded the Fairbanks Trooper detachment for 2 years, before retiring in 1999.  He served as a provost Marshall on Ft. Wainwright in the 1970’s before becoming a Trooper.

Anchorage Daily News Launches Project Examining Effects Of Alcohol On Alaskans

Lori Townsend, APRN – Anchorage

The Anchorage Daily News is undertaking a year-long examination of the affects of alcohol on Alaskan lives. Kyle Hopkins is reporting the series with photojournalist Marc Lester. On Sunday, the reporters introduced four mothers who have kids with fetal alcohol disorders. Hopkins says they wanted to tell the stories of the birth mothers and their kids.

Legislation Introduced To Protect ‘Public Interest Litigants’

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Three Democrats in the Alaska Senate introduced legislation Wednesday that seeks to protect the rights of those who sue the state about issues in the public interest.    The proposed Pebble Mine is at the heart of the proposed legislation.

Fairbanks UAV Testing Center Ramps Up

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is ramping up its unmanned aerial vehicle testing center. The university was one of 6 entities around the country selected by the Federal Aviation Administration in December to undertake the task of integrating UAV’s into U.S. airspace.