Alaska News Nightly: March 3, 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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Municipality Sues for Port Damages

Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage

The Municipality of Anchorage is suing a federal agency over problems with a port expansion project. This is the second lawsuit that the administration of Mayor Dan Sullivan has initiated to try to recover funds spent on the troubled port project.

Norwegian Contingent Prepared For For Iditarod Challenge

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Other teams are still making their way into Rainy Pass as they head through the Alaska Range.  It’s arguably the toughest stretch of trail. Many mushers say they’re ready for the challenge, including a contingent of Norwegians who are in Alaska to find out how their dog teams fare on this side of the world.

Bringing Money to Politics: A Job for a Pro

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington DC

Alaska’s U.S. Senate race is shaping up to be a big- money affair. One hidden asset the campaigns deploy is the professional fundraiser. For Congressional races, these are typically Washington-based consultants who help connect the candidates to wealthy political contributors nationwide.

Begich Calls For Increased Education Funding

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

Sen. Mark Begich used his annual address to the Legislature to chastise state lawmakers for their approach to education.

Kikkan Randall Wins World Cup Sprint Race

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Kikkan Randall is back on top. Following disappointing races at the Sochi Olympics, Randall of Anchorage, won a World Cup sprint race in Finland over the weekend.

Teammate Sophie Caldwell’s placed 3rd. The U.S. Ski Team says it’s the first ever double podium finish for the women’s team, and the first time in the modern era that a woman, other than Randall, finished on the podium in an individual race.  Saturday’s victory put Randall back on top of the women’s World Cup sprint standings, as she tries to hold onto the title she’s held for the last two years.

This weekend’s World Cup races in Lahti Finland were also the European tour debut for U.S. skier Reese Hanneman of Fairbanks. Hanneman, who earned World Cup starts by skiing to top finishes at January’s U.S. National Championships, placed 73rd in Sunday’s 15 kilometer race.

State Suing Over Flint Hills North Pole Refinery Contamination

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The State of Alaska will sue over contamination from the Flint Hills North Pole Refinery.  Historic sulfolane spills have resulted in the industrial solvent migrating through ground water.

Outrage And Praise For The EPA Over 404-C

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Friday’s announcement by the EPA to seek a 404-C designation for the proposed Pebble Mine has drawn praise and outrage.

Gov. Parnell Responds To EPA’s 404-C Decision Regarding Pebble Mine

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell calls the EPA decision a preemptive veto.

Alaska Zoo Polar Bears To Get New Home

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The Alaska Zoo in Anchorage has been home to a long line of polar bears over the years,  from the infamous sneaker stealing Binky to the fluffy cub Kali which was shipped to a sister zoo back East last year. Right now,  Ahpun a female, and Lyutik, a young male, are the only two residents in the zoo’s polar bear enclosure, but that is soon to change.