Alaska News Nightly: May 28, 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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Rain, Little Wind Help Firefighters Combat Funny River Fire
Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI Homer

Light rain and little wind has helped keep the Funny River fire from growing much for the past two days. It is 30 percent contained and as of Wednesday afternoon, it is estimated to have burned more than 183,000 acres on the central Kenai Peninsula.

Fairbanks Team Leads Firefighting Efforts on Kenai
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

Wednesday marked one week since the Funny River fire began burning on the Kenai Peninsula. Very early on in the fire, one group from Fairbanks has been in control of the firefighting efforts.

Firefighters Shifting from Tyonek to Funny River
Aaron Selbig, KBBI – Homer

Officials overseeing the Tyonek wildfire on the west side of Cook Inlet said today that most firefighting personnel were being released from the fire, with some of them headed to the Kenai Peninsula to work on the Funny River fire.

Parnell Signs Budgets, Spares Veto Pen
Steve Heimel, APRN – Anchorage

Governor Sean Parnell signed the state operating and capital budgets this afternoon in downtown Anchorage, beginning with a speech to the Rotary Club, in which he said the Legislature met the spending targets he laid out for it

Oil Companies, Munis Have Window to Appeal Pipeline Evaluation
The Associated Press

Oil companies and Alaska municipalities have 30 days to decide whether to appeal a State Assessment Review Board decision to set the value of the trans-Alaska pipeline at $10.2 billion.

Senate Passes Bill to Grant More Tribal Jurisdiction
Joaqlin Estus, KNBA – Anchorage

A bill that would give tribes greater jurisdiction over substance abuse, domestic violence and other misdemeanors was passed out of the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee last week despite objections from the state.

Anthony Mallott Named CEO of Sealaska
Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A second generation of Mallotts is taking over the helm at Sealaska. The regional Native corporation’s board of directors named Anthony Mallott as president and CEO during a shareholders’ meeting Tuesday night in Anchorage. He’s the son of former CEO and long-time board member Byron Mallott, who’s running for governor as a Democrat.

Ferry Workers Approve Strike Authorization
Margaret Friedenauer, KHNS – Haines

Alaska Marine Highway workers approved a strike authorization this week, meaning the Inlandboatmen’s Union could call for workers to strike within the next month if the union and state can’t agree on a new contract.

Funny River Fire Evacuees Back at Home, But Prepared to Leave Again
Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

Hooligan’s Lodging became one of Soldotna’s main hubs during the evacuation. Though most evacuees have returned home, the hotel is ready in case the fire moves toward the community again.

Searchers Continue Looking for Missing Hiker
Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Volunteers spent a fourth day searching for missing hiker 48-year-old Sharon Buis. Tuesday’s efforts resulted in no new leads. Buis has been missing since Saturday.