Alaska News Nightly: November 10, 2014

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Division of Elections To Start Counting Absentee, Questioned Ballots Tomorrow

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN – Juneau

After a week of collecting and reviewing absentee and questioned ballots, the Division of Elections will start counting votes Tuesday.

Lawsuit Claims Chukchi Rules Fail to Protect Walrus

Liz Ruskin, APRN

A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit today against the Fish and Wildlife Service, saying its rule allowing the oil industry to disturb or harm Pacific walrus in the Chukchi Sea violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Appeals Court Revives Alaska Suit On Roadless Rule

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Alaska will continue its court battle against a U.S. Forest Service policy that blocks logging in undeveloped areas of national forests.

7 Escape Kenai Juvenile Detention Facility, 5 Apprehended Over Weekend

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

Seven teenagers were involved in an attack on unarmed guards at a Kenai Peninsula juvenile detention facility Friday night. Five escaped the facility and were apprehended over the weekend.

Some Communities Investigating Local Option To Ban Marijuana

Matthew Smith, KNOM – Nome

Though the final count is still pending, unofficial results show Alaskans voting “yes” to legalizing marijuana in last week’s election. But the road to a legal and regulated marijuana market is months away, and communities who still want to keep the divisive drug out are looking at doing so the same way many currently ban alcohol: the local option.

Team Documents Elders’ Memories of Colder Winters

Daysha Eaton, KYUK – Bethel

Multimedia producers are in Alaska gathering audio for a project called ‘Winters Past’. Their first stop was in Bethel where they’re talking with elders about how they’ve seen the climate change in their lifetimes.

Settlement Signed In Sitka Gender Equity Dispute

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

The Sitka School District has reached a settlement in a gender equity dispute over the community’s new ball field.

The resolution averts a full blown civil rights investigation, but also means that high school baseball and softball will have to arrive at an equitable practice and game schedule at the city-owned field – a goal which has been difficult to achieve so far.

One Option To Avoid High Housing Costs In Juneau: Live On a Boat

Kayla Desroches, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau has some of the highest housing prices in Alaska. According to the state Department of Labor, the average single family home costs $349,000 dollars in the capital city. A typical rental unit is more than a thousand dollars a month.

One way to combat the high cost of housing is to rent a slip on the docks for a houseboat or a live aboard.