Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015

Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via emailpodcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn.

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Lawmakers: Legislature likely to vacate controversial downtown offices

Austin Baird, KTUU-TV – Anchorage

The Legislature is likely to back out of its controversial and costly lease of new legislative offices in downtown Anchorage, according to a couple of Republican lawmakers.

Spending bill includes rider on GMO salmon labeling

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Anchorage

A bill poised to pass the U.S. Congress would require the FDA to produce labeling guidelines before it allows the sale of genetically engineered salmon.

38K Alaskans turn to Food Stamps during thin times

Anne Hillman, KSKA – Anchorage

According to a new White House report, 38,000 Alaska households receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Most people know SNAP by its original name: Food Stamps. Two-thirds of those households have children. Half of them are in deep poverty. The statistics go on and on. But is the program working?

Interior Energy Project loses GVEA business to Petro Star

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Golden Valley Electric Association is favoring oil over natural gas to fuel large generators in North Pole.

Deeper ferry cuts on the horizon?

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Budget cuts have already dramatically reduced Alaska Marine Highway sailings. And the recently released spending plan for the next fiscal year calls for more.

Sitka gets nod for ship-shape harbor

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

Sitka is the fourth recipient of a statewide clean harbors certificate.

Interior village of Beaver to keep its school, for now

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Interior village of Beaver’s school will remain open, despite a below par student count this fall.

Whale research center comes ashore in Southeast

Robert Woolsey, KCAW – Sitka

A whale research foundation working in Southeast Alaska for the last 20 years is coming ashore. The Center for Coastal Conservation has acquired the former general store in Warm Springs Bay, on eastern Baranof Island, and has plans to expand its research programs beyond humpback whales.

Bethel woman takes 4th at international powerlifting meet

Lakeidra Chavis, KYUK – Bethel

Last month 25-year-old Alaskan Natalie Hanson placed fourth at an international powerlifting competition in Germany.