Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 23, 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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Fairbanks mayor prods police to investigate other suspects in Hartman murder

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks city police chief has apologized for statements made last week about the legal settlement that vacated the long contested murder convictions of the Fairbanks Four, the Native men who served 18 years in jail for the 1997 beating death of John Hartman.

Fundraiser nets $32K for Juneau shelter, soup kitchen

Lisa Phu, KTOO – Juneau

Five Juneau Native dance groups organized a fundraiser Monday night, which raised about $32,000 for the capital city’s shelter and soup kitchen.

Labyrinth of VA paperwork, bureaucracy leaves vets feeling lost

Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage

The Department of Veterans Affairs in Alaska has made enormous strides the last few years connecting veterans with benefits and healthcare. But serious problems remain. Yesterday we brought you the first part of a story about Scott Harrison, a former Marine who fell into poverty while stranded between operations.

Police arrest 2nd suspect in Anchorage double homicide

Josh Edge, APRN – Anchorage

A second person has been arrested in connection to Monday’s double homicide in west Anchorage.

Court employees furloughed Christmas Eve to save money

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

All of the state’s 39 courthouses will be closed Christmas Eve as a cost saving measure while the state tries to chip away at a multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

State pre-K slated for elimination in governor’s budget plan

Hannah Colton, KDLG – Dillingham

The governor’s proposed budget calls for the elimination of a $2 million pre-kindergarten program, which serves six school districts in Anchorage, Juneau, and Western Alaska.

Yukon salmon fishery numbers show strong season

Charles Enoch, KYUK – Bethel

There were a total of 44 commercial fishing openers for coho and chum in the Yukon River, most of which were held in the lower river districts. Commercial fisherman harvested 191,470 chum and a record-breaking 129,700 coho salmon, raking in a total of almost $1.5 million.

Christmas lights brighten Sitka after rough year

Brielle Schaffer, KCAW – Sitka

Mike Romine is a Sitka man with a love of Christmas lights. His home has become an attraction every December with its huge displays, coordinated to musical hits such as “Uptown Funk.” But this season, as Sitkans work to recover from a deadly natural disaster, the lights hold a special meaning.