Alaska News Nightly: Friday, Feb. 26, 2016

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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Alaska Democrats announce finalists to fill Gruenberg seat

Associated Press

Anchorage Democrats have announced three finalists to fill the vacancy left by the late state Rep. Max Gruenberg.

Hundreds of millions more in budget cuts recommended 

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The Legislature completed the first stage of its annual budget process today. House Finance Subcommittees recommended more than $120 million more in cuts on top of the 100 million that Governor Bill Walker proposed.

Rep. Young wins lightning round on bears, feds, ANWR

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.

It was a busy morning for Rep. Don Young. On U.S. House floor, he took on a trio of iconic Alaska issues – polar bears, state sovereignty and a wilderness proposal for the Arctic Refuge. Young prevailed on all three.

AVCP Allanivik Hotel and Mud Hut shutting down

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

The Allanivik Hotel and adjoining Mud Hut restaurant will close their doors April 15. The Association of Village Council Presidents operates the establishment and announced the shutdown Wednesday. When the hotel closes, its laundry facilities used by the public will close as well. And under the executive board’s directive, the hotel has stopped accepting Medicaid vouchers.

In rural Alaska, people power is as important as wind power

Rachel Waldholz, APRN – Anchorage

Yesterday we brought you the story of a pioneering wind system in Western Alaska, where the four villages of the Chaninik Wind Group are aiming to replace half their diesel use with wind power. But when it comes to energy innovation in rural Alaska, technology is only half the story. It’s all about people power.

Iron Dog approaches its final stage: Johnson, Aklestad in lead

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

The 2016 Iron Dog Snowmachine Race is approaching its final stage, and Team 8 is cautiously guarding its lead. The team of Eagle River’s Tyson Johnson and Palmer’s Tyler Aklestad were the first to reach Tanana this afternoon at 1:47 – 39 minutes faster than their closest competitors.

AK: Escape the room and save Talkeetna

Phillip Manning, KTNA – Talkeetna

Under most circumstances, being trapped in a small room with a countdown clock would be a bit nerve-wracking, but a new business in Talkeetna aims to make it fun. Trapped in Talkeetna is a live escape room experience, where a team of players has one hour to solve a puzzle in order to escape. KTNA’s Phillip Manning and his team tried their hand at solving the puzzle – and talked with the owners about why they decided to open Alaska’s first escape room

49 Voices: Robert Johnson of Anchorage

Wesley Early, APRN – Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Robert Johnson who’s lived in Alaska since the mid ‘80s.