Alaska News Nightly: Monday, May 2, 2016

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Moda Health leaving Alaska individual health market in 2017

The Associated Press
One of two companies offering individual health insurance policies for Alaskans on the federally facilitated health insurance marketplace has announced it will be withdrawing from the market next year.

Legislature makes slow progress on criminal sentencing overhaul

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO/APRN-Juneau
Lawmakers found they had less room and not enough desks or phones to go around on Monday. That’s because they’re sharing space in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center while the Capitol is being renovated.

New GOP chairman calls for unity, but party fault lines still show

Liz Ruskin, APRN-Washington, DC
The Alaska Republican Party has a new chairman: Tuckerman Babcock, of Soldotna. While Republicans nationally are divided for and against Donald Trump, the fault lines at the state convention in Fairbanks this weekend had a more local flavor.

Jury selection starts in Kangas murder trial

Dan Bross, KUAC-Fairbanks
Jury selection began Monday in Fairbanks for the trial of a Tanana man charged with killing two Alaska State Troopers. Nathaniel Kangas, 22, is charged with the May 1, 2014 murders of Sergeant Scott Johnson and Trooper Gabe Rich.

Alaska floats rules for pot use at certain shops

The Associated Press
The board tasked with regulating Alaska’s nascent marijuana industry has approved draft regulations for how customers will be allowed to consume pot they buy in certain retail stores on site.

Quintillion continues work on major cable project

Tim Ellis, KUAC-Fairbanks
Anchorage-based Quintillion Networks has resumed work on a major fiber-optic cable project that will improve broadband internet service in five communities in northern Alaska. Quintillion hopes to link the Alaska cable to a larger system that eventually will run from Japan to Europe.

Fog delays Bethel liquor store opening

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK-Bethel
Weather conditions have delayed the opening of Bethel’s liquor store. Fog prevented Walter Pickett, AC general manager, from landing in Bethel Monday morning to give AC Quickstop its final compliance check before it opens what would be Bethel’s first liquor store in more than 40 years.

‘Most Likely to Succeed’ author encourages education innovation

Lori Townsend, APRN-Anchorage
An advocate for a revolution in education has been touring the nation and recently spent eight days visiting Alaska schools. Ted Dintersmith is a former venture capitalist turned education innovation enthusiast.

Hiker dies after fall in Denali National Park

Josh Edge, APRN-Anchorage/The Associated Press
A hiker died last week in Denali National Park. Searchers discovered the remains of 24-year-old Michael Purdy on Sunday near the north end of Savage River Loop Trail.

Ferry fares rise for third time in a year

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska-Juneau
It’s costing 10 percent more to take the ferry to and from the Lower 48.The higher fare began Sunday, as part of another round of tariff increases.

Unusually big pink salmon may be related to smaller coho and kings

Matt Miller, KTOO-Juneau
Fisheries researchers are investigating why pink salmon, a staple of Southeast Alaska’s commercial fisheries, seem to be growing bigger every year while other, longer-lived salmon species are getting smaller in size.