Alaska News Nightly: May 19, 2016

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Numerous bills remain up in the air as legislators prepare for special session

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Governor Bill Walker called the Legislature into a special session that begins Monday to finish the work lawmakers failed to complete during the 121-day session that ended Wednesday.

Do Arctic villages need oil? Point Lay leaders say no

Liz Ruskin, APRN – Washington D.C.

If oil companies are ever going to return to drill for oil in federal waters of the Arctic, they will need leases. Senator Lisa Murkowski complained at a hearing in Washington this afternoon that the leasing plan the feds are considering is too limited. She bolstered her position by calling on an Arctic Slope mayor who testified that he and his neighbors need the industry. But other Arctic residents sat in the back of the hearing room, passionately opposed to off-shore drilling.

Cruise ship towns concerned for financial future due to state budget proposals

Emily Files, KHNS – Haines

The Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget Wednesday and will reconvene in special session next week. One proposal that was recently passed in conference committee and could come back in the special session has leaders in cruise ship port communities concerned.  The measure would leave those towns without millions of dollars they normally receive from state head-tax revenues.

Legislature passes bills for Alaska military projects

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The U.S. House and Senate have passed appropriations bills that include numerous Alaska military construction projects. A release from Representative Don Young’s office lists projects slated for 5 sites, including over $213 million at Eielson Air Force Base related to the planned basing of F-35 fighter jets. The F-35 projects include aircraft hangars, as well as field training, munitions storage, and missile maintenance facilities.

Justice still sought a year after Kavairlook killing

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

May 17 marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of John Kavairlook Jr. outside of the Rock n Rodeo Bar in Fairbanks.

Federal grant helps Newtok village relocate due to erosion of Ningliq River

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Relocation efforts continue for what many consider America’s first climate refugees. Newtok, a community of over 300 people in Southwest Alaska, has been eroding into the Ningliq River for decades. This week the village received an almost million-dollar federal grant to help with its move.

Two schoolgirls win contest to name two new ferries

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The winners of Alaska’s “Name The New Ferry” contest didn’t know about it until they got a call from Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott. Tuesday’s announcement revealed that one would be the Tazlina and the other the Hubbard.

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