Alaska News Nightly: Monday, May 23, 2016

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Lawmakers have rather slow, short first day of special session

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska Public Media – Juneau

Lawmakers met in Juneau today for the first day of the special session. Governor Walker called the Legislature back to work after it failed to pass a budget by the constitutional deadline last week. Lawmakers now have 30 days to try to accomplish what they couldn’t do in the last four months,: pass a budget and make some progress on closing the state’s $4 billion deficit.

Cost for day one of special Legislative session: $520,000

Associated Press

Personnel and per diem costs tallied for the recently ended extended legislative session –so far– total about $520,000.

BP announces sale of midtown Anchorage building

Elizabeth Jenkins, KTOO – Juneau

BP announced Monday that it’s selling its midtown Anchorage building. In a statement, the company says the sale will “reduce costs and free up capital, allowing BP to focus on its core business.” BP will become a tenant in the building rather than the owner, in what the statement describes as a “real estate transaction.”

UAF works to reduce rural energy costs

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

Electric energy is a fundamental factor of modern life. But in rural Alaska the cost of keeping lights on and machines running is extraordinarily high, putting villages at an economic disadvantage.  Last week a federal administrator passed through the University of Alaska Fairbanks to review a project that aims to draw down energy costs in smaller communities.

Yukon king salmon run predicted to be weaker than average this year

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

State and federal fishery managers have released the 2016 outlook for salmon runs in the Yukon River drainage.

Juneau breaks ground on its new homeless housing initiative

Rashah McChnesney, KTOO – Juneau

In 2012, the Juneau Homeless Coalition identified 55 of the most vulnerable homeless people living in the community. Since then, nine have died.

Leaner ferry budget could lead to selling of ferry Taku

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Next winter’s ferry schedule will be leaner than this year’s, and that was pretty lean. It’s the result of budget cuts, which could lead to the sale of the ferry Taku.

Navigating race as a family

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Next winter’s ferry schedule will be leaner than this year’s, and that was pretty lean. It’s the result of budget cuts, which could lead to the sale of the ferry Taku.

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