Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, June 23, 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 alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprn

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Attorney General Craig Richards resigns abruptly

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The head of Alaska’s legal team announced today he is stepping down.

Walker appoints new DNR commissioner; second cabinet change today

Rashah McChesney, KTOO – Juneau

The state Department of Natural Resources has a new commissioner.

Congressional delegation on Trump: meh

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

We asked Congressman Don Young and U.S. Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski how they feel about Donald Trump these days. Their responses ranged from tepid to chilly.

Rural Alaska communities to get $16 million in federal energy grants

Graelyn Brashear, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency today announced more than $16 million in federal grants for energy projects in communities across Alaska.

Anchorage woman wins Trans Am bike race; first woman, first American to do so

Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Lael Wilcox is a woman of many firsts. The 29 year old Anchorage resident and world bicycle traveler just won the 4200 mile Trans Am bike race. She was the first woman and the first American to win the grueling race. Wilcox started the race on June 4th in Astoria, Oregon and won yesterday in Virginia. The Trans Am race is self supported. Wilcox said you have to carry what you need or buy it along the way.

All manner of waterborne entries on starting line of race to Alaska

Tom Banse, Northwest News Network – Oregon

It was so memorable they had to do it again. The 750-mile Race to Alaska is back for a second year as 43 teams of sailors, rowers and paddlers prepare to set off from Port Townsend, Washington at 6 a.m. on Thursday.

Group cites concern for belugas in protest of Bluecrest

Jenny Neyman, KBBI – Homer

A national environmental group is challenging BlueCrest Energy’s plans to conduct hydraulic fracturing in Cook Inlet, citing concerns for endangered beluga whales.

Boulder the size of a van dislodged over Seward highway

Associated Press

Alaska road crews have dislodged a massive boulder that was poised to come crashing down on a highway busy with summer travelers.

Yukon subsistence fisherman get first targeted opening for Yukon salmon in 5 years

Tim Bodony, KIYU – Galena

Subsistence fishermen on the Yukon are getting some rare gillnet openings during the middle of the summer season, and will be allowed to keep any king salmon they catch.

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to speak at UAF in August

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is scheduled to speak at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. UAF Summer Sessions will host Sotomayor at the Davis Concert Hall August 14th.

Future of Denali Wolf pack in question

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A long studied and viewed Denali National Park wolf pack is on the verge of disappearing. The East Fork pack ranges near the park entrance, including on state land wolf advocates want closed to harvest.  The fate of the East Fork pack has also inspired a call for closer pack monitoring and rescue of any orphan pups.

Tetlin fire estimated smaller than previously thought, still burning near Tok

Josh Edge, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Tetlin River Fire, south of Tok, is now estimated at 818 acres …that’s nearly 200 acres smaller than previously thought.