Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016

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PFD lawsuit moves to Alaska Supreme Court

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The state Supreme Court will decide if Alaskans’ Permanent Fund dividends this year were the right amount.

Aleutian volcano erupts

Zoe Sobel, KUCB – Unalaska

A volcano in the eastern Aleutians erupted suddenly Tuesday afternoon. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) said several pilots reported seeing an ash cloud about 34,000 feet above Bogoslof volcano.

ASRC: Obama acts in our name, ignores our needs

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

President Obama cited subsistence and the needs of Alaska Natives yesterday in explaining why he decided to block future oil and gas lease sales in Arctic waters. Some Native people welcome the resource protection. But the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation says the president didn’t consult with its members and is ignoring the real needs of the Inupiat people.

Mike Kelly funeral held

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A funeral service for Mike Kelly, former Fairbanks State Legislator and Golden Valley Electric Association Chief, is being held today. The service is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral.  Kelly died December 7th in a small plane crash south of Fairbanks.

Fairbanks TSA equipment failure solved

Associated Press

Fairbanks International Airport officials said all screening lanes at its airport are now fully functioning.

Fight continues in Tongass over how to keep logging industry alive

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The U.S. Forest Service wears a lot of hats. The agency oversees federal lands, repairs salmon streams and auctions off trees. In Alaska, timber sales are intended to stimulate the local economy, but industry groups say that through the years the forest service hasn’t made enough logs available to keep the industry alive. Now, with changes to federal regulations, even less old growth is slated for market.

Federal coal mining rule angers operator

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The operator of Alaska’s only coal mine is speaking out against a new Obama administration water protection rule for the industry. Healy-based Usibelli coal mine saw the Stream Protection Rule as an attack on the industry.

Timeline extended for state takeover of Alaska LNG project

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation is still trying to broker a deal to take over the Alaska LNG project, but it will not happen by its self-imposed end-of-the-year deadline.

Ilisagvik College to expand bachelor degree programs

Ellen Lockyer, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

At the Northernmost point of the state, in Utquiagvik,  Ilisagvik College’s board of trustees has passed a resolution approving the expansion of the college’s bachelor level degree programs.  The school will offer new programs in business administration, with plans to begin offering bachelors degrees in  elementary education.

Ask a Climatologist: Tallying daylight on the darkest day of the year

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Alaska marked the solstice early Dec. 21, at 1:44 a.m. So what does that mean for the amount of daylight across the state?

Waning membership spurs Anchorage ski organization to change tack

Josh Edge, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Without much snow, the last couple of years have been tough for many winter-sport enthusiasts across Southcentral Alaska, especially cross-country skiers. And conditions have forced an Anchorage organization to rely on artificial methods to keep the ski community alive in the state’s largest city.