Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Legislative session kicks off in Juneau

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The 30th Alaska State Legislature was sworn into office today.  It faces a fiscal crisis that’s grown over the past four years, as oil revenue declined. Attention is focused on the state House, which has a new majority.

Pilot, passenger on downed aircraft near Pilot Point evaced Monday night

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

Both the pilot and passenger of a Van Air plane crash survived, and they were successfully rescue by Coast Guard and transported for medical care Monday night.

Airport shooting suspect back in court for bail hearing

Associated Press

The Anchorage man suspected of fatally shooting five people and wounding six others at a Florida airport has been ordered held without bond.

Interior pick firmly against fed land transfer, with wiggle room for Alaska

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

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to head the Interior Department sat for a confirmation hearing today. Sen. Lisa Murkowski used the opportunity to condemn the Obama administration, which she says has treated Alaska like a park and tried to safeguard it from Alaskans. She pressed Rep. Ryan Zinke to review Obama’s environmental decisions in Alaska.

Earthquakes shake waters off Elfin Cove

Emily Russell, KCAW – Sitka

A series of earthquakes shook Southeast Alaska Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning. The epicenter of the quakes was located off the coast of Elfin Cove, 90 miles north of Sitka.

Trio makes CB 300 history

Molly Rettig, KUAC – Fairbanks

Mushing history was made last night in the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race, as women took the top 3 spots in the season’s first big distance challenge. Two River’s Ryne Olson won, followed by Paige Drobny of Ester and Michelle Phillips of Carcross, Yukon.

Alaska Highway 75th anniversary events to include tribute to black soldiers’ key role

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

75 years ago, the U.S. Army began work on a road to connect the far-flung territory of Alaska to the continental United States. This week, the town at the end of that road, Delta Junction, will consider a proposal to celebrate the Alaska Highway’s 75th anniversary. Organizers of a statewide effort to commemorate the anniversary say the highway represents an important historical achievement and a breakthrough in race relations.

Scientist says vanishing clouds have lead to colder temperatures

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Long forecast deep cold is sinking in across mainland Alaska. National Weather Service meteorologist Christopher Cox said clouds that have mitigated the arctic air’s full impact on the surface are dissipating.

Interior Alaska hit with abnormally chilly weather

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

It was 51 below zero today in McGrath. The interior community hasn’t hit temperatures that far below zero in five years.

Bean’s Cafe moves to 24-hour schedule to alleviate cold patrons

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The cold weather descending on much of the state is having an impact on social services. A soup kitchen in Anchorage is staying open around the clock to provide shelter from dangerously frigid temperatures.

Here’s why your street isn’t plowed yet

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Back-to-back storms, a tricky division of labor, and budget cuts contribute to a perception of lagging snow-removal.

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