Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017

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Murkowski votes to advance DeVos, angering Alaska school advocates

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

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski Tuesday morning voted in the Education Committee to send President Trump’s choice for education secretary to the full Senate for a vote. But Murkowski says she hasn’t yet decided how she’ll ultimately vote on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos.

How will climate science in Alaska fare under Trump? No one knows yet

Rachel Waldholz and Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk

Federal agencies and scientists both inside and outside government endured a roller coaster of a week as President Donald Trump’s new administration took the reins. Many worry that funding for science and environmental research could be on the chopping block under the new president, along with public communication about climate change.

Walker criticizes Trump’s handling of refugee issue

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Governor Bill Walker criticized President Donald Trump’s order that halted immigration from seven heavily Muslim countries, indefinitely banned Syrian refugees and temporarily banned all other refugees.

Sweeping criminal justice overhaul under fire — and revision

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Legislators are considering changes to a seven-month-old law that overhauled the criminal justice system. The commission that helped shape the law has recommended 14 changes to it.

Volcanic ash falls on Unalaska in Bogoslof’s longest eruption yet

Laura Kraegel, KUCB – Unalaska

After more than two dozen explosions, Bogoslof Volcano has finally dropped ash on Unalaska.

Plane crash passengers found alive on west side of Cook Inlet

Shady Grove Oliver, KBBI – Homer

Three people aboard a plane that crashed near the Kenai Peninsula on Sunday have been found.

Seeing the value of the forest in the trees: Chugach enters California’s carbon market

Jennifer Pemberton, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Instead of harvesting their forests for timber, the Chugach Alaska Corporation is selling an innovative new forest product: the carbon stored in the trees.

Juneau’s downtown cruise terminal preparing for bigger boats

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

A $54 million project to add a pair of floating cruise ship berths to Juneau’s downtown waterfront is within months of completion. The project will expand the port’s capacity to accommodate larger vessels. That’s because cruise ships in Alaska are getting bigger.

Bethel native sets American record in women’s powerlifting squat

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Bethel native Natalie Hanson has set a new American record in women’s powerlifting. On Saturday (Jan. 28) in Milwaukee, Hanson squatted 578.7 pounds, more than three times her body weight, and more than 33 pounds over the former record. The 26-year-old set the new all-time-high at the USA Powerlifting Wisconsin State Open Championship.