Alaska News Nightly: Monday, Feb. 6, 2017

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Privatization could save some money at API, not at youth centers

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Alaska’s state government can save money by privatizing some services at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, or API. But it doesn’t look like it would save if it privatized all services.

Walker, House Dems aim to put climate policy back on the table

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Climate change has always been a sticky issue for Alaska policy makers. As a state that sits on the front lines of global warming but remains deeply dependent on oil, it sometimes seems like the easiest option is just not talking about it at all. But now, Governor Bill Walker and Democrats in the State House are considering some tentative steps to tackle the issue.

DeVos opponents press Sullivan

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

Parents and activists who don’t want to see Betsy DeVos confirmed as U.S. Education secretary are hitting the streets and the phone lines, around the country and in Alaska.

Alaska town’s new Inupiaq name to stay – for now

Associated Press

Alaska voters in the nation’s northernmost town won’t get a chance at the polls after all to repeal the community’s new Inupiaq Eskimo name.

Now that it’s legal, what’s it like to buy pot in Alaska?

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Over the last few weeks, many Alaskans are experiencing something new: walking into a store to buy pot. For more than a year, Alaska Public Media has been profiling one family cannabis business as they try to break into the new industry. Now they’re finally open for business. But not without lingering concerns.

After Alaska lawmaker’s fundraising controversy, Senate considers tighter rules

Caroline Halter, KTOO – Juneau

Former Alaska Senate President Kevin Meyer is going after PACs in what he said is an effort to improve public trust. Meyer hopes to change Alaska’s campaign finance law to address PACs controlled by individual lawmakers and candidates.

What road lies ahead for Juneau’s electric cars?

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Juneau’s privately-owned electric utility is trying to plan for a future that includes more electric cars.

Yukon Quest race pushes through to Steeping Stone

Molly Rettig, KUAC – Fairbanks

Defending champion Hugh Neff, and past winners Brent Sass and Allen Moore are pushing the pace at the front of Yukon Quest Sled Dog race. Also in the early mix are top rookie Katherine Keith and Quest veterans Matt Hall and Ed Hopkins. Leaders rested at Steeping Stone today (Feb. 6), 285 miles into the race, which started Saturday in Whitehorse. Trail conditions are allowing fast travel.