Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017

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University of Alaska president addresses lawmakers after no-confidence votes

Caroline Halter, KTOO – Juneau

The faculty senate at the University of Alaska Fairbanks voted no-confidence in University President Jim Johnsen’s leadership on Monday, Feb. 6. The vote followed the same move by the Anchorage faculty Jan. 13. Johnsen addressed the issue Jan. 8 at a meeting of the Senate Education Committee.

Chief justice urges lawmakers to collaborate and compromise

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers said Alaska’s courts are leading the way in cutting costs in a way that doesn’t threaten vital services.

Legislative uproar erupts during discussion of oil tax credits

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

For a few minutes today, the State House floor started to sound like Britain’s House of Commons. The chaos erupted after members of the House Resources committee released their much anticipated bill proposing another round of oil tax credit reforms.

Dakota Access Pipeline builder says they will resume construction as soon as possible

Associated Press

The company building the Dakota Access oil pipeline says it plans to resume work immediately to finish the project.

Presbyterian Church formally apologizes to North Slope Natives for denouncing culture

Lori Townsend, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

In Utqiagvik, an apology from the head of the Presbyterian Church will be offered to the Alaska Native people of the North Slope. The idea is to start a process of healing by acknowledging that the Church, however well intended, was wrong, when it denounced the cultures of Native people, both in Alaska and across the nation.

Rep. Young named ‘chairman emeritus,’ loses power of the gavel

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

For most of the past 20 years, Alaska Congressman Don Young has been either a committee or subcommittee chairman. But now he wields no gavel.

Fairbanks School District eliminates graduate tests

Robert Hannon, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks High School seniors scheduled to graduate this spring won’t need to take a college entrance exam. At its meeting last night, the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board revamped its graduation requirements. The board also heard from some educators unhappy with the district’s new personalized learning model.

New play tells stories of homelessness, inspires action

Anne Hillman, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A new play showing in Anchorage this weekend tells the stories of homelessness from around the state. But for the writers and actors, “Home But Not Less” isn’t a story about sadness. It’s about understanding.

Fishermen forced to share pounds in herring fishery

Angela Denning, KFSK – Petersburg

New restrictions are being put into place for the upcoming spawn-on-kelp herring fishery in Southeast Alaska to address a declining population. For the first time, fishermen are required to share spawning structures with several others.