Alaska News Nightly: Monday, March. 13, 2017

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US Attorney for Alaska Karen Loeffler submits resignation

Associated Press

The U.S. attorney for Alaska has submitted her resignation. President Donald Trump on Friday requested the resignation of Karen Loeffler and 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama.

House passes bill to provide benefits to survivors of police, firefighters

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The state House passed a bill Monday that would provide health insurance to the families of police officers and firefighters who die in the line of duty.

Calls for Hilcorp to shut down leaking Cook Inlet gas line get louder

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

An ongoing natural gas leak in Cook Inlet is sparking a debate over pipeline safety. Hilcorp, the responsible company, said it can’t shut off the flow of gas through the pipeline without risking an oil spill. But a number of environmental groups disagree.

Mitch Seavey first to Elim, three follow from Koyuk

Annie Feidt, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Mitch Seavey has a substantial lead in the Iditarod, as the top mushers enter the final phase of the race. Seavey reached the Elim checkpoint at 3:26 p.m.

Iditarod changes dropped dog transport standards following Friday death

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The Iditarod Trail Committee said it’s changing protocols for how it transports dropped sled dogs after an one died Friday while in the organization’s care. An early necropsy on the dog showed it had overheated, dying of hyperthermia while on board a plane.

Late Iditarod Volunteer in Kaltag receives Nayokpuk Award

Ben Matheson, KNOM – Nome

The Iditarod is honoring a late longtime race volunteer in Kaltag with the Herbie Nayokpuk Spirit of the Iditarod Award.

Ask the Energy Desk: What happens when our hydropower sources are frozen?

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Parts of Interior Alaska, like Fairbanks, have been seeing record cold temperatures this winter. But in Southeast Alaska, the frigid conditions have had a direct impact on the way people power their homes.

Update: More money for the Alaska Marine Highway

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

State House budget writers have restored much of the ferry system cut proposed by the governor for the next fiscal year.

Tied-up ferry Taku is for sale

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

The state ferry Taku is for sale. The minimum price for the 54-year-old ship is $1.5 million.

Climate scientists worry NOAA cuts will hinder Alaska weather forecasting

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

Scientists who study Arctic climate say their research will suffer if the Trump administration goes ahead with big budget cuts reportedly under consideration for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. And they say the proposed cuts also would hinder meteorologists’ ability to forecast weather in Alaska and worldwide.

Low salmon projections cancel popular Southeast Spring King Derby

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A popular Southeast spring fishing derby won’t happen this year, because there aren’t enough fish.