Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, June 29, 2017

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Interior starts process for new offshore leasing plan

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

The Trump administration announced an initial step toward a new offshore leasing plan that could mean new drilling rights in federal waters of the Arctic.

Senate to return to Juneau on July 10 to focus on oil and gas tax credits

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The Senate plans to reconvene in Juneau on July 10 to try to overhaul oil and gas credits. But it’s not clear if there’s room for compromise with the House, which has different goals.

Report: Senate health reform cuts $3.1b from Alaska’s Medicaid

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

Alaska would lose $3.1 billion in Medicaid funds  if the U.S. Senate bill became law, according to a state-funded reporter. That’s an even bigger cut than in the bill the House passed.

Kings remain low on Kuskokwim; chum and reds running strong

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

Anyone hoping to hear good news about the king salmon run on the Kuskokwim is going to be disappointed; the numbers are just not there. No decision on another opening is likely until Friday.

‘Take Our Land, Take Our Life’

Rachel Waldholz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

When Alaska became a state, the federal government agreed to hand over more than 100 million acres. There was just one problem. Alaska Native people already claimed that land. Then Alaska struck oil, and the question of who owned what land in the 49th state went all the way to the White House.

Alaska’s largest needle exchange struggles to keep up with demand

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

There are a lot of staggering numbers when it comes to opioids in Alaska. The number of needles exchanged at one Anchorage non-profit doubled in just two years. The program is a way of reducing health risks and long-term medical costs. But it isn’t without controversy.

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