Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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Soldier from Wasilla dies of wounds suffered in Afghanistan

Associated Press

The Army says an Alaska soldier serving in Afghanistan has died.

As North Korean ICBM test proves successful, the Alaskan response is fairly mild

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The news yesterday of a successful intercontinental ballistic missile test by North Korea has world leaders calling for restraint. Based on observations of the test, North Korea could potentially launch a weapon capable of reaching any part of Alaska. It’s a major development in the arms race on the Korean Peninsula. But in Alaska, the news has prompted more of a shrug than a shriek.

PFD cut affects some Alaskans more than others

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

When the Alaska Legislature passed the state budget June 22, it also voted for the first time to cut money for Permanent Fund dividends. By doing this, it followed in the steps of Gov. Bill Walker, who cut PFDs in half last year to maintain state savings. The PFD cut will affect those in some Alaska communities more than others.

Private contractors pitch proposals to manage several Delta Junction state parks

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state Parks and Outdoor Recreation Division is turning to the private sector to manage five Delta Junction-area state parks that were partially closed last week due to cuts in the agency’s budget. The division has begun soliciting proposals from prospective contractors to operate the parks.

Interior wolf control program to end

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The state plans to suspend its largest wolf control program. The Upper Yukon Tanana area program, which has targeted wolves in an area of the eastern interior since 2004, is scheduled to cease after the 2017-2018 season.

As Enstar prepares to raise rates, electric utilities want a cut

Daysha Eaton, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Hearings about Enstar’s request for a rate increase recently wrapped up in Anchorage. Southcentral Alaska’s only gas supplier wants to boost residential bills by 4.6 percent to pay for mostly infrastructure investments. But the electric utilities that transport gas on Enstar’s lines to generate electricity are arguing against how costs are split.

The challenges of being the only woman on a pipeline worker crew

Henry Leasia, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Diane Schenker had recently graduated from Reed College and was living in Fairbanks when she heard a rumor that Welding Union 798 had been forced to hire women to help build the trans-Alaska pipeline. A 21-year-old with no experience in construction, Schenker convinced the union office manager to let her work with an all-male crew of welders from the South.

Seward statue unveiled in front of Alaska Capitol

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

A statue of the U.S. statesman behind Alaska’s 1867 purchase from Russia now stands in front of Alaska’s Capitol building.