Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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Repeal without replace? Murkowski tweets ‘no’

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

When the Republican health care reform bill collapsed last night, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell switched to a “repeal and delay” plan. They proposed to vote immediately on repealing the Affordable Care Act and then give themselves two years to craft a replacement. But with a tweet this morning, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski may have doomed the idea.

With budget, US House inches toward ANWR

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

A budget blueprint in the U.S. House is reviving hopes for Alaskans who want to see the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge open to oil drilling.

Motor fuel tax stalls in a year of few bills

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

In a year when lawmakers could agree on little, a proposal to triple the state’s motor fuel tax stands out. Legislators from both parties said the tax might be needed to support construction and maintenance of roads, airports, ferries and ports. But the bill didn’t pass, for a few reasons.

On-site consumption back on the table for Alaska pot businesses

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Alaska is on course to be the first state in the country to allow customers to use cannabis inside regulated businesses.

Judge orders Anchorage to pay ex-cops $2.7M after verdict against city

Casey Grove, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

A judge has increased the penalty the Municipality of Anchorage will pay two former Anchorage police officers, who alleged racial discrimination at the Anchorage Police Department and won with a jury verdict this spring.

Despite uncertainty, Sitka Hospital maps out a future

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

Sitka Community Hospital is in the early stages of a make-over. Building upon the recommendations of an outside consultant, Stroudwater Associates, hospital leadership is directing changes to make Sitka Community a standalone operation.

Big harvest and a buck a pound, Bristol Bay’s 2017 should be huge

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The Bristol Bay run is not over yet, with word Monday that the Kvichak River seemed to finally “pop”, but this year’s fishery is shaping up to be one of the largest ever and certainly one of the most valuable in a long time.

Pink salmon season forecast looks positive

Kayla Desroches, KMXT – Kodiak

It looks like numbers at this early point in the pink salmon season are settling back into a normal pattern for the Kodiak region.

Yukon kings arriving in early blast; Kuskokwim kings arriving in late trickle

Anna Rose MacArthur, KYUK – Bethel

The Kuskokwim and Yukon Rivers are having opposite experiences with king salmon this season.