Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017

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100+ Sitkans attend candlelight vigil for Charlottesville

Emily Kwong, KCAW – Sitka

The events in Charlottesville continued to ripple across the country, with protests to condemn racism and to mourn the counter-protester who was killed on Saturday. About 50 people gathered over the weekend in Homer, and some 300 came out Sunday in downtown Anchorage.  On Monday, dozens of people joined a candlelight vigil in Sitka.

Anchorage partners with DHS on human trafficking

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Officials in Anchorage are trying to get a better handle on human trafficking. And to do that, they’re partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

With F-35 squads set for Eielson, thousands of people may come up with them

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

More than 5,000 people may come to the Fairbanks area over the next four years as part of the move to base two squadrons of F-35 fighters at Eielson Air Force Base. The latest estimate announced Monday is well above the previous estimate of 3,500. The bigger population increase is expected to place a greater burden on local services.

Can Alaska Native villagers in the YK Delta get a fair trial?

Teresa Cotsirilos, KYUK – Bethel

A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.

High levels of wastewater bacteria found at Alaska beaches

Associated Press

Alaska officials have found high levels of a wastewater and sewage pathogen at Ketchikan beaches.

Walker signs SB 88, Mental Health Trust land exchange

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker was joined in Ketchikan on Thursday by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, state Sen. Bert Stedman and state Rep. Dan Ortiz to sign a bill accepting a land trade between the U.S. Forest Service and Alaska Mental Health Trust.

Prominent musher Joee Redington passes away at 74

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Alaska’s dog mushing community lost a prominent member today. Joee Redington passed away at a hospital in Fairbanks at age 74.

Dam protects Fairbanks from another ’67 flood

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

Water from rain swollen Chena River flooded Fairbanks 50 years ago this week, displacing thousands and causing $80 million in damage. The epic flood also had broader implications. It inspired creation of the national flood insurance program, and prompted federal construction of the Chena Flood Control project.

Can sea stars make a comeback in Kachemak Bay?

Aaron Bolton, KBBI – Homer

Sea star wasting syndrome, or disease as it has become known, hit Kachemak Bay hard in 2016, killing about 90 percent of sunflower and true star populations.