Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Sep. 21, 2017

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VP Pence calls in to Anchorage talk radio

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

The future of the Affordable Care Act appears to rest on how Sen. Lisa Murkowski will vote next week. Alaska is getting some extra attention for it, including a special caller to a local conservative talk show Thursday.

Significant layoffs hit ADN, with more changes ahead

Zachariah Hugehs, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

As it struggles to emerge from bankruptcy under new owners, the state’s largest newspaper has started making deep staff cuts.

New Hilcorp contract pushes Interior Energy Project along

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Interior Energy Project has achieved a major milestone. On Thursday, the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority Board approved a plan advancing the state effort to increase availability of natural gas in Fairbanks.

Commercial pot growers paid GVEA more than $500,000 over the past year

Tim Ellis, KUAC – Fairbanks

The commercial marijuana industry is increasing demand for electricity in the Interior. Golden Valley Electric Association membership includes 47 licensed marijuana growers, who paid the co-op more than a half-million dollars for power over the past year.

Flood watch for Kenai River drainage as dammed lake releases

Jay Barrett, KDLL – Kenai

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of the Kenai River drainage due to the release of water from a dammed glacial lake.

Spill reported at Valdez Marine Terminal

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

The operator of the Trans-Alaska pipeline is reporting an oil spill at the Marine Terminal in Valdez.

Ft. Wainwright soldier charged with assaulting infant son

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

A Ft. Wainwright soldier is charged with assaulting his infant son. Fairbanks Police say 22-year-old Ronald L. McGriff was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree assault for severely injuring his 8-month-old son in August.

Budget glitch could leave ferries without funding

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

One Southeast senator said that the possibility that the Alaska Marine Highway System could shut down this spring is an intentional attempt to damage the ferries.

Alaska could become climate change refuge for tropical fish

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Researchers from the University of Washington used 80 years of data to figure out how much warming fish could withstand. They discovered fish in the tropics are already living in water at the upper end of their threshold.

Sitka hatchery’s chum run funds improvements

Ed Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – Juneau

A strong chum salmon run is helping pay for upgrades to a Sitka hatchery. Returns are also good at a much larger aquaculture operation not far away.

Juneau’s Housing First prepares to open its doors

Jacob Resneck, KTOO – Juneau

Juneau’s Housing First project is opening its doors this week to the first eight residents. The $8.3 million Lemon Creek complex will soon house 32 of the community’s most vulnerable residents.

Gambell’s new health clinic now open to patients

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

After several years of providing community health services in an overcrowded building, Norton Sound Health Corporation employees in Gambell now have a bigger and newer space to accommodate the community’s needs.