Alaska News Nightly: Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

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EPA hold Iliamna hearing over proposed cuts to Pebble Mine restrictions

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

Today, the environmental protection agency held the second of two public hearings on its proposal to withdraw the Obama administrations proposed restrictions on the Pebble Mine. The hearings were held in Dillingham and Iliamna. They come a week after Pebble released new details on its proposal, promising a smaller mine than originally planned.

Pebble opponents hammer EPA for changed course at Dillingham meeting

Dave Bendinger, KDLG – Dillingham

The Environmental Protection Agency is backing away from the use of preemptive Clean Water Act restrictions against large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed. That comes as part of a settlement with the Pebble Limited Partnership, and the company now says it is preparing to file for permits.

Environmental group to sue Trump administration over Pacific walrus

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service declined to grant protections for the Pacific walrus. Now the Trump administration may have to answer in court.

Top two officials in division overseeing prisons no longer work for state

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The Department of Corrections spokeswoman cites confidentiality in declining to provide more information.

Murkowski-Warren letter slams White House’s response to opioid epidemic

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Today, Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski sent a letter with her Democratic colleague Elizabeth Warren of Massachussets to the president regarding the nation-wide opioid epidemic. The letter frames the health crisis as a bipartisan issue, and lays blame for a lackluster policy response squarely in one place.

Romig Middle School science teacher honored as Alaska Teacher of the Year

Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Today, Anchorage teacher Ben Walker was selected as the 2018 Alaska Teacher of the Year. Walker is a seventh grade science teacher at Romig Middle School and was granted the honor at a surprise assembly in the school gymnasium.

Interior Gas Utility considers taking over Interior Energy Project

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

The Fairbanks North Star Borough’s Interior Gas Utility has a big decision to make. The voter former IGU is considering taking control of the state backed Interior Energy Project.

Doyon says its natural gas prospects in Nenana Basin are promising

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

There’s renewed optimism about finding a deposit of natural gas in the Nenana Basin that can be developed.

Airport screening change for electronics rolling out in Southeast Alaska

Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO – Juneau

The TSA, specifically addressing Southeast travelers, says to arrive 90 minutes early for flights.

Bering Sea storm expected to cause minor flooding in Alaska

Associated Press

A storm in the Bering Sea is expected to cause minor flooding and beach erosion at low-lying coastal areas along Alaska’s western coast.

National Guard focuses on increasing operations during tour of Nome, Brevig Mission, and Teller

Davis Hovey, KNOM – Nome

Major General Laurie Hummel, the Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard and Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, is touring through Western Alaska this week, along with her military entourage from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.